Darth Debbie has just launched a surprise attack using her current favourite weapon. Never get into a snowball fight with that woman.
Milton Keynes, like much of the UK at the moment, looks less like it’s leafy, quiet self and more like the Arctic Tundra at present.
Being in a part of the country where normally, you can tell the changing of the seasons by the changing temperature of the rain, a little bit of snow always causes chaos.
On the plus side, the national weather forecasters – The Met Office – issue colour-coded weather warnings which, at times like this include the always hilarious Yellow Snow Warning.
Anyway, the reason for the Star Wars references in this post is that I was planning to cover the whole question of license monitoring with particular reference to the Diagnostic and Tuning packs. However, it was getting to be more of a novel than a blog post so I’ve decided to split it down into more manageable chunks…or Episodes.
So, in the style of the Epic Space Opera, please imagine the following paragraph scrolling through space with John Williams and his Orchestra blaring out of your speakers…
Episode 1 – The Phantom AFTER SELECT Trigger
It is a time of license audits.
The sinister Oracle Corporation have besieged the peaceful Database with some arcane licensing restrictions.
The Geeki, keepers of peace and tranquility in the Data Centre are on the case.
Using their mystical powers, they begin to investigate DBMS_FEATURE_USAGE_REPORT to discover
Where Oracle stores information on Database Features being used
How this information is collected
What unnatural force powers are at work to enable the recording of SELECT statements against some tables and views
Queen Debbie ( she’s changed sides in this paragraph) is wondering just how geeky this is all going to get ….
In the battle of the sexes, there is only one winner. I call her Deb.
This should go some way to explaining the difference in approach between the two DBAs in the following story.
For many years now, licensing of Oracle Database software has been an arcane and confusing business. Whilst this is often an area that falls to the humble DBA to admninister, most DBAs aren’t lawyers. Sometimes, keeping on top of the licensing requirements takes a back-seat to the day-to-day technical challenges.
What follows is a cautionary tale on the potential ramifications of finding out that you are under-licensed…around the same time that Oracle also discover this unfortunate fact. Continue reading →
Having spent the last couple of months working with a South African ( hello Trevor) and being reminded, oh so gently, of that nation’s recent cricketing success, I was hoping to get the opportunity to return the favour via the medium of Rugby Union.
The Springboks narrow defeat of England in the Autumn International did little to derail this cunning plan. Unfortunately, my emergency backup nationality failed at a crucial moment as the hitherto invincible All Blacks were roundly thrashed by England a week later.
People in glass-houses…
Anyway, what follows is a solution to a fairly specific problem we were confronted with recently. Continue reading →
It’s that time of year again. Yes, it is the season to be snotty.
“Man-flu”, was Nurse Debbie’s considered medical opinion. Admittedly, she’s feeling a bit under the weather herself and, as we all know, “Bird-flu” is a far more serious condition.
I think I must have picked up this particular bug during my daily commute, which currently involves quite a lot of time on the Tube.
In order to pass the time in the morning crush that is the Northern Line, I’ve taken on a challenge from Simon.
He claims that, apart from St. John’s Wood, there is no other tube station that does not contain at least one letter from the word “Mackrel”.
Whilst this may seem a somewhat esoteric fact, it’s probably quite appropriate to look for bits of fish whilst wedged into a Tube train like a sardine.
The tube map itself includes station on the Overground Network as well as the DLR so, ironically, this does provide a bit of “wiggle-room” for my Mackrel search.
All of which serves to act as an example in the following exploration of how Oracle transactions work… Continue reading →
Saturday 11th September 1976. That was the day that my Dad first took me to see the (occasionally) mighty West Ham United.
The opponents, the rather more often mighty Arsenal.
I still have vivid memories of that game. The noise from the crowd. The fact that the grass looked so green, brighter than on the TV.
West Ham not playing very well. Frank Stapleton putting a bit of a downer on the day by having the temerity to score twice in a 2-0 win for the Gunners.
My Dad recently celebrated his 70th birthday.
His present from his first-born son ? A trip to see the (previously) mighty Luton Town take on the ( probably must have been from time to time) mighty Nuneaton Borough.
Now, this may seem poor reward for my dear old Dad – he takes me to see two of the top teams in the country and he gets the Blue Square Premier League in return.
Additionally, these days it’s less the colour of the grass that assaults the senses than the colour of the boots.
These are various flourescent colours, virtually none of them black.
Mind you, as Deb pointed out, if you play for Luton and spend most of your working life dressed in bright orange, then accessorising must be a bit of a challenge.
The game itself however, is another matter.
Typical English Football – very quick, lots of commitment. You can tell it’s not the Premiership by the absence of millionaires rolling around the floor in apparent agony because they’ve broken a finger-nail.
Two late goals sends the Hatters home happy.
All of which has nothing to do with the subject of this post, apart from my choice of examples.
Comparing the table structure between different schemas is standard functionality for any self-respecting IDE. However, things get a bit more tricky if you’ve had a visit from the Prefix Pixie. He, she (or it if you’re table relationship diagram dropped out of a design tool) thought it’d be a good idea to give the same prefix to every table in the schema.
The result of this is that the tools in the IDE can’t recognize that tables with different names are meant to have identical structures.
So much for the “Premiership” of Database Development, it looks like we’ll just have to do a bit of D.I.Y. to see through the poxie pixie dust.
Dad would approve. Continue reading →
Apparently, I am considered by some to be stuck in my ways.
For example, Deb now refuses to stand with me in the supermarket queue because of my tendency to argue with the automated checkout.
This even extends into my working life where I have a colleague who is a bit more hip and with it when it comes to writing code.
The rest of us in the Oracle team – slightly older than this person it must be said – are apparently “BBC”.
This isn’t some reference to the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation, nor even to the BBC micro which was popular back in the 80’s.
Evidently, it is something of a disadvantage to have been “Born Before Computers”.
I’ll confess, I do write most of my database code in a text editior and run it via SQL*PLUS. Whilst I use an IDE for looking at stored database code, I’m not that keen on using it as a code environment.
As is usually the case, sometimes things are done in a certain way for years because that’s the best way to do it…and sometimes it’s simply because “that’s how we’ve always done it”.
The trick is, knowing which is which.
Like most men, I have a standard of tidiness and cleanliness that I think of as “Bloke Clean”.
Deb’s standards are rather higher ( she would say normal). The difference can occasionally be a source of tension.
“Maybe I’ll just run off with that Steven Feuerstein bloke !”, she may have said during one of our discussions about the state of the study.
“Oh really ?”, I might retort, “and what’s he got that I haven’t ?”,
“Money, fame, talent and his own framework…not to mention a cleaner, I’ll bet”.
“Well…at least I have more hair”, I might say, disconcerted by her surprisingly comprehensive knowledge of someone who, it must be said, is not exactly famous outside of the wonderful world of Oracle.
“Not by much.” would probably have been the devastating reply.
Predictably, a compromise has now been reached…the upshot of which is that I’ve just spent the afternoon becoming intoxicated by the fumes from various cleaning products…and the study is now gleaming and all the papers filed away…and we’re getting a cleaner.
As for the money, fame and talent…well, I’ll just have to make do with the framework for now.
Truth be told, calling it a framework is overstating things a bit. But hey, it does give me an excuse to come up with a (possibly) amusing name. Continue reading →