My OCS Hell…

I don’t know if you know this, but I hate Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS). It is the most useless pile of camel dung I’ve ever cast my eyes upon. It’s really is not worth the price of the CDs it’s delivered on.

Yesterday it crashed in the afternoon so I restarted it all (DB, infrastructure and 3 middle tier servers). By the time I got home it had gone again, so guess what I had to do… Restart the lot again. About an hour later it had gone again, but I wasn’t at home so a collegue had to do the honours. My last text message on the subject was a little after 22:00. This morning I get to work and (can you guess what’s coming next?) it has all crashed again. At least it’s consistently rubbish!

My only hope is that my company give up on it, rather than wait for Oracle to fix it, because I know Oracle will focus on adding more gimics to it, rather than getting it to work properly.

My advice to anyone contemplating using this product is DON’T!!!!

If you are forced to use it, like me, consider hiring people to cover a 24 hour reboot service!

Cheers

Tim…

Article accepted for IOUG SELECT magazine…

I got an email yesterday saying that an article of mine has been accepted for the IOUG SELECT magazine. The article is a small section from the book I’m currently writing, which should be finished by the end of this month. I’m not sure when the article is going to be published so watch this space…

I’m looking forward to finishing the book and getting my teeth stuck into Oracle 10g Release 2. I’ve been so busy recently that I’ve not had much time to check it out, and as a result I’ve not been adding many new articles to ORACLE-BASE.com. A situation that will be rectified soon 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Dodgy SQL and Dodgy Products

Dodgy SQL
Developer: What’s wrong with this SQL statement?
Me: I’ve done an SQL trace on it and it churns through 1.6 Gig of data, 0.3 Gig from disk taking 439 seconds, the rest coming from memory, but incuring a 140 second delay due to assorted cluster waits.
Conclusion: It’s a quality statement, not! 🙂

Dodgy Products
My hatred for Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS) is growing by the day. It’s completely…

I’ve decided to take leaf out of David Aldridge’s book and create a list of my own:

Alternative meanings for the OCS acronym:

  • Overly Complicated Sh*t
  • Obtuse Craptastic System
  • It doesn’t work, it’s complete crap, just ditch it and write something decent that works and doesn’t need loads of harware to do a really simple job!

OK, the last one doesn’t quite work, but the sentiment is spot on! Please feel free to contribute your own ideas 🙂

By the way, did I mention that OCS is a steaming pile of…

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Oracle applications are a total mess as well.

PPS. The application servers are a nighmare. Hopefully Larry will get his head out of his ass and do something about them!

PPPS. Why are there so many bugs in the DB these days?

Symptoms and Oracle 10g R2 for Windows

Yesterday I sounded like Barry White, today I can’t speak, much to the delight of my co-workers. I feel fine, but when I talk nothing comes out. Perhaps I should write all this text with a white font on a white background to simulate my current situation.

This reminds me of a summer holiday during University, when I worked on a production line in a factory for 3 months. All but one of the guys I worked with were deaf, and the one guy that could hear was at the other end of the line so I never got to speak to him. Fortunately the guys were really good at lip reading, so for 3 months I talked at work mostly without making any sound. I remember having a “chat” in the canteen one lunchtime and I started to speak out loud and got some funny looks from some of the guys off another line. It was only then I realized they had assumed I was deaf to as they had never heard me speak out loud 🙂

I had to teach a class last night using the “do as I do” method. Thought I would save my voice. Fat lot of good that did me!

I’ve just noticed that a Developers Release of Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2.0.1.0) for Microsoft Windows is available for download. Not sure what’s missing from this, but it’s not a fully supported production release like the Linux version.

Cheers

Tim…

Bits and bobs…

David Aldridge’s blog contains links to a couple of handy Firefox search extensions here. Thanks to all involved. I’m making good use of them.

Howard Rogers made reference to Desktop ASM in one of his recent answers on the Dizwell Forum. Sounds like it’s worth a play. I haven’t managed to play with ASM very much. We made the transition from 9i RAC to 10g RAC really early and at the time there was very little to suggest that ASM had been used in anger. As a result we made the decision to avoid it, which on reflection was a pity.

I’m feeling a little under the weather this week. On Monday my nose was blocked. On Tuesday I felt fine. On Wednesday my throat was a little sore. Today I woke up sounding like Barry White (should have recorded an album), but now I sound normal and my nose is dodgy again. I have no idea what is going on. Let’s see what the symptoms tomorrow brings.

