You Bet Your ASCII

"Why, did you know that if a beaver two feet long with a tail a foot and a half long can build a dam twelve 
feet high and six feet wide in two days, all you would need to build Boulder Dam is a beaver sixty-eight
feet long with a fifty-one-foot tail?"
"Where would you find a beaver that big?" grumbled the Humbug as his pencil point snapped.
"I'm sure I don't know,"  (more...)

GrACE Period

The time is fast approaching where it will be three years since I was graced with the status of Oracle ACE, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I can’tspeak highly enough of the program and its steadily growing list of members. But don’t think for a minute that once someone becomes an Oracle ACE or Oracle ACE Director the work stops; nothing could be further from the truth.

Sharing my knowledge got me here (more...)

You’re A Natural

"'Why is it,' he said quietly, 'that quite often even the things which are correct just don't seem to be right?'"
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

A YouTube video is currently being promoted in the database community regarding joins, including the variety of joins available in most database engines (the engine referred to in the video is Oracle). A very good discussion ensues covering inner, left outer, right outer, full outer and cross (more...)

Finding Your Way

"Whether or not you find your own way, you're bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it,
as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it's quite rusty."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Oracle has provided access to its wait interface for several releases and with each new release it expands the range of wait information available, so much so that it’s hard to (more...)

It’s Private

“The only thing you can do easily is be wrong, and that's hardly worth the effort.” 
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Oracle provides two parameters that affect the PGA that look very similar but operate very differently. One of these parameters is the well-known pga_max_size and the otheris a hidden parameter, _pga_max_size. Let’s look at both and see how one can be very effective while the other can create problems with respect to (more...)

Return To Sender

"The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Recently in an Oracle forum a question resurfaced regarding enabling row movement for tables. The posted question, from five years ago, asked if row movement was safe and if there could be any ‘undesired impact on application data’. The answer to the first part of that question is ‘yes’ (it’s safe (more...)

“Back It Up!!!”

“Expectations is the place you must always go to before you get to where you're going.” 
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth   

In a recent post in the Oracle General database forum the following question was asked:


I have 3 schema's of almost equal sizes, off which only two are creating the backup's (Hot backup). One of the schema's is not creating any backup, by not creating I mean, the backup file that  (more...)

“Do You Have A Key?”

“Don't you know anything at all about numbers?"
"Well, I don't think they're very important," snapped Milo, too embarrassed to admit the truth.
"NOT IMPORTANT!" roared the Dodecahedron, turning red with fury. "Could you have tea for two without the two — or three blind mice 
without the three? Would there be four corners of the earth if there weren't a four? And how would you sail the seven seas without a seven? (more...)

Taking Things For Granted

"Sometimes I find the best way of getting from one place to another is simply to erase everything and begin again."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

In one of the Oracle forums a question was asked regarding revoking selected privileges from the DBA role. Unfortunately for the person posting the question the answer is a resounding “No”; granting a role grants all privileges assigned to that role and there is no “picking and (more...)

“That STILL Ain’t Right”

"If you want sense, you'll have to make it yourself."
- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

In a recent post to an Oracle forum a query was presented and a tuning request was made. It appears that the query was taking 20 hours to complete. Through further interrogation and responses it was discovered that the dates were being stored in a VARCHAR2 column and implicit date conversion was being used. To show how much (more...)