Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

Yes I was nominated by Ronald Vargas in Costa Rica to take up the challenge.

Here is the video.

My nominees are Mark Rittman, Heli Helskyaho and Chet Justice (aka Oracle Nerd)

You have 24 hours to take up the challenge and to post a video for all to see :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

OUG Mexico

We (Gorcan, Glen, Debra and I) arrived into Mexico around 10pm and had a few minutes wait for our local user group contact to meet us. They had arranged transportation to our hotel.
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The next morning (Friday) was the day of the OUG Mexico conference. We were collected from the hotel and taken to the conference venue. Our transport had to made a number of trips to/from the conference venue to cater for all the speakers, so some of us arrived in the middle of the opening keynote by Noel Portugal from Oracle.
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After lunch we had a group photo of all the speakers.
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My 2 sessions were on in the afternoon so I got to relax a bit and hang out with some of the other speakers. My first session was on Oracle Data Mine and my second session was on Oracle R Enterprise. Just like in Costa Rica I had a good attendance and again they seemed to enjoy the presentations as they were laughing along at my attempts at jokes :-)
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The Mexico conference was on Friday the 8th August and this was an important day as my book was officially available that day. Just like in my previous countries I had a copy of my book to give away. Here is a photo of me with the winner.
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I had the last session of the day. Some of the sessions before this had over ran and I was under a bit of pressure to finish up my last presentation by 5pm. So apologies if this presentation seemed rushed.
Also many thanks to everyone who came up to me afterwards for a chat, to have your photo taken with me and to get my autograph! :-)
Then it was time to catch a taxi to my next hotel in Mexico city centre. This would be my 6th hotel in 6 days :-(
After checking into the hotel it was time to go for dinner. Renne Antunez had invited some of the speakers to his house for dinner. These was a very enjoyable evening and for me marked the end of my OTN tour. Many of the other speakers were going to over countries over the next week.
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Many thanks to Renne and his wife for hosting this dinner, especially as it was Renne's wife birthday. I hope he bought her a good present.
The next morning (Saturday) I was up at 5am to get a taxi to the airport and my long long travels home, from Mexico to Newark to Dublin getting home on Sunday morning at 8am.
A big thank you to the organisers of the OTN Tour and to each of the countries that invited me to present at their conference. I really enjoyed the experiences and hopefully I can join in another OTN tour sometime soon. Also a special thank you to Vikki in OTN for sorting out all the funding and everything else.
The finals thank you goes out to my travel companions for the tour, Gorcan, Debra and Glen. Without your companionship throughout the week it wouldn't have been as much fun.

Monday, August 18, 2014

OUG Costa Rica

After the OUG Panama conference we arrived later that night in San Jose the capitol of Costa Rica. The whole emigration, luggage pick up and customs was the smoothest experiences I have ever experienced at an airport. All was done in a matter of minutes. All the booths for emigration and customs was open and staffed. When was the last time you have ever seen this before. It was a very positive start to our short couple of days in Costa Rica. We had arranged for our hotel to have a taxi pick us up and sure enough the driver was there with a good clear sign. From time of landing to being in my hotel room, which was a 20 minute drive, took no more than 1 hour.

The next morning (Tuesday) we (Debra, Glenn, Gurcan and I) headed out to do some exploring of San Jose on foot. Our first task was to get some breakfast but none of us had any local currency. Debra volunteered to use one of the enclosed ATM machines to get some money. But there was some issue with the machine and she got locked into the cubical. At the same time she got a phone call from her bank in the UK. Her ATM transaction was flagged as a potential fraudulent transaction. I most say Debra's bank was very quick to contact her and to make all the necessary changes so that she could withdraw some money. After which we had a local breakfast.

2014 08 05 09 09 28

Then we sent the next 3 hours walking around San Jose.

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Then it was back to the hotel in the early afternoon as the local Oracle User Group had arranged a mini bus to take us up to a hotel that was near the conference location in San Carlos. We had been told that the journey would take 2 hours. Well after 2 hours of driving up hill we were told we were only just over half ways there. It was a long long journey but the views were really beautiful. We had a 10 minute break at little village with a nice church and a really cool garden in front of it.

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After anther hour we arrived at the hotel, checked in, and we met up with some other presenters for some dinner. Then it was time for bed as we were being collected at 7:30am.

On Wednesday morning we got collected and taken to the conference venue which happened to be a local university. The User Group had proved a bus service from San Jose to the conference venue and there was a sizeable number of industry people mixed in with some of the university students.

