Showing posts with label oug_ire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oug_ire. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine–November/December 1996

The headline articles for the November/December 1996 edition of Oracle Magazine were focused on VLDB with articles on scaling to petabyte sized databases, the latest and best hardware to use, what new exist features in 7.3 and 8 for VLDBS, what new tools exists to assist administrators with the scale of the database.


Other articles included:

  • There was an article on what is a Operational Data Store (ODS) and it also highlights how and ODS is different to a Data Warehouse. Despite this article and many, many more like it in the wider press since 1996 there is still lots of confusion out in the IT world on what whey are and how they are different.
  • A new Database Design tool has been added to the Oracle Designer/2000 suit. This new tool was supposed to be lightweight, etc.  Oracle Data Modeler is a much better tool.
  • Oracle outlines their roadmap for making their database and certain tools available on Windows NT.
  • IKEA has implemented and Oracle 7 DB on multiple platforms, including IBM MVS, Digital VMS, IBM AIX and other UNIX variants. Other tools used by IKEA included Developer/2000 and Designer/2000.
  • How to manage multi-table joins to reduce the amount of processing. The article looked at how to use Nested Loops, Merger Joins and Hash Joins. The article also suggests that in some cases maybe you need to consider redesigning your tables/data model.
  • Motorola implements multi-lingual Oracle Human Resources 10SC in 14 offices in 8 countries. There was a lot of use of NLS functionality in the database including NLS_LANG, NLS_NUMERIC_CHARACTERS, NLS_SORT and the translated _TL tables in Oracle Applications.
  • We have the first Y2K related article, an much of the discussion focused on how Oracle Stores Dates in the database. Most of the fuss focused on if you captured and stored a two digit year or a four digit year. Oracle provided the RR format mask to minimise the amount of recoding that needed to be done to Many applications around the world.
  • There was 6 pages of job adverts from Oracle Australia, Database Consultants Inc, ACT1, BPA, Profound Consulting, RHI Consulting, Ernst & Young, TransTech, Wilco, Information Alliance, Exor Technologies, The Consulting Team, InTimeSystems, May&Speh, Price Waterhouse. I wonder where some of those companies are now.

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, August 14, 2012

Tom Kyte Seminar–Dublin 19th September 2012

Calling all Oracle users in Ireland.

Tom Kyte will be back in Dublin on Wednesday 19th September for a half day seminar.


The event is is being organised by the Ireland OUG and Oracle.

It will be in the Gibson Hotel beside the Point village.

This is a FREE event for everyone, so share the news and get to see Tom Kyte present for a 4 hours.

As they say spaces are limited, so book your place today. I have.

To register for the event – click here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Call for paper for Oracle Scene-Winter 2012 Edition

The call for papers is now open for Oracle technical papers for publication in the UKOUG Oracle Scene magazine.

The submission date for completed papers is 24th August. 

To get more information of paper guidelines and submission details go to,

The Winter edition will be published online and in print format around the end of October. This will be in time for the EPM & Hyperion, JDE and UKOUG 2012 conferences. So this is a chance to get your message across to these communities.

Did you get a presentation accepted for the UKOUG annual conference or were you disappointed ?  Maybe you could consider writing a paper based on your presentation and submit it for consideration.

How about advertising in Oracle Scene. Over the past couple of editions we have had a significant increase in readership, with readership from countries around the world.

Over the past few years Oracle Scene has moved from being a regional User Group magazine to having a readership in 30+ countries around the world.

Why am I writing this post ?  I’m a deputy editor of Oracle Scene Smile

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oracle Technology Day in Dublin 15th November

Calling all Oracle users in Ireland.

Oracle is hosting a Technology day in Dublin on Thursday 15th November. This one day event will be held in the Croke Park Conference Centre.

They will be talking about Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Social Media and Big Data.

They are also hoping to include some of the updates and product news that will be announced at Oracle Open World in early October.

As this is not an Oracle User Group event, you should expect a certain amount of marketing and sales pitches at this event.