Isn’t it great when two separate members of the team, in this case a developer and yours truly, are independently asked to solve a problem and come up with the same solution. The question is, do we have equally good or equally bad solutions? I guess both 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

New article, weird experience and film review…

New article
I wrote a quick how-to article about Renaming or Moving Oracle Files in response to a forum thread. Nothing new and exciting here for those in the know, but it might help some of the newer people.

Weird experience
I had a bit of an weird experience last night. I finished quite a tough Karate class and didn’t feel particularly like socializing so I went to the cinema on my own to watch “The Descent”. I’d been meaning to see it for a couple of weeks, but never got round to it. I was feeling pretty thirsty so I bought one of those stupidly large cups (more like buckets) of diet Coke. I sat down to watch the film and started drinking at a pace. Within about ten minutes of the film starting I had the shakes bigtime! I was shivering uncontrollably and felt really bad. I guess the fact I was so tired and had just downed a bucket of ice-cold diet coke had caused my core temperature to drop quite quickly.

I wasn’t totally sure what to do, my judgment was a little off as you can imagine, but fortunately my natural reaction was to start using Ujjayi breath. This is a special type of loud breathing (like Darth Vader) used in Ashtanga Yoga to help generate heat. Sounds a bit dumb, but within five minutes I was feeling a lot better. So much so I was able to watch the film…

Film review – The Descent
Take a bunch of athletic and overly adventurous young women with an assortment of issues and send them caving. Next, have them make some stupid decisions and for good measure throw in some subterranean predators.

Unknown to me I’ve become claustrophobic in my old age. I can’t remember really having a problem with this before, but there are several scenes where people are in really confined spaces that made me want to freak out. I know these scenes were included to increase the tension, but they were by far the scariest bits of the film for me!

There are the usual gore and “make you jump” scenes that you would expect from a horror film. Several of the latter made everyone in the cinema scream, then bust out laughing.

Despite the unfortunate episode at the start of the film I really enjoyed it. It’s not a high budget film, so don’t expect perfect effects, but it’s a significant step forward compared the director’s previous film “Dog Soldiers”. I liked that too, but it is a seriously low budget film 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Note to self. If you’re ever invited to go caving make a polite excuse and run for your life!

The curse of the Tru64 port…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Oracle products don’t run properly on Tru64 anymore!

The latest issue came from an observation by a developer and involves problems with using NVL inside an EXISTS subquery. The following code is the test case I sent in my TAR to Oracle support.

CREATE TABLE tab1 (
code         VARCHAR2(10),
description  VARCHAR2(50)
);

ALTER TABLE tab1 ADD (
CONSTRAINT tab1_pk PRIMARY KEY (code)
);

INSERT INTO tab1 (code, description) VALUES ('1', 'ONE');
INSERT INTO tab1 (code, description) VALUES ('2', 'TWO');
INSERT INTO tab1 (code, description) VALUES ('3', 'THREE');

CREATE TABLE tab2 (
code         VARCHAR2(10),
tab1_code    VARCHAR2(10),
description  VARCHAR2(50)
);

ALTER TABLE tab2 ADD (
CONSTRAINT tab2_pk PRIMARY KEY (code)
);

ALTER TABLE tab2 ADD (
CONSTRAINT tab2_tab1_fk FOREIGN KEY (tab1_code)
REFERENCES tab1(code)
);

CREATE INDEX tab2_tab1_fk_i ON tab2(tab1_code);

INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('1', '1', 'ONE');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('2', '1', 'ONE');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('3', '1', 'ONE');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('4', '2', 'TWO');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('5', '2', 'TWO');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('6', '2', 'TWO');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('7', '3', 'THREE');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('8', '3', 'THREE');
INSERT INTO tab2 (code, tab1_code, description) VALUES ('9', '3', 'THREE');

COMMIT;

VARIABLE p1 VARCHAR2(1)
BEGIN
:p1 := '%';
END;
/

SELECT t1.code
FROM   tab1 t1
WHERE  EXISTS(SELECT rowid
FROM   tab2 t2
WHERE  t2.tab1_code = t1.code
AND    t2.code like :p1)
ORDER BY t1.code;

CODE
----------
1
2
3

3 rows selected.

SELECT t1.code
FROM   tab1 t1
WHERE  EXISTS(SELECT rowid
FROM   tab2 t2
WHERE  t2.tab1_code = t1.code
AND    t2.code like NVL(:p1,'%'))
ORDER BY t1.code;

CODE
----------
1
1
1
2
2
2
3
3
3

9 rows selected.

