The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN: The story so far (Part 11–23)

On the Toad World site, I’m writing a series of blog posts and Wiki articles on the subject of EXPLAIN PLAN. I’m using EXPLAIN PLAN as a motif to teach not just SQL tuning but also relational theory, logical database design, and physical database design. In a year’s time, I hope to have enough material for […]

Oracle 12c: Temporal Validity, multiple on one table

During a trial run for my presentation at Oracle Open World "Oracle 12c for Developers", you can find the slides on slideshare. there was a question regarding "Temporal Validity".
What is Temporal Validity?
The documentation says it best:

Temporal Validity Support lets you associate one or more valid time dimensions with a table and have data be visible depending on its time-based validity, as determined by the start and end dates or time stamps of (more...)

DBMS_UTILITY.EXPAND_SQL_TEXT and temporal validity in 12c

12c gave us two new features among others: DBMS_UTILITY.EXPAND_SQL_TEXT and temporal validity. DBMS_UTILITY.EXPAND_SQL_TEXT is advertised as a means to expand SQL text that is using views, but it is also very useful to see how Oracle internally rewrites some SQL queries. Here I'm going to use it to see how temporal validity queries are actually executed. All tests are done using Enterprise Edition.

First I'll create a table for (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...)

My Speaking Schedule for Oracle Open World 2014

A quick post to let you know about the two presentations that I’ll be doing at Oracle Open World 2014.

Session ID:         UGF4482
Session Title:     “Getting Started with SQL Pattern Matching in Oracle Database 12c
Venue / Room:  Moscone South – 301
Date and Time:  9/28/14, 13:30 – 14:15

Session ID:          CON4493
Session Title:      “Regular Expressions (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...)

★ 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...)

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...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN: The story so far

Part 1—DON’T PANIC: Even experienced application developers may not understand EXPLAIN PLAN output. As the great Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci said in his dicourse on painting: “Those who are in love with practice without science are like the sailor who gets into a ship without rudder or compass, who is never certain where he […]

MEMBER OF comparison of PL/SQL and SQL

In the Kscope14 sunday symposium today, Steven Feuerstein explained that MEMBER OF syntax was slow in SQL and fast in PL/SQL. I challenged him that perhaps it was missing indexes on the nested table? My mistake - I got the task of testing it and see if that was the case... So I tested and was surprised at the answer.

I'm creating a nested table type and a table with a column of that type (more...)

Literally speaking

Reading Scott Wesley's blog from a days ago, and he made a remark about being unable to concatenate strings when using the ANSI date construct.

The construct date '1900-01-01' is an example of a literal, in the same way as '01-01' is string literal and 1900 is a numeric literal. We even have use some more exotic numeric literals such as 1e3 and 3d .

Oracle is pretty generous with implicit conversions from strings (more...)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN (Act II)

Over at ToadWorld … Part 5: SQL Sucks! Part 6: Trees Rule Part 7: Don’t pre-order your EXPLAIN PLAN Part 8: Tree Menagerie The story so far: A relational database is “a database in which: the data is perceived by the user as tables (and nothing but tables)  and the operators available to the user for (for […]

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN

On the Toad World site, I’m publishing a whole series of short blog posts on the subject of EXPLAIN PLAN. I’m actually using EXPLAIN PLAN as a central motif to teach not just SQL tuning but relational theory, logical database design, and physical database design. In a year’s time, I hope to have enough material for […]

Some things to share…

I have been awfully quiet on my blog lately. I think that is because I have been busy with other things, like my garden and stuff like that. There are some ‘techie’ thing I have done in the meantime, though,

Tech14-Ive_SubmittedI have submitted a couple of abstracts for Tech14. Hope at least one of them gets selected. I really like presenting and if it is in a different country, that is just a plus. That (more...)

Inserts on HCC tables

There are already a lot of blogposts and presentations done about Hybrid Columnar Compression and i am adding one more blogpost to that list. Recently i was doing some small tests one HCC and noticed that that inserts on a HCC row didn’t got compressed and yes i was using direct path loads:

DBA@TEST1> create table hcc_me (text1 varchar2(4000)) compress for archive high;

Table created.

KJJ@TEST1> insert /*+ append */ into hcc_me select dbms_random.string('x',100)  (more...)

Current_Schema and the Data Dictionary

Being a huge fan of Logger, the PL/SQL logging utility, I really wanted this be to included in the project that I'm currently working on. So I downloaded it (link at the bottom of this blog) and included it in our deployment scripts. Done.... at least I thought so, but of course this wasn't the case.

The regular install script for Logger looks something like the following (parts removed and table names are changed):

set (more...)


plsql_logoThere is a ‘rule’, I think it was created by Tom Kyte, stating: If you can do it in SQL, do it in SQL. I came across some code the other day that makes perfect sense to do then you are running an Oracle 10g (or earlier) instance. I rewrote the code to use only the EMP and DEPT tables to protect the suspects and maybe innocent.

The function defined is something like this:

Yet Another Elementary SQL Bug


sokrates@12.1 > select banner from v$version;

Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production
PL/SQL Release - Production
CORE	Production
TNS for Linux: Version - Production
NLSRTL Version - Production

sokrates@12.1 > select value from nls_database_parameters where parameter='NLS_CHARACTERSET';

sokrates@12.1 > ! (more...)

How 2 Bytes can fit into 1 Byte

Chris Saxon posted a nice quiz regarding a pitfall when creating tables with VARCHAR2-columns: when you are not explicit in specifying the length-semantics ( CHAR or BYTE ), a session parameter, which may vary, is used.

This is a short follow-up of his story, which shows more pitfalls when creating views and selecting from those.
We end up in a structure which can – by definition – contain only 1 byte, but actually shows containing (more...)



This year, from June 22 - June 26, the best convention in the world, ODTUG’s KScope14 will be held in Seattle, Washington. I am already looking forward to meeting some ‘old’ friends again, creating new friends and seeing some of the best content by presenters from all over the world.

Some of the presentations I am looking forward to:

In the Developer’s Toolkit track: