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September 2017

Free Webinar – How Oracle Works!

Next Tuesday (19th September) I am doing a free webinar for ProHuddle. It lasts under an hour and is an introduction to how some of the core parts of the Oracle RDBMS work, I call it “The Heart of Oracle: How the Core RDBMS Works”. Yes, I try and explain all of the core Oracle RDBMS in under an hour! I’m told I just about manage it. You can see details of the event and register for it here. I’ve done this talk a few times at conferences now and I really like doing it, partly as it seems to go down so well and people give me good feedback about it (and occasionally bad feedback, but I’ll get on to that).

Where is Goth Geek Girl, Week 37

It was a really busy summer and ended with me returning after a week of vacation in Singapore.  What should I do after a 17hr flight and jet lag?  Two webinars and a SQL Saturday event!  What better way to get over jet lag and get my game back on and just jump back in!

How to automatically build any recent version of the Oracle database.

There are many situations where you want to use a very specific configuration of the Oracle database, for example when a client has an issue and is still on EL5, or gets disk errors on a filesystem that is ext3, or is using ASM and gets weird IO patterns. Other examples are: you want to test the newest PSU to see if responds differently to an issue you are working on, or you want to test a combination of the Oracle database version and grid infrastructure

Of course you can just go and install a virtual machine, install all the different bits and pieces. Doing so manually kills vast amounts of time. By doing that, you will end up with a lot of virtual machines, for which at a certain point in time you have to make a decision to remove some of these.

The AskTOM team at OpenWorld 2017

The AskTOM team will be out and about at OpenWorld in October, so if you are at the conference as a full attendee, or just with a Discovery pass, please come up and say Hi!  As well as our session talks, we’ll be doing impromptu discussions and mini-sessions during the week either in the Developer Lounge area or the Exhibition Hall, so keep your eyes open on the OpenWorld twitter feeds during the week.  You can see our session times below. 

12c Access Control Lists

There is already enough information about the new simplified 12c way to define Access Control Lists, such as in oracle-base.
I’m just posting my example here to show how it is easy.

Create constraints in your datawarehouse – why and how

We still see some developers not declaring referential integrity constraints in datawarehouse databases because they think they don’t need it (integrity of data has been validated by the ETL). Here is a small demo I did to show why you need to declare them, and how to do it to avoid any overhead on the ETL.

Test case

I create 3 dimension tables and 1 fact table:

21:01:18 SQL> create table DIM1 (DIM1_ID number, DIM1_ATT1 varchar2(20));
Table DIM1 created.
21:01:19 SQL> create table DIM2 (DIM2_ID number, DIM2_ATT1 varchar2(20));
Table DIM2 created.
21:01:20 SQL> create table DIM3 (DIM3_ID number, DIM3_ATT1 varchar2(20));
Table DIM3 created.
21:01:21 SQL> create table FACT (DIM1_ID number, DIM2_ID number, DIM3_ID number,MEAS1 number);
Table FACT created.

The full table scan direct path read decision for version 12.2

This post is about the decision the Oracle database engine makes when it is using a full segment scan approach. The choices the engine has is to store the blocks that are physically read in the buffercache, or read the blocks into the process’ PGA. The first choice is what I refer to as a ‘buffered read’, which places the block in the database buffercache so the process itself and other processes can bypass the physical read and use the block from the cache, until the block is evicted from the cache. The second choice is what is commonly referred to as ‘direct path read’, which places the blocks physically read into the process’ PGA, which means the read blocks are stored for only a short duration and is not shared with other processes.

12.2 New Feature: the FLEX ASM disk group part 5

Some time ago I had a very interesting twitter conversation after publishing the first part of this series. The question was whether using ASM templates, which admittedly exist since Oracle 10.1, didn’t provide similar functionality as Flex Disk Groups. In other words, wouldn’t using ASM templates allow you to have high redundancy files on normal redundancy disk groups anyway?

This question has been answered by Alex Fatkulin in a blog post some time ago. In this post I would like to replay his test with my 12.2 setup. Initially I had hoped to compare the approach using ASM templates with the Flex ASM Disk Group but the post has become too long again … The actual comparison will be done with the next instalment of the series.

Please keep your foreign keys

I came across an interesting blog post the other day about whether databases should be (declaratively) enforcing the foreign key relationships between tables.  The blog post discussed the issue of foreign keys being temporarily disabled to perform data loading, and then encountering the problem of what to do when those foreign keys cannot be re-enabled due to bad data.  Perhaps they should just be omitted altogether ?  I don’t want to put words in the author’s mouth, because he stressed he was not taking sides in the “should we” or “shouldn’t we” debate on declarative foreign keys, but the concluding part of the blog was:

impdp content=metadata_only locks the stats

With Oracle you can learn something every day. Today, preparing a migration to 12.2, I found all tables had locked statistics. I learned that it is the expected behavior since 10.2 when importing metadata_only including statistics, to avoid that the automatic job gathering comes and replaces the stats by ‘0 rows’.

It is documented in DataPump Import Without Data Locks Table Statistics (Doc ID 415081.1) but as I was really surprised about that (and also frustrated to learn a 10.2 thing when migrating to 12.2) that I wanted to test myself.