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AskTom and formatting

There’s an interesting “debate” going on under AskTom at the moment.  It’s hardly cause for major concern, but anyone is welcome to add their thoughts as comments to this blog post.  (Naturally, if your comments agree with my opinion, then that’s great.  If your comments don’t agree, then I’ll post them and ignore them Smile – ah the joys of being a blog owner)

So here’s the issue.  When we are posting code to the AskTom page as a solution to a question, we could post it as a mix of script and output, for example:

Fun with array fetch

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve worked with systems that didn’t run brilliantly because every database operation was the “row at a time” methodology.  Typically you see hundreds of routines (either in the database in PL/SQL) or further up the chain in C#, Java etc, and the “alarm bells” start ringing in my head when all of those routines are prefixed with “GET_” and the input parameter looks like a primary key.

It doesn’t take long before the code-reuse mindset starts creating things like:

“for each  EMPLOYEE on screen, call GET_EMP_DETAILS(:screen.employee_number)”

So to try demonstrate the silliness of this… I ask the question:

Would you do this in real life ?

And here’s what happens if you do


I’m a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to how long I’ve been using Oracle.  But you should never stop learning.  That’s why I’m participating in a cool OpenWorld session in a few weeks, all about the modern technologies and frameworks that can now be used to build awesome applications on top of the Oracle database.  Come along – you’ll see some exciting stuff.  This session is all about modern development whilst still exploiting the myriad of features built into the database.

Before or after the session, feel free to pop up and say “Hello!”


How the log writer and foreground processes work together on commit.

(warning: this is a rather detailed technical post on the internal working of the Oracle database’s commit interactions between the committing foreground processes and the log writer)

After the Trivadis Performance days I was chatting to Jonathan Lewis. I presented my Profiling the log writer and database writer presentation, in which I state the foreground (user/server) process looks at the commit SCN in order to determine if its logbuffer contents are written to disk by the logwriter(s). Jonathan suggested looking deeper into this matter, because looking at the commit SCN might not the way it truly works.

Delphix Express installation

A couple of blog post ago I announced that there is now a free version of Delphix.  Here is a little more information about the installation of Delphix Express.

To get a copy of Delphix Express go to

and put “Express” for your title and I’ll send you the download info.

Delphix Express

Delphix Express is a free version of Delphix limited to 25 GB of managed storage and 1 vCPU. Delphix Express is set up for small projects and not optimized for high throughput nor performance testing.


If you want something done, ask a busy person…

This is a re-post I originally made on the ODTUG website on 17-Jan 2013 at the beginning of my two-year term on the board of directors...

This past weekend, I attended my first face-to-face Board of Directors meeting with ODTUG. Monty Latiolais, current president of ODTUG, asked me to let him know if there was anything “less than stellar” about my experience, and I have say the answer is “no”.  It was a stellar experience, all weekend.  Here’s why…

Oaktable World Agenda 2015

Oaktable World 2015

Oaktable World brings together some of the Oracle performance people in the world to present and discuss their findings.

Oaktable World is open to everyone free of charge and no registration necessary !

Oaktable World is Monday and Tuesday of Oracle Open World 2015 and is located on the same block as OOW.


Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 11.05.49 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-02 at 11.05.55 AM


exitcommit … or your career down the drain

I recently posted a little video on the ‘exitcommit’ option in SQL Plus, adding a theatrical drama to present a worst case scenario of potentially destroying a Production system.  Take 3 mins to have a chuckle here.

My predecessor Natalka Roshak tweeted an interesting followup that I thought I would share, namely, if you’re a regular SQL Plus user, you should definitely take the time to check out the documentation on ‘exitcommit’ and its relationship to other related variables within SQL Plus.

Because you probably want to make sure you have got everything set just right !


Delphix Express : Free version of Delphix available

Delphix Express is available!

To get a copy of Delphix Express go to

and put “Express” for your title and I’ll send you the download info.

Delphix Express is a free version of Delphix

Delphix Express differs from Delphix enterprise in that it is limited to 25 GB of managed storage.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 9.58.01 AM


Here is a video on installing Delphix Express on VMware fusion on my Mac.

5 Years of Delphix

Wow – 5 years have flown by. Five years ago I joined Delphix and five years ago Delphix began the virtual data industry. Like all successful technologies many other vendors have come into the domain.  Delphix for me is amazing compared to other virtual data solutions. Delphix is easy, fast and powerful. Check out this video of linking to a RAC database and provisioning a thin clone RAC database. How much work would it take to do the same on technologies? Can one even sync and provision from RAC on other technologies? Its the only Data as a Service thin cloning solution that you can download and try  (put “express” as your title form and I’ll send you the free version of Delphix instead of the 30 day demo)