Monday, October 29, 2012

Oracle Scene (Autumn 2012) now available

The Autumn 2012 edition of Oracle Magazine (I’m the deputy editor) is now available online. Like in other editions recently there is a bumper online edition.

Here is the marketing release with the details of the contents.

Welcome to Issue 48 of Oracle Scene

In this digital edition find out why you should attend this year's UKOUG conference - Brendan Tierney tells us why he has been attending since 1998. Read about one organisation's success story from System Integration to Employee Self-Service, what the new release of Oracle BI Applications 11g has to offer and how it has been improved. Find out about training opportunities in the fastest-changing profession in the world, and Tim Poynter sheds some light on UPK Professional. Plus, Jonathan Lewis outlines how to apply a new strategy for Star Transformation. 
Click here to view the digital edition

The articles in this edition:

Discuss the essential ingredient of Oracle Gold Partner, PrĊject, transformation

Explore the ABC of ADF and why it may matter to you

Look at Oracle Fusion Middleware and summarise the most common products

Explore solutions for space management of database and file system

Outline optimal Oracle configuration for efficient table scanning

Click here to view the digital edition

And there’s more...

How to raise a Service Request with Oracle Support for Exadata

Introduction to Data Vault Modeling

Next Generation Service Patterns using Oracle Fusion Middleware

HR Platform - the changes and how to implement it successfully

Winners of the UKOUG 2012 Partner of the Year Awards

We hope you enjoy a good read.

Click here to view the digital edition

The deadline for submitting an article for the Spring 2013 edition will be in early January.

Many thanks to Brigit Wells and the other member of the UKOUG office who have worked on getting this edition and every edition out to print and online. Also a thank you to Geoff Swaffer who is the editor, and myself who is the deputy editor Smile

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New features for Developers in Oracle 12c & Tools

Continuing on from my previous posts on new features in the Advanced Analytics Option and the 12c Databases, this post will focus on the proposed new features for Developers in 12c and in the new releases of the development tools.

Health Warning: As with all the presentations at OOW that talked about what may be in or may be in the next release, there is no guarantee that these features will actually be in the released version of the database. Here is the slide that gives the Safe Harbor statement.

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  • APEX 4.2 is out now and has lots of new features in particular features for creating mobile applications including transitions, gestures, changes in orientation and HTML 5 support. Coming in 12c APEX will be able to support the pluggable database environment. You will have the option to install APEX in the Contain database or in the pluggable databases. It will also support the extended VARCHAR2 size
  • SQL Developer will have Data Pump to allow for fast movement of data and for scheduling of the movements. The Database Difference tool has been redesigned to give more options and gives a more reliable comparison. A redesigned Database Copy (more options), improved Migrations and PDF report generation. SQL Developer is not the admin tool to manage the APEX Listener. UI improvements include more/better drag and drop, GRANT statement support in SQL editor and database Doc reporting. A new release of SQL Developer will be made available with the release of 12c that includes all the 12c new features
  • Better Data Compression of data being sent to/from the client/server. So how you use the ORDER BY clause will become more important
  • We will now have BOOLEAN in 12c but only in PL/SQL Sad smile
  • 12c will allow you to grant ROLES to PL/SQL program units. Or we could specify a White List that lists what other code units can call your code. This is a great security enhancement, although it involves more admin work, but it is worth it.
  • 12c will allow you to include PL/SQL in WITH
  • 12c will allow you to create duplicate indexes on the same set of columns. Sometimes you might want two different types of index on the same data, for example a bit map index and a b-tree index.
  • Cursor results sets can now be returned implicitly instead of the existing explicit method
  • The Warning messages when compiling our PL/SQL code can be filtered based on if they are Severe, Performance related or just Informational. This can be set at a System or Session level.

alter session set plsql_warnings='enable:severe';

alter session set plsql_warnings='enable:performance';

alter session set plsql_warnings='enable:informational';

There was a large number of exhibits at OOW. All of them were giving things away. For some of these you had to endure a sales pitch. One of the popular type of give away was a t-shirt. If you really wanted to, you could get enough t-shirts to keep you going for a few years. I popped into the exhibits for JavaOne and the pictures below is my faviourate t-shirt from OOW, by CloudBees.

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Some of the exhibits were also giving away money. If you would sit through a 10 minute presentation you were given a ticket and if your number was picked your would could win anything from $20 up to $100. Many thanks to Intel Smile

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oracle Database next release (12c) new features

At Oracle Open World there was a number of presentation on the new features that we will see in the new release of the database, which is being called 12c, where c is for the cloud.

