Oracle Express Edition – features new to 18cXE

I learned a number of things watching the recently concluded Women’s Soccer World Cup.

  • it is possible for a human body to be fouled in the penalty area without then falling over as if it has just been shot (see Lisa-Marie Utland for Norway against England for proof)
  • England have developed a happy knack of reaching the Semi-Final of every tournament they enter
  • Alex Morgan is a tea-drinker

There were some complaints that Morgan’s celebration of her goal against England were disrespectful. Personally, I though it was rather witty. Let’s face it, if she’d really want to stir up some controversy, she’d have mimed putting the milk in first.
That said, she is going to face a challenge at the Olympics next year were she may herself up against a united Great Britain team.
If you’re not up on your sporting geopolitics, Great Britain (for now at least) comprises four nations – England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Should Morgan need to celebrate in a similar vein, the tea will be just the start. She’ll then need to neck a pint of Brains SA (known as “Skull Attack” in Cardiff) followed by a Guinness ( there is no border in Ireland when it comes to the Black Stuff) before moving on to a Scotch single-malt chaser.

Anyone looking for an object lesson in how to up their game could do far worse than have a look at how Oracle Express Edition has evolved from 11g to 18c…

“Hey Megan, how much extra stuff did Oracle squeeze into 18c Express Edition ?”

Using the License documentation for 18c XE and that of 11g XE, I’ve compiled a list of features which are now included in Express Edition but were not in 11gXE.
This is mainly for my own benefit as I keep being surprised when I find another – previously Enterprise Edition only – feature in Express Edition.
I’ve also listed the new stuff that wasn’t previously available in any edition of Oracle 11g.

Anyhow, for anyone who might find it useful…

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SQLcl ALIAS – because you can’t remember everything.

I want to find out which file is going to hold any trace information generated by my database session. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting the query that I need to run to find out.
Fortunately I’m using SQLcl, which includes the ALIAS command.
What follows is a quick run-through of this command including :

  • listing the aliases that are already set up in SQLcl
  • displaying the code that an alias will execute
  • creating your own alias interactively
  • deleting an alias
  • using files to manage custom aliases

Whilst I’m at it, I’ll create the alias for the code to find that pesky trace file too.
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Great Football Managers and Oracle Unified Auditing

It’s quite a good time for English football at the moment. Not only have English clubs monopolised the finals of the two main European Club competitions this year, but Manchester City have made history by winning all three domestic competitions in the same season.
Note that this isn’t a British footballing first. Glasgow Rangers managed it way back in 1949. And whilst the European Cup ( Champions League if you must) has eluded City this season, Celtic managed that particular clean sweep in 1967.
In English football however, this particular treble is unprecedented. In fact, there are remarkably few managers who have been able to win every one of the major domestic honours in their entire career.
All of which will come in handy when looking for examples to illustrate the topic at hand, namely Oracle Unified Auditing.
With the aid of 18c Express Edition, we’ll be looking at :

  • The Oracle supplied Unified Auditing Policies that are enabled by default
  • Where to find the Audit Trail
  • How to create our own Unified Auditing Policy to monitor DML operations on specific objects

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ORA-01775 – Looping Chain of Synonyms and Epic Football Punditry

In 1990, Liverpool became English League Champions for the 10th time in 15 seasons.
Despite this impressive track record, my Dad came over all Yoda-esque and confidently predicted that they would not win The Title again in his lifetime.
Since then, Liverpool have won everything else, including the Champions League – OK Dad , the European Cup – but the prediction has held.
In fact, it’s gone on so long that it probably qualifies as a prophecy by now.
Before the start of each season, I can assess Liverpool’s prospects, by simply enquiring after his health.
“Musn’t grumble, ‘cos if you do no-one bloody listens !” can be taken as a synonym for “I’ll be around for a while yet, so don’t waste your money on backing Liverpool to win it this season”.
Which brings us to the subject of this post – namely the apparently random nature of the ORA-01775 error, where synonyms are concerned…

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Easy Listening with Datapump in the SQLDeveloper DBA Module

There are a number of ways to transfer data between Oracle Databases, one of which is to use the PL/SQL Datapump API – DBMS_DATAPUMP.
If you wish to avail yourself of this utility but find the syntax a bit fiddly, you always have the option of getting SQLDeveloper to do (most of) it for you.
What we’re talking about here is how to persuade the SQLDeveloper DB module to :

  • Create and execute a custom Datapump export job
  • do most of the work creating an import of a subset of the exported data

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Adding an item to the Ubuntu Unity Launcher

I would begin this post by saying something pithy about the latest Brexit crisis gripping the nation. However, watching any news or current affairs program at the moment leaves me feeling rather like this :

Fortunately, I had a new version of SQLDeveloper to install on my Ubuntu 16.04 laptop to take my mind off things.
After installing the software, I forgot – as I almost always do – how to add a new item to the Unity Launcher, so I thought I’d write down the steps this time.

Unity is similar to Gnome, KDE and – as it turns out – XFCE in that it seems to follow the freedesktop.org Desktop Entry Specification.
So, all I need to do is :

  • create a .desktop file in a suitable location to tell Unity how to run SQLDeveloper
  • add it to the Unity Launcher
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