On An Average Day

"There are other advantages," continued the child. "For instance, if one rat were cornered by nine cats,
on the average, each cat would be ten percent rat and the rat would be ninety percent cat. If you happened
to be a rat, you can see how much nicer it would make things."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Recently an interesting question appeared on “Ask Tom” with regard to the ‘average’ between two dates. (more...)

BIAC Connected Communities, Connected Lives Hackathon

A couple weeks ago Noel (@noelportugal) and I were invited by the Oracle Apps UX Innovation Labs team to collaborate as technical mentors and judges in BIAC Connected Communities, Connected Lives hackathon.


What would be the best place to hold a hackathon? Cancún. Beautiful weather, beautiful beach, Mexican food, what else could I ask for?

This hackathon was organized around the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy (more...)

The Appslab’s Latest Inter-state Adventure: A Site Visit to Micros


Probably the best way to get to know your users is to watch them work, in their typical environment. That, and getting to talk to them right after observing them. It’s from that perspective that you can really see what works, what doesn’t, and what people don’t like. And this is exactly what we want to learn about in our quest to improve our users’ experience using Oracle software.

That said, we’ve been eager (more...)

Blast from the Past: Gesture-Controlled Robot Arm

Hard to believe it’s been nearly three years since we debuted the Leap Motion-controlled robot arm. Since then, it’s been a mainstay demo for us, combining a bit of fun with the still-emergent interaction mechanism, gesture.

Anthony (@anthonyslai) remains the master of the robot arm, and since we lost access to the original video, Noel (@noelportugal) shot a new one in the Gadget Lab at HQ where the robot arm continues (more...)

The Nextbit Robin

For a couple of months, I’ve been using as my main phone the Nextbit Robin. A $299 Android phone that started as a campaign in Kickstarter, and it got 3,611 backers including Jake (@jkuramot).

I previously had my Nexus 5, but over the time, Bluetooth stopped working and that was a good excuse to try this phone.

Also I was so excited because at SXSW I had a long talk with the Nextbit (@ (more...)

Size Does Matter

"You see, to tall men I'm a midget, and to short men I'm a giant;
to the skinny ones I'm a fat man, and to the fat ones I'm a thin man."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Someone in one of the Oracle forums asked the following question:

How to estimate datafile size of tablespace when it is almost full? Could someone please explain?

which is ambiguous to say the least, since no (more...)

Ultra Subjective Space

Architects design space. A building is just a way to create spaces. Information architects at Oracle design relationships with abstract concepts. So far the main way we have to create visible spaces for our users is by projecting pixels onto glass screens.

This may change someday. If the promise of virtual reality is ever achieved, we may be able to sculpt entirely new realities and change the very way that people experience space.


The AppsLab (more...)

From BI to AI: Whose Intelligence is Better?

Numbers are a property of the universe. Once Earthians figured that out, there was no stopping them. They went as far as the Moon.

We use numbers in business and life. We measure, we look for oddities, we plan. We think of ourselves as rational.

I, for one, like to look at the thermometer before deciding if I shall go out in flip-flops or uggs. But I cannot convince my daughter to do the same. She (more...)

He’s Making A List

"But I suppose there's a lot to see everywhere, if only you keep your eyes open."
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Recently a tweet by Chris Saxon (@chrisrsaxon) with respect to SQL, the language and implementation, started a list of contributions which should cause people to think a bit differently about how the language works and how queries should be structured. The list, found here, is by no stretch of the imagination (more...)

ODTUG Kscope16

Just like last year, a few members (@jkuramot, @noelportugal, @YuhuaXie, Tony and myself) of @theappslab attended Kscope16 to run a Scavenger Hunt, speak and enjoy one of the premier events for Oracle developers. It was held in Chicago this time around, and here are my impressions.

Lori and Tony Blues

Lori and Tony Blues

Since our Scavenger Hunt was quite a success the previous year, we were asked to run it again to spice up the conference a (more...)

Examining The Remains

"Don't you know anything at all about numbers?"
"Well, I don't think they're very important," snapped Milo, too embarrassed to admit the truth.
"NOT IMPORTANT!" roared the Dodecahedron, turning red with fury.  "Could you have tea for two 
without the two, or three blind mice without the three? Would there be four corners of the earth 
if there weren't a four? And how would you sail the seven seas without a seven?"

Kscope16 Scavenger Hunt


Are you attending Kscope16? If so, you are in luck, the @appslab team will be back this year (by popular demand) to do a Scavenger Hunt. This year there are even more chances to win, plus check out these prices:

  • First place: DJI Phantom Drone
  • Second place: Amazon Echo
  • Third place: Raspberry Pi

Our first scavenger hunt took place last year at Kscope15. After that we replicated the experience for OOW15 and then for UKOUG15. We have had great (more...)

“It Doesn’t Work”

“Since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking.”
— Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

The Devil is in the details, however, in support forums and newsgroups, the Devil is just as present when the details are either sketchy or non-existent. Volunteers in such forums and newsgroups quite often hear the dreaded words “it doesn’t work”, followed by … nothing. No (more...)

“It’s … MUTATING!!!!”

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between.” 
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth   

The mutating table error (ORA-04091) thrown by Oracle can be a familiar sight throughout a DBA’s career, along with the usual question of ‘Why?’. The error itself is not difficult to understand nor is it hazardous to the table data. Let’s look at why the error is thrown, why it’s (more...)

#DBADev (Ops), who knows what is going on…

I have been considering writing this article for quite some time now.
APEX Connect 2016 in Germany’s capital Berlin and the DOAG Database days have finally persuaded me to talk more about #DBADev, let me explain why…

Whenever in the stone age…

During my career as DBA, I was always working closely together with Oracle Forms & Reports developers. In retrospect, the cooperation in that time was remarkable.
These Forms & Reports developers had always (more...)

Repeat After Me

“every time you decide something without having a good reason, you jump to Conclusions whether you like it or not.” 
-- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

In an Oracle forum recently the following question was posted:

I have a request for 3 indices as shown below. Does the 1st index suffice for 2 and 3?  Do I need all 3?


DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM and Risk Perception

Source: DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM and Risk Perception

Why GUI sucks…

Of course we all know GUI stands for Graphical User Interface, just as CLI stands for Command Line Interface, right!
Or, rather, a GUI is this nice, flashy screen where you can easily roam with your mouse, comparable to a multiple choice quiz, where the right answer is there for the picking.
A CLI on the other hand is this dark, mysterious blinking cursor… Nothing happens unless you know more or less what (more...)

Sangam 15

This was my 6th year at Sangam and as always was good fun. We were a group of 4 people who were traveling from Delhi and we reached Hyderabad on Friday morning. Just wanted to keep a day for visiting Ramoji Film City and also wanted to avoid the rush that morning travel on the conference’s starting day brings. So after dropping the luggage at the hotel we hired a taxi and reached Ramoji Film City. (more...)


This blog post is inspired on work I have been doing on Standard Edition databases and the returning confusion about what is and what is not part of Standard Edition.

DBA_FEATURE_USAGE_STATISTICS is a tool in determining license usage for the Oracle database. It is good to understand the implications of each entry, know what is happening in your database and thus be able to have a substantial conversation about the usage of your license, being (more...)