The 12c Database/Next Release was announce during Larry’s Sunday keynote speech. 

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Health Warning: As with all the presentations at OOW that talked about what may be in or may be in the next release, there is no guarantee that these features will actually be in the released version of the database. Here is the slide that gives the Safe Harbor statement.

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In addition to this key note there was a few additional presentations on 12c with the main one, for me, by Tom Kyte on the Thursday morning.

  • The 12c database will be a multi-tenant database. What does this mean? If means that we can have multiple databases running on the same server sharing the same memory and process management. Under the current configuration, when we create a new database on a server we create a separate set of processes and memory allocation.  Oracle is calling this, Pluggable Databases

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  • MapReduce in the Database - MapReduce can be run from PL/SQL directly in the database.
  • Improved default value management. We will be able to clearly how to allocate a value to or calculate a value as a default for a column. The first of these is that we will be able to assign a sequence to a column. Example x int default s.nextval primary key. We can then insert into a table and not worry about how to calculate a primary key value, insert into t(y) values ('hello world');.  We will also be able to specify a default value when no value is being inserted into a column, z number default on null 42
  • Increased size for VARCHAR2, NVARCHAR2 and RAW data types up to 32K in size. You will need to se the Max_SQL_String_Size in the init.ora to EXTENDED. But this new size limit is not supported in clustered and index organised tables.
  • Some improvements to PARTITIONing, with asynchronous global index maintenance for DROP and TRUNCATE partition. New CASCADE functionality for TRUNCATE and EXCHANGE partition. You will be able to perform multiple partition operations with a single DDL command.
  • There will be better Statistics for query performance including Hybrid Historgrams, Session Private Statistics and statistics will be gathered during data loads automatically.
  • Temporary UNDO for objects will be handled in TEMP
  • Greater insight of data usage i.e .what is being used or not being used and how frequently. This allows policies in table definition (new ILM clause) to compress or archive data after time.

ALTER TABLE orders
ILM ADD CompressionPolicy
COMPRESS Partitions for Query
AFTER 90 days from creation;

This post focused on the core database new features what may be coming in 12c.

In my next blog post I will look at some of the coding/development changes that are coming in 12c and associated Oracle development tools

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oracle Advanced Analytics Option in Oracle 12c

At Oracle Open World a few weeks ago there was a large number of presentations on Big Data and Analytics.  Most of these were marketing type presentations, with a couple of presentations on using R and how it can not be integrated into the Oracle Database 11.2.

In addition this these there was one presentation that focused on the Oracle Advanced Analytics (OAA) Option.

The Oracle Advanced Analytics Option covers the Oracle Data Mining features and the Oracle R Enterprise features in the Database.

The purpose of this blog post is to outline and summarise what was mentioned at these presentations, and will include what changes are/may be coming in the “Next Release” of the database i.e. Oracle 12c.

Health Warning: As with all the presentations at OOW that talked about what may be in or may be in the next release, there is not guarantee that the features will actually be in the release version of the database. Here is the slide that gives the Safe Harbor statement.

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  • 12c will come with R embedded into it. So there will be no need for any configurations.
  • Oracle R client will come as part of the server install.
  • Oracle R client will be able to use the Analytics functions that exist in the database.
  • Will be able to run R code in the database.
  • The database (12c) will be able to spawn multiple R engines.
  • Will be able to emulate map-reduce style algorithms.
  • There will be new PREDICTION function, replacing the existing (11g) functionality. This will combine a number of steps of building a model and applying it to the data to be scored into one function.  But we will still need the functionality of the existing PREDICTION function that is in 11g. So it will be interesting to see how this functionality will be kept in addition to the new functionality being proposed in 12c.
  • Although the Oracle Data Miner tool will still exits and will have many new features. It was also referred to as the ‘OAA Workflow’.  So those this indicate a potential name change?  We will have to wait and see.
  • Oracle Data Miner will come with a new additional graphing feature. This will be in addition to the Explore Node and will allow us to produce more typical attribute related graphs. From what I could see these would be similar to the type of box plot, scatter, bar chart, etc. graphs that you can get from R.
  • There will be a number of new algorithms too, including a useful One Class Support Vector Machine. This can be used when we have a data set with just one class value. This algorithm will work out what records/cases are more important and others.
  • There will be a new SQL node. This will allow us to write our own data transformation code.
  • There will be a new node to allow the calling of R code.
  • The tool also comes with a slightly modified layout and colour scheme.

