Database Stuff

Database developers and DBAs often play the role of gunslinger, or a hired gunman. Someone brought in to ‘kill’ the bad guy, in this case, an under-performing database. Our tools of the trade are not as dramatic as firearms, but we can do just as much damage. Ever heard of Angry Birds? In this mobile game, users get various weapons (in the form of Angry Birds) to launch at the naughty piggies. What are your…

Database Stuff

Question: How do I find the hour portion of the value between to timestamps? Answer: Use the EXTRACT() function! Thankfully @TheRealLewisC (twitter | blog) pointed us in the right direction! I was tempted to do a subtraction and then a substr() to pull out just the hour portion of the returned string – way more work than necessary for the Optimizer. EXTRACT (Oracle Docs) gives us just what we want! So there is not an…

Database Stuff

After a year of tweeting my brains out for the past year, I have some data I could talk about Boring stuff, even meaningless one could argue. Number of followers, number of Re-Tweets, number of lists, my Klout (link) score – ALL BORING. When I try to convince someone to join Twitter, I never reference these slightly less than meaningless metrics. I talk about the REAL value of Twitter – the relationships I’ve cultivated or…

Database Stuff

Do you run a 3rd party application that uses Oracle RDBMS under-the-hood? Do you experience performance issues? Frustrated that you do not own the application SQL that is causing the issues? Maybe an upcoming upgrade to 11g might give you some relief. Many of the customers I speak with are unaware of a new 11g feature called ‘SQL Plan Management’ (docs.) A big bonus here is that a majority of the functionality is available without…

Database Stuff

You better run and catch it then! You know you’re getting old when the new crop of kids don’t get this joke, or even worse, don’t understand what a prank phone call is. I’m pretty sure that folks still get phone calls from frustrated people who want to know how much time is left before their query will finish executing. You sit down and write what looks to be a pretty straightforward request for some…

Database Stuff

Farming out your application to a hosting service really has a lot of appeal. Let someone else worry about backups, performance and uptime Service Level Agreements (SLAs), upgrades, etc. But do you really know exactly what your hosting agreement includes? What you will have access to? What is and is not covered? Picture courtesy Public Domain Pictures.NET One of the most eye-opening conversations I’ve ever had was with %*#@(^* – you know where they are…

Database Stuff

Is that an offensive question? Does it assume to much? I can’t imagine asking ‘Do you have a test plan?’ I was working with an Oracle group this week, and after hearing about a big application upgrade schedule to go in April, I had a few questions for them. I was most curious how they would ensure that no performance degradation would occur? This would be a major concern of mine for any major upgrade,…

Expired

Think the NHL or PGA seasons are brutally long? Try keeping up with all of the SQL Server and Oracle events. The friendly folks in Denver, CO tend get the conference ball rolling with the Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group (RMOUG) Training Days event. I had the pleasure to attend a couple of years ago and catch some skiing with my wife. Every conference doesn’t turn into a vacation, but I try! The 2011 calendar…

Database Stuff

Relational databases are powerful for many reasons, but you cannot deny the ‘relational’ part is pretty compelling. Rows or ‘tuples’ in a table are comprised of related data. So for one row in an Employee table, you can assume that each value or column pertains to that particular Employee. Of course you can’t – or rather shouldn’t – put everything about said employee in a single row or table. I hate using absolutes, but in…

Database Stuff

Unscientific research and Twitter gossip reveals that fewer than 15% of folks out there take advantage of Oracle’s partitioning (Oracle Docs) support for tables and indexes. Folks that build their own solutions in-house are more likely to discover and use partitioning. If you use a packaged 3rd-party database solution and it uses partitioning, then I would love to hear about it! Do you use Oracle Partitioning (tables/indexes)?online surveys Disclaimer: Partitioning, like indexing, is a performance…

Database Stuff

Are you new to Twitter, and need people to follow to get the conversation started? If you work with Oracle, then please continue reading. Don’t forget to check out @BrentO’s Twitter Book! I harangued (definition) my colleague and close friend this morning until he relented in joining Twitter. He specializes in Oracle, so I thought I would send him a quick who-to-follow list in the Oracle Community. As I was building this list, I was…

Database Stuff

Assumptions can often get us in trouble. People don’t know what you think they know, and they know what you don’t think they know. I often present to small groups. I ask questions up front to gauge the experience level, but even so I am forced to make some assumptions. Then there are some basics that I assume any database user will have nailed down. I recently spent 90 minutes talking about writing queries and…

General

So 2010 is the year of social media. Time’s Person of the Year was the Facebook dude, so that kind of makes it official. I have so many identities spread across all of these communities. How do I manage them all? For now I am taking care of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I suppose those are the prime players. I say that based on the number of people using those sites. I use Facebook for…

Database Stuff

A play on words – the Axis of Evil, three countries that foster or promote terrorism. This is not a history lesson or political discussion, go here for that. So what is the Access of Evil? I would propose that the following practices conspire to bring down any well-ordered collection of data: MS Access MS Excel SELECT *. So do I have anything meaningful to add to this discussion at this point, or was I…

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