To register for this event got to – Register Now

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Data Science Is Multidisciplinary

[Update :October 2016.  There appears to be some discussion about the Venn diagram I've proposed below. The central part of this diagram is not anything I can up with. It was a commonly used Venn diagram for Data Mining. Thanks to Polly Michell-Guthrie for providing the original reference for the Venn. I just added the outer ring of additional skills needed for the new area of Data Science. This was just my view of things back in 2012. Things have moved on a bit since then]

A few weeks ago I had a blog post called Domain Knowledge + Data Skills = Data Miner.
In that blog post I was saying that to be a Data Scientist all you needed was Domain Knowledge and some Data Skills, which included Data Mining.
The reality is that the skill set of a Data Scientist will be much larger. There is a saying ‘A jack of all trades and a master of none’. When it comes to being a data scientist you need to be a bit like this but perhaps a better saying would be ‘A jack of all trades and a master of some’.
I’ve put together the following diagram, which includes most of the skills with an out circle of more fundamental skills. It is this outer ring of skills that are fundamental in becoming a data scientist. The skills in the inner part of the diagram are skills that most people will have some experience in one or more of them. The other skills can be developed and learned over time, all depending on the type of person you are.
Can we train someone to become a data scientist or are they born to be a data scientist. It is a little bit of both really but you need to have some of the fundamental skills and the right type of personality. The learning of the other skills should be easy(ish)
What do you think?  Are their Skill that I’m missing?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine–May/June 1996

The headline articles for the May/June 1996 edition of Oracle Magazine was an introduction to the Oracle Universal Server and how it can be used to give a flexible architecture for your growing organisation


Other articles included:

  • Oracle Magazine goes interactive with the launch of the The initial site had Oracle Magazines from 1994 and 1995, along with subscription information, a Q&A area and a WebMaster comic strip
  • There was a preview of Larry’s Network Computer (NC). It was supposed to be a low cost computing appliance optimised to operate on the internet and other highly distributed networks such as corporate LANs, is designed to provide users with simple, economical and robust communications and access to information. The NC will include a Web Terminal, ISDN Video Phone, Set-top Box, Two-way Pager and a Personal Digital Assistant.
  • Oracle Developer/2000 and Designer/2000 Release 1.3 is announced
  • There is a review of how Cisco standardised on using Oracle 7 and how they went about the selection and implementation of Oracle Applications including financial, manufacturing and human resources applications.
  • Integrating the WWW and Oracle Order Entry. Companies can now have an instant presence to the world but also, by examining the web-server activity logs, they gain the ability to see who the buyers are and who just browses

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.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

OUG Ireland SIG Meetings 26th June

The next Oracle User Group in Ireland SIG meetings will be on Tuesday 26th June.

This will be a full day event and will comprise 2 SIGs, the BI& EPM and Applications.

The BI & EPM SIG presentations will be in the morning and the Applications SIG presentations will be in the afternoon.

A lot of work has been put into planning this full day event to come up with an agenda that people from both communities may be interested in.


Check out the full agenda page – click here.

To register for the event – click here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

OTN Developer Days–Dublin 12th to 14 June

The OTN Developer Days events return to the Oracle Dublin office in East Point this month from the 12th to the 14th.

These are free events, but places are limited, and allow you to get some hands-on training with these tools. Depending on the day and the topic there is a mixture of lecture and workshop, to just being a hands-on workshop.

12th June – Golden Gate 11g, Oracle Data Integrator 11g and Enterprise Data Quality (full day : 9:45-17:00)

13th June – Partitioning and Advanced Compression (9:45-13:00)

14th June – Unlocking the value of Oracle Database 11g Core Features (9:45-15:00)

These are free events and you will even get a free lunch from Oracle.

Monday, May 28, 2012

VM for Oracle Data Miner

Recently the OTN team have updated the ‘Database App Development’  Developer Day virtual machine to include Oracle DB and SQL Developer 3.1.  This is all you need to try out Oracle Data Miner.

So how do you get started with using Oracle Data Miner on your PC. The first step is to download and install the latest version of Oracle VirtualBox.


The next step is to download and install the OTN Developer Day appliance. Click on the above link to go to the webpage and follow the instructions to download and install the appliance. Download the first appliance on this page ‘Database App Development’ VM. This is a large download and depending on your internet connection it can take anything from 30 minutes to hours. So I wouldn’t recommend doing this over a wifi.

When you start up the VM your OS username and password is oracle. Yes it is case sensitive.

When the get logged into the VM you can close or minimise the host window


There are two important icons, the SQL Developer and the ODDHandsOnLab.html icons.

The ODDHandsOnLab.html icon loads a webpage what contains a number of tutorials for you to follow.


The tutorial we are interest in is the Oracle Data Miner Tutorial. There are 4 tutorials given for ODM. The first two tutorials need to be followed in the order that they are given. The second two tutorials can be done in any order.

If you have not used SQL Developer before then you should work through this tutorial before starting the Oracle Data Miner tutorials.

