How to Change the WordPress Table Prefix

Assuming my current WordPress prefix was “wp_” and I wanted to change it to “banana_”, then I would do the following…

Take a backup of your database and file system. Remember, if you screw up and trash your blog you will thank yourself for the extra time you spent doing this!

Amend the “$table_prefix” setting in the “wp-config.php” file.

$table_prefix = 'banana_'; // Only numbers, letters, and underscores please!

Rename all the tables, swapping the “wp_” prefix with “banana_”. For example, the following statement would rename the “wp_comments” table to “banana_comments”.

RENAME TABLE wp_comments TO banana_comments

Perform the following updates.

UPDATE banana_options SET option_name = 'banana_user_roles' WHERE option_name = 'wp_user_roles'
UPDATE banana_usermeta SET meta_key = 'banana_capabilities' WHERE meta_key = 'wp_capabilities'
UPDATE banana_usermeta SET meta_key = 'banana_user_level' WHERE meta_key = 'wp_user_level'
UPDATE banana_usermeta SET meta_key = 'banana_autosave_draft_ids' WHERE meta_key = 'wp_autosave_draft_ids'

If you don’t do these updates, the blog will work, but when you try to access the admin site you will be greeted with a message saying,

You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.

That’s it!



Win A Free Copy of Packt’s Managing Multimedia and Unstructured Data in the Oracle Database e-book

I recently did the technical review of some of the chapters in a new Packt book called Managing Multimedia and Unstructured Data in the Oracle Database by Marcelle Kratochvil. I’ve known Marcelle for years and although we don’t always see eye-to-eye on DBA matters, she is definitely the first person I speak to about matters concerning multimedia and Oracle databases. A number of people “talk the talk”, but Marcelle is one of the few people that can actually “walk the walk” on this subject!

If you are interested in getting a free e-copy of this book, Packt Publishing are organizing a give away. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me why you think you deserve a copy and what you hope to achieve after reading it. In 2 weeks (approximately 26-April-2013) I’ll read and judge the responses and make sure an e-copy of the book gets to the 4 lucky winners. I’ll be contacting the winners by email, so you will have to use your real email address when you comment! 🙂

I’m not going to reveal my judging criteria, and I’ll probably ask Marcelle to help me decide, so try and be a little creative in your answers. 🙂 Just asking for a copy is not going to make you a winner. 🙂

Let the games begin…



Note. Comments on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ will not be judged. Your entry must be a comment on this blog post.

Heretics of Dune

Heretics of Dune is the fifth book in the Dune series by Frank Herbert.

This book picks up the story 1,500 years after the last one ended. The descendants of Siona had scattered throughout the universe, hidden from prescient minds by their unique genetics traits. Now some of them return from the scattering, but for what purpose?

The first book in the series is what drew me in. The next couple of books were not great. The fourth was a lot better. This one continues the upward trend. The intensity builds pretty much from the start all the way through, but the ending is a little weak. The next book starts where this one left off, so I guess that’s the reason for the week ending in this case.

As with the previous books, there are some fantastic sound bites. When you are reading the books on a Kindle you can see the pages littered with other people’s highlights. I could list hundreds, but here are just a few.


“Quite naturally, holders of power wish to suppress “wild” research. Unrestricted questing after knowledge has a long history of producing unwanted competition.”

“Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?”

“… we only hate what’s really dangerous to us.”



Not “how”, but “why” should we upgrade to JDeveloper & ADF ?

Followers of the blog know I’m an Oracle database guy, but my current job also has me honing my newbie WebLogic 11g skills, setting up a number of servers to deliver ADF and Forms & Reports 11gR2 applications.

As you’ve no doubt heard, Oracle have just released the version of JDeveloper and ADF. I tried applying the patch to a WebLogic 11g (10.3.6) installation and it worked without any problems (see here).

The real issue is, we currently have developers working hard to get applications converted from AS10g to ADF ( running on WebLogic 11g (10.3.6). As much as I would like to “force” them to upgrade to, it has to be justified. So why should we upgrade to JDeveloper & ADF

One of the great things about the Oracle ACE program is the level of access you get to experts in a variety of Oracle technologies. This network of people includes both Oracle ACEs and Oracle employees.

So how did I go about answering my question? Simple! I emailed my buddy Chris Muir (Oracle ADF Product Manager at Oracle), who is far better qualified to answer than me. 🙂 In that email I asked the following three questions:

  1. Assuming we don’t need the extra functionality in ADF, what is the advantage of moving to it? Are the bug fixes and maybe browser compatibility changes enough to warrant the upgrade?
  2. Is there a significance as far as support lifecycle is concerned?
  3. Is the upgrade likely to break anything that has already been converted for

I suggested Chris might want to write a blog post based on these questions. He suggested a remote Q&A style post, so this is the “Q” and Chris will supply the “A” here!



