If there is a Madonna or Prince in the Oracle Database world, that would be Tom.

You know, people that are known solely by their first name. Of course there’s also Larry, but from a pure database tech perspective, Tom has satiated the curiosity of developers and DBAs for the past couple of decades.

If you were stuck with a technical challenge, or just needed help settling a bar bet – what’s better, count(*) or count(1)? – Tom was there for you.

Tom is Tom Kyte, and he’s still with us, but AskTom is now also manned by Oracle Database advocates Connor McDonald and Chris Saxon.

They've answered more than 300 questions, just in the last month!
They’ve answered more than 300 questions, just in the last month!

As new people come into the Oracle tech space, I wonder if they know about Tom. I wonder if they’ve ever followed a Google hit to AskTom. Maybe they got their answer, and then stumbled back to whatever their task at hand is.

What I hope is that folks realize the real value of this resource. I find myself coming here quite frequently to make sure that the advice I spout isn’t completely wrong 🙂

Ready to Learn Something New?

Maybe not new in general, but new to YOU. Check out the ‘Hot’ list. Here’s a fun one I forgot about until just today.

Hello Guru,
Q1) I need to display numbers from a database in a specific format.
Table Tn (n number(6,3));

The format is 999.999

SQL> insert into tn values( 123.123) ;
1 row created.
SQL> insert into tn values(0) ;
1 row created.
SQL>insert into tn values(0.123)
1 row created.
So I do
SQL> select to_char(n,999.999) from tn ;


Here’s what the answer looks like in SQLDev.

Code, the answer and cause of all of our problems...
Code, the answer and cause of all of our problems…

Want to ask a question?

The AskTom team really, really wants to help you. Help them, help you.

  1. search the archives first – good chance your question has already been answered
  2. write your question clearly, assume nothing, provide a concrete example, and code if you have any

For better advice, just read what they recommend on the Ask page 🙂

Going to Open World 2016?

The team will be there answering questions LIVE. Should be a lot of fun.

Heckling isn't encouraged, but...
Heckling isn’t encouraged, but…

Pass the Good Word Around

When people say ‘Oracle is hard’ – they are probably just running into the same stumbling blocks you ran into all those many years ago. I still remember the day I ‘discovered’ AskTom – help those folks around you by showing them this great resource. Just don’t be upset if they now assume all of your advice and knowledge is based on what you’ve read there 🙂


I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.

1 Comment

  1. Rajeshwaran, Jeyabal Reply

    Tom is Tom Kyte, and he’s still with us

    Any idea , will Tom be available in OOW-2016? will there be any chance to meet him if we join OOW-2016?

    What kind of “role” he play now at Oracle corp

Write A Comment