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January 2013


Here’s a little quirk of execution plans that came up recently on the Oak Table network. If you call a function in a query, and do some sorting with the results, where does the work of calling the function get reported in the execution plan if you trace the query or look at the in-memory rowsource execution stats. Let’s take a look at a simple example:

create table t1
	rownum 			id,
	lpad(rownum,200)	padding
from	all_objects
where	rownum <= 2500

create table t2
select	* from t1

-- collect stats

create or replace function f (i_target in number)
return number
	m_target	number;
	select max(id) into m_target from t1 where id <= i_target;
	return m_target;

WordPress 3.5.1 Released…

WordPress 3.5.1 has been released. The changelog and downloads are in the usual places. I’ve just done the auto-upgrade with no problems.

Happy upgrading. :)



What makes a DBA?

I wrote this article as a foreword for the 2007 Apress book “RMAN Recipes for Oracle Database 11g: A Problem-Solution Approach” by Darl Kuhn, Sam Alapati, and Arup Nanda (ISBN 1590598512), and I’m pleased to learn it will be included in the exciting new Apress update “RMAN Recipes for Oracle Database 12c: A Problem-Solution Approach” (ISBN 143024836X), scheduled for 14-Aug 2013 publication, assuming that Oracle Database 12c^H^H^HNextGeneration is released prior to then…

Sqlplus is my second home: Part 7 – Downloading files via sqlplus :-)

Some years ago I wrote about how sqlplus allows you to run sqlplus scripts directly from HTTP and FTP locations instead of the local filesystem. By the way, I didn’t even notice – my blog is over 5 years old already! :)

I a recent email thread Marco Gralike just showed the simplest way I to open a HTTP URL and download + list its contents in a CLOB datatype. It’s the HTTPURITYPE and its getCLOB (and getBLOB) methods.

Usage Stats

The video of the online chat that I had with Grant Fritchey about statistics in SQL Server and Oracle is now online. It went pretty well – according to the stats 537 people attended, although the peak concurrency I noticed  was only 467 – of which there were still over 400 after an hour and a quarter.

At the start of the event, James Murtagh put up a quick poll to see how many attendees used SQL Server, how many used Oracle, and how many used both. There’s a degree of bias in the results, no doubt due to the self-selecting nature of the event, but I thought the results were interesting:

Remembering Gary Dodge…

The world lost a remarkable person this week, my friend and mentor Gary Dodge.

He is survived by his wife Luann, to whom he was married 33 years, by his daughter Brigid and by his son Ryan, and by a tight-knit and equally talented and accomplished family.  And by friends and admirers too numerous to count, worldwide.

As long as I knew him, his email signature stated, “Building tomorrow’s legacy systems today, one crisis at a time“, succinctly expressing his dry, lightly-warped sense of humor, suitable even in an uptight business environment.

He is deeply missed.  Thank you, Gary.

Determine VMWare ESX version from Linux as guest OS

Recently I was asked to look at a virtual (linux) system which needed to be moved to a new datacenter. If you want to determine if you are on VM Ware, you can use either lspci or dmidecode. A little searching on the internet revealed it’s reasonably easy to determine the version of VMWare ESX using the BIOS Information:

case $( dmidecode | grep -A4 "BIOS Information" | grep Address | awk '{ print $2 }' ) in
"0xE8480" ) echo "ESX 2.5" ;;
"0xE7C70" ) echo "ESX 3.0" ;;
"0xE7910" ) echo "ESX 3.5" ;;
"0xE7910" ) echo "ESX 4"   ;;
"0xEA550" ) echo "ESX 4U1" ;;
"0xEA2E0" ) echo "ESX 4.1" ;;
"0xE72C0" ) echo "ESX 5"   ;;
"0xEA0C0" ) echo "ESX 5.1" ;;
* ) echo "Unknown version: "
dmidecode | grep -A4 "BIOS Information" 


Basisregistraties Adressen en Gebouwen – Het importeren van Kadaster BAG data in een Oracle Database

Vorig jaar heb ik behoorlijk wat vragen gekregen over of er een tool was, een methodiek, om BAG data van het Nederlandse Kadaster in een Oracle database te krijgen voor allerlei doeleinden. Basisregistraties Adressen en Gebouwen (BAG) data wordt onder andere uitgeleverd door het Kadaster in XML bestanden waarin alle Kadaster gegevens zijn vastgelegd. Deze …

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New Exadata Prototype

I got a look a new prototype for the next generation Exadata last week while doing some work with a company in Europe. Apparently there is a big push to be environmentally friendly there now and so Oracle is trying to come up with a model that uses less power and is biodegradable. The word on the street is that it won’t be available until after release 2 of the 12c database.

The new model has a few drawbacks though. For one thing, it only lasts a few weeks before you must either replace it or higher some rocket surgeon consultants to come in and tune it. From the early version of the prototype I saw, it does appear to be smaller and more tasty than previous models though.



FRM-92095: Oracle Jnitiator version too low - patch fix for Forms

It seems pigs can fly.


I must admit I had a few doubts if there would ever be a patch that would fix the FRM-92095 on Forms 10g when running Java plugin 1.7.x.

But here we are - almost a year later and there is a patch for Forms 10g. It seems the patch is already available since November 21 2012. I only picked up on it because of this blogpost by Steve Chan stating Forms bundle patch 2 is now certified with EBS12. 

Bundle patch 2 is patch number 14825718 and one of the bug fixes is :


The patch is basically an opatch which copies new libraries and jar files to your system including a new frmall.jar. It's available for all platforms and is only about 7.5MB.