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My first presentation was in the auditorium just after the opening keynote. This has to be one of finest rooms I've seen and presented in. Even better we had a HD projector. This has to be a first, so I had no resolution issues with running my VMs. I had a really good turn out for my presentation and the photo below shows only some of those who attended.

2014 08 06 10 00 09

In the after noon I had my 2nd and 3rd presentations. For my last presentation all the seats were taken and there was even some people standing. There was a lot of people who came to all my presentations which I was delighted with.

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After my last presentation I had a raffle for a copy of my book. There seemed to be a lot of interest in this :-). Here is a photo of me with the winner of the book and someone else who was having a read of it afterwards.

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This was a very enjoyable conference and the attendees at my sessions were laughing at some of my jokes or maybe they were laughing at me. Anyway I took it that they were enjoying my presentations. For the first time, I had people come up to me after my presentations to have their photography taken with me and to ask me for my autograph.

Here is a picture of the Oracle ACE Directors who presented at the OUG Costa Rica conference.

2014 08 06 17 30 38

We were told that our bus journey the day before was the scenic route so that is why it took 3 hours. As soon as the conference was finished we got back on the mini bus to be taken back to our hotel in San Jose. Theoretically it should have been a much quick journey as we were going back the quickest route. This time it took 2 hours 40 minutes.

On Thursday at 2:45am we were woken by a 4.7M earth quake. The room was shaking and everything was shaking in it including me. After breakfast on the Thursday morning, Debra had arranged for us to go on a tour of a Coffee plantation and factory. This coffee tour was hilarious and the best tours I have ever been on. Our tour guides were a comedy double act :-)

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After the tour it was back to the hotel and to get our taxi out to the airport. Did I mention how well operated the airport was. How often have you gone through security when all of the scanners were in operation and fully staffed. This meant that there was almost no queue and I was through security in no time at all. From check in to the departure gate took about 2 minutes.

Our (Glen, Debra, Gorcan and I) next stop was Mexico

Sunday, August 17, 2014

OUG Panama

The OTN Tour of Latin America has come to an end and I was very lucky to have been a part of Northern part of the tour.

My OTN Tour consisted of visiting 3 countries in one week and giving 8 hours of presentations. This blog post looks back at the OUG Panama conference and I'll have separate blog posts for each of the other countries.

My travels stared the Saturday before the OUG Panama conference which was on Monday 4th. My flights consisted of flying from Dublin to Newark and then onto Panama. All of that seemed to go smoothly until I reached Panama. After passing through emigration I was then in a very chaotic baggage hall. After about 1 hour of searching for my suit case I sought help from the airline. They were able to tell me that my suitcase was scanned off in Panama. So after another 30 minutes of searching for the suitcase with airline staff, there was still no sign of it. So a lost suitcase report was filed and off I went to meet the person who was collecting me from the airport. But there was no sign of them. I managed to find some wifi and sent a few messages looking for help and how could I get to my hotel. I got a quick reply and and 45 minutes later I was on my way to the airport.

This is the 3rd time that this particular airline has "lost" my suitcase.

I was very glad to reach the hotel but I had no change of cloths or toiletries with me :-( For all future travels that involve a flight change I will be packing some of these in my hand luggage.

On the Sunday morning, after several hours trying to contact the airline, I finally got approval from them to buy some items. It was then time to meet up with Gurcan Orhan and we headed out to explore Panama city on foot (and to buy me some things). We spent about 3 hours walking around exploring Panama city where we say lots of differences in living standards right beside each other. Then it was back to the hotel as the local user group had arranged a tour for us.

Our tour guide and one of the helpers for the user group was Melin took us to see the Panama canal, the old town and lots of other areas of Panama. We finished of the evening with a dinner in a traditional Panama restaurant. On getting back to the hotel my suitcase was there :-) but no communication from the airline about what happened.

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On the Monday morning I met up with Gorcan, Debra and Glen who were to be my travel companions for the week. There was a bus arranged to pick us up from the hotel and off we went to the conference venue which was in one of the Universities in Panama. We arrived at the venue very early and not many knew about the conference or where we should go. After a while we worked it and found the conference location.

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Many thanks to the User Group in Panama for inviting us and for all the arrangements. There was plenty of helpers on hand.

