Video : JSON Data Guide

Today’s video is an overview of the JSON Data Guide functionality introduced in Oracle 12.2.

If videos aren’t your thing, you can read the articles instead. This video focuses on the main features that were introduced in 12.2, but there are some nice additions in 18c also.

The cameo in today’s video is Toon Koppelaars of #SMartDB fame.



PS. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Oracle Database 18c “Hands-Off” Data Guard Build Using VirtualBox and Vagrant

I wanted to try something with Oracle 18c Data Guard, so I thought I might as well create a hands-off build of it using VirtualBox and Vagrant, much as I did with my recent hands-off RAC build.

I did the 18c build and figured I might as well do 12cR2 and 12cR1 builds too, as they were pretty similar. I could have done them as a single build with a few tweaks to sort out the differences, but I couldn’t be bothered. 🙂

Along the way I noticed I hadn’t done a 12cR2 data guard article, so I did these.



Flashback Data Archive Enhancements in Oracle Database 12c

Having played around with Flashback Data Archive in 11g, I figured I would get through the 12c enhancements pretty quickly. I didn’t account for the fact I’m a donkey and can’t see the wood for the trees. Luckily, I know some people who aren’t stupid and they gave me a nudge in the right direction, allowing me to spot my silly mistake. Thanks Bjoern and Connor! 🙂

So after lots of wasted time, here is the article.

For the most part, it’s an evolution, but the new bits are pretty darn cool. I guess a lot of people will focus on two main things:

  • It is now a free feature, provided you don’t use compression, available in all versions. The change to use no compression by default has been back-ported to, so it’s free there too, which is nice!
  • The contents of contexts can now be stored in the flashback archive, so you can have access to the USERENV and custom context values that were set in the session when the DML was processed. This makes it possible to replace all those crappy old audit triggers with FDA!

There’s some other stuff in there that’s kind-of nice too. I think it’s worth checking it out, especially at its new price. 🙂




Vodafone roaming charges…

I’ve spent the last few weeks in discussion with Vodafone about what I believe is a scandalous bill for roaming data charges. Vodafone agreed to reduce the bill by 25%, but this still represents daylight robbery.

Fast forward a few weeks and the BBC’s Watchdog program highlighted several cases similar to mine, where people had been charged ridiculous sums of money for trivial amounts of data transfer. All the people mentioned in that program had their bills reduced by 100%.

Vodafone should apply the same discount to all people in the same circumstances, not make a big deal about a couple of high profile cases then exploit the rest of us.

I would like to take this opportunity to pass on a few bits of advise for anyone dealing with Vodafone, or any other mobile phone network for that matter.

  • Do not deal with the regular call center. Go straight for the cancellations department and start your conversation with the phrase, “I want to cancel my contract.” As soon as you do this you will speak to someone who can actually make a decision. Invariably they will offer you something to keep you on your contract. This may be a bill adjustment or a new phone etc. I’m not saying you will get the perfect answer, but it’s a start.
  • Write emails to every consumer show, ombudsman and regulatory body you can. Someone like Watchdog may pick up your case and shame the company into doing the right thing. I’m convinced if I had written to Watchdog one month earlier I would have had my bill reduced to nothing. As it is I’m Billy Anonymous and Vodafone are happy to ignore me.
  • Be as big a pain in the butt as you can. They are exploiting you. The least you can do is give them a hard time about it.
  • Vote with your wallet. Once this whole affair is over I will never put money into Vodafone’s pockets again.

I’m sure all networks are guilty of this sort of behavior, but I can only speak about my experience of Vodafone. After 10+ years of being a satisfied Vodafone customer, I can safely say I think they’ve now dropped off the bottom of my customer satisfaction chart!

Hell hath no fury like a Tim scorned. 🙂