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Say NO to default DATE formats

Today’s quick but important message is…don’t be lazy!

Look….I get it Smile

If given the choice of typing:


'01-JUL-20'

or typing this:


to_date('01-JUL-20','DD-MON-RR')

then more often than not, we all are going to opt for the first alternative because we all can get lazy. But that reliance on the default date format mask in a session can be fraught with danger. Because a script that worked in one circumstance, can silently fail in another.

Combinations and consequences

Fellow Perth techie Scott Wesley sent me this interesting puzzle recently. He was using the long awaited feature of being (finally) able to assign a sequence value via the DEFAULT clause in a table definition.

The problem was … the sequence was NOT being assigned. And since that column was defined as NOT NULL, his application was breaking. We had some to-and-fro and finally I managed to reduce it down a very small test case, which I’ll build from scratch here.

METHOD_OPT

Here is a poll prompted by today twitter talks on the default METHOD_OPT value (which is ‘for all columns size auto’ since 10g) and automatic statistics gathering job (auto-task since 11g). CBO development team suggests to use the default job to gather statistics with default options. Do you use the job exactly this way with real production databases? I’m very interested to see some numbers. Please share the poll link http://poll.fm/3n7pn so that more people vote. Thanks.