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I ‘fixed’ execution plan regression with optimizer_features_enable, what to do next?

Here is a simple example of using Mauro Pagano ‘pathfinder’ tool where you don’t really want to run the query, but just get the execution plan with all variations of optimizer settings. That’s something I used many times in situations similar to this one:

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

Application Express 19.1

AskTOM moved to Application Express 19.1 without any major issues last weekend. That in itself is a nice endorsement for APEX, given that the AskTOM application dates back nearly 20 years to 2001, and predates even the existence of APEX.

The only fix that we had to make was that AskTOM uses the static CDN files that Joel Kallman blogged about to make it nice and snappy wherever in the world it is used. The reference to those files have a hard-coded version number so that needed to updated. For AskTOM, we have a plugin that uses some jQuery elements that went pear-shaped when referencing the old version 18 files, but after a quick fix to that reference all was well.

Worth the wait

Yes, I know it’s been awhile Smile

Yes, I know people have been angry at the delay Smile

But, can we put that behind us, and rejoice in the fact…that YES

It’s here!

Yes, 18c XE for Windows is now available.

https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/express-edition/downloads/index.html

From Database 18.3 to 18.5 (on Windows)

Contrary to wild rumours on the internet, it was not a fear of the number 13 that led to a numbering jump from version 12c to version 18c. The jump was part of our new, more flexible release mechanism so that we can get fixes and enhancements to customers on a more frequent and predictable schedule. In a nutshell, smaller bundles of features and fixes, more frequently.

I won’t dwell on that – if you’re unfamiliar with the new strategy, the best place to start is  MOS Note 2285040.1, which has a description and a FAQ. But in terms of (as the saying goes) eating one’s own dog food, I downloaded the 18.5 release update which came out this week, and applied it to my 18.3 installation and I thought I’d share the process.

My APEX 18.2 upgrade in a nutshell

As always, you should read the Installation/Upgrade manual from top to bottom before upgrading any piece of software, and be aware of all of the pre-requisites and processes.  But for me, my Application Express 18.2 upgrade was as simple as:

  • Download Application Express
  • Unzip to my target location
  • sqlplus / as sysdba
    • SQL> @apexins.sql SYSAUX SYSAUX TEMP /i/
  • Go to my ORDS installation
    • java -jar ords.war validate
  • sqlplus / as sysdba

And voila! A freshly upgraded Application Express in a matter of minutes…

18.2 patch… painless for me

18.2 was released a few days ago, so I thought I’d throw it against my 18c instance and see how things played out.  This was just a single instance database, running with a single pluggable.

PDB upgrade from 12c to 18c

Oracle 18c is out, in the Oracle Cloud, and the first thing I do with a new version is testing how long it takes to upgrade a previous version PDB by unplug/plug. Faster upgrade should be the benefit of having a slim dictionary where the system objects are reduced to metadata links and data links. However, it looks like upgrading the PDB dictionary still takes the same time as upgrading the CDB$ROOT.

18c–If you can’t wait

You’ve seen the tweet !!

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but perhaps the accompanying blog post has tempered your enthusiasm Sad smile

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You might be thinking:

Oracle Database 18c

Yup…it’s arrived!

New name obviously, because we’ve jumped to our new naming model to align with the calendar year as opposed to version number.  You might be thinking “So what?” but it’s a significant change in the way we getting software to customer.  Mike Dietrich blogged about this at length here so I won’t repeat what has been said, but in TL;DR form:

More frequent releases, with smaller amounts of change per release

In this way, the approach lets us focus more of solidifying existing features, and being able to quickly respond to bugs that arise.

So 18c is more an incremental release on 12.2 (in fact, internally it was referred to as “12.2.0.2” for most of it’s build cycle) focussed on stability and hardening of existing features.