My 3 sessions were not on until the afternoon so I hung out in a session by Gurcan and also one by Dan Morgan. Then a bit of hanging around with the conference people and talking about some Oracle tech stuff. For my 3 sessions I completely over ran on my first session and then for the last 2 sessions I was playing catchup. Especially for the last presentation as there was a bus booked to take us to the airport at 4pm. So I basically ran out of the presentation and straight into the bus to the airport. But before I did that I was able to give away the very first copy of my book. It wasn't released yet (it would be on the 8th Aug). I had a raffle for everyone who attended my sessions and here is a picture of me with the lucky winner.

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We arrived at the airport, with a minor detour via the hotel, with lots and lots of time to spare for our flight. Our next location was Costa Rica.

Friday, August 8, 2014

my Oracle Data Miner Book

Some of you may be aware that I have been writing a on Oracle Data Miner. Actually the book covers the Oracle Data Miner GUI that is part of SQL Developer, the SQL and PL/SQL functions, procedures and packages that form the Oracle Data Mining option in the database and lots of other topics for the DBA, Developer and BI/DW people.
Today is a bit day for this book as it is officially released and available for purchase. See below for some links to where you can but the book in print and e-book formats. It has been published by McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press.
The book is aimed at a variety of people and the aim of the book is to introduce them to using the Oracle Data Miner tool and how to perform various data mining and predictive analytics tasks using SQL and PL/SQL.
The book will not teach you about how each of the data mining algorithms works. There is a bit of an assumption that you know a bit about these already. There are lots of books and resources about that cover that material. You can look on my book as an getting start / how to use type of book.
Below are are the images of the front cover and the back cover.
Book Cover            Book Back Cover
For more details of the book and for some updates keep an eye on my ODM Book page. On this page I'm adding a FAQ secion. This will be based on questions that I receive about the book.
If you buy the book then I hope you will find it helpful. If you are going to attend one of my presentations at an Oracle User Group meeting then bring the book along and I can sign it for you. Alternatively if you are at Oracle Open World 2014, come along to the Oracle Press Book Store, as I will be there to sign books on Wednesdays 1st October between 13:00 and 13:30.
Where can you Buy my Oracle Data Miner book (print and e-book).
You can buy the book from the McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press website and from Amazon. Each site will offer discounts so check out which one is the best for you.
McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press
For USA locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mhprofessional.com
For UK & Ireland locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/tpr
Amazon
Click here to buy it on www.amazom.com
Click here to but it on www.amazon.co.uk

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Oracle Magazine-November/December 2000

The headline articles of Oracle Magazine for November/December 2000 were on how application service providers are changing the way that business operate, everything from project management collaboration, professional services, online marking and how to go about becoming one.


Ora mag 2000 nov dec

Other articles included:


  • Tom Kyte has an article on how working with Java is simpliernow that it is a native part of the Oracle database. He gives some examples of how to get some of the typical DB information and processing the results.
  • Oracle backs the development of a Common Warehouse Meta-model. This is and XML based metadata standard that was developed by the OMG. This will allow the exchange of e-business information and hopes to accelerate a company's ability to move from data to decisions..
  • There was a number of articles on the Oracle Internet Platform, how it all works and its various parts. These articles helped to support the article on the application service providers.
  • Doug Obeid gives a good introduction article on the Secure Sockets Layer(SSL). He looks at securing transmissions, cryptography, authentication, various protocols and messaging.
  • The part 2 of the article on Indexing Oracle 8i interMedia for managing and deploying rich data on the internet.
  • Locally Managed Tablespaces looks to explain how the DBA can setup and manage tablespaces, so that the amount of space required can be minimized.
  • Steven Feuerstein has an article on using Native Dynamic SQL using DBMS_SQL.
  • Following up on previous articles (in previous editions) we have another article on how to go about analysing the Statspack Report. Statspack came with release 8.1.6 of the Oracle Database. The Statspack report is extremely useful for analysing and monitoring your database.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tokenizing a String : Using Regular Expressions

In my previous blog post I gave some PL/SQL that performed the tokenising of a string. Check out this blog post here.

Thanks also to the people who sent me links examples of how to tokenise a string using the MODEL clause. Yes there are lots of examples of this out there on the interest.