Again, the points that I have given above are just my observations. They may or may not appear in 12c, or maybe I misunderstood what was being said.

It certainly looks like we will have a integrate analytics environment in 12c with full integration of R and the ODM in-database features.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Extracting the rules from an ODM Decision Tree model

One of the most interesting of important aspects of a Decision Model is that we as a user can get to see what rules the machine learning algorithm has generated for our data.

I’ve give a number of examples in various blog posts over the past few years on how to generate a number of classification models. An example of the workflow is below.

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In the Class Build node we get four models being generated. These include a Generalised Linear Model, Support Vector Machine, Naive Bayes and a Decision Tree model.

We can explore the Decision Tree model by right clicking on the Class Build Node, selecting View Models and then the Decision Tree model, which will be labelled with a ‘DT’ in the name.

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As we explore the nodes and branches of the Decision Tree we can see the rule that was generated for a node in the lower pane of the applications. So by clicking on each node we get a different rule appearing in this pane

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Sometimes there is a need to extract this rules so that they can be presented to a number of different types of users, to explain to them what is going on.

How can we extract the Decision Tree rules?

To do this, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • From the Models section of the Component Palette select the Model Details node.
  • Click on the Workflow pane and the Model Details node will be created
  • Connect the Class Build node to the Model Details node. To do this right click on the Class Build node and select Connect. Then move the mouse to the Model Details node and click. The two nodes should now be connected.
  • Edit the Model Details node, uncheck the Auto Settings, select Model Type to be Decision Tree, Output to be Full Tree and all the columns.

SNAGHTML2093297b

  • Run the Model Details node. Right click on the node and select run. When complete you you will have the little green box with a tick mark, on the top right hand corner.
  • To view the details produced, right click on the Model Details node and select View Data
  • The rules for each node will now be displayed. You will need to scroll to the right of this pane to get to the rules and you will need to expand the columns for the rules to see the full details

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Friday, October 12, 2012

My Presentations on Oracle Advanced Analytics Option

I’ve recently compiled my list of presentation on the Oracle Analytics Option. All these presentations are for a 45 minute period.

I have two versions of the presentation ‘How to do Data Mining in SQL & PL/SQL’, one is for 45 minutes and the second version is for 2 hour.

I have given most of these presentations at conferences or SIGS.

Let me know if you are interesting in having one of these presentations at your SIG or conference.

  • Oracle Analytics Option - 12c New Features - available 2013
  • Real-time prediction in SQL & Oracle Analytics Option - Using the 12c PREDICTION function - available 2013
  • How to do Data Mining in SQL & PL/SQL
  • From BIG Data to Small Data and Everything in Between
  • Oracle R Enterprise : How to get started
  • Oracle Analytics Option : R vs Oracle Data Mining
  • Building Predictive Analysts into your Forms Applications
  • Getting Real Business Value from OBIEE and Oracle Data Mining  (This is a cut down and merged version of the follow two presentations)
  • Getting Real Business Value from OBIEE and Oracle Data Mining - Part 1 : The Oracle Data Miner part
  • Getting Real Business Value from OBIEE and Oracle Data Mining - Part 2 : The OBIEE part
  • How to Deploying and Using your Oracle Data Miner Models in Production
  • Oracle Analytics Option 101
  • From SQL Programmer to Data Scientist: evolving roles of an Oracle programmer
  • Using an Oracle Oracle Data Mining Model in SQL & PL/SQL
  • Getting Started with Oracle Data Mining
  • You don't need a PhD to do Data Mining

Check out the ‘My Presentations’ page for updates on new presentations.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine-March/April 1998

The headline articles for the March/April 1998 edition of Oracle Magazine were on how the role of the DBA is increasing in importance, managing databases globally, how the DBA is an important strategic partner in an organisation. Oracle is being used by a number of health organisations including Norway’s national hospital system, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Neuroclinical Trials Center.

