SQL vs. Excel – Subgroup medians

Recently I ran across this post on how to do subgroup medians in Excel 2010. First you need to create a pivot table, then “do some copying and pasting and use a formula to make it happen”. In SQL you can do this with one command.

Suppose that you have the same table as the Excel article, something like this:

CREATE TABLE sampletab
(arrest_day_of_week varchar2(10), 
arrest_ts TIMESTAMP, 
fingerprint_ts TIMESTAMP (more...)


For most of our database set-ups we use a different TEMP space for application users than for end-user/support/developer/reporting usage.
The intention is to minimise the potential impact of a rogue ad-hoc query on the main applicaiton.

However, turns out this is ineffective IF you use:


This is documented but I wasn’t previously aware.
No surprise that this learning opportunity was presented as a direct result of a rogue query (more...)

Who Rewrote My SQL?

There are several new features in Oracle 12c that are implemented under the hood by changing the SQL statement that we write to a different statement (e.g., by adding some hidden predicates).
In OUG Ireland 2016 I talked about two such features – In Database Archiving and Temporal Validity – as part of my “Write Less (Code) with More (Oracle12c New Features)” presentation. I usually talk about another such feature in this presentation (more...)

Gear up for #AIOUG OTN Yathra’ 2016

Guys, AIOUG is back again with OTN Yathra’ 2016. It is a series of technology evangelist events organized by All India Oracle Users Group in six cities touring across the length and breadth of the country. It was my extreme pleasure to be the part of it in 2015 and I’m pleased to announce that … Continue reading

Got anyone who needs April Fooling?

Do you have a sql*plus user who really needs an April Fool’s joke played on them? With a little editing to their glogin.sql, every sql*plus session will exit with what appears to be a pseudo-random TNS error.

(Note: assumes a *nix environment that has sed, grep, awk installed and oerr properly working.)

[oracle@localhost ~]$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/sqlplus/admin
[oracle@localhost admin]$ mv  (more...)

Temporal validity, multiple end dates

Recently I got involved in a question on Temporal Validity Periods together with Chris Saxon, one of the askTom-answer team.

The question was along the lines of: "What if I have a single start date but two possible end dates. One of the end dates is filled automatically by a background proces (could be a job) while the other one is to signal that the end date is set manually by the user. Could you (more...)


Recently I found that WINDOW NOSORT STOPKEY with RANK()OVER() works very inefficiently: http://www.freelists.org/post/oracle-l/RANKWINDOW-NOSORT-STOPKEY-stopkey-doesnt-work
The root cause of this behaviour is that Oracle optimizes WINDOW NOSORT STOPKEY with RANK the same way as with DENSE_RANK:

create table test(n not null) as 
  with gen as (select level n from dual connect by level<=100)
  select g2.n as n
  from gen g1, gen g2
  where g1.n<=10
create index ix_test on test(n)
exec  (more...)

Renaming #EM12c / #EM13c Targets

Oracle Enterprise Manager is a complex piece of software that many organizations are running now. Some organizations set out with a formalized naming standard; some do not. Those who do not ofter end up identifying a naming standard later down the road and then making requests to change the names of the targets being monitored. In order to do this, there are two ways:

1. Delete and rediscover the target and rename at time of (more...)

An old dog learns a new trick

Reports of this blogs death have been greatly exaggerated. It has been very quiet here though while I worked on getting the Swedish part of Miracle started. It is now rocking the Stockholm market so it’s time to get back into more geeky stuff.

Talking of which. I have encountered Liquibase for database versioning time after time and always come to the conclusion that it is not what a DBA want to use. I recently took (more...)

SQL: Texte mit Umlauten und Sonderzeichen normieren

Im heutigen Beispiel möchte ich einmal kurz aufzeigen, wie Sie einen Text nach Ihren Bedürfnissen hin normieren können. Ich habe dazu die bekanntesten Länder der Erde in einer WITH Clause zusammengefasst und bilde mir anhand des Namens einen später verwendbaren normierten String.

Der Zielstring muss GROSSGESCHRIEBEN sein und darf keine Umlaute (ÖÜÄöüäß) und Sonderzeichen (, '.()-) beinhalten.
Mehr »

if you write SQL, be specific!

Today  I got a ticket from a developer where he claimed Oracle has a bug somewhere. The reason for this claim was a statement similar to
FROM   table1
WHERE  tab1col1 IN
       (      SELECT 
              FROM   table2)

This query returned rows.

But when he run the inner query on it's own, he received
ORA-00904: "TAB1COL1": invalid identifier
00904. 00000 -  "%s: invalid (more...)

Show all views including a specific string

Seems to be a simple problem and easy to fix. Actually it is not because if you try one of these examples then you will fail:
Mehr »

Oracle Spatial (Teil 3) – Entfernung von Punkten berechnen

Im heutigen Blogpost möchte ich kurz anhand eines Beispiels aufzeigen, wie Sie die Entfernung von SDO_GEOMTRY Punkten berechnen können. Hierbei gehe ich auch konkret auf das Problem des Verbindens von zwei Datenmengen anhand einer definierten Entfernung ein.
Mehr »

Using Apache Drill REST API to Build ASCII Dashboard With Node

Read this article on my new blog Apache Drill has a hidden gem: an easy to use REST interface. This API can be used to Query, Profile and Configure Drill engine. In this blog post I will explain how to use Drill REST API to create ascii dashboards using Blessed Contrib. The ASCII Dashboard looks like Prerequisites Node.js Apache Drill 1.2 For this post, you will use the SFO

Did it really fix it 1: OFE & nasty FIRST_ROWS plan on

Plan degradations on upgrade are normal.

This one’s no different.

On further investigation, turned out application was setting optimizer_mode = first_rows somewhere.

First point about this is that first_rows really shouldn’t be used either as a hint or as an optimizer_mode.

What does FIRST_ROWS mean?
From 11g doco:

The optimizer uses a mix of costs and heuristics to find a best plan for fast delivery of the first few rows.

If any sort of (more...)

Roman numerals to decimal in SQL

Earlier this week I got tangled up doing a Roman Numeral conversion in my head. So of course my second thought, right after “Doh!”, was “I bet I can write a SQL statement to do this for me next time.”

The algorithm to convert roman numerals to decimal numbers is straightforward.

    For each character, starting from the RIGHT (lowest value Roman numeral):
  • Convert the character into the value it represents
  • If the character’s (more...)

SQL Tuning: Thinking in Sets / How and When to be Bushy

Below is a SQL statement from a performance problem I was looking at the other day.

This is a real-world bit of SQL which has slightly simplified and sanitised but, I hope, without losing the real-worldliness of it and the points driving this article.

You don’t really need to be familiar with the data or table structures (I wasn’t) as this is a commentary on SQL structure and why sometimes a rewrite is the best (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.


Fundamentals of SQL Writeback in Dodeca

One of the features of Dodeca is read-write functionality to SQL databases.  We often get questions as to how to write data back to a relational database, so I thought I would post a quick blog entry for our customers to reference.

This example will use a simple table structure in SQL Server though the concepts are the same when using Oracle, DB2, and most other relational databases.  The example will use a simple Dodeca (more...)

Add Color to your SQL

Topic: this post is about some simple techniques to add color to SQL scripts and their terminal output using ANSI escape codes.

Colors can be used to improve the output of command line tools. This is common practice, for example with the (bash) shell. Colors can also be very useful to improve the quality of the output of SQL scripts. In my experience this is not used frequently, probably because of the the need of (more...)