Oracle OpenWorld and Code One 2018 : Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassador Briefing

For those that never quite understood what an Oracle Developer Champion was, don’t worry about it because it doesn’t exist anymore. We are now called “Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassadors”. I think I’m allowed to use this logo now. If not, I might not be one for much longer… Doesn’t matter. I’ve got the swag now. 🙂

If you’ve followed my posts in previous years, you’ll know we sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) before we can be part of these briefings. They contain three distinct types of information.

  • Information about products that already exist, which you are allowed to share immediately.
  • Information about products that will be announced/released at OpenWorld and Code One, which you are not allowed to speak about until after the public announcement. Basically, they don’t want us to spoil the surprise about the announcement of the Oracle Games Console #OGC, but they do want to make sure we know what to see and why.
  •  Information about things that won’t be available for some some time, or maybe never. This will often include feedback from us folks to the product managers.

It’s sometimes a bit of a mine field to know what you can and can’t say, so I take the attitude that I’m saying nothing, even the things I think I can share, until I’ve heard someone say something on stage, or seen it in the documentation. I don’t need the stress, just to beat people to the punch by 2 days. After all, until it is generally available (GA) it isn’t real as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

Jen nominated me as Oracle Cloud support guy for the day. 🙂 I was helping a couple of people with their Oracle Cloud trials, and one person with ORDS authentication. Having a bunch of people in the room to share ideas and advice is really cool.

It was a long and busy day, that covered a lot of areas. I’m a generalist, so there are a lot of things that are relevant to me. I know some of the more specialised folks can find it quite difficult to stay engaged. It is what it is. 🙂

I avoided food all day, and drank loads of coffee and diet soda, so the time difference didn’t hit me so hard. At about 17:30 we got the coach from Oracle HQ in Redwood City to San Francisco. I dumped my stuff in the hotel room and went out to grab something quick to eat (Chipotle 🙂 ). Pretty much as soon as the food hit my stomach, my body and brain switched off. I went back to the hotel and crashed.

That was day 1 of the briefings done. Tomorrow (today by the time you read this) is the Oracle ACE Directors Briefing. Fun, fun, fun!

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.2.20

VirtualBox 5.2.20 was released yesterday USA time.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve only installed it on my Windows 10 PC at work. I’m trying to decide if installing it on my laptop, the day before I leave for OOW18 is a good idea. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Update: I bit the bullet and installed it on my laptop. Seems to work fine there tool.

ORDS, SQLcl and SQL Developer 18.3 Updates (VirtualBox, Vagrant, Docker)

A few days ago we got version 18.3 of a bunch of Oracle tools.

Over the weekend I updated some of my VirtualBox and Vagrant builds to include these versions. If you want to play around with them you can see them on GitHub here.

I also updated my ORDS Docker container build, which uses both ORDS and SQLcl. You can find this on GitHub here.

I use this container for live demos of ORDS, as well as a demo for my “DBA Does Docker” talk, which I am doing at Oracle OpenWorld this year.

I put the latest versions of SQL Developer and SQLcl on my laptop. I’m doing an analytic functions talk at Oracle Code One this year. The demos use SQLcl on my laptop connecting to Autonomous Transaction Proccessing (ATP) on Oracle Cloud. I had a little bit of drama with SQLcl on Saturday, which turned out to be PEBCAK. I thought “SET ECHO ON” wasn’t working, but it turned out I had a “login.sql” file in the path that contained “SET TERMOUT OFF”. Once I removed that setting the demos ran fine. 🙂

I’m going to put a freeze on changing my stuff until after OpenWorld and Code One. Honest. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

ODC Appreciation Day 2018 : It’s a Wrap (#ThanksODC)

Yesterday was the Oracle Developer Community ODC Appreciation Day 2018 (#ThanksODC).

Big thanks to everyone who took the time to join in. Here is the list of posts I saw in chronological order. If I missed you out, give me a shout and I’ll add you. 🙂

As always, it was good to see some posts in languages other than English. I’m particularly happy about the “Blog Birthday” celebration for Flora B., who started blogging at last years event! 🙂

There were a few people who forgot to include #ThanksODC in their tweets. I think all got picked up and retweeted including the hashtag by me or someone else. If I missed any, please let me know. I laughed at the inclusion of #ThanksOracleBase in a couple of tweets. 🙂

Once again, thanks everyone for getting involved and of course #ThanksODC! 🙂

Same sort of time next year! Hopefully not so close to OpenWorld. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

ODC Appreciation Day : Effective Evangelism – Staying Positive

I’m coming at this year’s event from a different angle…

If you’ve ever been on the internet, you will have noticed negativity and drama get a lot of clicks. I try to keep the website, blog and my community contributions positive, but occasionally frustration gets the better of me and I launch into a tirade on the blog or on twitter. As soon as I do the hit rate shoots up. Drama draws attention.

In the short term this might feel good as you are getting more attention than you have previously, but it’s short lived and sometimes bridges get burned, leaving you in a worse position than you were before.

