APEX: Active Tabs Based on Page Groups

Recently someone asked me: "How did you do that? When I include an APEX page in a Page Group, the correct tab is automatically highlighted"
When I setup an application, I usually use Dimitri Gielis' method, so instead of using "real tabs", I use a List and display that list as Tabs.
For each of the "Tabs", I also create Page Groups, just to keep things organized.
Each of the List Entries will have a (more...)

Alexandria PL/SQL Utility Library moved to GitHub

The PL/SQL Utility Library, codenamed "Alexandria", now has a new home at GitHub. This will make it easier to collaborate on the project. If you want to contribute, just fork and submit a pull request.


The liibrary contains around 50 PL/SQL packages as well as a few types. There are no table dependencies, which reflects the general-purpose nature of the utilities. Jeffrey Kemp has a great guided tour of the library which highlights some of (more...)

2014 Annual SQL Championship

Steven Feuerstein runs a great site at PL/SQL Challenge that is just another way for developers to stay up to date with their knowledge of PL/SQL, SQL and database design with a bit of fun.

PL/SQL championships are held quarterly, but the less frequent SQL and Database Design quizzes are currently held annually. Thanks to persistence and maybe a bit of experience, I was eligible to compete in both.

Unfortunately do to a timing issue, (more...)

Functions bar NDS

My students asked if you could embed an OFFSET x ROWS FETCH NEXT y ROWS ONLY clause in a SQL Server T-SQL user-defined function. The answer is no, it isn’t Oracle (yes, you can do that in Oracle Database 12c with an NDS statement). There’s an example in Chapter 2 of my Oracle Database 12c PL/SQL Programming book if you’re interested. I also demonstrate a different approach to SQL Server T-SQL table functions in (more...)

Filtering String Dates

A question came up about how to verify dates from a string without throwing a casting error because of a non-conforming date. You can throw a number of exceptions, and I wrote a function to filter bad string formats like the DD-MON-RR or DD-MON-YYYY.

The first one is for a day between 1 and the last day of month, which is:

ORA-01847: day of month must be between 1 and last day of month

An (more...)

PL/SQL Fall Through?

Somebody wants to know how you can write a PL/SQL solution that mimics the fall through of a switch statement because PL/SQL doesn’t support a switch statement. It’s a question that I found interesting because there wasn’t a need for it when I figured out what he wanted to accomplish. Essentially, he wanted to know how to implement a nested loop where the first loop runs in ascending order and the nested loop runs in (more...)

Oracle 12c WITH inline PL/SQL

I've been having a bit of a play with the Oracle 12c database over the past few days and I thought I'd mention a gotcha I encountered.

Of course, oracle-base is a great place to start for clear & concise information on new features and I was trying out some of the WITH clause enhancements (a.k.a. subquery factoring clause). As a developer I'm pretty excited about these in particular.

Creating inline functions (more...)

Why is it not possible to raise an exception when handling no_data_needed ?

It seems impossible to raise an exception when handling no_data_needed.

See

create or replace function demo return sys.odciNumberList pipelined
as
begin
  pipe row(1);
  pipe row(1/0);
exception when others then
  dbms_output.put_line('in exception handler, sqlcode: ' || sqlcode);
  raise program_error;
end;
/

sokrates@11.2 > select * from table(demo());
ERROR:
ORA-06501: PL/SQL: program error
ORA-06512: at "SOKRATES.DEMO", line 8
ORA-01476: divisor is equal to zero



no rows selected

in exception handler, sqlcode: -1476

As (more...)

PL/SQL Challenge Roundtable

Do you write PL/SQL? Me too!

Trouble is, sometimes it's hard to decide how to structure your packages - particularly in an APEX project. Over at the PL/SQL Challenge website run by Steven Feuerstein and friends there is a page dedicated to roundtable discussions.

I submitted my question not so long ago and hope to get some interesting responses. Why don't you give the site a visit and contribute? The discussions usually last for about (more...)

Code can be scary when you simplify it

Disclaimer: I’m not posting to make me look better, we’ve all written code that we’re later ashamed of, and I’m no different!

This is some code from a system I was maintaining some time ago. I’ve kept it since then because it illustrates a number of things NOT to do:

FUNCTION password_is_valid
  (in_password IN VARCHAR2)
-- do NOT copy this code!!! ...
  RETURN VARCHAR2 IS
  l_valid VARCHAR2(1);
  l_sql VARCHAR2(32000);
  CURSOR cur_rules IS
    SELECT REPLACE(sql_expression
                  ,'#PASSWORD#'
                  ,''''  (more...)

