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March 2009

Excellent Information on Exadata

If you are interested to know more about the technology (not the marketing hype) behind Exadata - the datawarehouse appliance from Oracle, I just discovered a treasure trove of information on this blog:
http://www.pythian.com/news/1267/interview-kevin-closson-on-the-oracle-exadata-storage-server#comment-350433

Kevin Closson, one the lead architects of the Exadata machine has been interviewed by Christo Kutovsky and Paul Paul Vallée of Phythian. Kevin, in his usual detailed style explains the innards of the beast, aided by the excellent leading questioning by Christo.

I believe this is best writing I have seen on Exadata - all good stuff, no fluff. Thank you, Kevin.

Start Database Services automatically after instance startup

Those of us that have dealt with RAC environments for a while are familiar with the behavior of Oracle Services in an Oracle Cluster. Services are an essential component for managing workload in a RAC environment. If you’re not defining any non-default services in your RAC database, you’re making a mistake. To learn more about services, I strongly recommend reading the definitive whitepaper by Jeremy Schneider on the topic.

The Helsinki declaration: observation 2

To illustrate the second observation, let's take a look at the following quadrant. It maps character-mode / GUI-mode applications against stateless / statefull underlying protocol.At the end of the eighties the bottom-left square, is were we were. Database applications were provided to endusers who were sitting behind a dumb character-mode terminal, 25 by 40 characters, maybe 25 by 80.The backend

The Helsinki declaration: observation 1

So why is this blog called the Helsinki Declaration? Obviously it has nothing todo with the real Declaration of Helsinki. Hence the "IT-version" postfix in the title above. In line with the text of the WMA-version, we could describe the IT-version as follows:

"A set of principles for the IT-community regarding (database) application development"

Or maybe just: my vision on how database

@Hotsos 2009: Starting this blog

So here I am at Hotsos Symposium 2009. I've presented my vision on how to build "Window-on-Data" applications, yet again. I think it must have been the tenth time or so, ever since 2002, when I first presented the basics of this approach at Oracle Openworld. And of course again I was preaching in front of the choir. It has since evolved into a full 2-hour presentation, or rather a Part 1 and Part

Enabling and Disabling Optimizer Bug Fixes

The following was recommended by Oracle support in connection with a specific bug. However, I think some Oracle users may find it useful when testing.

Oracle releases one-off bug fixes for the CBO quite frequently. You can find out which fixes are enabled in your own instance by inspecting the 10053 trace.

For example:

fix 5385629 = enabled
fix 5705630 = disabled
fix 1234567 = enabled
fix 6122894 = enabled
fix 5842686 = disabled
fix 6006300 = disabled

In the above example bug fix 1234567 is enabled. If you want to disable this fix dynamically you can try using:

ALTER SESSION SET "_fix_control" = '1234567:off';

The output of 10053 should change as follows:

fix 5385629 = enabled
fix 5705630 = disabled
fix 1234567 = disabled *
fix 6122894 = enabled
fix 5842686 = disabled
fix 6006300 = disabled

Note the asterisk indicates a non-default setting for the fix

To enable the fix again use:

ALTER SESSION SET "_fix_control" = '1234567:on';

Obviously this should only be used in a test environment, but it is a useful way to evaluate the impact of a bug fix without needing to repeatedly install and deinstall the patch - something that is under change control with a few of my larger customers.

As this is an unsupported parameter you consult Oracle Support before using it in a production environment.

Very good advice...

I've been reading Seth Godin's blog for many years.  He is a 'marketing' person, with a lot of good old fashioned common sense.  I agree with most of what he writes - and he just did a longish post (for Seth Godin it was long).  It was on Slack.

His two points in these unique times - if you find yourself unexpectedly with more free time than you had anticipated you should consider:

a) Continuing your education, learn something new.  As you go to interview and look around, people will ask you what you've been doing with your time.  If you can arrive at an interview with "I've been learning X in my free time" and be really excited about it - be able to converse about it, that'll be a really positive thing.

b) Participate - join the forums - become known.  I've said that myself many times in the past.

 

So think about that if you find you have more time on your hands than you anticipated having... Not bad ideas.  Even if you don't have a sudden abundance of free time - maybe find the time to do these two things..

Oracle, Timesten and PL/SQL support

I thought to post about another new interest of mine, TimestTen, as I’ve worked with it in past and I have become a fan of it, especially after Oracle bought the company.
Oracle has announced that TimesTen in-memory database will support PL/SQL in the upcoming release. That’s in 11gR2, where TimesTen is named the “in-memory database cache”.
I’m happy to see the deep level of integration Oracle is doing with it.

Oracle, Timesten and PL/SQL support

I thought to post about another new interest of mine, TimestTen, as I’ve worked with it in past and I have become a fan of it, especially after Oracle bought the company.
Oracle has announced that TimesTen in-memory database will support PL/SQL in the upcoming release. That’s in 11gR2, where TimesTen is named the “in-memory database cache”.
I’m happy to see the deep level of integration Oracle is doing with it.

Install to go-live, 3 days

This has been an interesting week, but not really that surprising.

I was called back to a previous client site where I had previously helped with some Oracle Application Server (10.1.2.2) post-install configuration. In that previous visit, I got oriented to the environment they use and the packaged application they were deploying. The packaged application uses JSP, Oracle Forms, and Oracle Reports (possibly also Discoverer). The deployment environment is all Microsoft Windows servers with two Oracle Application Server homes per application server since the vendor’s deployment requires that JSPs be deployed in a separate O_H from the Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports environment (that’s the first eyebrow-raise I did, but whatever).

This customer had an environment that was configured by the vendor for testing purposes and it works fine. However, it uses HTTP and they want to use HTTPS for all client-server traffic. They also wanted to be able to manage the environment and be better equipped to support it, so they left the vendor-installed environment as is and built a new environment on new servers so they’d get first-hand views of the install and configuration procedures. Since all the application servers are virtual machines, they could easily create additional machines.