If you are in this for the long haul, you are far better trying to take the  positive approach. This doesn’t mean keeping quiet about stuff you don’t like, but the way you frame it can make a big difference. Rather than this.

“Feature X is crap.”

You might be better placed to write.

“Feature X would be better if… “

It’s not always easy, and I have some history of doing the former, but from experience I can tell you constructive criticism goes down a lot better than insults. 🙂

It’s up to you to decide how you want to contribute to the community, but I would suggest you try to build a positive community around you, and distance yourself from those that draw you to the dark side. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Application Express (APEX) 18.2 : Upgrades Complete

A few days ago Joel Kallman announced the release of Oracle Application Express (APEX) 18.2.

In a previous post I mentioned the updates to my Vagrant builds to include this version, as well as updates of Tomcat and Java. I’ve subsequently done the updates for APEX 18.2 on Docker too. If you are interested you can see them here.

In addition to this we’ve rolled APEX 18.2 out at work. We already had some installations of APEX 18.1, but many were stuck on version 5.1.4 because of time constraints. Now everything is up to APEX 18.2. We still have a range of database versions (11.2, 12.1, 12.2 and soon to be 18c) at work, and it’s worked fine on all of them.

I spied a couple of people asking about the upgrade process. There’s no difference to previous versions. In the past, if one of the first two numbers change you do a regular install. If it’s not one of those major version changes you download the patch from MOS and apply it. Since this is a major version number change, I installed it in the normal way and everything was fine. I’m not sure how this will work going forward, as I suspect all releases will start to use the new version format, so does that mean every release from now on will be an “install”, not a “patch”? Someone has probably discussed this already and I missed it. 🙂

I only have one little gripe about the upgrades, which is I have to run an ORDS Validate once it’s complete to make sure ORDS is working fine. It would be really nice if APEX could fix whatever gets broken in ORDS, so I don’t have to do it. It’s just one less step to do… 🙂

Happy upgrading…

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Developer Community (ODC) Appreciation Day 2018 (#ThanksODC)

It’s that time of year where we say #ThanksODC…

History

Back in the day we had a community site called Oracle Technology Network (OTN), which is why the first incarnation of this event was called #ThanksOTN. Later OTN got re-branded as Oracle Developer Community (don’t call it ODC 🙂 ), so last year we got #ThanksODC. That confused a few people, as they thought this was about the Oracle Developer Champions, Oracle Database Cloud, Oracle Developer Cloud or some other such stuff. It wasn’t. Some people didn’t identify as developers, so thought it was not for them. None of that is true. It’s pretty simple. I can’t image there is anyone working with Oracle technology that hasn’t used forums, read articles or downloaded Oracle software from OTN/ODC over the years. You must have directly, or indirectly, benefited from the work done by the people at Oracle who support our community. This is just an opportunity to say thanks to those brave folks who endure our endless moaning. 🙂

When is it?

Every year I pick a date and have to change it because of a national holiday on some country. 🙂 At the moment the date of the event is in two weeks time on Thursday 11th October 2018.

Check back closer to the time to make sure the date hasn’t changed. If we have to move it, it will only be by a day either side.

How can I get involved?

Here is the way it works.

  • Write a blog post. The title should be in the format “ODC Appreciation Day : <insert-the-title-here>“.
  • The content can be pretty much anything. See the section below.
  • Tweet out the blog post using the hashtag #ThanksODC.
  • Publishing the posts on the same day allows us to generate a buzz. In previous years loads of people were on twitter retweeting, making it even bigger. The community is spread around the world, so the posts will be released over a 24 hour period.
  • Oracle employees are welcome to join in. I’m happy for you to post about a feature of your product you think adds value, but please don’t just do a sales pitch for your product. 🙂
  • As always, you are not allowed to call me a kiss-ass, then subsequently join in. 🙂

Like previous years, it would be really nice if we could get a bunch of first-timers involved, but it’s also an opportunity to see existing folks blog for the first time in ages! 🙂

The following day I write a summary post that includes links to all the posts that were pushed out through the day. You can see examples of the last two here.

What Should I Write About?

Rather than having an individual theme, which can exclude some people, this year you can write about whatever you want. Here are some suggestions that might help you.

  • My favourite feature of {the Oracle-related tech you work on}.
  • How I got started using Oracle technology.
  • My biggest screw up, and how I fixed it.
  • How the cloud has affected my job.
  • What I get out of the Oracle Community.
  • What feature I would love to see added to {the Oracle-related tech you work on}.
  • The project I worked on that I’m the most proud of. (Related to Oracle tech of course)

It’s not limited to these. You can literally write about anything Oracle-related. The posts can be short, which makes it easy for new people to get involved. If you do want to write about something technical, that’s fine. You can also write a simple overview post and link to more detailed posts on a subject if you like. In the previous two years the posts I enjoyed the most were those that showed the human side of things, but that’s just me. Do whatever you like. 🙂

So you have two weeks from now to get something ready!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) : Create a Compartment, VCN and DB

Having spent time playing on the Autonomous Data Warehouse and Autonomous Transaction Processing services, I kind-of lost sight of the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) stuff. I had a question recently about running (non-autonomous) databases on Oracle Cloud and I didn’t really have anything of my own to point them at, since my only DBaaS article was on the old “Classic” bit of Oracle Public Cloud. I figured it was about time I did a quick run through of the OCI version of that. This resulted in the following three posts, which are just scratching the surface of course.

