Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) : Social Media Channels

If you are interested in User Experience (UX), you can keep up with the latest news on these new channels from the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) team.

Of course, you can still keep up to date with information from the Usable Apps website.

Happy UXing… 🙂



Oracle Application Express (APEX) 5.1.1

I read Joel Kallman’s post this morning announcing the release of APEX 5.1.1. We’ve got APEX 5.1 across the board, so I downloaded patch 25341386 from MOS, as instructed, and went to work patching stuff.

The patching was just like every other patch I’ve done for APEX (see here), super easy. 🙂

I thought there was a problem with the APEX images, but it turned out I was a donkey and I’d copied the images to the wrong directory on one of the app servers. 🙂

We now have APEX 5.1.1 on all Dev and Test systems. It went so well I’ll probably push it to production really soon. Happy days. 🙂



OUG Ireland 2017 : It’s a Wrap

I guess four blog posts and 3 videos over a two day period is a little excessive, but this is the closing post to make it five. 🙂

Here are the posts I put out during the event. I’ve added in some videos I finished editing today.

This is the first time I’ve stayed over at the event and I think it made a big difference. When I’ve done it in a single day it adds quite a lot of pressure. From the minute you wake up until the minute you get back home there is a nagging doubt about the logistics of the day. I still had to get there in time for my talks, but I was not constantly checking the time for when I had to fly home and it made me feel much more relaxed. I’ll try to do it this way in future.

Big thanks to the folks at OUG Ireland and UKOUG for inviting me and making it a great day. I’ll see you next year! Thanks also to the attendees and speakers who had to put up with me for two days this year. Sorry you didn’t get to have a day off. 🙂 This is one of the conferences I where I pay my own expenses, but I would still like to thank the Oracle ACE Program for continuing to allow me to fly the flag!

See you all next time!



OUG Ireland 2017 : The Journey Home

I left the hotel bar with Martin, Chris and Neil and after an abortive attempt to get an airbus, we got a taxi to the airport.

I was convinced Dublin Airport was one of the few airports that don’t want you to unpack your laptops from your bag so I didn’t and my bag got flagged. I have no idea where I got that idea from, but I felt like a dick. 🙂

We then went to get some food and wait for our respective flights, whilst discussing our favourite movies…

When it was my time to board I said my goodbyes and headed to the boarding gate…

All three seats in my row were full and all three of us were of a “fuller figure”, but fortunately the row across the aisle was free so I got to “upgrade” from a middle seat to my own row. Happy days!

The flight home was about 45 minutes, then it was a taxi ride home to complete the journey. Wrap-up post to follow!



OUG Ireland 2017 : Day 2

I got up a little after 08:30, which was a bit of a surprise, and headed down for breakfast, where a met a bunch of other speakers.

By the time I got showered, changed and checked out of the hotel I had missed the first session of the day (sorry). The first session I went to was the wife presenting “PaaS4SaaS”. I know what you are thinking, and yes I could do this presentation as I’ve seen it so many times. 🙂

Next up was Francesco Tisiot with “What a Successful OBIEE 12c Upgrade Project Looks Like – Customer Case Study (Liberty Global)”. As mentioned before, I don’t work with OBIEE, but some people I work with do now, so I like to keep my ear to the ground. It is also looking like I will be looking after some of their infrastructure, so this session was really useful to me, just because of the additional context it gave me.

After Francesco’s session there was a vendor awareness session, lunch, chatting (networking), then it was back to the sessions.

Next up was Roel Hartman with “The Quest for the Little Gems in APEX 5.1”. Having introduced the headline features of APEX 5.1, he switched to speaking about some of the less well publicized cool features. Things like font APEX, button builder, live template options, improved dynamic actions, new PL/SQL APIs, theme styles and more. Cool!

I missed the next session as I was logged in to work, trying to catch up on some stuff. By the time I finished that I was a little late for Alex Nuijten presenting “Structuring an APEX Application”. I’m not sure how happy most APEX developers would be with some of the stuff Alex was suggesting, but I think it’s perfect, probably because we both came to APEX after spending years as PL/SQL developers. Listening to some of his structural approach reminded me of this. 🙂

The final session was “Question Time with ACEs & Ask Tom’s Chris Saxon and Maria Colgan”. The actual list of panelists was Chris Saxon, Martin Widlake, Joze Senegacnik, Neil Chandler, Alex Nuijten, Oren Nakdimon and Maria Colgan. I should not be allowed in panel sessions, whether I am on the panel or not. I have no off switch. It was a really funny session. Don’t mess with Maria! 🙂

And that was it for the OUG Ireland 2017… I’ll write a wrap-up post with all the usual thank you messages when I get home, but for today I would just like to say thank you to everyone for a great time!

After the last session I hung around in the hotel bar for a while having a chat with some of the folks, then it was time to head home, but that’s another blog post… 🙂



OUG Ireland 2017 : Day 1

I arrived at the Gresham Hotel, registered and went straight down to the first session of the day…

First up was Maria Colgan presenting, “What to Expect from Oracle Database 12c”, a quick romp through the cool features in Oracle 12c (12.1 and 12.2). The room was full so I had to listen form the corridor, with my head occasionally popping round the door to see the screen. Maria’s sessions are always great value, so definitely get to her if you can.

