Often, the biggest problem with regular expressions is that those who use them sometimes don’t use them correctly. A great example occurs in the Oracle Database with the REGEXP_LIKE function. For example, some developer use the following to validate whether a string is a number but it only validates whether the first character is a number.

  lv_input  VARCHAR2(100 (more...)

Create MySQL Index

Indexes are separate data structures that provide alternate pathways to finding data. They can and do generally speed up the processing of queries and other DML commands, like the INSERT, UPDATE, REPLACE INTO, and DELETE statements. Indexes are also called fast access paths.

In the scope of the InnoDB Database Engine, the MySQL database maintains the integrity of indexes after you create them. The upside of indexes is that they can improve (more...)

SQL*Plus Tricks

Have you ever wondered how to leverage substitution variables in anonymous block programs? There are several tricks that you can use beyond passing numeric and string values to local variable. The generic default appears to take a number unless you cast it as a string but that’s not really the whole story. The first two are standard examples of how to use numeric and string substitution values.

The following accept a numeric substitution value:


Using Oracle’s Resource Manager requires you to understand the IO dynamics. The first step requires you to run the CALIBRATE_IO procedure from the DBMS_RESOURCE_MANAGER package.

Oracle provides some great examples about how to use the CALIBRATE_IO procedure of the DBMS_RESOURCE_MANAGER package in the Oracle Database Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference. The CALIBRATE_IO procedure returns the best answer when you provide a valid number of files, which you can capture by querying the V$ASM_DISK view.


Free Oracle Tuning Book

Quick Start Guide to Oracle Query TuningWho can resist a free book Rich Nimeiec book on SQL Tuning? O.K., those who know everything can resist. If you’re like me, this is an opportunity to learn from Rich. Click on the book image or this link to get a free copy, or if you want to pay $10 for a copy click here to buy Quick Start Guide to Oracle Query Tuning: Tips for DBAs and Developers from Amazon. (more...)

Use an object in a query?

Using an Oracle object type’s instance in a query is a powerful capability. Unfortunately, Oracle’s SQL syntax doesn’t make it immediately obvious how to do it. Most get far enough to put it in a runtime view (a subquery in the from clause), but then they get errors like this:

SELECT	 instance.get_type()
ERROR AT line 4:
ORA-00904: "INSTANCE"."GET_TYPE": invalid identifier

The problem is how Oracle treats (more...)


Sometimes I give parts of a solution to increase the play time to solve a problem. I didn’t anticipate a problem when showing how to perform a sort operation with a CASE statement. It’s a sweet solution when you need to sort something differently than a traditional ascending or descending sort.

I gave my students this ORDER BY clause as an example:

    WHEN filter = 'Debit' THEN 1
    WHEN filter = 'Credit' THEN 2

Mac SQL Developer Install

This how you install SQL Developer on Mac OS Yosemite. The first thing you need to do is download and install Java 8, not Java 7 on your Mac OS Yosemite, as suggested on some web sites. You can determine whether or not Java is installed by running the following command:

Mac-Pro-3:~ username$ java -version
No Java runtime present, requesting install.

You must accept the Java license to install Java 8 on the (more...)

Run X11 Apps on Mac

It’s possible folks didn’t notice but Mac OS X no longer includes XQuartz by default from Maverick forward. You need to download XQuartz and install it. I’d recommend after you install Xcode.

Launch XQuartz and then either use the bash shell it opens or open a Terminal bash shell session. Inside the shell, you might start Secure Shell (ssh) like this:

Mac-Pro-3:~ michaelmclaughlin$ ssh student@
student@'s password: 

Fedora X11 Install

While working through getting my Mac OS X to work with X11, I stumbled on some interesting errors and misdirection solutions. Like most things, the solution was straightforward. Then, it struck me that I hadn’t installed it on my Fedora image. This blog post show you the errors I got the way to get it to work, and how to install X11 on Fedora.

The first step requires discovering the package. If you remember xclock (more...)