What’s in a Name ? USER_TAB_COLS and USER_TAB_COLUMNS are different.

My son and I are quite similar in some ways ( although he would vehemently dispute this).
Like me, he works in IT, in his case as a Support Engineer.
Like me, he’s called Mike (well, my Mum likes the name…and I can spell it).
Unlike me – as he would be quick to point out – he still has all his own hair.
These similarities have been known to cause confusion – I’m often contacted by recruitment agents with enticing offers to work on…some newfangled stuff I know nothing about, whilst he’s constantly being offered “exciting” Database related opportunities.

Similar confusion can arise when you’re delving into the Oracle Data Dictionary…

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Virtual Columns in Oracle 11g – Ashes to Ashes

The test series between the two pre-eminent nations in world cricket has finished. But never mind India and South Africa, England have just won the Ashes. In Australia. 3–1. Look, it’s not gloating. The last time England won in Australia was almost a quarter of a century ago. As a nation, the English have learned to savour sporting success as we never know when (if) it will come around again.
By happy chance, Cricket batting and bowling stats lend themselves quite neatly to being used as an example of Virtual Columns in Oracle 11.
So, at the risk of alienating any Australians reading ( and reducing my chances of getting served in a bar anywhere in the Greater London Area)… Continue reading