The first tutorial takes you through the steps needed to create your ODM schema and to create the ODM repository within the database. This tutorial will only take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

In the second tutorial you get to use the ODM to build your first ODM model. This tutorial steps your through how to get started with an ODM project, workflow, the different ODM features, how to explore the data, how to create classification models, how to explore the model and then how to apply one of these models to new data. This second tutorial will take approx. 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

It is all very simple and easy to use.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

UKOUG Conference-Submissions Deadline is 1st June

The call for presentations for Europe’s largest Oracle conference is currently open, but the deadline for submissions is approaching fast. The submission deadline is 1st June.

If you are interested in presenting there are a couple of things you need to do. The first step is that you need to register as a speaker. This just involves you registering your interest in being a speaker. The second step is to submit your presentation abstracts.

The conference will be in Birmingham between 3rd and 5th December. There are multiple streams including BI, Technology, Fusion, Middleware, Development, MySQL, Infrastructure, eBusiness Suite, Core Database, etc.

I gave my very first presentation at the annual UKOUG Conference a few years ago and I’ve presented a few times since. I would encourage everyone to give it a go. Pick a topic or topics that you have been working on over the past 12 months or more, or if you used a particular technique on a recent project, or you have discovered a particular work around, etc. submit a presentation on it.

I’ve submitted a few presentations, all of which are about data mining and the advanced analytics option in the Oracle Database. Two of these presentations will be co-presented with Antony Heljula, Peak Indicators. The presentations will be on including and using Oracle Data Mining models in OBIEE and on how we went about developing the Oracle Data Mining models for our project. Will they get accepted, I hope so, but the presentation selection is based on user voting. Everyone can get involved in the judging and voting of presentations.

Notifications of Acceptances Smile or Rejections Sad smile typically come out around the end of July or early August.

I’ve already booked by flight to Birmingham in December, so if my presentations get accepted or not, I’ll be there. It is a great conference.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review of Oracle Magazine–March/April 1996

The headline articles for the March/April 1996 edition of Oracle Magazine was Oracle’s first or early articles on Data Warhousing, including DW Architectures, what Oracle tools you can use, multi-dimensional analysis, Oracle Express and future directions of data warehouses.


Julie Gibbs, the editor of Oracle Magazine, wondered ‘What will be hot in 2005?’. Some of her predictions/suggestions were:

  • Will Larry Ellison’s NC provide every home with a $500 internet box
  • What will be the 3 biggest software companies and were any of them around in 1995
  • How many people will use the internet everyday
  • Will the internet be censored ? How and by whom ?
  • Or will the internet be passe and will virtual reality be a reality
  • What will be the size of the largest data warehouse
  • Will Apple still exist
  • Will you be reading your magazines in print or online
  • Will your company have a woman CEO
  • How many people will be telecommuting
  • Will every desktop have built in video conferencing so that you can talk to your coworkers

Other articles included:

  • Oracle Interoffice Suite was released and comprised Messaging, Document and Workflow servers based on Oracle 7.3. The product provided groupware functions, such as electronic mail, messaging, scheduling, directory services, document management, workflow and conferencing.
  • Oracle 7.3 new features included Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Software Manager, SQL*Net 2.3, advanced replication and Oracle ConText.
  • How to rename your database. It is not always optimal for a database to keep the name it was born with. A step by step guide is given on how to do this without loosing any data!
  • A case study is presented from NeXT Computer on how to audit and clean up your Oracle Applications data as you prepare to upgrade to Release 10. These included:
    • Review Usernames and unused responsibilities
    • Unused menus and menu options
    • Are outdate concurrent requests being purged
    • Unused printers
    • Identify cluttered production libraries
    • Unused custom concurrent processes
    • Unused database objects
    • Inactive vendors and invalid distribution sets
    • Unused payment terms
    • Closed bank accounts
    • Protecting your budgets
    • Obsolete journal sources
    • Invalid price lists
    • Unbooked orders and unclosed orders
    • Unused payment terms, transaction types, units of measure and inactive sales people
  • How to design a database for OLAP. Most of the following steps still stand today for designing your star-schemas
    • Define the question (business function/area)
    • Use Normalized logic
    • Identify Dimensions
    • Create Hierarchies
    • Identify Attributes
    • Identify Measures
    • Add Calculations
  • There was a review of the very first Oracle Magazine that was published in June 1987.  Watch this space, as I will be posting the details soon.

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.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Domain Knowledge + Data Skills = Data Miner

Over the past few weeks I have been talking to a lot of people who are looking at how data mining can be used in their organisation, for their projects and to people who have been doing data mining for a log time.

What comes across from talking to the experienced people, and these people are not tied to a particular product, is that you need to concentrate on the business problem. Once you have this well defined then you can drill down to the deeper levels of the project. Some of these levels will include what data is needed (not what data you have), tools, algorithms, etc.

