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October 2008

SQL Developer Data Modeling Update

Oracle has released an 'early adopter' version of the the data modeling enhancements to SQL Developer.

See the OTN article for details.

I haven't tried it yet, it will be interesting to see just how well it works.

Virtual columns in 11g

Store expressions as virtual columns in Oracle 11g. October 2008

Upgrade Experience for Patchkit 11.1.0.7

The first patchkit for 11g - 11.1.0.7 - came out a few weeks ago, for Linux systems. Unlike most other patchkits, this one contains some new functionalities. Oracle patchkits are usually only bugfixes with al patches regression tested collectively; not added features. This one does have some new (albeit minor) features.

The upgrade was relatively easy but took a long time - about 30 minutes. I encountered one issue and a roadblock. Here is the annoying roadblock

A Very Import Pre-req

Do not forget to check for this pre-requisite. This is the time_zone check, as specified in the patchkit readme file.

SQL> select version from v$timezone_file;

VERSION
----------
4

In my case it returned 4, which means no further action is necessary. Had it returned something else, I would have to follow the instructions mentioned in MetaLink Note 568125.1.

Asking for Email for Security Notification

It was interesting to note that the installer asked me to enter my Email address to send me updates on security. Funny; I get that already anyway. So I ignored and clicked "Next". Nope; it popped a little window asking me to confirm that I do not need email. Sure, I confirmed and pressed Next. No, the same issue, it asked me again to confirm and so on. Vicious circle!

There was a little checkbox below that said "track security via MetaLink" and asked my MetaLink password (not "id", which it presumed to be my email). I checked that box and entered my email and password, and it allowed me to go further.

This is a little awkward. Not everyone will want to get the email. And in any case, a mere email will explain little about the security issues. And why would anyone want to embed his/her MetaLink password in a response file?

Undocumented Oracle Functions

Undocumented functions in Oracle are always fun, and you just may find something useful.

The caveat of course is that they are undocumented. They can change without notice between releases or patch levels, so building apps that depend on them may be unwise.

They are often quite useful from a DBA perspective when used in SQL scripts.

Here are a few that I've played with. These are all found in Oracle 10.2.0.3

These functions have one thing in common - they have a prefix of SYS_OP_

Some of these appear to be identical to documented functions.