They Took Away My Cloud

On Monday, a U.S. judge gave Microsoft control of 22 domains owned by domain hosting service Microsoft intended to filter out some domains used by malware, but promptly screwed up. The result was that millions of legitimate users could not access their servers.

This will happen again and again as infrastructure moves to centralized cloud providers. What do you think will happen if the server just above yours in the server rack (more...)

Two milestones, one offer

I stumbled across a blogging milestone while fact checking what I was going to open this post with - for me this month represents 5 years of blogging.

In that time I've learnt heaps, met new people, changed blog name, visited other cities to speak, and dived deep into APEX after a long time in Oracle Forms, published a video series & was recognised as an Oracle ACE.

Turns out Packt Publishing are celebrating (more...)


Yesterday was my first day at 18F!

What is 18F? We're a small, little-known government organization that works outside the usual channels to accomplish special projects. It involves black outfits and a lot of martial arts.

Kidding! Sort of. 18F is a new agency within the GSA that does citizen-focused work for other parts of the U.S. Government, working small, quick projects to make information more accessible. We're using all the tricks: small teams, (more...)

APEX_ESCAPE, a new (and better) way of HTF.ESCAPE_SC

Last week, at the yearly ODTUG Kscope Conference, I did my presentation "Getting Started with APEX Plugin Development". After the session Patrick Wolf, Principal Member of Technical Staff for APEX, pointed out an improvement that could be made.
In the presentation I point out the need to escape the input that you get from a user of the plugin in order to protect the plugin from unwanted use, like SQL Injection, Cross Site Scripting (more...)

Development Platform Disconnect

Each year at the annual Oracle ACE Director briefing, I look around at the laptops my fellow ACE Directors are carrying. More and more of them are MacBooks – I think we were up to around 50% last year.

That makes it all the more puzzling that the installation guide for the latest version of Oracle JDeveloper (12.1.3) does not mention OS X installs at all. The 12.1.2 version had sections (more...)

The APEX_JSON package: Parsing JSON in PL/SQL

As I mentioned a year ago, it looks like Apex 5.0 will include a new package called APEX_JSON for parsing and generating JSON. In this blog post, I will take a quick look at the parsing, and the next blog post will be about generating JSON output.

Since Apex 5.0 is still in Early Adopter (beta) mode and not yet released for download, we can run a query against the data dictionary (more...)

Find problems when you develop: using XRebel with Oracle ADF

Some days before ZeroTurnaround has released XRebel , a new tool to recognized problems in your web applications, when you make your developer test.

This was promising, so I give it a short try for Oracle ADF applications. For this blog I use the Summit ADF application, delivered by Oracle, but I have tried with our own application too. Test is done in JDeveloper 12.1.2.

After the download there are some easy steps (more...)

Datenmodellierungsverfahren für das Core Data Warehouse

Wieder nur ein Link: aus dem Hause Trivadis stammt das white paper Comparison of Data Modeling Methods for a Core Data Warehouse, geschrieben vom Autorenteam Maren Eschermann, Adriano Martino und Dani Schnider (dem ich gelegentlich versprochen habe, seinen Namen nicht mehr falsch zu schreiben). Das Papier erläutert die folgenden Modellierungsverfahren:
  • Dimensional Core Modeling with dimensions and fact tables (basierend auf Kimballs Methodologie)
  • Relational Core Modeling with master data versioning
  • Data Vault Modeling with Hubs, (more...)

KScope14 – on my way home

For some reasons I got lounge access here at Seattle airport when going home fra KScope14. So I can use the last couple hours here lounging comfortably writing a few words about an awesome week here.

This was my fifth consecutive KScope and I plan to go every year. That is one awesome konference for developers and it just gets better every year. I'll be at KScope15 in Florida for sure! I had a great (more...)

SQL to find World Cup matches with comebacks

Lucas Jellema is writing a great series on SQL applied to the World Cup of football / soccer. In the article about finding matches with comebacks, he challenged readers to “find ‘dramatic comebacks’ where a team was two goals behind at some stage and yet managed to win the game.” Here is my reply, since replying […]

PDF über PL/SQL erzeugen

Zur Unterstützung meines unterstützungsbedürftigen Gedächtnisses: Morton Braten zeigt einige Möglichkeiten zur Erzeugung von PDF-Reports über PL/SQL.