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Other articles included:

  • Oracle Applications 11was due for release during the first half of 1998 and has a number of key features including, Universal Access, Globalized Finance, Project Manufacturing and Flow Manufacturing.
  • Oracle’s Industry Applications division recently introduced new products including Oracle Public Budgeting, Oracle Sector Grants Management and the Oracle Energy Upstream solution .
  • 5 ways DBA’s can be strategic partners: Proactive systems management, systems design, change management, performance tuning and security.
  • Steve Lemme, DBA/systems manager for Motorola lists the following tasks for DBAs to keep them busy
    • Daily Duties : At a minimum monitor
      • Oracle ALERT file logs
      • Systems resources
      • Backups
      • Archive logs
      • Error logs
    • Weekly Watch : Check free space including:
      • Tablespaces
      • Tables
      • Indexes
      • Clusters
    • Monthly Monitoring : Do audits for fragmentation of :
      • Indexes
      • Clusters
      • Tables
  • Oracle Enterprise Toolkit comprises, Enterprise Manager, Diagnostics Pack, Tuning Pack and Management Pack.
  • Kenny Smith looks at a day in the life of a DBA working from home using Oracle Enterprise Manager that included a Data Load, Change View, Create stored function, Add a new user, Fix a database link, Send a size report to director, Fix a production slowdown, Helped an application developer and Averted a production crisis.
  • Migrating to Oracle 8: Quick Start on New Features:
    • Knowledge Collection and Consolidation
      • Learn about Oracle 8’s new features
      • Get help from someone who has implemented Oracle 8
      • Review the new features with your team
    • Application Analysis for New Features
      • Implement minor changes first
      • Define the table partitioning strategy
      • Define and indexing strategy
      • Identify the tables you can index organise
    • Database Design Analysis for New Features
      • Define the new physical layout
      • Define a partition maintenance strategy
      • Migrate to partitions
    • Backup and Recovery Strategy
      • Review your current backup and recovery strategy
      • Make as many tablespaces as possible read-only
      • Define a multitiered backup strategy using SMR
      • Make sure at least two independent restoration options exist
      • Ensure that you can do the restoration in an adequate time period
      • Define a plan for testing backup and recovery
  • Kevin Loney has an article on the new format for ROWID in Oracle 8, what it is and how to use it

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.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine–January/February 1998

The headline articles for the January/February 1998 edition of Oracle Magazine were on Electronic Commerce and include justification for building EC applications, creating online shops and what products Oracle has to support as aspects of an EC applications.

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Other articles included:

  • Oracle Product announcements included:
    • Oracle InterOffice 4.1
    • Oracle Lite 3.0 gets a Java facelift
    • Oracle Gateways for MS SQL Server 8 and Sybase 8
    • Oracle Applications Release 11 is coming soon
    • Applications Desktop Integrator
    • Application Server 3.1
    • Oracle 8 on Sun Sets new World Record. TCP-C Benchmark with 51,871.62 tpmC at $134.36 per tpmC runing Oracle 8 on Sun Solaris 2.6 on a two node Sun Microsystems Ultra Enterprise 6000 cluster
  • Marking the Mart Decision, looked at how using a Data Mart approach you can have a project delivered quicker (3 to 6 months) and a cost of $100,000. All this using the Oracle Data Mart Suite for Windows NT
  • Securing transactions in Network Applications using Oracle’s Web Application Server to control security
    • Digital Certificate Authentication
    • Application Authorization
    • Encryption
  • Managing Unstructured data in Oracle 8. There ware some new data types including LOB, CLOB, BLOB  and BFILE
  • Making the most of Java looks at how you can use applets with Designer/2000 WebServer Generator
  • A quick start guide on how to migrate to Oracle 8, included:
    • Determining the Migration Strategy
      • Ensure compatibility
      • Identify invalid objects and lost statistics
      • Eliminate language problems
      • Take care of read-only tablespaces
      • Know the point of no return
      • Avoid large restores
    • Defining Resource Requirements
      • Define Personnel requirements
      • Set the timing of the migration
      • Determine space requirements
      • Create an appropriate testing environment
    • Determining Potential Problem Areas
      • Review ROWIDs
      • Avoid reserved words
      • Eliminate obsolete init.ora parameters
    • Identifying Verification Tests
      • Develop the test strategy
      • Do migration testing
      • Perform minimal testing
      • Do functional testing
      • Do integration testing
      • Do performance testing
      • Do load-stress testing

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, October 3, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine- November/December 1997

The headline articles for the November/December 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine were focused on the Network Computing area, how it works, what framework to use, how the architecture works, how it supports the information management universe.