While performing the various searches on the internet I did come across some examples of using Regular Expressions to extract the tokens. The following example is thanks to a blog post by Tanel Poder

I've made some minor changes to it to remove any of the special characters we want to remove.

column token format a40

define separator=" "

define mystring="$My OTN LA Tour (2014?) will consist of Panama, CostRica and Mexico."

define myremove="\?|\#|\$|\.|\,|\;|\:|\&|\(|\)|\-";

 

SELECT regexp_replace(REGEXP_REPLACE(

                 REGEXP_SUBSTR( '&mystring'||'&separator', '(.*?)&separator', 1, LEVEL )

                           , '&separator$', ''), '&myremove', '') TOKEN

FROM

    DUAL

CONNECT BY

    REGEXP_INSTR( '&mystring'||'&separator', '(.*?)&separator', 1, LEVEL ) > 0

ORDER BY

LEVEL ASC

/

When we run this code we get the following output.

Token fun 3

So we have a number of options open to use to tokenise strings using SQL and PL/SQL, using a number of approaches including substring-ing, using pipelined functions, using the Model clause and also using Regular Expressions.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BUCKET_WIDTH: Calculating the size of the bucket

Some time ago I had some blog posts introducing some of the basic Statistical function available in Oracle. Here are the links to these.

Most people do not realise that Oracle has over 250+ statistical functions that are available (no addition cost) in all the database versions.

I've had a query about one of the functions BUCKET_WIDTH. The question was wondering if it was possible to get the width of the bucket in each case. There does not seem to be a build in feature to get this value, so we have to calculate this ourselves.

Here is an example of how to calculate the bucket width, as on the example I used in my previous blog post.

SELECT bucket, max(age)-min(age) BUCKET_WIDTH, count(*)

FROM (SELECT cust_id,

                       age,

                      width_bucket(age,

                         (SELECT min(age) from mining_data_build_v),

                         (select max(age)+1 from mining_data_build_v),

                      10) bucket

          FROM mining_data_build_v

          GROUP BY cust_id, age )

GROUP BY bucket

ORDER BY bucket;

Bucket width

What this query gives is an approximate value of the size of the Bucket Width based on the values/records that are in a bucket. The actual values used cannot be determined exactly as there is not function/value in SQL that tells us the actual value.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tokenizing a String

Over the past while I've been working a lot with text strings. Some of these have been short in length like tweets from Twitter, or longer pieces of text like product reviews. Plus others of various lengths.

In all these scenarios I have to break up the data into individual works or Tokens.

The examples given below illustrate how you can take a string and break it into its individual tokens. In addition to tokenising the string I've also included some code to remove any special characters that might be included with the string.

These include ? # $ . ; : &

This list of special characters to ignore are just an example and is not an exhaustive list. You can add whatever characters to the list yourself. To remove these special characters I've used regular expressions as this seemed to be the easiest way to do this.

Using PL/SQL

The following example shows a simple PL/SQL unit that will tokenise a string.

DECLARE

    vDelimiter VARCHAR2(5) := ' ';

    vString    VARCHAR2(32767) := 'Hello Brendan How are you today?'||vDelimiter;

    vPosition   PLS_INTEGER;

    vToken     VARCHAR2(32767);

    vRemove    VARCHAR2(100) := '\?|\#|\$|\.|\,|\;|\:|\&';

    vReplace   VARCHAR2(100) := '';

BEGIN

    dbms_output.put_line('String = '||vString);

    dbms_output.put_line('');

    dbms_output.put_line('Tokens');

    dbms_output.put_line('------------------------');

   

    vPosition := INSTR(vString, vDelimiter);

   

    WHILE vPosition > 0 LOOP

   

       vToken := LTRIM(RTRIM(SUBSTR(vString, 1, vPosition-1)));

       vToken := regexp_replace(vToken, vRemove, vReplace);

   

       vString := SUBSTR(vString, vPosition + LENGTH(vDelimiter));

       dbms_output.put_line(vPosition||': '||vToken);

       vPosition := INSTR(vString, vDelimiter);

   

    END LOOP;

END;

/

When we run this (with Serveroutput On) we get the following output.

Toke PLSQL

A slight adjustment is needed to the output of this code to remove the numbers or positions of the token separator/delimiter.

Tokenizer using a Function

To make this more usable we will really need to convert this into an iterative function. The following code illustrates this, how to call the function and what the output looks like.

