Could this be the geekiest question ever?

I just took a look at my Oracle magazine, and I came across this question in an interview:

If you were going to the space station for six months, which Oracle reference books would you take?

That question could only have been geekier if it was:

If you were going to Deep Space Nine for six months to fill in for Commander Sisko, which Oracle reference books would you take for some light reading in Quark's bar?

Installing Oracle 9i on a Windows 2000 machine and ODBC isn't working?

Check out this article: How To Troubleshoot an ASP-to-Oracle Connectivity Problem.

My application wasn't an ASP app, but it does require the use of the Microsoft Oracle Driver's.  However whenever I tried to access the Oracle DB using said drivers I would get this message on the server:

The Oracle(tm) client and networking   components were not found. These components are supplied by Oracle Corporation   and are part of the Oracle Version 7.3 (or greater) client software   installation.

You will be unable to use this driver until these   components have been installed.

Most irksome, but the tips in the article cleared the problem up, and now I get to leave the office!  Hurrah!

Orablogs, It was a wild ride

Well, just about as soon I was added to Orablogs, I have been taken off of Orablogs.

You see, Blankbaby has very little overall Oracle content so it wasn't a perfect fit and it seems several people were 'miffed' about my non-technical ramblings intermixed with Jive portlets for OracleAS Portal and Tip : Improving Performance By Using IPC Connections To Local Databases.

At least Brian Duff still likes me, and really isn't that all that matters?

Considering I am on orablogs now, an Oracle post

RocketBoots chronicles the steps it takes to install Oracle 9i on a Powerbook:

It seems that on every big project I've worked on over the years, the geek held in highest reverence by the project has been the Big Iron DBA - we're talking CICS-IMS, DB2, Informix, and Oracle here, not your wussy-point-and-click SQL Server, nested-selects-still-alpha mySQL or (gasp) Access. There's something about that "I know where your data lives and I can toast the lot in a single line of PL/SQL" look that simultaneously evokes an impression of raw power and unconcerned laziness in the awestruck observer.

Most of the post consists of 'follow the directions,' but it is interesting to read nonetheless.

So you like MySQL? You'll love Oracle!

InfoWorld: Oracle attracting MySQL users:

"MySQL is a very rudimentary database. It’s missing many of the basic technologies that you need like triggers, and so on," Shimp said. MySQL plans to add triggers, stored procedures, and database views to its product in early 2005, according to MySQL.

MySQL CEO Marten Mickos acknowledged on Thursday that Oracle is more feature-rich than the MySQL database, but said migration happens in both directions. Oracle, he said, is a great product for anybody who has plenty of money.

A little Oracle History for you geeks out there

25 Years of technology innovation:

In the late 1970s, following Oracle Corporation's initial release of the world's first commercially available relational database management system (RDBMS), hundreds of vendors appeared with products related to relational databases. Many promoted highly specialized applications for reporting, working with unique data, or processing transactions. New companies such as Informix, Ingres, and Sybase sprang up, and established giants such as IBM entered the relational database market.

The article has some interesting tidbits about Oracle as a company, and that shy and retiring fellow Larry Ellison.

Tech HTML DB: Serving HTML DB Reports

I am intrigued by Oracle HTML DB. This article tells us all a little bit about serving reports over the web using this interesting product.

Every organization needs to deliver reports on the Web. Often, slight variations of the same report need to be created for different end users. If you are a Web developer or a DBA who frequently needs to deliver reports and you want to make those reports more flexible or your life easier by consolidating multiple reports into a single one, use Oracle HTML DB's built-in session state management, reporting engine, and authorization features to make building highly flexible yet secure reports a breeze.

Oracle's CASE Expression

A good primer about Oracle's CASE Expression:

DECODE is considered the most powerful function in Oracle. Oracle 8i release introduced the CASE expression. The CASE expression can do all that DECODE does plus lot of other things including IF-THEN analysis, use of any comparison operator and checking multiple conditions, all in a SQL query itself. Moreover, using the CASE function, multiple conditions provided in separate SQL queries can be combined into one, thus avoiding multiple statements on the same table (example given below). The function is available from Oracle 8i onwards.

I make no apology for my unabashed love of CASE statements. They are fantastic, and I think everyone should bask in their glory.

No, the above statement was not sarcastic.