Creating PDF reports from PL/SQL

Do you need to create PDF reports from PL/SQL?

There are a number of options:

  • Anton Scheffer wrote a PL/SQL package called AS_PDF3 that covers all the basics: Different fonts (including TrueType), images, and tables.
  • There's the commercial PL/PDF package that has more features, such as the ability to use existing PDF documents as templates for new documents, compression, encryption, and more. There's also an extra Toolkit component which allows you to extract pages from (more...)

Citizen + Open Data = $55,000 savings

Big Data is not necessarily about crunching massive amounts of data – it’s about finding unrealized value in a data set. This might be done on huge sets of billions of records, using Map/Reduce running on thousands of servers. But it might also be done at a smaller scale by a concerned citizen.

More and more data is being made available by municipalities and countries. These are typical “big data” collections: Just a bunch of (more...)

ODTUG Kscope 2014: Wednesday

The morning started nice, ODTUG organized breakfast with country themes. There were tables for Australia, Canada and The Netherlands. If you are Dutch you might have expected to have hagelslag or cheese, this was not the case. It was a nice and hearty American style breakfast, eggs, bacon, potatoes.
The first session of the day that I went to was by Nathan Catlow on Oracle APEX Security, an interesting topic.
Nathan pointed out that by (more...)

ODTUG Kscope 2014: Tuesday

Mark Drake, the product manager for XMLDB and the new JSON features in the database, started Tuesday with a session on flexible storage.
After a short history of the XMLDB ("more than just a LOB Store"), he went to the heart of the presentation: flexible storage.
In the upcoming release of the database there will also be JSON functionality built in. The JSON functionality won't have a separate datatype. By not introducing a separate JSON (more...)

For those not at Kscope14

Geographical, monetary or otherwise - some of us simply can't make it to the conference every Oracle developer should do at least once, or so I've heard.

For those of us stuck at home we do have some options.

1) ODTUG offers a LiveStream of selected presentations. 

I stayed up past my bedtime to watch Patrick Wolf introduce the APEX 5.0 Page Designer. I look forward to watching the recording of Shakeeb Rahman (more...)

Conditional uniqueness

A quick fly through the options for conditional uniqueness.

Requirement #1: I want uniqueness on a column but only under certain conditions.

For example, I have an active flag and I want to make sure there is only one active record for a particular attribute but there can be many inactive rows.

Initial setup:

create table t1
(col1      number       not null
,col2      varchar2(24) not null
,is_active number(1)    not null
,constraint pk_t1 primary key (col1)
,constraint  (more...)

Oracle XE 11g Win64 on Microsoft Azure cloud

(Or: "How to build your own Oracle Cloud in 25 minutes"... ! )

After downloading the recently released Oracle Express Edition for 64-bit Windows, I decided to test it out on a Windows Server 2008 R2 running in the Azure cloud (recently renamed from "Windows Azure" to "Microsoft Azure").

Here are the high-level steps needed to get this up and running:

  1. Sign up for Azure and login to the management portal.
  2. Create a new Virtual (more...)

Oracle Express Edition (XE) 11g for Windows 64 bit

As announced by Kris Rice (who is the product manager for SQL Developer, Apex Listener and Oracle XE), the Oracle Express Edition (XE) Database version 11g is now (finally!) available for 64-bit Windows.

It's been a looong wait; the 64-bit version for Windows was expected to be released around the same time as the 32-bit version, some 3 years ago.

Anyway, it's here now, which is great! Thanks Kris! :-)

Oracle Express Edition 11g (more...)

ODTUG Kscope 2014: Monday

Monday morning started with the opening keynote. At the same time the Dutch soccer team played Chile (which the Dutch won with 2-0). A small Dutch delegation went to watch the game, all dressed in orange, I was one of them.
During the keynote the location of Kscope 2015 was announced: Hollywood, Florida.
Lunch was special, there were lunch and learn. There were "reserved" tables were you could sit on and talk tech with ACE (more...)