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October 2015

Delphix Express – virtualize your first database (and application)

I have previously announced that Delphix now has a free version available called Delphix Express as well as how to install Delphix Express.

In this blog will look at an example of virtualizing your first database and not only the database but virtualizing the application as well.

What does virtualizing mean? Like in the world of virtual machines where we make multiple virtual machines on one set of hardware, in the world of virtual data we make many read/write copies of data with one actual physical copy of the data. We do that by sharing unmodified data and storing each version of a data block that gets modified and keeping that modified version of the block only visible to the clone that made the modification.

Here is the demo video:

Helping to Advance your Career

Do you want to advance your career? Help someone else advance theirs. The
more people you drag up the ladder behind you, the faster you go. 

Read the full post at

Helping to Advance your Career

One of the best ways to advance in your field is to help others advance in your field. It's a surprising truth brought home to me again just now while working with Darl Kuhn and Tom Kyte on an upcoming article for the IOUG SELECT Journal

The year is 1979. It's summer before my senior year in high-school, and my mother has gone out of her way to arrange a college course for me in COBOL programming. (Bless you mom, for doing that). I’m at Henry Ford Community College. My instructor is John Rostek. Three classmates are also high-school students, and the rest are adults looking for better jobs and career changes. It’s an evening course.

John Kaitschuck – I still remember his name – is the youngest of us high-school students. He plans to become a doctor. Curious, I ask why, and his answer slams into me like a ton of bricks:

AskTom and formatting

There’s an interesting “debate” going on under AskTom at the moment.  It’s hardly cause for major concern, but anyone is welcome to add their thoughts as comments to this blog post.  (Naturally, if your comments agree with my opinion, then that’s great.  If your comments don’t agree, then I’ll post them and ignore them Smile – ah the joys of being a blog owner)

So here’s the issue.  When we are posting code to the AskTom page as a solution to a question, we could post it as a mix of script and output, for example:

Fun with array fetch

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve worked with systems that didn’t run brilliantly because every database operation was the “row at a time” methodology.  Typically you see hundreds of routines (either in the database in PL/SQL) or further up the chain in C#, Java etc, and the “alarm bells” start ringing in my head when all of those routines are prefixed with “GET_” and the input parameter looks like a primary key.

It doesn’t take long before the code-reuse mindset starts creating things like:

“for each  EMPLOYEE on screen, call GET_EMP_DETAILS(:screen.employee_number)”

So to try demonstrate the silliness of this… I ask the question:

Would you do this in real life ?

And here’s what happens if you do

Cloud Control : Some minor issues (fixed)

em-12cSince the upgrade to Cloud Control, we’ve been having a couple of issues, mostly around EMCLI.

Some of our databases use Service Guard, so you don’t know which node they are running on. Rather than having an agent per package, we have one on each node. One of my colleagues wrote a little script to check which node the instance is running on, and relocate it if it has moved. This is done using EMCLI and was working fine before the move to Since the upgrade it’s been rather erratic. It would work for a while, then fail. After watching for a while I noticed a couple of things.

El Crap-itan

In the comments from yesterday’s post, Jonathan Roden mentioned the release of El Capitan. At that point, I hadn’t even heard about it. :) Being the naive idiot I am, I jumped head long into it.


I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to how long I’ve been using Oracle.  But you should never stop learning.  That’s why I’m participating in a cool OpenWorld session in a few weeks, all about the modern technologies and frameworks that can now be used to build awesome applications on top of the Oracle database.  Come along – you’ll see some exciting stuff.  This session is all about modern development whilst still exploiting the myriad of features built into the database.

Before or after the session, feel free to pop up and say “Hello!”


Adding Music to Code On Your Raspberry Pi

So as I prepare for next week, coaching with some other great folks with the Oracle Education Foundation using the Raspberry Pi, I wanted to add some fun music into my code to work with our motor mascot project.  To do so, you need a few things:

VirtualBox, Oracle 12c and Macs

Just a quick comment about something I noticed while rebuilding a test VM on my Mac. There is a long lead up to this, so bear with me…


I use VirtualBox on three different host operating systems.

Mac : My main desktop is a Mac, so most of my tests are done using Oracle 12c on Oracle Linux 6 or 7, running under VirtualBox. Most of the VMs I use are quite old, but I keep the DB and OS patched, and you know I religiously update VirtualBox. :) The point is, I rarely do fresh installations on Mac.