The Rise and Fall of the NoSQL Empire (2007–2013)

The NoSQL camp put performance, scalability, and reliability front and center but lost the opportunity to take the relational model to the next level because—just like the relational camp—it mistakenly believed that normalization dictates physical storage choices, that non-relational APIs are forbidden by the relational model, and that “relational” is synonymous with ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability). The NoSQL camp created a number of innovations: functional segmentation, sharding, replication, eventual consistency, and schemaless design. (more...)

OT: New Oracle Database features spell doom and gloom for NoSQL

Oracle Corporation has released a slew of new features that allow Oracle Database implementations to catch up to, match up to, and leave in the dust NoSQL implementations in the areas of performance, scalability, and reliability (PSR).(read more)

OT: Oracle wants your votes

It used to be that if you had an enhancement suggestion for Oracle Database, you had to file an enhancement request in MOS and pray that the Oracle product management gods would hear your request someday. It is now possible to make your enhancement request in a public forum and let the community vote on your idea.(read more)

OT: Never buy an Oracle book again (if you live in California)

If you are a resident of California, you can become a member of the San Jose Public Library and gain access to Safari Books Online and Books24x7. At last count, there were 445 Oracle titles available through Safari Books Online(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 37: POISED: A problem-solving method

P.O.I.S.E.D. is the acronym I invented for the performance tuning method described by Chris Lawson in The Art and Science of Oracle Performance Tuning; it stands for Problem, Observation, Interpretation, Solution, Execution, and Documentation. The Observation and Interpretation phases feed each other. The Interpretation phase concludes with a determination of root cause. If we are investigating poor performance a single SQL statement, the tool of choice for the observation phase (more...)

OT: A software tool that improves my writing

I would like a little more help with my writing than the Spelling & Grammar check in Microsoft Word can provide so I am checking out a tool called Word Rake.(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 36: The sisters of the mother of all SQL antipatterns

The mother of all SQL “anti-patterns” is the ad-hoc query. Here, the end-user of the application can specify any combination of parameters—for example, the job_id, the dept_id, or a combination of both—and the data is retrieved using a catchall query. This antipattern has two sisters who are almost as evil. These two sisters arise from the requirement to paginate through the records retrieved by a query.(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 35: Robust v/s optimal query execution plans

A subset of all possible execution plans can be described as robust. While such solutions are not always quite optimum, they are almost always close to optimum in real-world queries, and they have desirable characteristics, such as predictability and low likelihood of errors during execution.(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 34: SQL Aaargh!

The biggest problem with SQL query optimization is that semantically equivalent SQL queries are not guaranteed to perform equally well. When I encounter problems like this, I sympathize with the folks who got frustrated with RDBMS performance and created NoSQL.(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 33: The mother of all SQL antipatterns?

The mother of all SQL “anti-patterns” is the ad-hoc query. Here, the end-user of the application can specify any combination of parameters—for example, the job_id, the dept_id, or a combination of both—and the data is retrieved using a catchall query.(read more)

OT: Pictures from the NoCOUG winter conference at Oracle HQ

There were 130 attendees at the Oracle conference center on January 27 at the Oracle conference center in Redwood City. There was a fantastic breakfast spread. The registration desk was a marvel of neatness. Delphix sent its most photogenic representative. And so did Cloudera. Andy Mendelsohn’s body language says it all: “Oracle is king of the hill and we’re planning to stay here for a long time.” Andy started at Oracle as a junior (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 32: Pretzels created by someone experimenting with hallucinogens?

In an interview for the NoCOUG Journal, Steven Feuerstein said: “Some people can perform seeming miracles with straight SQL, but the statements can end up looking like pretzels created by someone who is experimenting with hallucinogens.” As if to prove Steven correct, NoCOUG held three international SQL challenges. The winning entries were mind-boggling indeed.(read more)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 31: How to Avoid a Salted Banana

In the February 2015 issue of the NoCOUG Journal, Lothar Flatz introduces the term “salted banana” for a certain kind of problem in SQL tuning.(read more)

OT: Win a free NoCOUG membership for yourself and three friends

You can win a free membership in the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) for yourself and three friends by correctly identifying the colorful objects on the front cover of the winter issue of the NoCOUG Journal and where the picture was taken (or making a good-enough guess). You also have to write a few sentences that capture the meaning of the picture and your experiences with NoCOUG; for example, “NoCOUG conferences offer a lot (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 30: Throw Away That EXPLAIN PLAN! (Part IV)

We tend to overuse the tool—EXPLAIN PLAN in this case—that we are most familiar with. There is an expression—attributed to behavioral scientist Abraham Maslow—that “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Maslow also tells the story of a drunk searching under a street lamp for his house key, which he had dropped some distance away. Asked why he didn’t look much where he had dropped it, the drunk replied, (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 29: Throw Away That EXPLAIN PLAN! (Part III)

We tend to overuse the tool—EXPLAIN PLAN in this case—that we are most familiar with. There is an expression—attributed to behavioral scientist Abraham Maslow—that “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Maslow also tells the story of a drunk searching under a street lamp for his house key, which he had dropped some distance away. Asked why he didn’t look much where he had dropped it, the drunk replied, (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 28: Throw Away That EXPLAIN PLAN! (Part II)

We tend to overuse the tool—EXPLAIN PLAN in this case—that we are most familiar with. There is an expression—attributed to behavioral scientist Abraham Maslow—that “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Maslow also tells the story of a drunk searching under a street lamp for his house key, which he had dropped some distance away. Asked why he didn’t look much where he had dropped it, the drunk replied, (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 27: Throw Away That EXPLAIN PLAN! (Part I)

We tend to overuse the tool—EXPLAIN PLAN in this case—that we are most familiar with. Watch this fascinating YouTube video Rewriting SQL Queries for Performance in 9 Minutes by Stephane Faroult in which he makes a good argument that execution plans should not be the first thing to look at when a query does not perform well. He argues if you write high-quality SQL queries and your tables are well indexed, you can be reasonably (more...)

Repost: Oracle Trivia Quiz

All the answers to the quiz are in the November 2014 issue of the NoCOUG Journal . I am the editor of the NoCOUG Journal. What’s NoCOUG, you ask? Only the oldest and most active Oracle users group in the world. If you have not attended a NoCOUG conference in the last 28 years—yes that’s how long NoCOUG has been around—you can attend the winter conference on January 27 for free subject to availability of free (more...)

OT: Career Advice for Oracle Database Professionals

A strong advocate for women in technology, Kellyn Pot’Vin is an OakTable Network Member and was an Oracle ACE Director until joining a group of Enterprise Manager specialists at Oracle Corporation. She specializes in environment optimization tuning, automation, and creating robust, enterprise-level systems. Kellyn works almost exclusively on multi-TB-sized databases, including Exadata and solid-state disk solutions, and is known for her extensive work with Enterprise Manager 12c and its command-line interface. She is the co-author (more...)