A friend in need: Flashback Query

| 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

| 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

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


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

| 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"

| 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

| 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...)