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Hotsos 2012:
One of the session’s I attended yesterday (6th March) was Karen Morton speaking about grouping in SQL. Karen is a member of the Oak Table network, knows what she’s talking about, and speaks well. So you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the first slide she showed was about an offer from Apress for the book Pro Oracle SQL that she co-authored with several other members of the Oak Table.

Until April 8th, if you supply the code OR4SQ8 when you order this book from Apress you get a 40% discount on the price.

I haven’t been able to find an officlal statement of this fact online, or a confirmation for the code; and Karen wasn’t 100% sure whether the deal applied to the hard copy, electronic copy, or both; but when Apress did something similar for Oracle Core the code did apply to the hard copy.


RMOUG Debrief

I’m back home after a very pleasant few days in Denver. As always the RMOUG conference was great fun, the location delightful, and the people were friendly, and the organizers did a great job of looking after the presenters and making things happen. It’s a terrific event – just big enough to have a real buzz, but small enough (I’d guess about 700 – 800 people) that you don’t feel lost in the crowd.

All three of my presentations seemed to go well - one person even started to applaud (which got the whole room going) when I got to the really important slide in the first session.

Jonathan Gennick of Apress had brought 100 copies of Oracle Core and was selling them off at a special event price of USD 20 – and I think he only had one or two copies left by the end of the event; I know that I autographed an easy 40 or 50 copies.

Hotsos 2012

I’m off to RMOUG in a couple of days time – but I’m already focused on Hotsos 2012 which is just a couple of weeks later (and I have to fit in a trip to Switzerland in between).

To stimulate some extra discussion and add value to the event, the people at Hotsos have set up an online forum about the event at   (that’s actually the follow-on address from the one they sent me, but if it works it saves you a whole click).  There’s a thread for each presentation, but at the moment there’s only one posting on each thread, and that’s the presenter’s abstract. Nearer the time, or during the symposium, I would expect to see some traffic coming in.


Just a quick reminder that the Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group Training days are just eleven days away. It’s one of the best Oracle events I’ve attended, and I’ll be there again this year. There are plenty of good speakers and interesting presentations on a wide range of topics – and if you’re wandering around between sessions with nothing to do, I’ll be around too and will be happy to say hello and have a chat.

Here’s the list of things I’ve pencilled in on my timetable so far. (Some of the gaps are there because I’m doing three presentations myself, some are there because I haven’t decided what to see yet.)

Oracle Core

28th November 2011

I’ve just received an email telling me that Apress is having a “Happy Cyber Monday”. Translated into English this means that for today only they’re selling every eBook at  $15.00 each. If you were planning to get an eBook version of Oracle Core, today might be the best day to do it. Here’s a link to the specific page on the Apress site. I’ve repeated this link in the picture of the book at the top-right of this page.

If you want the paper copy, it started shipping from Amazon in the US quite recently but isn’t yet shipping from Amazon UK.

Coming Soon

Just a quick reminder if you’re in Northern Europe: I’ll be in Denmark on 13th December presenting a new tutorial event Beating the Oracle Optimizer.

If you’ve been on my “Designing Optimal SQL” course, this is a follow up that takes you in the realm of designing “strange” SQL for those occasions when the Optimizer isnt going to do well enough with “normal” SQL.

In other news:

Don’t forget the UKOUG annual conference in Birmingham from 5th – 7th Dec.

Anyone attending the full event can register for a free seat at the Oak Table Day on Sunday 4th Dec. where I’ll be presenting a geeky session about Redo.

UKOUG 2011

The agenda for the annual conference has just been published. (You have to pick at least one stream before clicking on “Agenda” button).

This year features an “Oak Table Sunday” that is free to conference attendees but has a very limited audience size, so you have to register for a place.  I’ll be giving a presentation titled “Redo” (The Oak Table presentations will be repeated later in the week for larger audiences, and I’m repeating this one first thing Wednesday morning.

Tuesday afternoon I’ll be giving a presentation with the title: “Beating the Oracle Optimizer” and on Wednesday afternoon I’ll be chairing a round-table on Cost Based Optimisation.

Particular highlights for me this year: Connor McDonald is coming over from Australia to do a couple of presentations (including one on Optimizer Stats while I’m doing the round table), and Iggy Fernandez is coming over from California to do a couple of presentations on intelligent use of indexing.

Public Appearances

I really don’t have time to do any blogging or do anything on the forums at present – book in progress,  too many people people needing a couple of days here and there, and Open World with its ACE Director thing is about to take a big chunk out of my life – but I thought I’d just mention that 2012 is beginning to shape up.

I’ve submitted three abstracts for RMOUG – it’s a three-day event, and a progression of one presentation per day seems appropriate (if they get accepted):

Single Table Access Paths — with two indexes on a table I can find 89  different options for the most efficient way of querying the data (depending on the index definitions, column definitions, and query, or course).  (The optimizer can do about 23 of them)

How to Optimise a two-table join — there’s a surprising number of things to think about

Beating the Oracle Optimizer — general principles for, and examples of,  manual query transformations (i.e. rewrites) that the optimizer can’t do automatically.

I’m planning to bring  my wife  to Denver a few days ahead of the event this time – and we’ll be  bringing some walking boots. Somehow I don’t think the mountains will be as easy as the Lake District, for walking though.

Update: (8th Sept)

I’ve added Hotsos 2012 (the 10th anniversary) to my schedule.  March 4th – 8th.  I’ll be hosting the Training Day at the end of the symposium, and I’ve submitted an abstract for my slide-free presentation on “The Beginner’s Guide to becoming an Expert”.


Author, author!

It’s official – I’m writing a new book for Apress.

The working title is: “A look at the internal mechanics of the important bits of Oracle for people who aren’t planning to become rocket scientists but who do want to do a little more than just push buttons in OEM”. (I’m still working on making the title a little more catchy.)

Target publication time – some time in November.


While I was in Turkey a few weeks ago presenting the keynote at the Turkish Oracle User Group conference, I had a chat with one of the sponsors of the event who has a product that “does Web 2.0 for pl/sql specialists” – in other words, doesn’t require you to learn all the other transient technologies that get stuck around the edges of Oracle to produce application.

I said I’d take a look at it – but development really isn’t my area, which means I’m not really in a position to judge what they’ve done; so I thought I’d give it a brief mention here, in case anyone was looking for a way to move to Web 2.0 without throwing away their current Oracle investment. (I don’t usually consider doing adverts – but the idea was interesting, and I see that it’s got support from Paul Dorsey and that’s a reasonable recommendation in its own right.)