Oracle Linux : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)…

I mentioned in a previous post that my company were planning to move all of our middle tier infrastructure and some of our Oracle databases to Oracle Linux running on a virtual infrastructure. That process is now underway.

Persuading the company to ditch Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in favor of Oracle Linux took a bit of effort, partly due to some Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) spread by one of the vendors we use. In the process of trying to counter the FUD I put together an Oracle Linux FAQ document. I thought it might come in handy for anyone else in a similar position, so I thought I would make it available on my site.

As I say at the top of the article, this includes some of my opinions as well as facts. This made me a little nervous, so I thought I would run it by an expert before I let it loose.  Big thanks to Lenz Grimmer for giving the article the once-over. His corrections and suggestions were very welcome!



Everyone should write/present because…

Following on from my post about the ACE program, Yuri from Pythian asked what I get out of presenting that makes it worthwhile. In this post I will tell a few little stories to explain why I think writing and presenting are important skills for people, regardless of their ambitions.


I mentioned in the previous post that I was originally scared of public speaking. There are only two reactions to that. You either avoid it, or face it head-on. In my case I chose the latter and it worked for me. I’m now really comfortable speaking to large groups of people. It’s always a bit nervy, but in a good way. At UKOUG last year I got up on stage and I could see my hands were shaking, so I pointed it out to the crowd and laughed at myself. Once I acknowledged the fear, I felt pretty calm and got on with it. The confidence to accept this sort of thing only comes if you put yourself through the wringer a few times. Preparation makes life alot easier, but no amount of practicing in your house can truly prepare you for the first time you get on stage.

If you do your preparation well, you will learn a lot more about your subject area. I spend a lot of time looking at what I am presenting and trying to think about the questions people are likely to ask me. If I come across anything I can’t answer in a convincing manner, I hit the books to find out what the answer is. There are always a few surprises, but you can incorporate those into your presentations to improve them over time.

In a similar vein, learning how to explain things to other people teaches you a lot about your subject. When you have to think of multiple approaches to explain a subject, you often gain more clarity yourself.

“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.” – Aristotle

There are pivotal moments in your life when being able to communicate clearly and calmly can have a big impact. I was speaking to some University students a few months back and asked how many of them had done formal presentations. The answer was pretty much zero. So then I posed the question, how do you think you are going to cope in a job interview if you’ve never actually put yourself under that sort of pressure before? I’m not saying presenting in front of your peers or at a conference will make you an interview demon, but these skills are transferable and they will help.

Likewise, when you are in a meeting and you have to present your arguments for following a specific route, if you babble inanely I doubt you will get the result you want. Communicating your thoughts and ideas in a clear manner is a skill everyone needs. Being able to communicate with people of differing technical backgrounds is a great skill too. It allows you to be the glue that binds the teams together. There is nothing worse than working in a company where all the teams are cool, but the interfaces between them are broken.

Above all, when you’ve done a good presentation you are on such a high. You feel like skipping out of the room. 🙂


I think everyone should write. Not just technical people, but everyone. I never kept a diary as a kid, but on reflection I wish I had. You don’t need to write fancy prose. Not every article has to been 50 pages long. It’s about ordering your thoughts. You don’t have to make them available on the internet, but I think it helps if you do.

I remember the first time I answered a question on a forum. It was I must have reread my answer about 20 times. I read the relevant pages in the documentation several times, making sure I’d not made a mistake. I hit submit and then refreshed the page every few seconds waiting to see if someone would criticise my answer. It was terrifying. The point is, putting your content out for public consumption opens you up to criticism, so you try a bit harder. I recently got one of my colleagues to start blogging. He kept his notes as word documents on a memory stick. In transferring stuff to his blog he commented on how scrappy some of his notes were and how putting them on his blog was forcing him to neaten things up. 🙂 How many times have to looked back at scrappy notes and found them pretty much useless?

I’ve got 12+ years of notes to fall back on. You ask me to do anything, chances are the first thing I will do is read my article on that subject as a refresher. If it doesn’t fill in all the gaps, I’ll add to it. The fact I can rely on my notes is a big confidence boost for me. Without them I would be winging through the manuals desperately hoping I can find the right bit before I make a fool of myself.

If career progression is your thing, ask yourself this question. If you were an employer and you were faced with two candidates of equal ability and one maintained a blog with regular posts of a technical nature and the other didn’t, which would you pick? I would pick the blogger, just because they showed an extra level of enthusiasm for the subject. I would find that an attractive quality in a candidate.