CREATE OR replace TYPE token_list

AS TABLE OF VARCHAR2(32767);

/

 

CREATE OR replace FUNCTION TOKENIZER(pString IN VARCHAR2,

                                     pDelimiter IN VARCHAR2)

RETURN token_list pipelined

AS

    vPosition       INTEGER;

    vPrevPosition   INTEGER := 1;

    vRemove         VARCHAR2(100) := '\?|\#|\$|\.|\,|\;|\:|\&';

    vReplace        VARCHAR2(100) := '';

    vString         VARCHAR2(32767) := regexp_replace(pString, vRemove, vReplace);

BEGIN

    LOOP

       vPosition := INSTR (vString, pDelimiter, vPrevPosition);

       IF vPosition = 0 THEN

          pipe ROW (SUBSTR(vString, vPrevPosition ));

          EXIT;

       ELSE

          pipe ROW (SUBSTR(vString, vPrevPosition, vPosition - vPrevPosition ));

          vPrevPosition := vPosition + 1;

       END IF;

    END LOOP;

END TOKENIZER;

/

Here are a couple of examples to show how it works and returns the Tokens.

SELECT column_value TOKEN

FROM TABLE(tokenizer('It is a hot and sunny day in Ireland.', ' '))

, dual;

Token fun 1

How if we add in some of the special characters we should see a cleaned up set of tokens.

SELECT column_value TOKEN

FROM TABLE(tokenizer('$$$It is a hot and sunny day in #Ireland.', ' '))

, dual;

Token fun 2

Thursday, July 17, 2014

OTN Latin America (North) Tour 2014

For a few years now I (and I'm sure you have too) have heard about and followed the various Oracle User Group tours that OTN arranges/facilitates. A tour consists of a number of Oracle User Groups in a region coordinating together to have their conferences organised so that they can get speakers from across the world to come and present.

For most presenters it involves lots of travel. So instead of them doing all that travelling to present at one conference, they can now extend their travels a little and present in a number of countries. Most of the speakers are Oracle ACE Directors and OTN is very generous with their support in that they pay for all the flights, transportation and hotels. Without the generous support of OTN these tours and perhaps many of the conference would not take place.

With envy I used to follow the various speakers on tweeter as they talked about their travels from country to country and their experiences of meeting the people and exploring the various countries. Yes their time in each country seemed to be limited but they always got to see and do so much.

Earlier this year there was an call for presentations for the various OTN Tours in 2014. I submitted 3 presentations that coverd Oracle Advanced Analytics Option (Oracle Data Mining and Oracle R Enterprise). I thought I didn't stand a chance given the speakers that have participated in previous years.

A couple of weeks ago I received an email saying that I had been accepted onto the OTN Latin America (North) Tour. So you can imagine my excitement. The full OTN Tour North leg covers a number of countries across central and south America and is over a 2 week period. Unfortunately I'm not able to be away for that long, so I was accepted for the conferences on the first week of the tour. This will include Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico :-)

Some of you might think this is a bit of a golly and a holiday. What I've discovered over the past week or more is that it will be far from that. There is a lot of work in preparing the presentations, giving the presentation, setting up live demos between presentation, various meetings with people at the conferences etc etc etc. Then there is all the travel, all the airports, all the airport transfers, all the overnights in hotels. Over the course of 7 days I will be staying 6 different hotels.

I have spent the last week just trying to arrange my flights and hotels. This also involved trying to coordinate with other speakers so that we can travel together as much as possible.

Here are the dates and the presentations that I will be giving at these conferences:

4th August : Panama (in Panama City)

     10:00-11:00 : Getting Started with Oracle Data Miner & Predictive Analytics

     11:00-12:00 : Combining the Power of R and in-Datbaase Data Mining. Running R in the Database. Seriously!

     13:00-13:40 : Sentiment Analysis Using Oracle Data Mining

6th August : Costa Rica (in San Carlos)

     10:00-11:00 : Getting Started with Oracle Data Miner & Predictive Analytics

     13:00-14:00 : Sentiment Analysis Using Oracle Data Mining

     16:00-17:00 : Combining the Power of R and in-Datbaase Data Mining. Running R in the Database. Seriously!

8th August : Mexico (in Mexico City)

     14:00-15:00 : Getting Started with Oracle Data Miner & Predictive Analytics

     15:00-16:00 : Combining the Power of R and in-Datbaase Data Mining. Running R in the Database. Seriously!

When the agenda for the conferences are available I will have another blog post with their details.

If you are at one of these conference do please say hello :-)

I've finally booked all my flights and hotels. Many thanks to my fellow ACE Director presenters for your research and sharing of travel plans. It looks like there will be a groups of us all travelling together.

Now the next challenge is to prepare the presentations and live demos (yes live demos).