At first glance it seems a little more complicated, as there are some prerequisites to think about, but actually it makes a lot of sense. The sales pitch demo of any cloud service is to click a few buttons and everything magically appears, but there is some thought needed in the real world. Defining a reasonable network topology for security, and separation of duties and functional areas are pretty common in most companies. This does feel more sensible, and sets you off on the right foot.

If you need a certain amount of manual control and access to the server, the Database VM approach is fine, and there are also Bare Metal and Exadata services too, but I think my starting position would be the autonomous services, unless I had a specific reason not to go that route. I’m all about doing as little as possible… 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Which OS is “the best” for Oracle?

This question comes back to haunt me all the time, and did again last weekend, so for the sake of a few minutes here’s my opinion…

We can break down these types of questions into two main categories. People wanting to use unsupported operating systems, and people who what to know which is “the best” supported OS, so let’s deal with them separately.

Unsupported Operating Systems

Don’t do it! 🙂

I do installations on Fedora which is not supported, but as explained here, I do it for a specific reason, and I put a link to that post on every article as a warning.

If you have a specific need to do an install on an unsupported OS that’s fine, but you should never see that in the wild, and you shouldn’t encourage others to do it, as you are compromising their systems. I don’t care if you prefer another OS or unsupported Linux distro. There are supported alternatives for free, so there is no point wasting your time doing this…

Which is “the best” supported OS?

Oracle Linux!

Why? Amongst other things:

  • It’s what the Oracle database is written on. Having lived through the death of Tru64 and the ongoing death of HP-UX, I would always pick the OS the product is being written against. I don’t care what Oracle class as a tier 1 platform. I care about what their developers are working on, and that is predominantly on Oracle Linux.
  • It’s what Oracle are using for Oracle Public Cloud.
  • It’s what Oracle use on Exadata and Exalogic, their flagship engineered systems.
  • It’s a supported OS that is available for free, including errata. You can pay for support and extra features if you want, but it’s totally fine not too, and you still have a supported DB.

If you are a Windows shop, I can understand if you want to run Oracle on Windows servers. I can understand you may have a love for some other supported OS because you think it is technically superior. I can understand if you use RHEL everywhere else and you would rather stick with RHEL. I can understand if the core factor makes licensing another platform cheaper for you. That’s all fine and might make your choice *the best choice for you*, but I still think Oracle Linux is the best choice overall.

Remember, it’s just my opinion! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I have an Oracle Linux FAQ here.

PPS. For those that have commented elsewhere, of course this opinion is based on the fact it is 2018, although it has been true for a few years now. I don’t care that Solaris, VMS or any other OS was “the best” for Oracle in the past. If I get asked the question today, I’m going to answer based on today. Sorry, I’m not living in the past, and I can’t predict the future…

Oracle OpenWorld 2018 : My Sessions

Oracle OpenWorld 2018 and Oracle Code One 2018 are just around the corner. The session catalogs have been around for a while, but they now include the date, time and location of the sessions.

This year I have three individual sessions, one group session and at least one shift in the Oracle Developer Community demo ground. If you are interested, here are my session details.

Monday

Conference: Oracle Code One
Session Type: Developer Session
Session ID: DEV6244
Session Title: Analytic Functions: A Developer’s Best Friend
Room: Moscone West – Room 2003
Date: 10/22/18
Start Time: 09:00:00 AM
End Time: 09:45:00 AM

Tuesday

Conference: Oracle Code One
Session Type: Developer Session
Session ID: DEV6243
Session Title: Cool New Features for Developers in Oracle Database 18c and Oracle Database 12c
Room: Moscone West – Room 2003
Date: 10/23/18
Start Time: 11:30:00 AM
End Time: 12:15:00 PM

Conference: Oracle OpenWorld
Session Type: Tips and Tricks Session
Session ID: TIP1989
Session Title: Even the ACEs make Mistakes – What did they learn?”
Room: Moscone West – Room 3001
Date: 10/23/18
Start Time: 03:45:00 PM
End Time: 04:30:00 PM

Wednesday

Blockchain Beer Demo
Start Time: 02:00:00 PM
End Time: 04:00:00 PM

Thursday

Conference: Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle Code One
Session Type: Business Use Case Session
Session ID: BUS1224
Session Title: DBA Does Docker
Room: Moscone West – Room 3018
Date: 10/25/18
Start Time: 12:00:00 PM
End Time: 12:45:00 PM

I’ll be there a few days early as I have the Oracle Developer Champion and Oracle ACE Director briefings before it.

See you there!

Cheers

Tim…