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DDL triggers – interesting results

This question came in on AskTom, yielding a very interesting result when it comes to DDL triggers. To set the scene, I’ll first create a table called T which is just a copy of SCOTT.EMP

Duplicate constraints are impossible right ?

Here’s a very simple example of a table called PARENT being a (surprise surprise) parent in a referential integrity relationship to a (drum roll for my choice of name) CHILD table

SQL> create table parent ( p int, constraint PAR_PK primary key (p) );

Table created.

SQL> create table child ( c int,
  2        p int
  3      );

Table created.

SQL> alter table child add constraint fk1 foreign key ( p ) references parent ( p );

Table altered.

That is all as we would expect, and similarly, if I inadvertently try to add the same foreign key constraint, I’ll get an error

The real question is … why are you NOT blogging

Colleague Jeff Smith published an interesting post the other day about his “rules and regulations” for blogging, but the overriding theme (Ed: – this is my opinion, I’m not speaking for Jeff)  was that the “what” he blogs about was – anything he’s passionate about, and the “when” was – whenever felt inspired to do so.

That got me thinking about blogging in general.  I think it is safe to say

  • there are things in your working life that feel passionate about

(Because not to do so means you’re in the wrong career)

Creating a RAC 12.1 Data Guard Physical Standby environment (4)

In the previous three parts of this series a lot of preparation work, needed for the configuration of Data Guard, was performed. In this part of the mini-series they all come to fruition. Using the Data Guard broker a switchover operation will be performed. A couple of new features in 12c make this easier. According to the “Changes in This Release for Oracle Data Guard Concepts and Administration” chapter of the 12.1 Data Guard Concepts and Administration guide:

When [you, ed.] perform a switchover from an Oracle RAC primary database to a physical standby database, it is no longer necessary to shut down all but one primary database instance.

I have always wanted to test that in a quiet moment…

Partition count for interval partitioned tables

When dealing with a RANGE partitioned table, the defined partitions dictate all of the data that can be placed into the table. For example, if I have a SALES table as per below

9th Circuit Court Ruling 3-0

Little did I know this building that captured my visual attention and imagination so many times walking to work over the last 6 months would play a historic roll in the current political climate.

Here is a picture of the US District Court House from recent articles

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 9.19.43 PM


And here are some of my iPhone shots over the last few months with some Instagram filtering mixed in :)

AskTom TV

Sometimes at conferences I get asked – “How do you know all of the answers for the AskTom questions?”

I’d love to say “Because we’re super smart” Smile but the reality is, we’re just like anyone else with a passion for database technology.  We like to research things, apply our skills and use our experience to solve problems.

So I’ve realised that even though we try to give as much detail as possible when we are helping the AskTom community, it might not always be immediately apparent what thought process we followed when tackling a problem.


This is a note I wrote a couple of years ago, but never published. Given the way it’s written I think it may have been the outline notes for a presentation that I was thinking about rather than an attempt to write a little essay. Since it covers a number of points that are worth considering and since I’ve just rediscovered it by accident I thought I’d publish it pretty much as is. Many of the examples of change are now quite old – the intent was to demonstrate how to be cautious rather than trying to supply every possible change that might your next upgrade.

We start with a couple of

The SQL Loader log file … as data

I had an interesting AskTom question recently where the poster was using SQL Loader to load in tables, but wanted to be able to analyze the resultant log file after execution.  And of course, what better way to analyze..well…anything…than with a database and some SQL.

So we need to be able to access the log file as a table, and an external table is perfect for that, so let’s start there.

Here’s a sample SQL Loader log file (with a little perturbation to preserve anonymity).  It’s quite complex because multiple tables were loaded as part of a single SQL Loader run.

How do I get my trace files on a db-as-a-service

Yeah, sure it would be cool to crank up some big time powered VM’s in the cloud and let rip, but the reality is – if you’re starting out on a cloud exploration, you probably want to (initially at least) just dip your toes in the water and start with something small.  For example, if I wanted to play with 12c Release 2, I can just sign up for an Exadata Express service so I can explore the new features without breaking the bank.

But whatever the need, accessing a database as a service as opposed to a server, there’s often that fear of “handing over the reins”, that is, that I’ll not be able to do the things I want to do, especially when it comes to OS level access.  And for a developer or DBA, perhaps a thing that might raise alarm bells is: “How will I access my trace files ?”