I hope to blog about each of the conferences and my travels to/from each country. It really depends on what time I will have and access to the internet. Perhaps this is something I will try to do on my various plane flights or waiting at the airports. So watch out for these :-)


Updated with some stats on my travels

My travel plans for the OTN Latin America tour of user group conferences involves

  • 12,200 flying miles,
  • 29.75 of flying time,
  • way too many hours hanging around in airports
  • over 8 days
  • staying in 6 hotels
  • plus 1 over night flight,
  • giving 8 hours of presentations in 3 countries

Why do we do this? Because we love sharing with the Oracle User Groups around the world. I'm only doing 1 week of the tour. Some people are doing 2 weeks :-(

Monday, June 23, 2014

Oracle Magazine September/October 2000

The headline articles of Oracle Magazine for September/October 2000 were on e-Business Integration, including online healthy prescription for online retailing, streamlineing the pulp and fiber industries, and the health care industry. Plus there was lots and lots of articles and news items all on businesses delivering solutions via the internet.


Ora Mag 2000 Sept Oct

As this was the Oracle Open World edition (and you see the label on the cover saying Biggest Ever) you can imagine there was a LOT of advertisements and sponsored articles. The following of other articles below will not cover these and will only look at the main content articles.

Other articles included:

  • Tom Kyte's article is on Tips for Migrating, Indexing and Using Packaged Procedures. In his article he gives some tips for migrating to Oracle 8.1i. He also discusses some scenarios around creating (or not) indexes on foreign keys. He also looks at the scenario of compiling linked procedures and how the use of packages avoids the identified issues.
  • Do you remember the Internet File System. There was an article that gave an overview of this that was available in Oracle 8i and was capable of managing over 150 different file types.
  • Autodesk releaseed OnSite, an enterprise solution for bringing design and location based information to the point of work via mobile devices. Autodesk On Site used Oracle 8i Lite and the Palm OS platform to provide an interactive, two way communication environment between the mobile worker and the overall decision support system.
  • The Oracle Academic Initiative began in 1997. In 2000 Oracle donated software licences, support services and Oracle training material to 17 educational institutions valued at $60 million
  • There was page after page, after page of announcements and news from various Oracle Partners.
  • Douglas Scherer gives the first part of an article that looks at how you can use Oracle 8i interMedia for managing and deploying content rich data on the internet.
  • Managing Your Resources looks at some of the new Oracle 8i EE helps DBAs to define plan, assign users to groups and prioritise resource allocations.
  • With the release of Oracle 8.1.6 came the new Statspack. Connie Dialeris and Graham Wood give an overview of the main features of Statspack, providing some guidance on how to use it in a proactive manner and gives a step-by-step guide to how you can trouble shoot performance problems with Statspack.
  • The final article was on Oracle Warehouse Builder (OWB). This was an overview type of article and gave an overview of the main components and gives some guidelines for setting up some different types of integration.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.
My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

ORE Getting Connected: ore.connect and other commands

After you have installed I ORE on your client and server (see my previous blog posts on these), you are not ready to start getting your hand dirty with ORE. During the installation of ORE you setup a test schema in your database to test that you can make a connection. But you will not be using this schema for you ORE work. Typically you will want to use one of your existing schemas that contains the data in the relevant tables and views. Plus you will want to be able to create some tables, creates some ORE temporary objects and stores, and to be able to store some of you ORE scripts in the schema that contains the data. In a previous blog post I gave some steps needed to setup your schema to be able to use ORE and the embedded feature.

In this post I want to show you some of the commands you will need to use to get connected to your Oracle schema and some initial commands you will need to know an use.

ore.connect command

The first command that you need to use is the ore.connect command that allows you to establish a connection to a database schema. You can also use this command to connect to HIVE tables in a Hadoop cluster.

The general syntax of the ore.connect function is

ore.connect(user = "", sid = "", host = "localhost", password = "",

            port = 1521, service_name = NULL, conn_string = NULL,

            all = FALSE, type = c("ORACLE", "HIVE"))

From this list of available parameters you only need to specify some of them. For a basic connection you do not need to specify the conn_string, type and all. The following is an example of using this connection string to connect to a schema called DMUSER that is located in a database whose service_name is ORCL and the host is the localhost.

