Putting VALIDATE_CONVERSION front and centre, or possibly center

I recently had an interesting conversation with Suzanne, a native of Pittsburgh PA, about how the Americans and British spell some words differently.
Adding some local colour ( color) to the discussion, Suzanne recounted the story of when the US Postal service, seeking to save money on printing, proposed removing “superfluous” characters from place names.
Well, the burghers of Pittsburgh weren’t having any of that thank-you-very-much and so the City’s name remains unabridged to this day. The denizens of Harrisburg weren’t so fortunate.
Whilst we may be separated by a common language, as programmers who work with Oracle, Suzanne and I do share the challenge of loading data into tables when the format of that data may not be entirely what we were expecting.
If you’re fortunate enough to inhabit the sunlit uplands of Oracle 12c R2 and beyond, we’re about to explore the shiny new VALIDATE_CONVERSION function which promises to make your life that little bit easier.
For those languishing on 11g, we’ll explore how we might implement a similar function in PL/SQL.
Continue reading

More Oracle Dating Tips – High Days and Holidays

Following on from my post about Dates the other week, I’ve been looking around (afer all, there’s no harm in looking). There’s a fair number of clever date manipulation routines out there, calculating a business week, the tax year etc.
Work, work, work. What would be really useful is something that can work out when the Public Holidays are this year. Continue reading