NYOUG Training Event: "High Performance PL/SQL" on Nov 7 2014

If you want to be able to create contemporary high-performing PL/SQL code, welcome to my training event in NYC (hosted by NYOUG) on November 7, 2014:

http://nyoug.org/event/nyoug-fall-2014-training-event-high-performance-plsql/?instance_id=258

I think, it is as important as ever to follow best practices for server-side development. There are lots of options that could get the job done "now", but very few that would survive for months/years. Also, there is a constant pressure from various "alternative" solutions to (more...)

DBMS_REDACT and complete ROW update

My session on "Oracle 12c for Developers" is done.Afterwards someone asks the question:

What happens when you use DBMS_REDACT with a complete row update?
My guess was that it would place the redacted data in the column, but I haven't tried it, so here goes:


create table emp
as
select ename
,to_char (abs (dbms_random.random)) credit_card
from scott.emp
;


begin
dbms_redact.add_policy
(object_schema => 'A'
,object_name => 'EMP'
,policy_name => 'Hide Creditcard'
,expression (more...)

My new book

It seems to me that I talked about my most recent book everywhere except for my own blog... So, let me introduce you a one and only performance tuning book dedicated to PL/SQL:


This book took me much longer to write than I initially anticipated - and to be fair, that's the reason for staying quiet at the blog. I just didn't have time/energy to write everywhere :-) Although, it was fun writing - (more...)

5 minutes: Grant Role to Package

The EOUC (EMEA Oracle User Group Community) hosts a special session on sunday during Oracle Open World. This session contains twelve things about Oracle 12c. Each of these 12 things is hosted by a different speaker, so this means that each section is only five minutes long (Strictly guarded by Debra Lilley).
Thankfully I was chosen to be one of the speaker during this special session, very excited and also very scared. (more...)

Order, Order.. Sorting Happens Last

While preparing for my session at Oracle Open World on "Oracle 12c for Developers" I ran into a little remarkable thing.

When sorting a dataset, the sorting is always done last. That is what I was taught anyway. There is probably some obscure way to detect the exact execution plan, but personally I never bothered to go and investigate.
When I was created some test scripts I found there was a way to see that (more...)

Time to resurrect blogging!

Sorry for staying quiet for some time, but for some good reasons. Some of these reasons will be explained in later posts, but for now I would like to share the story I wrote upon request of Steven Feuerstein, who asked to tell how PL/SQL impacted our life. Here is my story:

-----------------
I started to work with databases already in college, but more from the data modelling/business analysis angle. When I moved to (more...)

★ Database as a Storage (DBaaS) vs. Thick Database

A recent addition to my Oracle PL/SQL library is the book Oracle PL/SQL Performance Tuning Tips & Techniques by Michael Rosenblum and Dr. Paul Dorsey.

I agree with Steven Feuerstein’s review that “if you write PL/SQL or are responsible for tuning the PL/SQL code written by someone else, this book will give you a broader, deeper set of tools with which to achieve PL/SQL success”.

In the foreword of the book, Bryn Llewellyn writes:

The (more...)

Avoid UTL_FILE_DIR Security Weakness – Use Oracle Directories Instead

Integrigy:

The UTL_FILE database package is used to read from and write to operating system directories and files. By default, PUBLIC is granted execute permission on UTL_FILE. Therefore, any database account may read from and write to files in the directories specified in the UTL_FILE_DIR database initialization parameter [...] Security considerations with UTL_FILE can be mitigated by removing all directories from UTL_FILE_DIR and using the Directory functionality instead.


© Eddie Awad's Blog, (more...)

New in Oracle 12c: Querying an Associative Array in PL/SQL Programs

I was aware that up to Oracle 11g, a PL/SQL program wasn’t allowed use an associative array in a SQL statement. This is what happens when I try to do it.

SQL> drop table test_array purge;

Table dropped.

SQL> create table test_array as
  2  select level num_col from dual
  3  connect by level <= 10;

Table created.

SQL> select * from test_array;

   NUM_COL
----------
         1
         2
         3
         4
         5
         6
         7
         8
         9
        10                                                                      

10  (more...)

Are You Using BULK COLLECT and FORALL for Bulk Processing Yet?

Steven Feuerstein was dismayed when he found in a PL/SQL procedure a cursor FOR loop that contained an INSERT and an UPDATE statements.

That is a classic anti-pattern, a general pattern of coding that should be avoided. It should be avoided because the inserts and updates are changing the tables on a row-by-row basis, which maximizes the number of context switches (between SQL and PL/SQL) and consequently greatly slows the performance of the code. Fortunately, (more...)