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Datatype conversions – strange internal function

Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) performance tuning problem you’ll find spanning decades of blog posts when it comes to Oracle and SQL is the “mystery” of why Oracle is not using an index when it is totally obvious to us as the developer that it should be.  The demo code is always along the following lines

New Year … new idea … new channel

I’ve done a lot of presentations over the years, written a ton of blog posts, and over the past  5 years cranked out hundreds of tech videos of my YouTube channel.

But with the current state of the world, I also know that over the last year we’ve been awash with tech content that now comes exclusively over a virtual medium that generally requires us to stop our “day jobs” in order to focus on the content, whether it be a live presentation, recorded video or reading a long form blog post.

"Big Mac and Size"..Handling large SQL Macros

Happy 2021 everyone! And what better way to start than a cheesy pun to make you groan and already to start looking forward to a better 2022 Smile

This post is just a quick one to kick off 2021 because officially I’m still on Christmas holidays. I had a question come in regarding the cool SQL Macro features in 19c and beyond. A SQL Macro generates SQL or a SQL fragment as an output from a special PL/SQL function, and most of the demo code you will see in the documentation or on the interwebs returns a SQL macro as a varchar2.

But what if your SQL statement is really large? You might see this

Solving a John Conway puzzle with SQL

A cool little conundrum came across my email Inbox this week which I thought I’d share. Back in 2016, Pizza Hut ran a promotional competition with famous mathematician John Conway on Pi day. Sadly John Conway passed away this year from COVID19 – another great mind lost to the pandemic Sad smile.

The AskTOM multimedia experience!

Most people know AskTOM as the go-to resource for getting answers to the most common and sometimes the most tricky questions on the Oracle Database. AskTOM runs on the robust Application Express architecture, which is a large part of the reason that it has been in operation for over 20 years without any problems in terms of upgrades, obsolescence etc. It just keeps….on….working.

The power of SQL macros

Here is another example of what I’m sure will just become a plethora of such examples from the community on how the flexibility of SQL macros can solve problems that would normally take a lot of code in the form of DBMS_SQL and/or object types and/or pipelined functions and/or …well, you get the idea Smile

The missing multiplication aggregation in SQL

A few days back on Twitter, a cool little discussion arose out of the SQL Daily regular tip – the lack of an aggregate function that will return a aggregated product of a set of numbers.


The weirdest reason to avoid SELECT *

A quick Google or Bing search and you’ll find no limit to the number of articles on databases that tell you that using “SELECT *” is a terrible terrible thing to do. Your code will be more fragile.  It is bad for your data dictionary.  You’ll end up with conflicts when you join, the list goes on. You can find a more reasoned argument from Markus Winand but ultimately for the majority of the time, the potential drawbacks outweigh any convenience benefits of using SELECT *.

Developer Live wrap up

The Developer Live event for database has concluded. Thank you to the (almost) 2000 people that attended my talk across the USA, Europe and APAC timezones! I very much appreciate you giving up your time to attend the session.

Whilst we were doing some Q&A I tried to add as many useful links into the chat line as I could, to help people with onward learning on SQL performance and database performance in general. A few of you then asked if I could publish that chat as to not lose that information, so here it is below

From Me to Everyone:  04:06 PM
Hi everyone,

Its Connor here. Chris Saxon and I are monitoring the Q&A channel, so fire off your questions and we’ll answer them right here.  Anything we can’t answer, we’ll tackle at a later date.

A guided path to database expertise

At college/university, the learning path for a computing-related course often includes several coding languages, and occasionally some treatment of database technology as well. But often, it is only once you enter the business world as you embark upon your IT career that you truly start to face the demands of enterprise-level data requirements. The small amount of education on databases, or the small databases themselves sometimes do not prepare you for the realisation that data drives everything in the business world.

And where does one start? The amount of content out there about databases is overwhelming, and often assumes a base level of knowledge or is targeted at solving specific business problems.

If you have faced this obstacle, then I’m pleased to offer a new resource for you. One simple, consolidated, FREE training guide to kick start your database knowledge on developing applications on the Oracle Database.