I don’t think your career should be your main motive though. Most of my employers, including my current one, haven’t had a clue about my website when I’ve been hired. My colleagues tend to catch on over time when I follow up every answer to a question with a link to 🙂

OK. So it’s a bit of a raggedy post, but it gives you some idea of why I think presenting and writing are important and what I get out of them. The fact that occasionally people will give you good feedback or make you part of a community program is a nice bonus. 🙂



Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE?

I tweeted the following yesterday,

“It’s 7 years ago today that I was made an Oracle ACE. Seriously. It was April Fools Day 2006… :)”

The followup from that tweet included a number of questions about what you get out of becoming an Oracle ACE and what is the quickest way to become one. In my mind, these types of questions highlight the misunderstanding of what the Oracle ACE program is. You can hear Vikki, Debra, Alex and myself talking about the Oracle ACE program here, but I feel like I want to clarify a few things. This is just my opinion. Others may say different. 🙂

Should you aim to become an Oracle ACE?

IMHO No! You should try to get involved in the Oracle community. If you enjoy that experience, keep on doing it and eventually you may be nominated and accepted as an Oracle ACE. If you don’t enjoy being involved in the community, then there is little chance you will do enough to warrant being nominated and accepted into the program.

The community contributions of the ACEs are assessed each year and as a result people drop out of the program. You can’t just do a quick spurt of blogging and hope to wing your way into the program, only to kick back and think you are sorted for life. That’s not how it works. Writing, presenting and answering questions on forums takes a lot of time. If you don’t enjoy it, you will not continue to contribute over a long period of time.

Does being an Oracle ACE mean you are an Oracle guru?

No. It is basically a pat on the back from Oracle for all your contributions to the community. Some of the ACEs are completely awesome and will melt your brain when they get going. Others like myself are just regular DBAs and Developers that like spreading what we’ve learned over the years. The ACE program is not a certification. It is not proof of ability. It is not a natural progression from OCP to OCM to ACE. If you think that, you’ve completely misunderstood what it is all about.

There are some awesome DBAs and Developers out there who you will never hear of. Why? Because they don’t enjoy putting themselves out there. If you are that type of person, then why make yourself miserable, just to try and become an Oracle ACE?

What do you get out of being an Oracle ACE?

You don’t need to be an Oracle ACE to get most of the benefits of being an Oracle ACE. It is the process you go through that provides most of the benefits, not the program itself…

The Oracle ACE program is great for networking. You meet lots of really cool people and make friends with many of them. That circle of people contains a great wealth of information. Having said that, because we are all involved in the community, almost all of us are directly accessible by you. If you show an active interest in a specific subject area, you will probably get in to regular conversations (online) with the Oracle ACEs in that area, as well as many other people.

Presenting is a skill *everybody* should have. At school I found it almost impossible to read out loud in front of people. My head would spin and I would panic. I could chat in groups of people, but anything that was even remotely formal was a nightmare. My experiences of presenting during my PhD weren’t much better. When I started working in IT I found the work environment fine, but put me in a meeting and ask me to introduce myself to the people around the table and a part of me would die inside. The reason for saying this is to highlight that presenting was not a natural thing for me. It was only after being made an Oracle ACE that I felt I should do some presenting. Like most newbies I was terrified and the added pressure of being labelled an Oracle ACE did not help. Fortunately, I got some good advice from some great speakers along the way, which helped a lot. What was the knock-on effect of this? I now find it easy to speak in meetings and interviews. Presenting is still a little nerve wracking, but it is fun also. You don’t need to be an Oracle ACE to get this benefit. Start presenting to your colleagues. Try and present at a local Special Interest Group (SIG). Try ToastMasters. You don’t have to present to 1000 people at OpenWorld to get the benefits of the confidence this gives you. The ACE program was the nudge I needed to do this, but for others user group participation was the factor that influenced them.

I feel like if you are looking for what the Oracle ACE program will give you, you’ve kind of missed the point.


Being part of the Oracle ACE program has been a very positive thing for me. I will remain in the program as long as it exists and as long as they will have me. 🙂 What’s really important is, if the program were to end tomorrow, I would still keep doing what I do. If you see the Oracle ACE program as a goal for you to achieve, then I don’t think the program is what you think it is.

It’s just my opinion. 🙂



Update: Jeff Smith just pointed me at this. Seems someone else was admitted to an evangelist program on April 1st too and was equally prompted to write on the subject. Kinda freaky to say the least!