Consuming Web Services using PL/SQL…

I have a couple of soultions for consuming web services using PL/SQL.

The problem has always been that every so often the web services referenced by these articles disappear, so I have to modify the articles to use a different web service. Well, I got sick of people pulling the plug on their web services, so I created one of my own that just adds two numbers together. The articles now reference that web service, so it should be a little more stable.

In the process of doing the alterations to the articles I had a lot of trouble with UTL_DBWS. I’m not at all convinced by this solution. On the surface it seems OK, and it certainly seemed to be OK in 10gR2, but it seems very flaky in 11gR2. The old 9i method seems a lot more stable, and you have complete control as you are doing everything yourself.

Of course the real problem with web services and PL/SQL is people look at their WSDL file and then mail me asking what the hell they do with it. I think I’m going to start suggesting they pass it to the Java guys and handle it in the middle tier. Problem solved. 🙂



PL/SQL Masterclass Croatia – Day 2

I wrote this post in Munich airport, but forgot to post it, hence the big gap…

After finishing teaching on the first day I got a taxi into town to have a look round for a couple of hours.

Since arriving in Zagreb I had been getting some serious déjà vu. First, I had some currency in my wallet that I didn’t get and I’ve never been to Croatia before. Second, the hotel seemed too familiar. I mean spookily familiar. Walking round Zagreb continued the theme because I kept feeling like I recognized places. It is similar to Tallinn, Estonia in parts, so I guess that may have been part of it. What with the days teaching and the events of the evening I was completely knackered by bedtime.

Day two went well. I think one demo screwed up, but that was my fault because I dropped some objects in the schema, forgetting that editioning was switched on for that schema and the objects were still present in another edition. Once I realized this I quickly cleaned up and the demo worked fine. Everything else seemed cool.

When it was all over I spent some time chatting and was given a summary of the feedback forms, which looked really good. I was confident I had plenty of time before my flight, but when I checked the times I noticed I’d been looking at the arrival times in Munich, not my departure time from Zagreb. Panic!!!!!

I arrived at the airport as boarding was closing. Fortunately, Zagreb airport is quite small, so they phoned through and I was allowed to get on the plane. In the panic I forgot to get a receipt from the taxi driver, but faced with a choice of losing a few pounds or missing a flight I know which one I would pick. 🙂

The flight back home was pretty low key. I had a 3 hour stop at Munich whre I wrote this post, then promptly forgot to publish it. 🙂

So another Oracle University gig under the belt. Thanks to everyone who came to the sessions and helped in the organization.



Death Masks…

I take back everything I said in my previous post about knowing why I would fall out of love with The Dresden Files. I’ve just finished Death Masks and all the elements I was starting to get bored of have fallen by the wayside.

As a writer it’s very hard to know how much to miss out and how much previous knowledge to attribute to the reader. This book seems to have made the break from a full explanation of all the facts from the previous books, into passing mentions. As a result, I’m not tearing my hair and and screaming, “I already know that! You explained it completely in the last 4 books!”

I can feel this leading on to a post about presenting, because there is some overlap with conversations and events of recent weeks. Funny how once you get an idea in your head, every situation seems to relate to it. No such things as coincidence, or so the Celestine Prophecy tells me… 🙂



PS. I’m so happy and hyper now I don’t have to by a new mobile… 🙂

Touchdown in Zagreb, Croatia…

When I left Birmingham and it was a warm and sunny. I arrived in Zagreb, Croatia and it is wet. The taxi driver apologized for the weather, but I told him this feels more like home than home does. 🙂

The flight went OK. I had a 4 hour stop in Frankfurt, but I used this new fangled interweb thing to keep me occupied. It’s fun, but I can’t see it catching on.

The second leg of the trip had a bit of turbulence on take-off and landing, but apart from a few quick flashbacks to trans-atlantic nightmares, I was fine. I had a little phone drama once I landed, centered around the fact I couldn’t find it. Once I got to the hotel I emptied my rucksack and found it hiding in a side pocket. Pesky bags with their handy side pockets…

The taxi driver gave the the heads-up on a few bits of the local lingo. I’ve added enough words to my vocabulary to make myself look completely stupid tomorrow.

Tomorrow morning I start a 2-day PL/SQL class for Oracle University. It should be easy to get to as it’s in the same hotel I’m staying in. The only thing I’ve got do before the class is sleep and iron 2 shirts. The ironing is praying heavily on my mind. I should have stipulated “crumpled appearance” in the contract.



Using NFS with ASM…

Combining NFS with ASM has come up in several conversations I’ve had recently, both online and real world. Since I no longer believe in coincidence I figured it was a message that I should take a look at it.

Anyone who has ever faked ASM disks using “dd” will recognize the approach. It works OK, and solves one of my issue with VirtualBox not supporting shared disks.

Please, please, please don’t think I’m recommending this. I’m not. NFS works just fine on it’s own. It’s just useful for me as a some time Mac user because VirtualBox and VMware Fusion don’t do shared disks, so RAC with ASM is a pain on them.

Laptop woes… (update)

I’ve just got my laptop back from being repaired at the Apple store. It is now quieter now than it was when I bought it. It seems apple can find a decent fan if they really need to. Fingers crossed now it will stay this way for a while.

Unfortunately I had to brave the Bullring Shopping Center on a bank holiday, so it will take me several months to recover from that experience… 🙂



Fool Moon and Summer Knight (The Dresden Files)…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I lost my first copy of Fool Moon in New Zealand, so after finishing Grave Peril I skipped back and finished Fool Moon, then moved on to Summer Knight. The books do make some references to previous events, so reading them out of order was not the best thing to do, but I still enjoyed them.

Having said that, now I’ve completed four of the books there are a few things that are starting to grate on me. I won’t mention them specifically in case by drawing attention to them I spoil the experience for someone else. The best way I can explain it is by paraphrasing something I saw on Oprah (there is no hope for me :)). It goes something like this…

The thing that makes you fall in love with someone is often the thing that makes you want to leave them. For example:

“They are funny.” becomes “They can’t take anything seriously.”

“They are beautiful.” becomes “They are obsessed with their looks.”

“They are reliable.” becomes “They are boring.”

And so on…

Well I guess this is similar to my experience of The Dresden Files. What first drew me to them is now getting a little long in the tooth. I’ll finish the series because I’ve already bout the rest of the books, but part of me is looking forward to them and part of me is not.