Oracle on Windows Azure pricing revealed

I just noticed that prices for Oracle Database running on Windows Azure have now been published.



The prices for the virtual machines with the Oracle license included run from about USD 820 per month for Oracle Standard Edition (SE) running on 2 cores, to a whopping USD 9300 per month for Oracle Enterprise Edition (EE) running on 8 cores. These prices are for Oracle software only and do not include the cost of the VM, (more...)

Pivot Table plugin for Apex

An interactive Pivot Table lets the user analyze a data set by selecting which fields to use as rows and columns in a grid. You've probably seen this in Excel, something like this:



I've created a region plugin for Apex which turns any SQL query into an interactive pivot table. (more...)

Thoth Gateway version 1.3.7 available, including source code

There is a new version of the Thoth Gateway, a mod_plsql replacement for IIS, available for download. The latest version is 1.3.7.

This version also includes the source code for the gateway. The project has been "open source" (under a BSD license) since day 1, but I (more...)

First mentions of Oracle 12c XE (Express Edition)

Oracle released an Express Edition (XE) of its 10g database back in 2005 or thereabouts, and this was later followed up by an Oracle 11g Express Edition database.


Oracle XE is great because it is lightweight and "free to develop, deploy and distribute". Dietmar Aust has posted a thorough clarification (more...)

JSON parser for PL/SQL in Apex 5 ?

I was looking at the Apex 4.2.2 installation script (coreins.sql), and noticed the mention of a new package, wwv_flow_json, which is apparently being worked on but was removed at the last minute "as no longer required for 4.2.2".

Even though the package is not installed (more...)

Using Apex with IIS Express

The Thoth Gateway is a gateway written in C# and ASP.NET that allows you to run PL/SQL web applications (including Oracle Application Express) on Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS). You can read more about the gateway here. It is an alternative to Apache/mod_plsql and the Java-based Apex Listener.

For (more...)

Version 1.7 of Alexandria Utility Library for PL/SQL

Uncategorized
| Feb 17, 2013
The latest version of Alexandria, the utility library for PL/SQL, is now available for download. The previous version has been downloaded more than 2,000 times in the last 8 months.



The docs/readme.txt file contains a fairly detailed list of additions, enhancements and bug fixes. Below are some of the more noteworthy changes:

Improved installation script


You can now choose between installing the full library (close to 50 packages as of this version), by running the main /setup/install.sql script, or you can install just the core set of packages via setup/install_core.sql and then choose additional sets of (more...)

PL/SQL and Microsoft technology

Uncategorized
| Jan 16, 2013
Many companies tend to have mixed environments, with Oracle databases (and PL/SQL) running business-critical back-office systems, as well as Microsoft products for front-office applications such as email, word processing and collaboration/file sharing (ie Outlook, Office and Sharepoint), and of course the desktop operating system itself (Windows, with Internet Explorer, Internet Information Server, all integrated via Active Directory).



Working in these mixed environments means that you, as an Oracle PL/SQL developer, frequently need to work/integrate with various Microsoft technologies from PL/SQL.

Over the last couple of years, I've written a number of blog posts on this topic. This post is just (more...)

Apex Plugin: Execute PL/SQL code and return content to page

Uncategorized
| Nov 6, 2012
Here is a Dynamic Action plugin for Oracle Application Express (Apex) that lets you execute PL/SQL code in the database, and then send output generated on the server (via calls to the "HTP.P" procedure) back to any element on the web page.

A more specific use case would be to respond to the clicking of a button by generating a fragment of HTML using PL/SQL, and then refresh a DIV on the page with that dynamically generated content. See the screenshot below for an example; notice that part of the first region has been updated with content generated on the server (more...)

Database (schema) backup to the cloud with PL/SQL

Uncategorized
| Aug 13, 2012
In my last blog post I described using the DBMS_DATAPUMP and DBMS_JOB packages to automate database schema backups from the database itself, rather than using batch files to do so. I also mentioned that "since the files are written to the database server itself, you need some kind of process to move the files to another server or storage location, so the backups don't disappear along with the database if the database server itself is somehow lost or corrupted. [One] option is to upload the backup file from the database to some online ("cloud") storage service, such as Amazon S3. (more...)

Simple database (schema) backup using PL/SQL

Uncategorized
| Jul 23, 2012
Usually, database backups are the responsibility of DBAs, and not something that developers really care or think too much about. However, if you are a lone developer, or part of a small team that doesn't have the luxury of having a dedicated DBA, then you might have to deal with backups yourself.

There are several ways to make Oracle backups; what I will be concentrating on here is the "Data Pump Export" method. You may already be familiar with the command-line "expdp" command which allows you to create a dump (.dmp) file containing your database objects (schemas, tables, procedures, (more...)

MS Exchange API for PL/SQL

Uncategorized
| May 26, 2012
As mentioned in my earlier post, I've been working on a PL/SQL wrapper for the Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS) API. The code is now ready for an initial release!