> ore.connect(user="dmuser", sid="orcl", host="localhost", password="dmuser", port=1521, all=TRUE);

> ore.ls()

[1] "DEMO_R_APPLY_RESULT" "DEMO_R_TABLE" "DEMO_SUBSET_TABLE" "INSUR_CUST_LTV_SAMPLE"

[5] "MINING_DATA_APPLY" "MINING_DATA_APPLY_V" "MINING_DATA_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEST_V"

[9] "MINING_DATA_TEXT_APPLY_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_TEST_V"

I generally explicitly include the all=TRUE. The reason for this might become clear below when I show the alternative.

When you us the all=TRUE, the ore.connect function will also run the ore.sync and a ore.attach functions. This will result in synchronizing and attaching all tables and views in the ORE schema. The amount of time to run ore.sync grows linearly with the number of visible tables and views.

If you already have an ORE connection open and you try to establish a new ORE connection then your already existing ORE connection will be automatically disconnected. So you will need to be careful with the sequencing of your ORE code.

You schema might have lots and lots of object. As you work on building your advanced analytics environment you will end up build many more objects. You can imagine that over time every time you establish a connection it will start to take longer and longer. The following commands creates a connection to the schema, but this time it does not sync or attach the database objects, as shown using the ore.ls function.

> ore.connect(user="dmuser", sid="orcl", host="localhost", password="dmuser", port=1521, all=FALSE);

> ore.ls()

character(0)

If you use the all=FALSE like is shown in the above example you will need to issue a ore.sync function to synchronise the meta-data and then the ore.attach function to add the synchronised objects to the search space of the local R environment.


is.ore.connected

You can use this command to check that you are connected to your ORE connection is live or not. As you develop your ORE scripts you might build in various connection and disconnections. This command is very useful to check your current status. If you have an ORE connection then you will get a response of TRUE. If you don't have an open ORE connection then you will get a response of FALSE.

> ore.is.connected()

[1] FALSE

After we establish our ORE connection the next time we run this command

> ore.is.connected()

[1] TRUE


The following commands can be used to check to see if we have a connection and if not then establish a connection and list the objects in the schema.

> if (!ore.is.connected())

ore.connect(user="dmuser", sid="orcl", host="localhost", password="dmuser", port=1521, all=TRUE)

> ore.ls()

[1] "DEMO_R_APPLY_RESULT" "DEMO_R_TABLE" "DEMO_SUBSET_TABLE"

[4] "INSUR_CUST_LTV_SAMPLE" "MINING_DATA_APPLY" "MINING_DATA_APPLY_V"

[7] "MINING_DATA_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEST_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_APPLY_V"

[10] "MINING_DATA_TEXT_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_TEST_V"

> ore.disconnect()

NOTE: Some of the documentation seems to refer to the command is.ore.connected(). This generates and error and seems to be an error in some of the ORE documentation.


ore.ls()

The ore.ls() command is used to find out what objects you have in your schema. The objects that it will list are all the tables and views that are defined in the schema.

> ore.ls()

[1] "DEMO_R_APPLY_RESULT" "DEMO_R_TABLE" "DEMO_SUBSET_TABLE"

[4] "INSUR_CUST_LTV_SAMPLE" "MINING_DATA_APPLY" "MINING_DATA_APPLY_V"

[7] "MINING_DATA_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEST_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_APPLY_V"

[10] "MINING_DATA_TEXT_BUILD_V" "MINING_DATA_TEXT_TEST_V"


ore.sync

The ore.sync() command is used to synchronise the meta-data about the objects in the oracle schema with the ORE environment. When no parameters are used in the command then all the meta-data for the tables and views are synchronised.

> ore.sync()

There are a a few variants for this command. These can include a specified list of tables and specifying a schema. These become increasingly important as the number of objects (tables and views) increase in your schema. Realistically as your analytical environment grows so will the number of objects. Therefore it the length of time it takes the ore.sync() command to run will start to take longer and long. So instead of synchronising all of the object, you can only synchronising the objects that you need.

The following command synchronises the meta-data for the listed tables.

ore.sync(table = c("MINING_DATA_BUILD_V", "MINING_DATA_TEST_V", "INSUR_CUST_LTV_SAMPLE"))

If you want to synchronise objects from another schema you can specify the schema name. Only the objects that you have privileges on will be synchronised.

ore.sync("SH")


ore.attach

After you have run the ore.sync() command then you can add the objects that were synchronised to the search path of what R objects you can access and use. To do this you need to run the ore.attach() command.

