Our Week at UKOUG

Earlier this month, Noel (@noelportugal) and I (@joybot12) represented the AppsLab crew at the UKOUG Apps 14 and Tech 14 conferences in Liverpool.

I conducted customer feedback sessions with users who fit the “c-level executive” user profile, to collect feedback on some of our new interactive data visualizations. Unfortunately, I can’t share any of these design concepts just yet, but I can share a bunch of pics of Noel, who gave several (more...)

Amazon Echo, The Future or Fad?

AmazonEcho

Last November Amazon announced a new kind of device. Part speaker, part personal assistant and it called it Amazon Echo. If you saw the announcement you might have also see their quirky infomercial.

The parodies came hours after their announcement, and they were funny. But dismissing this just as a Siri/Cortana/Google Now copycat might miss the potential of this “always listening” device. To be fair this is not the first device that can do this. (more...)

The Best Laid Plans

In a forum I contribute to the following question was asked:


Can adaptive cursor sharing (ACS) depend on execution order ?

The issue described a relatively basic query that changed execution plans apparently due to the order the query statements were run based on bind variable values. It’s an interesting issue that testing has verified. The tests are reproduced below, in abbreviated form, so let’s look at what was executed and what execution plans were used.

(more...)

New Adventures in Virtual Reality

Back in the early 90s I ventured into virtual reality and was sick for a whole day afterwards.

We have since learned that people become queazy when their visual systems and vestibular systems get out of sync. You have to get the visual response lag below a certain threshold. It’s a very challenging technical problem which Occulus now claims to have cracked. With ever more sophisticated algorithms and ever faster processors, I think we can soon (more...)

You Can Get There Making All Right-Hand Turns But …

It would appear that some DBAs are still using the optimizer_index_cost_adj parameter to make index access paths more ‘desirable’ to the optimizer. In decades past this might have been a good strategy however with the improvement in statistics gathering in recent relesaes of Oracle this might not be the case. Let’s look at an example to see why this might do more ‘harm’ than good.

The optimizer_index_cost_adj parameter was first provided in Oracle 9i as (more...)

Magical Links for a Tuesday in December

It’s difficult to make a link post seem interesting. Anyway, I have some nuggets from the Applications User Experience desk plus bonus robot video because it’s Tuesday.

Back to Basics. Helping You Phrase that Alta UI versus UX Question

Always entertaining bloke and longtime Friend of the ‘Lab, Ultan (@ultan) answers a question we get a lot, what’s the difference between UI and UX?

From Coffee Table to Cloud at a Glance: Free (more...)

About Proofs and Stories, in 4 Parts

Editor’s note: Here’s another new post from a new team member. Shortly after the ‘Lab expanded to include research and design, I attended a workshop on visualizations hosted by a couple of our new team members, Joyce, John and Julia. 

The event was excellent. John and Julia have done an enormous amount of critical thinking about visualizations, and I immediately started bugging them for blog posts. All the work and research they’ve done (more...)

Happy Thanksgiving

Editor’s note: Here’s a first post from one of our new team members, Thao Nguyen (@thaobnguyen), who runs our Emerging Interactions team, the Research and Design part of the R, D & D.

That last D is Development if that’s unclear. Anyway, like Thao says, Happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate it, and for those who don’t enjoy the silence in our absence. To Thao’s question, I’m going with Internet. Yes, it’s (more...)

Look What We Made

As a team-building activity for our newly merged team of research, design and development, someone, who probably wishes to remain nameless, organized a glass mosaic and welding extravaganza at The Crucible in Oakland.

We split into two teams, one MIG welding, the other glass breaking, and here’s the result.

Original image, glass before firing.

Original image, glass before firing.

Finished product, including frame.

Finished product, including frame.

All-in-all an interesting and entertaining activity. Good times were had by all, and no one was cut (more...)

In Deference

An interesting ‘problem’ surfaced a while ago, one where a user with zero quota on every tablespace could successfully create tables. Of course once it was time to insert data the inserts failed, but this was confusing the user creating the tables. The ‘problem’ stems from enabling deferred segment creation in the database. Let’s see how that can create a confusing situation,

Deferred segment creation allows tables and indexes to be created without physical segments (more...)

Why do you need to gather CBO Statistics?

As I help a peer with a SQL Tuning engagement, I face the frequent case of: “We do not want to gather CBO schema object statistics because we don’t want our Execution Plans to change”. Well, the bad news is that: not gathering stats only gives you a false sense of safety because your Execution Plans can change anyways. The reason has to do with Predicates referencing values out of range. Typical cases include range (more...)

ECO 2014 and Slides

Last week I attended the East Coast Oracle User Group conference, also known as ECO, in Raleigh, NC.  This being my first time at ECO, it was a good event for being a two day conference.  The low-key environment provided a nice, comfortable environment for interaction between the speakers and those in attendance.  If you ever have the chance to catch this conference, it would be a good one to attend.

What you can expect (more...)

Finding SQL with Performance changing over time

I upgraded my database a couple of weeks ago and now my users complain their application is slower. They do not provide specifics but they “feel” it is running slower. Sounds familiar?

Every once in a while I get a request that goes like this: “how can I find if some SQL on my database is performing worse over time?”

It is very hard to deal with the ambiguities of some problems like “finding (more...)

Oracle Open World 2014 Presentations Download

Oracle has made the presentations used at Open World 2014 available for download this time too. Here are all the ones that are related to PeopleSoft.

DBMS_SCHEDULER jobs running an hour late – DST/BST issues!

This week one of our developers highlighted the fact that the DBMS_SCHEDULER on one of our 11.2.0.3 databases was running jobs an hour later than scheduled until just recently, when the clocks went back (26/10/2014) for British Summer Time (BST) …and now they’re running on-time again! I’d not seen this before, and at first I thought we

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Memory Improvement

Oracle 12c (version 12.1.0.2) offers the option of using in-memory processing to speed things along. Called the In-memory option it’s installed when you install the 12.1.0.2 software. Using it can make a considerable difference in processing speed, provided you have sufficient resources (RAM) available. Let’s revisit an older example, on Bloom filters, and see if Oracle processes things any faster in-memory.

Looking again at the Bloom filter example using (more...)

Teaching an old dog to Fish

Inspired by the recent furore around Shellshock I decided that it was time to try an alternative to bash. By the very grown up process of shutting my eyes and poking my finger at the results of a search for “shell” I ended up at fish shell, described by the project as “a command line shell for the 90s”. I’m presuming that this means the 1990s and is not a minimum age requirement.

I’m (more...)

To Skip, Or Not To Skip

An interesting issue presented itself just recently with a logical standby database I manage. The database is used for generating reports and the client wanted to skip all DML activity for a given schema as it wasn’t necessary for reporting purposes. I had done this in version 10.2.0.x; it was a simple procedure on a low-traffic database:


alter database stop logical standby apply;
exec dbms_logstdby.skip('DML','','%')
alter database start logical standby apply;

(more...)

Map Reading

Consider the following concept: When you are born you are issued a map showing the direction your life will take. Along the way people will come into your life and help you make sense of parts of that map. You may not know these people at the time but they will be important in establishing where you are to be headed and possibly what you should be doing. Eventually you can read the entire map (more...)

eSP

eSPEnkitec’s Sizing and Provisioning (eSP) is a new internal tool designed and developed with Oracle Engineered Systems in mind. Thanks to the experience and insights from Randy Johnson, Karl Arao and Frits Hoogland, what began as a pet project for some of us, over time became an actual robust APEX/PLSQL application, developed by Christoph Ruepprich and myself, and ready to debut at Oracle Open World 2014.

This posting is about eSP, what it does, and (more...)