Improved 10g management with EM

Donald Burleson, that creepy Oracle guy, has another article worth a read. I have always said that SQL Server's GUI tools are much better than Oracle's but I might have to change my opinion. Too bad we are just getting to 9i at my work place.

Just a few years ago, many senior Oracle DBAs detested Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM). Viewed as a crutch for beginners who could not memorize the command syntax, EM was largely ignored by the veteran DBA who preferred the ease and certainty of the SQL*Plus command-line interface. This is about to change.

Enterprise Manager (EM) has undergone a major overhaul in Oracle 10g. From its humble beginnings as a GUI-based statement generator, Oracle has invested millions of dollars to make 10g EM a robust full-function product.

Oracle 10g EM now offers far more than simple command generation and schema viewing. The 10g EM now allows the DBA to easily manage every aspect of the 10g database, even non-traditional tasks like applying patches and scheduling jobs.

Tom On "Replication"

AskTom "Replication"

Hi, Tom

I have a question regarding to synchronous bidirectional replication and
advanced replication in Oracle 8i, what is the
difference between them, and how do you decide which one to use?
What about snapshot, can you explain it in your own words and distinguish the
usage compare to the above. Thank you.

David Chen.

I am interested in setting up Replication for our database, so I thought I would like to this Ask Tom article.

Flash Back to a Better Time

Tech Availability: Flash Back to a Better Time

It's New Year's Eve. John, the DBA at Acme Bank, is reveling with his friends, counting down the arrival of the new year. Just when the clock strikes midnight and the crowd roars, his pager goes off. At the bank's data center, during the end-of-the-year bookkeeping process in the interest accumulation batch run, something has gone wrong and all the interest calculations are incorrect. The good news is that the development team has identified the bug and developed an emergency fix, but the fix can't undo the damage already done. The operations manager asks John if he can somehow turn back the hands of time and place the database back to its state before the batch process started, which was around 11:00 p.m.

Does that sound familiar to you DBAs? What are John's options?

Prior to Oracle Database 10g, John could have done a point-in-time recovery to reinstate the database to the desired point. Unfortunately, the bank's regular daily backup starts around that time, meaning he would have to apply almost 24 hours' worth of archived logs to the restored database.

Another option available in Oracle9i Database is to use the flashback query feature to reconstruct the table rows as of 11:00 p.m. and create a different set of tables manually. This approach, although possible, becomes impractical if the number of tables is high.

Fortunately, John's current database is Oracle Database 10g, so he has more options.

If you have worked with databases long enough chances are you have screwed up a massive amount of data by accident. I myself have done it on two seperate occasions.

I once updated every address in Japan to 'Good,' no matter if they are valid or not. Unfortunately this was at a time when I was using SQL Server, and I didn't know all that much about SQL, just enough to get in trouble. Luckily, I had exported a file of all Japanese addresses before I updated them, so it wasn't that big a deal.

The second time I messed up was when tasked with updating all accounts with null passwords to a random password. I created a Cursor that did all the work for me, but I neglected to do two things correctly: Firstly I didn't make my variable in the cursor large enough to hold the entire generated password, actually I made it just one character for some reason. Secondly I forgot to include a WHERE clause, so my flawed cursor updated every record to have a password of 'A.'

Not good. I have since learned to use the TRANSACTION statement so that I can rollback my changes (SQL Server ships with AUTO-COMMIT set on as the default, something which Oracle does not).

Anyway, I am excited about this Flashback query feature, and I think it is very cool. At the moment we are stuck using Oracle 8i, but one of my goals of this year at work is to update our database to 9i and use all of these whiz bang new features.

Oracle Sets Sights on Microsoft

eWeek reports that Oracle is Setting its Sights on Microsoft

Referring to SQL Server, Phillips announced that pricing for the Windows version of Oracle 10g will debut at "the same list price per processor as Microsoft."

This is a big deal. In the same article they also say that the Windows version of Oracle 10g will be available within 30 days.

Of course at work we are still using 8i, so we are a little behind the times. But it is one of my big goals to upgrade out database to 9i within the next 6 months. I would like to skip directly to 10g but alas, our third party vendor is now just officially supporting 9i, so I don't think that 10g is in the cards any time soon.

Oh, and I assume you know the 'i' in 8i and 9i stands for 'Internet,' but what the heck does the 'g' stand for in 10g? Grid, grid computing which is one of the new trends in computing. So now you know, but you probably didn't want to know anyway.