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April 2019

You should set OCSID.CLIENTID

each time you grab an Oracle JDBC connection from the pool

For troubleshooting and monitoring performance, you want to follow what happens from the end-user to the database. It is then mandatory to identify the end-user and application from the database session. With Oracle there are some ‘dbms_application_info’ strings to be set, like MODULE, ACTION and CLIENT_INFO. That’s about the tasks in the application code (like identifying the Java class or method from which the SQL statement is prepared) but that’s not about the end-user.

Not Just the How of AD with Linux VM/SQL 2019, but the WHY

Azure Directory is available with Linux SQL Server 2019 in Preview and as I was setting it up in my Azure environment on a Linux Red Hat 7.3 VM, I was, as many are, happy that they list the commands for the Azure CLI to set up authentication with Azure Directory, but was concerned, that with so many new to Linux, that they didn’t describe in the steps WHY we were running certain commands or setting best practices around Linux database server design.

The setup expects that you already have a Linux VM and SQL 2019 already up and running. The first step they go into is role assignment for the AD login, setting the AD login up as the VM Administrator.

The Late Spring Speaking Gauntlet

There are busy times for everyone and if you speak at conferences, the busy times are March,May and November. I am recovering from the early spring rush, and now it’s time to prepare for the late spring one.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be accepted to speak at the following regional SQL Saturdays and look forward to speaking and meeting new folks, along with catching up with conference friends:

PL/SQL – Don’t mix and match scope

Here’s a simple little PL/SQL block where we call an inner procedure PARAMETER_TESTER from its parent block. Pay particular attention to the parameter we pass to the procedure, and it’s value throughout the execution of that procedure.

Quick and easy masking

I had a request from a client a while back regarding masking of data. They had an application with sensitive data in the Production environment (where access and audit were very tightly controlled) but the issue was how to respect that sensitivity in non-Production environments whilst still preserving full size data sizes for application testing.

After some conversations about requirements, it turned out that since (even in non-Production environments) all access to application components was logged and audited, the issue was simply protecting against “inadvertent” access to sensitive data. For example, in the application, if I searched for “males with black hair with an interest in technology” I should never see the name “Connor McDonald” on screen in the results, because simply viewing that data could be treated as a breach of privacy.

Microsoft Webinar on the Future of the DBA- Certifications

Thanks to those that attended of the over 1600 registrations for the Microsoft webinar yesterday on the future of the DBA in the Cloud. This was a fun session for me, as I got to demo one of my favorite skill areas since starting at Microsoft- automation of cloud deployments in Azure.

Bash’in it

Its natural that others would be doing this, but I’m writing all my main scripts in BASH, which prepares the environments, calls the Azure CLI commands and then other scripts, (Power Shell, Json Templates, etc.) from the main “wrapper” script. I’m also deploying, not only the infrastructure or databases, but logical objects and data as part of my deployment, so its pretty fun as this evolves.

In-table predicates

This note was prompted by a recent email asking about the optimizer’s method for estimating the selectivity of a predicate which compared two columns in the same table – for example:  “where orders.amount_invoiced = orders.amount_paid”. It’s been about 14 years since I wrote “Cost Based Oracle – Fundamentals” so my memory of what I wrote (and whether I even mentioned this case) was rather hazy, so I sent off a quick reply and decided to do a little checking.

APEX Upgrade redux

I posted about my APEX upgrade to 19 yesterday, and someone was quick to point out to me that they believed I hadn’t covered all of the steps.

“What if your APEX instance needs to call web services?” they said. “You need to update your Access Control Lists.”

I hadn’t thought of that, so I logged onto one of my other APEX instances that was still at version 18, and checked the current ACLs

Ansible tips’n’tricks: provision multiple machines in parallel with Vagrant and Ansible

Vagrant is a great tool that I’m regularly using for building playground environments on my laptop. I recently came across a slight inconvenience with Vagrant’s Virtualbox provider: occasionally I would like to spin up a Data Guard environment and provision both VMs in parallel to save time. Sadly you can’t bring up multiple machines in parallel using the VirtualBox provisioner according to the documentation . This was true as of April 11 2019 and might change in the future, so keep an eye out on the reference.

I very much prefer to save time by doing things in parallel, and so I started digging around how I could achieve this goal.

SSIS vs. Oracle GG

This is the third in a series of product identifications between Oracle and Microsoft to assist those attempting to understand the similarities and differences between these essential parts of any data platform environments.

In this post, I’m going to describe the similarities and differences between Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services and Oracle Golden Gate. Hang on, it’s a bit of a bumpy ride. as neither service is out there on its own, (other’s piggy back off of them) and there’s definitely some new products on the Microsoft side that aren’t taken into consideration.