> ore.sync()

> ore.attach()

The ORE objects are added at position 2. This means that they are listed after the local R workspace objects and before all previously attached packages and environment. You cannot change the position to be 1, but you can change it to 3

> ore.attach("DMUSER", 3)


NOTE: If you use the all=TRUE in your ore.connect command than the connection will automatically execute the ore.sync() and the ore.attach() commands.


ore.rm

The ore.rm() command can be used to remove an object from the R search space. This does not remove or delete the object from your ORE schema.

> ore.rm("MINING_DATA_BUILD_V")


Disconnecting & Other things

ore.disconnect

After you have finished all your ORE work you will need to disconnect from your schema. To do this you can use the ore.disconnect function. As part of the ore.disconnect function all temporary objects created during the session will be removed/deleted from the database / your schema. The ore.disconnect function does return a value. If you are unsure if the disconnect has worked then you can use the ore.is.connected command.

> ore.disconnect()

> ore.is.connected()

[1] TRUE

If you exit from your R session or application and implicit ore.disconnect will be issued. But it is always good practice to issue this command yourself.

OREShowDoc()

The OREShowDoc() command will open up a web browser and will display the home page of the ORE documentation. This will be the ORE documentation on you machine. My test machine is a VM with ORE installed on it, so the home page for the will be based on ORE installed directories on the server. My laptop is a Mac and ORE is currently not supported on the Mac, so I was not able to test how this works on the client.

> OREShowDoc

OREShowDoc

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

OUG Finland (Harmony) 2014

I'm back a few days now after an eventful OUG Finland Conference. It was a great 2 days of Oracle techie stuff in one of the best conference locations in the world.

OUGF view

The conference kind of started on the Wednesday. It seemed like most of the speakers from across Europe and USA were getting into Helsinki around lunch time. Heli had arranged to be a tour guide for the afternoon and took us to see some of the sights around Helsinki, ending up at dinner at a Viking restaurant. At this we got to meet up with some of the other speakers.

We got to try the local Tar ice-cream. Let's just say it was an experience :-)

2014 06 04 21 52 23

The conference kicked off on the Thursday morning at a nature reserve (Haltia) about 30 minutes outside of Helsinki. I'm sure you have seem some of the photos that all of us were sharing on twitter. Heli did the opening welcome and got to show off how good her English is and how easily she can switch between Finnish and English (you had to be there). Each day consisted of 6 tracks and we also had some keynotes too. I think the highlight for most people on the first day was the keynote by James Morle. If you were not there, then hopefully he will be invited to give it at other conferences around the world.

Google Made Me Stupid

I did my usual thing of tweeting throughout the conference along with most of the other presenters, ACEs and ACE Directors.

My first presentation of the conference was my Sentiment Analysis using Oracle Data Mining. I had a decent enough attendance at this considering the glorious sunshine we had and also who was also presenting at the same time.

That evening there was the conference BBQ and we were entertained by the a band consisting of Oracle Finland employees. When all of the entertainment was finished it was time for some people to get the bus back to their hotel in Helsinki. But for 15 of us we headed off for an overnight camping in the local forest. Many thanks to Heli and Ann for arranging this and Ollie for setting up the camp and looking after us. The camp was a bit of fun but the mosquitoes were a bit of a issue for me. Lets just say 'They love me'

2014 06 06 06 58 072014 06 05 23 07 062014 06 05 23 06 37

Yes the safety briefing did talk about bears

2014 06 05 22 25 15

The next morning we got back in to the conference centre. After the keynote from Graham Wood (who was one of the campers), I had my second presentation on using ORE and how to get started with it. I was very surprised with the attendance, in that there was perhaps twice the number at it that I was hoping to have. This presentation ran on a little longer than hoped and it is more suited to a 1 hour slot than a 45 minute slot.

Me presenting ougf14

After that my presenting duties were over and I got to enjoy many of the presentations during the rest of the day. One of these was the Standard Edition Round table organised by Philippe Fierens, Jan Karrmans and Ann Sjokvit. There was lots of great discussion at this round table and I really hope they get to host this at other conferences.

Did I mention I got to meet Chris Date. Did I mention I got to meet Chris Date :-)

Me and Chris Date

As the conference came to a close the committee made sure that everyone had a small gift before going home. For all of those that were left waiting for the bus back into Helsinki there was one last (or several) jumps to do. Again the photos are on twitter, etc.

This was a great conference that had attendees (not just speakers) from a number of countries across Europe. I enjoyed the conference and getting to meet some old and new friends. Hopefully next year I will be able to fit OUG Finland into my calendar and so should you.

As Heli says "I'm Finnish and this is the end"