Statistics is only a very small part of a data mining project. Some people who have PhDs in statistics who work in data mining say you do not use or very rarely use their statistics skills.

Some quotes that I like are:

"Focus hard on Business Question and the relevant target variable that captures the essence of the question." Dean Abbott PAW Conf April 2012

"Find me something interesting in my data is a question from hell. Analysis should be guided by business goals." Colin Shearer PAW Conf Oct 2011

There has need a lot of blog posting and articles on what are the key skills for a Data Miner and the more popular Data Scientist. What is very clear from all of these is that you will spend most of your time looking at, examining, integrating, manipulating, preparing, standardising and formatting the data. It has been quoted that all of these tasks can take up to 70% to 85% of a Data Mining/Data Scientist time. All of these tasks are commonly performed by database developers and in particular the developers and architects involved in Data Warehousing projects. The rest of the time for the running of the data mining algorithms, examining the results, and yes some stats too.

Every little time is spent developing algorithms!!! Why is this ? Would it be that the algorithms are already developed (for a long time now and are well turned) and available in all the data mining tools. We can almost treat these algorithms as a black box. So one of the key abilities of a data miner/data scientist would be to know what the algorithms can do, what kind of problems they can be used for, know what kind of outputs they produce, etc.

Domain knowledge is important, no matter how little it is, in preparing for and being involved in a data mining project. As we define our business problem the domain expert can bring their knowledge to the problem and allows us separate the domain related problems from the data related problems. So the domain expertise is critical at that start of a project, but the domain expertise is also critical when we have the outputs from the data mining algorithms. We can use the domain knowledge to tied the outputs from the data mining algorithms back to the original problem to bring real meaning to the original business problem we are working on.

So what is the formula of skill sets for a data mining or data scientist. Well it is a little like the title of this blog;

Domain Knowledge + Data Skills + Data Mining Skills + a little bit of Machine Learning + a little bit of Stats = a Data Miner / Data Scientist

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oracle Magazine-May/June 1995

The headline articles for the May/June edition of Oracle Magazine included one of the first articles on Data Centers,using the prebuilt packages in PL/SQL and how to use object-oriented programming techniques in Oracle Forms 4.5


Other articles included:

Oracle 7 Internet Access Kit also called the Oracle World Wide Web Interface Kit. Developers could use this kit developers can create links between web servers and Oracle 7 databases. The Oracle WWW Interface Kit included:

  • Oracle’s Web-Oracle-Web (WOW) PL/SQL gateway to web servers
  • Oracle’s PL/SQL editor and development tool for creating dynamic PL/SQL
  • PERL, a freeware interpreting programming language
  • ORAPERL, an extension to PERL for use with Oracle 7 databases
  • ORAYWWW, a PERL gateway
  • WORA, a user-friendly database browser written in Pro*C
  • DECOUX, a post-processing gateway that inserts query results from a Oracle 7 database into HyperText Markup Language (HTML) documents
  • Navigator, a collection of PERL scripts and one Pro*C module that enables administrators to quickly configure HTML forms for end user queries
  • Text Search System (TSS), an indexing and free text search system
  • MORE, a collection of Pro*C gateways for maintaining an information repository
  • HotMetal, a HTML editor

Fee access to Oracle ConText. Oracle customers were offered an opportunity to try ConText before you buy. According the the article Oracle ConText is a revolutionary linguistic analysis program that automatically generates back-of-book indexes and reduces the volume of text to a summary.

Ken Jacobs gives the second part of his in-depth article on the latest release of Oracle 7.1 and Oracle 7.2 databases. Ken was vice president of Product Planning and has been working with Oracle since version 2 of the database.

Mike Ault has an article on using DBMS_PIPES PL/SQL package, how to access the shared pool using the DBMS_SHARED_POOL PL/SQL package and how to use the DBMS_OUTPUT procedure.

How big is your database ?  Oracle conducted a survey of all its customers to see what was the typical size of their databases and how many users each database would have. The following diagrams gives the results of this survey and compares the 1994 results with the results from 1993. We can see that there was a bit of a jump on the size of the databases but the number of users increased significantly



So must customers had databases in the 2GB to 10GB. How things have changed. If the survey was conduced for 2012 what results would be get ?

In 1995, Oracle Open World took place in Yokohama, Japan between 18th and 19th January. It had 130 seminars and sessions.  In 2012 OOW will have over 500 sessions and will run over 5 days!

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.

How big was your Oracle Database in 1993 & 1994

I’m in the middle of writing my summary of the May/June 1995 edition of Oracle Magazine (that blog post is coming soon). There was a one article about a survey that Oracle conducted of its customer on how big their databases were and the number of users for their databases.