SELECT t1.code
FROM   tab1 t1
WHERE  EXISTS(SELECT rowid
FROM   tab2 t2
WHERE  t2.tab1_code = t1.code
AND    t2.code like COALESCE(:p1,'%'))
ORDER BY t1.code;

CODE
----------
1
2
3

3 rows selected.

From this you can see that then the bind variable is set to ‘%’ the query without the NVL works as expected, but the query using the NVL displays a row in the master table for each row found in the subquery. In comparison, the query using the COALESCE function works fine.

Now I realise that this is not a great query anyway, but you would still expect it to work!

Happy days in Tru64 land again 🙂

Once again I’m drawn to the inevitable conclusion that running Oracle products on anything but a tier-one platform is a bad idea. What’s more, judging by the recent arrival of Oracle 10g Release 2, there is now only a single tier-one platform. I don’t see a version for Solaris, HP-UX or Windows yet.

As for me, I’m still waiting for 10.1.0.4.0 to be released on Tru64. Release 2 is a long way off 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

TNS-12157 TNS:internal network communication error

It’s getting difficult and a little depressing trying to make a blog comment or forum post these days. It seems every time you do you risk offending someone.

Tag me stupid, baby! seemed more than a little relevant.

The comments associated with some high-profile blogs only serve to depress me more. It’s like the pedants and PC freaks have come out in force lately. I don’t know what the answer is and I’m sure, like everyone else, I am part of the problem, but I think everyone should take a step back from the keyboard and chill out!

I’m not sure how I’m going to approach my next posts as my enthusiasm has died a little due to all this.

Remember, this post is not about you, it’s not a criticism of you and if you take it that way you are merely proving my point.

Cheers

Tim…

The calm after the storm…

Things are just starting to return to normal… I hope 🙂

The disruption associated with the production hardware reconfiguration seems to have calmed down now. Of course, not all of the problems were associated directly with the hardware changes, but the time you spend on one problem distracts you from other jobs you should be doing, which in turn creates new issues.

We have finally moved all the database backups over to RMAN against HP Data Protector, rather than the disk-based RMAN backups we were doing before. The software seems to work fine, but the physical processes are taking some time to get used to. Rather than having a tape labeled “Monday night application X backup”, we now have a bank of tapes in a media pool that can hold portions of several backups. It’s not rocket science, but it can be a bit of a culture shock when you start changing processes that have been in place for years. It takes a while for people to get used to the idea that you don’t know which tapes must be removed and taken offsite until the software tells you.

Fun, fun, fun 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

SQLdetective Review

I was recently asked to review a product called SQLdetective, so here it is.

Q. What’s it for?
A. It’s for developers and DBAs and anyone else who does anything with an Oracle database.

Q. What features does it have?
A. It has everything you’ve come to expect from a general purpose DBA/Developer IDE. I’m not even going to attempt to list them because it would take forever. Suffice to say, if you’ve seen it in another product, it’s probably here.

Q. What’s it look like?
A. You can look at a bunch of screen shots here. Like most current IDEs it’s a bit busy. Not as plain as PL/SQL Developer, but not as busy as TOAD. The icons are “different”, but I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Q. What’s it feel like?
A. I seems quite quick and responsive, but it does some odd things, like when you highlight a table in the navigator the default operation is to show you a page of data. I doubt this would be the first thing I would want to see.

Q. What’s it cost?
A. The basic price is US$99, but if you want all the add-on modules it’s going to cost a total of US$198. So the cost depends on what you need. It’s difficult to compare prices because you rarely have to pay list prices and each IDE has different optional modules. It’s more expensive than the free version of TOAD, and now JDeveloper is free you can do all your PL/SQL development and debugging using that if you’ve got the hardware to run it 🙂

Q. Tim, would you buy it?
A. If I was forced to use an IDE I would use TOAD or JDeveloper for free. I have both loaded on my PC and I never use them. If I was forced to buy a license for an IDE I would consider this product. My company recently bought licenses for PL/SQL Developer, but I still use a text editor and SQL*Plus 🙂

Conclusion:

If you really want to pay money for an IDE give this one a try. It’s got a lot of stuff in it. Alternatively, write good intrumented code and save yourself the cash.

I guess I could just copy and paste this review about almost any of the current IDEs, but at least I’ve kept my promise…

Cheers

Tim…