Oracle Dynamic SQL: generic search – simple case

It is a very common problem - how do you implement generic search over the table? By generic search I mean that users are provided with tons of different options that could be used in all possible permutations.

It leads to a standard problem - how do you make sure (more...)

Fun with CHAR

I'm busy deriving file layouts from PL/SQL. Probably close to 100 file definitions...each of them slightly different, each of them defined in the code. Fun!

There are a mixture of types too, fixed width, csv, etc. Thankfully, I've read enough of the code now that it's relatively easy to (more...)


I've been scratching my eyes out lately trying to reverse engineer some lots of PL/SQL.

One thing I've seen a lot of is calls to dbms_output.put_line. Fortunately, I've seen some dbms_application_info.set_module and other system calls too. But back to that first one.

1. When I used dbms_output, (more...)

The power of using records in APEX III

| Mar 14, 2013

In this post I’ll finish up the CRUD implementation using records, procedures and views. This series of blog posts started with this post which was followed by this.

At this point we have a working report that links to a form. The report is based on a view and the form is based on a procedure. At this point the form is only loading the record in using a procedure that uses a record in its signature. In this post we’ll complete the functionality by using the same form for insert, update, and delete functionality.

Let’s start with adding a (more...)


Like a middle aged man visiting the gym for the first time in 10 years, I am merely going to flex my blogging muscles here…

One of the recurring issues that annoys me on the OTN SQL & PL/SQL forum, and also the APEX forum is the misunderstanding of what (more...)

Interview with Yalim Gerger (CEO Formspider – the PL/SQL Web Framework)

| Feb 12, 2013
In every other profession having a 20 year experience is a good thing, in ours you are treated as a has-been who is kept around only to maintain the legacy system. This is insane.

Error Wrangling

Last week the OTN SQL and PL/SQL Forum hosted of those threads which generate heat and insight without coming to a firm conclusion: this one was titled WHEN OTHERS is a bug. Eventually Rahul, the OP, complained that he was as confused as ever. The problem is, his question asked for a proof of Tom Kyte's opinion that, well, that WHEN OTHERS is a bug. We can't proof an opinion, even an opinion from a well-respected source like Tom. All we can do is weigh in with our own opinions on the topic.

One of the most interesting things in (more...)

GOTOs, considered

Extreme programming is old hat now, safe even. The world is ready for something new, something tougher, something that'll... break through. You know? . And here is what the world's been waiting for: Transgressive Programming.

The Transgressive Manifesto is quite short:

It's okay to use GOTO.
The single underlying principle is that we value willful controversy over mindless conformity.

I do have a serious point here. Even programmers who haven't read the original article (because they can't spell Dijkstra and so can't find it through Google) know that GOTOs are "considered harmful". But as Marshall and Webber point out, (more...)

Tom Kyte lays down in one deck what Oracle Database 12c is all about

Tom Kyte on many new Database 12c features:     Via: ( Filed under: DB Architecture, Oracle 12c, plsql Tagged: LinkedIn, New Features, OOW, Oracle 12c, Tom Kyte

Fisher-Yates (Knuth) Shuffle in PL/SQL

We were recently looking for a way to easily anonymize some customer data, specifically bank account numbers.

Part of our testing mechanism is to verify that a bank account and sort-code combination is valid and we retrieve the bank details for that combination (using a commercial account lookup service).  So we couldn't just replace the sort-code and/or account number with random numbers.

Conversely, replacing all account numbers with a handful of known, "safe" working values would lead to skewed data spreads, so that wouldn't work.

A better solution is to shuffle the existing data, moving the sort-code and account (more...)

SQL Solution for the Third International NoCOUG SQL & NoSQL Challenge

SQL vs NoSQL: Third International NoCOUG SQL & NoSQL Challenge sponsored by Pythian
As published in the 102nd issue of the NoCOUG Journal


BE IT KNOWN BY THESE PRESENTS that the Wicked Witch of the West needs your help to create
a (more...)

Um patch para o SQL Navigator 6.7

| Jul 20, 2012
Para quem usa o SQL Navigator 6.7 e tem notado que "às vezes" prende, tal parece ter origem na "feature History" que guarda os SQL (tec..) efetuados e permite uma pesquisa nos mesmos. É possivel efetuar uma "limpeza dos comandos efetuados" antes de uma data data ou toidos de modo a evitar que o ficheiro fique muito grande (parece que apartir de 600K é que o problema é encontrado) "Before you deleting your history file, you can have a backup if needed, the history file is in: xp: C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Quest Software\SQL Navigator 6.6.0\Unified (more...)

How to simulate DML Operations on XML data using XU (XQuery Update)

The following SQL pattern can be used to simulate DML operations on XML data by utilizing XU (XQuery Update) functionalities.

This query will do the following XML data transformation by using XU insert/delete/rename/replace statements.

1) Convert all the XML Attributes to Elements.                ( XU Delete & Insert)

2) Change the  (more...)

Using SSL client certificates for authentication in UTL_HTTP

Starting from 11.2 its possible to use SSL client certificates to authenticate yourself to a remote web service using SSL client certificates. I did not find much information on it using Google or documentation, that is why I'm writing this post.

Please refer to this post by Tim Hall to get started on connecting to HTTPS service using UTL_HTTP, all of this is needed before continuing with SSL client certificate authentication.

The first thing you need is to generate user certificate request inside Oracle Wallet, sign it by CA and load the returned certificate back to Wallet. I'm not (more...)

How to validate XML data using XSD in Oracle XML DB

The following XML Schema can be used to validate the XML input data in the XML DB.

It enforces the following validation rules:

1) Parent_Tab/Parent_Row/dep_id is the (primary) key within Parent_Tab.
2) Parent_Tab/Parent_Row/dep_name should be one of the xs:enumeration list in DeptnameType and it is also unique within Parent_Tab.
3) (more...)

Calling Java procedure from database

Oracle Database has had the possibility to run Java code inside the database for a long time. It's a very rare occasion when you need to use it but still. Here is one example I used to download content from HTTPS website that required user certificates for authentication. Please take the code below more as an example how to put simple Java code inside the database, not as a solution for user certificates authentication, because UTL_HTTP can do the same thing (although I wasn't successful in implementing it under

First, load the Java source into database. (more...)

SQL Navigator 6.7 released

| May 9, 2012
Quest Software released the 6.7 version of SQL Navigator. Mainly it corrects some bugs.

How to do XML based data manipulation in SQL and XSLT

The following SQL pattern can be used to do XML based data manipulation and transformation by utilizing XSLT functionality.

This query will do the following data manipulation and transformation:

1) Rename the xml tag <FirstName> to <FN> when the position of the element node is
either the last one or (more...)

Parsing a CSV file in PL/SQL

The ability to parse a CSV file in PL/SQL seems like a simple requirement and one would think that you could either a) easily implement it yourself, or b) find some examples of it on the web.   Well if you have tried option A, you probably realized it gets real tricky when you have commas and double quotes in your actual data as well as having them as your deliminators and optionally enclosed by characters as well.  Plus all that substr‘ing and instr‘ing can really hurt your head after a while.  If you tried option B, then (more...)

How to do table column based data manipulation in SQL and XQuery

The following SQL pattern can be used to stragg all the table column data together
The STRAGG(column data) is grouped together based on the table column names.
This SQL also manipulates comma-delimited strings using XQuery functionalities.

(ID            NUMBER,