The Dependency Inversion Principle: a practical example

These design principles may seem rather academic, so let's look at a real life demonstration of how applying Dependency Inversion Principle lead to an improved software design.

Here is a simplified version of an ETL framework which uses SQL Types in a similar fashion to the approach described in my blog post here. The loading process is defined using an abstract non-instantiable Type like this:

create or replace type load_t force as object
( txn_date (more...)

Introducing the RCCASS design principles

Rob C Martin actually defined eleven principles for OOP. The first five, the SOLID principles, relate to individual classes. The other six, the RCCASS principles, deal with the design of packages (in the C++ or Java sense, i.e. libraries). They are far less known than the first five. There are two reasons for this:

  • Unlike "SOLID", "RCCASS" is awkward to say and doesn't form a neat mnemonic. 
  • Programmers are far less interested in (more...)

Introducing the SOLID design principles

PL/SQL programming standards tend to focus on layout (case of keywords, indentation, etc), naming conventions, and implementation details (such as use of cursors).  These are all important things, but they don't address questions of design. How easy is it to use the written code?  How easy is it to test? How easy will it be to maintain? Is it robust? Is it secure?

Simply put, there are no agreed design principles for PL/SQL. So it's (more...)

Also Extensions Created Because of SQL Plan Directives Can Invalidate Packages – Take Two

In a previous post I described a situation where the creation of an extension, independently of whether it’s carried out manually by a person or automatically by the database engine, can lead to the invalidation of PL/SQL objects. In this second post on that subject, I describe, with the help of an example (I love examples!) based on the extension_invalidate_pkg_remote.sql script, what can happen when the table on which the extension is created (more...)

Default parameter values in package subprograms

For a procedure (or function) in a package, you can assign default values only in the package specifications without assigning them in the package body:

PROCEDURE set_global (p_num IN NUMBER DEFAULT 1);

Package TEST_DEFAULT_PKG compiled

No errors.
PROCEDURE set_global (p_num IN NUMBER) AS

Package body TEST_DEFAULT_PKG compiled


PL/SQL context switch

Whenever you use PL/SQL in SQL statements, the Oracle engine needs to switch from doing SQL to doing PL/SQL, and switch back after it is done. Generally, this is called a “context switch”. This is an example of that:

-- A function that uses PL/SQL 
create or replace function add_one( value number ) return number is
        l_value number(10):= value;
        return l_value+1;
-- A SQL statement that uses the PL/SQL function
select sum(add_one(id))  (more...)

Logical operators in RETURN clause of a function

Here is what I learnt today.

You can use logical operators in the RETURN clause of a function whose return type is BOOLEAN. So for example, you can write a function with the following structure:

create or replace function test_fn(p_param varchar2)
return boolean
l_value varchar2(10):= 'TEST';
return false
or p_param = l_value
or length(p_param) = 5 ;
show errors;

The logical truth table is used to evaluate the expression in the RETURN clause (more...)

My Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards 2015

Earlier this week, Santa's little helper (ie DHL) knocked on my door and delivered a package containing my trophies from the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards 2015. I was nominated in three categories, and won awards in two of them: Application Express and ORDS.

Here's a video from the award ceremony at Oracle OpenWorld 2015:

I'd like to send a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for me, and also to Oracle for (more...)

Updating Identity Columns

During my presentation "Oracle 12c for Developers" at the Sloveninan and Croatian User Groups I got the same question twice about Indentity Columns:

Is it possible to update an Identity Column?
During the presentation I show how it is not possible to insert a value for a "Generated Always Identity" column.
Let's take a look at an example:

SQL> create table t
2 (id number generated as identity
3 ,name varchar2(35)
4 );

Table created.


Oracle package for HTTPS/HTTP[version 0.2]

A couple days ago i created simple package for HTTPS/HTTP, but I’ve decided now to improve it:

  1. Timeout parameter – it would be better to control connection time;
  2. Simple page parsing with PCRE regular expressions – to speed up and simplify page parsing, because if you want to get big number matched expressions from CLOB with regexp_xxx oracle functions, you have to call these functions many times with different [occurance] parameters, passing/accessing to the (more...)

Very simple oracle package for HTTPS and HTTP

I don’t like to import certificates, so i cannot use httpuritype for HTTPS pages and I decided to create package which will work with https as http.
It was pretty easy with java stored procedures :)

java source: xt_http.jsp
create or replace and compile java source named xt_http as
package org.orasql.xt_http;



Often, the biggest problem with regular expressions is that those who use them sometimes don’t use them correctly. A great example occurs in the Oracle Database with the REGEXP_LIKE function. For example, some developer use the following to validate whether a string is a number but it only validates whether the first character is a number.

  lv_input  VARCHAR2(100 (more...)

Sending SMS text messages from PL/SQL

Do you need to send SMS (Short Message Service) text messages from your Oracle database using PL/SQL? This is actually quite easy to do, the only hard part is deciding on which SMS gateway to use. You need to sign up with a gateway provider to get a username and password to use the gateway, and you typically pay some cents for each message you send.

Do a google search for "sms gateway api (more...)

My nominations for the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards 2015

I'm honored to have been nominated for the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards 2015, in no less than three (!) categories: PL/SQL, Application Express (Apex) and Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS).

Here's a short video that explains what the Oracle Database Developer Choice Awards are all about:

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you are probably familiar with my contributions to the Oracle Database Developer community, but here is (more...)


Using Oracle’s Resource Manager requires you to understand the IO dynamics. The first step requires you to run the CALIBRATE_IO procedure from the DBMS_RESOURCE_MANAGER package.

Oracle provides some great examples about how to use the CALIBRATE_IO procedure of the DBMS_RESOURCE_MANAGER package in the Oracle Database Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference. The CALIBRATE_IO procedure returns the best answer when you provide a valid number of files, which you can capture by querying the V$ASM_DISK view.


Autonomous transaction to the rescue

Rounding Amounts, the missing cent: with the MODEL clause

Rounding amounts may lead to rounding-issues, I have written how this may be resolved in a previous blogpost using some analytic functions.
Playing around a little bit, I also came up with a method to resolve the rounding difference with the MODEL clause.

To create an example, first let's create a table with only three records in it.

SQL> create table t
2 as
3 select rownum + 42 id
4 from dual
5 connect (more...)

Rounding Amounts, the missing cent

Dividing a certain amount over several rows can be quite tricky, simply rounding can lead to differences.
Let me try to explain what I mean. When you need to divide 100 by 3, the answer is 33.333333333333 (and a lot more threes).
Money only goes to cents, so if each one gets 33.33, there is a cent missing. (3 times 33.33 equals 99.99)
To solve this cent-problem, we decide that the (more...)

PL/SQL: The Good Parts

Somewhat inspired by Douglas Crockford's Javascript: The Good Parts presentation (and book), I have created a presentation called PL/SQL: The Good Parts.

This is not intended as an introduction to PL/SQL, but rather an overview of features you should consider if you want to maximize your enjoyment of programming in the Oracle Database. Also, this is not an exhaustive list of all features, it's simply the ones I personally use frequently.

Note that unlike (more...)

ORA-22926 when using getClobVal to convert XMLType to CLOB

I ran into a problem the other day when moving some code from one database to another (both XE 11g). The code in question needs to convert an XMLType to a CLOB to do some (hacky) string manipulation on it, and then turn it back to an XMLType.

Here's the original code:

  l_xml := apex_web_service.make_request(...);
  -- little hack to remove bad empty namespace from result
  l_clob := l_xml.getClobVal();