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Other articles included:

  • The new features of Designer/2000 Release 2.0 included a new Design Editor, an updated Repository to capture more details about the application structure, rules and application logic and reusable module components.
  • Object Database Designer for Object-Relational Databases is beta released with a production version in a few months
  • Oracle’s Very Large Memory (VLM) capability on Windows NT raises the 2GB memory constraint imposed on applications running Windows NT. With VLM, Oracle can cache almost 8GB of database information in memory.
  • Extending Oracle 8 with Objects looked at how to create nested tables, and creating object tables
  • How to Create a Good Test Database gives some guidance on how to extract a referentially intact subset of data for testing a data warehouse with new reports, queries and programs.
  • A Management Perspective on Handling a New Millennium gives a methodology to address the complete management and control issues. The had the following phases:
    • Impact assessment
    • Prechange analysis
    • Compliance
    • Retest and Integration
  • Using Parallel Query to improve Windows NT Data Mart Performance
  • The last section of the magazine had 10 pages of job adverts.

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.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

AIB Presentation at Oracle Open World

Today AIB is presenting at Oracle Open World on using Real Application Testing, how they were able to consolidate their database environment and saved a lot of euros.

The was a good turnout and in the audience was the well known Tom Kyte from Oracle (asktom.oracle.com)

Review of Oracle Magazine–September/October 1997

The headline articles for the September/October 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine were how to put your data warehouse on the web, how to build it, how it works, differences between a data mart and a data warehouse, how Delicato Vineyard and the US Environmental Protection Agency web enabled their data warehouse,

This was a bumper edition of Oracle Magazine. It had just over 150 pages of content. This is compared to the previous editions that have been +/- a few pages of 100.

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Other articles included:

  • There was a certain amount of repetition of announcements from the previous edition (a lot). I won’t repeat them here but check out the previous edition review.
  • Extending Oracle 8 with Objects covered how to create and work with Object Types.
  • How to setup and configure your Oracle Database hot standby, how to monitor it and what limitations to watch out for.
  • Oracle Designer/2000 Administration: Tuning Tips and Techniques.
    • The tips for the Repository included:
      • Bring your system up to speed
      • Re-create indexes and hash tables frequently
      • Size the SGA Shared_Pool_Size and the DB_Block_Buffers
      • Pin procedures to the SGA
      • Size the tablespaces
      • Re-create the repository through import/export
      • Be aware of the impact of sharing objects across multiple application systems
    • Tips for Client-side tuning:
      • Use suggested settings for PC clients
      • Install Designer/2000 client tools on a file server
    • Tips for Network Tuning
      • Configure SQL*Net
  • Unlocking the value of test with Oracle ConText cartridge. CareerPath.com uses ConText to enable servers to quickly and efficiently search through hundreds of thousands of job vacancies quickly and relevant for the searchers entered details.

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.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine–July/August 1997

The headline articles for the July/August 1997 edition of Oracle Magazine were all focused on using Java, building applications, an interview with James osling using Java and the Oracle Database together and an outline of what Oracle sees as the future for Java.

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Other articles included:

  • There as a lot of product announcements (similar to the previous edition). These included:
    • Developer/2000 Web Cartridge
    • Enterprise JavaBeans for Integrated Business Solutions
    • Oracle/CNN Launch
    • Personal Oracle Lite 2.4 : Mobile RDBMS
    • Oracle Replication Services Release 1.3: Bidirectional replication
    • Oracle Projects 10.7 Suite of Applications
    • Oracle Web Application Server 3.0 on HP-UX
    • Oracle Discoverer 3.0
    • Oracle GEMMS 4.1
    • Data Mart solution for Windows NT
  • Using the Network Computing Architecture (NCA) with Developer/2000 and Designer/2000. This covered how you can create components that you can mix and match, and plug into your applications. This involved using JDeveloper and the Developer/2000 Web Forms Cartridge to Deploy in Java.
  • There was an article discussing how you can implement your applications in a distributed environment, on a phased basis.
  • Steven Feuerstein writes planning your PL/SQL development to maximise your PL/SQL environment. He suggests that there are two specific steps for PL/SQL: 1 Consolidate access to the underlying database, and 2 Standardize exception handling and creating general utilities that can be reused. Best practices include:
    • Make packages flexible and easy to use
    • Overload the package to make the package smarter
    • Modularize the package so it can be maintained and enhanced.
    • Hide the package data
    • Build multiple packages simultaneously
    • Employing top-down design in PL/SQL
    • Make the most of the PL/SQL language and features

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.