Features


Using this pure PL/SQL package, you will be able not just to search for and retrieve emails and download attachments, but you will also be able to create emails and upload attachments to existing emails. You can move emails between folders, and delete emails. You can read and create calendar items. You can get the email addresses of the people in a distribution (mailing) list, and more.

Prerequisites



A friend in need: Flashback Query

Uncategorized
| May 25, 2012

"It is sayd, that at the nede the frende is knowen."
- William Caxton: "Sonnes of Aymon" (1489)
"I say, that when you screw up, Flashback Query is a friend indeed!"
- Morten Braten: "SQLs of Oracle" (2012)

The Flashback Query feature of Oracle (10g) can be really helpful when you run that UPDATE or DELETE statement and then, after the COMMIT, you discover that you made a mistake!

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to look back and see what the data looked like before you messed things up? With a Flashback Query you (more...)

jQGrid Integration Kit for PL/SQL and Apex version 1.2 available

Uncategorized
| May 21, 2012
It's been over two years since I released the initial version of the jQGrid Integration Kit for PL/SQL and Apex.



Since then, I've added some additional features and fixed a few bugs:


Version 1.1


  • Procedure include_static_files_once will make sure required JS and CSS files are correctly included
  • Support for "popup_lov" column edit type
  • Procedure render_grid supports p_read_only parameter that can be used to set read-only dynamically
  • Support for some jQGrid built-in formatters based on Oracle column data type
  • Lists of values (select list variety, not Popup LOV) now support bind variables and Static LOVs
  • Date parser handles dates and (more...)

Select * from Inbox

Uncategorized
| May 1, 2012
... or how to read your (Microsoft Exchange) email using SQL and PL/SQL.

Introduction


You are probably familiar with sending email using PL/SQL; there's the UTL_SMTP package, the APEX_MAIL package, and various other utilities that do this.

But what about reading email using PL/SQL? You need to investigate the POP and IMAP protocols. A quick search on Google turns up some sample code and even a feature-rich package, although the latter requires Java in the database (which I try to avoid whenever possible, and which is not available in Oracle XE in any case).

Approaching this from a different angle, (more...)

Interesting PL/SQL and Apex links, April 2012

Uncategorized
| Apr 21, 2012
Here's a bunch of interesting stuff related to PL/SQL and Apex that I've come across lately, I'm posting it both as a reminder to myself, and to help spread the word:


  • First mention of PL/SQL enhancements for Oracle Database 12c: In his PL/SQL newsletter for March 2012, Steven Feuerstein revealed that "I've also started beta testing Oracle Database 12c PL/SQL. I can't yet share with you any of the new features, but I can tell you that PL/SQL will certainly be a richer, more usable language when 12c goes production!".
  • On that topic, a couple of things I (more...)

ROWID: "this dreadful identifier"

Uncategorized
| Mar 7, 2012
Today I'm taking a look at the core packages of the PL/SQL language, namely the STANDARD and DBMS_STANDARD packages in the SYS schema. These packages contain a lot of the language features we use every day in PL/SQL programming.

These two packages are special in that you do not need to qualify the name of functions, procedures and constants in these packages with the package name. For example, SYSDATE and USER and DECODE and so on are declared in the STANDARD package, but you can use it without having to specify STANDARD.SYSDATE or STANDARD.USER or STANDARD.DECODE (which (more...)

Windows NTLM SSO with Apex

Uncategorized
| Mar 1, 2012
I see this question being asked now and then:

Is it possible to set up my Oracle Application Express (Apex) application with Single Signon (SSO) based on Windows Integrated Security (NTLM), so that the end-users are automatically logged into the Apex application with their Windows (Active Directory) account without entering their username and password?

The answer is yes, but the implementation depends on your infrastructure, and specifically your web server:

  • If you are using Apache (Oracle HTTP Server), the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway (DBMS_EPG) or  the Apex Listener, then this post is not for you. There are various options such as (more...)

Thoth Gateway version 1.3.6 available

Uncategorized
| Feb 28, 2012

There is a new version of the Thoth Gateway, a mod_plsql replacement for IIS, available for download. The latest version is 1.3.6.

CC by Flickr user gzayatz


The previous version available for download was 1.3.0, so there are a number of enhancements and bug fixes rolled up into this release, including:


Version 1.3.6

Bug fix: Value of the CGI environment variable LOGON_USER was empty on IIS 7 running in Integrated pipeline mode: This was due to a breaking change on IIS 7. The Thoth Gateway now hooks into the PostAuthenticate event, rather than (more...)

NTLM for PL/SQL

Uncategorized
| Aug 3, 2011
NTLM, or more properly NTLMSSP is a protocol used on Microsoft Windows system as part of the so-called Integrated Windows Authentication.

Integrated Windows Authentication is also known as HTTP Negotiate authentication, NT Authentication, NTLM Authentication, Domain authentication, Windows Integrated Authentication, Windows NT Challenge/Response authentication, or simply Windows Authentication.



In Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), the system administrator can protect a website or folder with "Integrated Windows Authentication". When you browse to this website or folder, you must enter your Windows (domain) username and password to get access (although Internet Explorer will, depending on your security settings, send your credentials (more...)