The follow diagrams gives the summary results of these surveys.

We can see that there was a bit of a jump on the size of the databases but the number of users increased significantly



So must customers had databases in the 2GB to 10GB. How things have changed. If the survey was conduced for 2012 what results would be get ?

Does anyone know if Oracle has published similar survey results in the last few years ?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Oracle Magazine–March 1995

In 1995 we have a change to the frequency of publication of Oracle Magazine. It is not published every 2 two months with 6 editions each year, as it is still the case.

The headline articles in the March/April 1994 edition of Oracle Magazine included Integrating Unstructured Information, Minimizing Client/Server Network Traffic with Oracle Forms 4.0, Relational Objects and how the Canadian Postal Service was using Oracle Technology to deliver mail on time.


Other articles include:

Dynamic SQL Comes to PL/SQL: Introduces us to the DBMS_SQL package. A useful quick reference one pager is given giving the details of each of the 15 procedures and functions, including, BIND_VARIABLE, CLOSE_CURSOR, COLUMN_VALUE, DEFINE_COLUMN, EXECUTE, EXECUTE_AND_FETCH, FETCH_ROWS, IS_OPEN, LAST_ERROR_POSITION, LAST_ROW_COUNT, LAST_ROW_ID, LAST_SQL_FUNCTION_CODE, OPEN_CURSOR, PARSE, VARIABLE_VALUE.

Personal Oracle 7 for Windows gets released and it now has a graphical administration tool to allow us to manage the database, including users, backup and recovery managers along with export/import and SQL*Loader and Oracle Objects for OLE. The hardware requirements included 8Mb of RAM and less than 30Mb of hard-disk space. How things have changed!!!. It was capable of running on Window 3.1 and was Windows 95 ready.

Rollback segments in in Oracle 7 allows use to now effectively manage our transactions. It gave the following recommendations:

  • Create a separate tablespace for rollback segments for administrative and monitoring purposes
  • Se the size of the tablespace according to the number and storage parameters of the rollback segments
  • Place your rollback segment tablespace on a separate disk device, if possible. Consider total I/O activities and spread I/O over available disk devices
  • Create one rollback segment for every four concurrent transactions
  • Don’t create more than 50 rollback segments
  • Create smaller rollback segments for OLTP applications. This increases the likelihood that rollback segments will be cached in SGA according to the least recently used algorithm, resulting in performance gain
  • Create larger rollback segments for decision support or back processing applications
  • Set initial to you average transaction size, set OPTIMAL to four to eight times larger than INITIAL

Oracle Magazine goes digital and interactive with a CD-ROM containing every issue of published in the previous two years and also contained a map of Oracle offices worldwide.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the above image or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oracle Advanced Analytics Video by Charlie Berger

Charlie Berger (Sr. Director Product Management, Data Mining & Advanced Analytics) as produced a video based on a recent presentation called ‘Oracle Advanced Analytics: Oracle R Enterprise & Oracle Data Mining’.

This is a 1 hour video, including some demos, of product background, product features, recent developments and new additions, examples of how Oracle is including Oracle Data Mining into their fusion applications, etc.

Oracle has 2 data mining products, with main in-database Oracle Data Mining and the more recent extensions to R to give us Oracle R Enterprise.

Check out the video – Click here.

Check out Charlie’s blog at

Oracle University : 2 Day Oracle Data Mining training course

Thursday, April 5, 2012

OTN Workshop Days in Dublin 17-

Oracle in Ireland have arranged a number of FREE Oracle Technology Network Hands on Workshops.

17th April : Database Firewall

18th April : Oracle Real Application Testing

19th April : Database 11g R2 New Features

20th April : Business Integration using Oracle SOA Suite 11g

All the workshops are in the Oracle offices in East Point, in Dublin.

To register for these events

Tom Kyte is in Belfast 16th April

The Oracle User Group has organised for Tom Kyte the famous Oracle evangelist to come Belfast to give a one day seminar.

The seminar will be in the Hilton in Belfast.

Some of the topics to be covered on the day include:

  • 5 things you probably didn’t know about SQL
  • 5 thing you probably didn’t know about PL/SQL
  • All about metadata: why telling the database about your schema matters
  • What is New and Improved and Coming in Oracle Application Development
  • All about Oracle Database Security.

All of this will followed by a 1 hour Ask Tom session, where you will have your chance to ask the man himself anything about the Oracle database.

This is a FREE event. What more could you ask for!

Check out the OUG website for more details and how to register for this event.

Don’t forget to use the OUG Ireland twitter tag  #oug_ire