Next up was Marcin Przepiorowski with “Direct NFS for DBAs”. I’ve used this for some time, but only because Kevin Closson made me. 🙂 Marcin worked through some of the pros and cons and gave a bunch of numbers and graphs to prove is points. Graphs mean science! 🙂

I then moved on to Christian Berg with “Doing Oracle Analytics this way? STOP IT!”. We are transitioning to Oracle BI for the on-prem warehouse associated with our Oracle Cloud Apps stuff. I’m not part of the project and I don’t understand any of this stuff, but I just want to understand some of the vocabulary. I’m definitely understanding some more of the words now. 🙂

Next up was Martin Klier with “42 facts for Grid Infrastructure, ASM and RAC”. This was a quick-fire introduction to RAC and ASM. I’ve used both for some years, but I still find it really cool to see a summary like this, from someone who can actually do it for real.

Then it was me with back-to-back sessions. I brought my underwear, but forgot my pointer, so I had to borrow one from the mighty Maria Colgan. Thanks Maria! My first session was “Put your feet up and have a REST. Take a Tour of JSON Support in the Oracle Database”. The second was “It’s Raining Data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud”. Both sessions got a good crowd and I really enjoyed them. Judging by the reactions on Twitter some of the audience appreciated them too. 🙂

After my sessions I went to Gerald Venzl with “Supercharge Your Code to Get Optimal Database Performance”. He had the word Java on the title slide, but by his own admission it applied equally well to any programming language that interacts with a database. He discussed a number of things like the impact of commits, set processing, array processing and bind variables etc. For some of the points he did live demos to show the impact of getting it wrong. It’s exactly what you need every developer to hear before they are allowed to develop against a relational database. I think Gerald has spotted a gap in the market and is positioning himself as “The New Tom Kyte”, so from now on he will be known as Gerald Kyte… 🙂

Kamil Stawiarski with “Back to the basics: TABLESPACES… but a little bit low level style”. In this session he spoke about how different operations affect the contents of the datafiles on disk. Not the data you can query from SQL, but actually what is written (or not) to disk. He demoed it, by performing the operations in SQL and displaying the contents of the datafiles using a little C++ utility. It’s important for people to understand this stuff from a space-manangement perspective, but also from a security perspective. Just because you’ve deleted the row, it doesn’t mean you can’t read it from the datafile (assuming you are not using TDE) etc. 🙂

After the last session we got together for drinks. The queue was pretty big, so I went across the road and checked into my hotel, then came back and got a pint of Guinness. We headed off to the ACE Dinner at Rustic Stone, which was quite fancy. From there we moved across to a local bar and I was “forced” to have another Guinness. Then it was back to the hotel, where Christian “forced” us to eat rather expensive chocolate. I ended getting to bed really late. It was a really fun day at the conference and the evening. 🙂

Let’s see what tomorrow brings… 🙂



OUG Ireland 2017 : The Journey Begins

There is something about early starts that get me so nervous I can’t sleep properly. As a result I was awake before my 05:00 alarm, which gave me plenty of time to get ready. That was good because I hadn’t packed up laptop bag, which was also acting as my overnight bag. 🙂

The taxi ride to the airport was pretty standard, but I did have a conversation about Roza Bal in Kashmir.

I only had hand luggage, so I didn’t have to wait for the bag drop and security was mercifully quick. They did an explosives test on my phone, but ignored my laptop, cameras and huge power bank. Go figure…

Boarding happened on time and there was a gap in our row, so I was able to get the laptop out, which is always a bonus. The flight took about 40 minutes and was generally uneventful.

The journey from Dublin Airport to the conference venue was pretty simple. The AirLink Express takes you straight to the Gresham Hotel, so no drama there.

It is easier and cheaper for me to get to the OUG Ireland events than it is to get to London events. 🙂

I arrived, registered and went straight to the first session, but that’s another blog post! 🙂



Scheduler (DBMS_SCHEDULER) Enhancements in Oracle Database 12.2

Since its release in 10gR1, Oracle have consistently added neat functionality to the “new” scheduler with every database release. Yes, I still call it the new scheduler and you would be surprised how many people still insist on using DBMS_JOB rather than switching to DBMS_SCHEDULER.

Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) is no exception to this pattern, as once again we have some new stuff to play with.

In website housekeeping news, each scheduler article on the site was getting loaded down with links to other scheduler articles, so I’ve collected them all together into a section on one of my links pages, along with a feature list breakdown, so you don’t have to trawl through all the articles to get to the bit you need. You can see that section here.

For many people the simple example in the first article I wrote on the scheduler will be all they ever use, but it’s good to know what it’s capable of doing, especially when you see what some people get up to with CRON. 🙂



Update: For the person that just contacted me about the non-transactional nature of DBMS_SCHEDULER, I wrote about this here and finally raised an SR about it some time ago. That was converted to a bug, which was then altered to an enhancement request.


This issue is still present in 12cR2, with a workaround of using DBMS_JOB. 🙂

VirtualBox 5.1.18

It’s barely a week since 5.1.16 dropped and here we have VirtualBox 5.1.18! 🙂

Downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve done the installation on my Windows 7 desktop at work and Oracle Linux 6 host at home. I’ll do the update of the Mac over the weekend probably.



Update: Worked fine on macOS Sierra also.