Using Flashback for Automated Testing – a stepping-stone to World Domination

As I’m between jobs at the moment, I’ve had time to sit and reflect on possible future career directions.
With Deb’s help and inspiration (“if that washing isn’t done by the time I get back, there’ll be trouble!”) I think I may have come up with something.
Yep, I’m looking into the possibility of becoming an Evil Genius and Megalomaniac. After all, I’ve already got the alter-ego – I mean, “The Anti-Kyte”, that’s never going to be a super hero name, is it ?
Apart from that, there’s also the costume to consider. Let’s face facts here, mine is just not a figure that would be flattered by brightly coloured spandex.

If I’m going to run an efficient evil empire, I’ll need a properly designed and efficient data-driven application. Everything must be thoroughly tested. The temperature control on the piranha tank failing or some meddling super-spy escaping the cunningly planned trap at a crucial moment could do untold damage to the share price.
A suite of automated tests that I can run repeatedly to verify both functionality and performance under load is a must-have.
In that case, I’m going to need a way of running my test suite, then quickly rolling back the resultant database changes, fixing any problems and running it all over again.
It’s time to take a fresh look at the Flashback functionality available in the Oracle Database. Continue reading

Oracle XE – Speeding up Startup and getting Nofications on the Desktop in Ubuntu

Oh the tension. 2-0 up at half-time. Visions of last-day drama and an eleventh-hour escape floating tantilisingly before my eyes. Then, grim reality. A second-half collapse and the prize is snatched away once more. So, this is what it must be like to be an Arsenal fan.
I know that they say misery loves company, but it’s not really any consolation. Yes, my beloved West Ham have been relegated from the Premiership.

In an effort to rouse myself from the resultant depression, I decided to have a look at addressing one of those minor annoyances that I’m always intending to get around to but somehow never quite do. In this case, it’s how to get confirmation that my Oracle XE database has started before trying to connect to it ( and that it’s shut down before I turn off my computer). Continue reading