Thursday, November 28, 2013


The UKOUG TECH13 conference is starting on Sunday and this year things a bit different. In previous years there was one big conference that covered (almost) everything and this conference had been in Birmingham.

This year Birmingham has been replaced by Manchester and the conference will focus on Database, Development with a few bits and pieces from other areas. The full agenda can be found here.

Also this year the OakTable people are back but they will be in a different venue from the main conference. The OakTable World UK conference will be across the road in the Premier Inn and be on for two days on the Monday and Tuesday. Check out the agenda here

When I’m not in the Manchester Central conference centre attending some excellent presentations, you will find me over at the Premier Inn. I expect there will be a lot of people running between the two venues over the Monday and Tuesday.

On the Wednesday morning I will be giving a presentation on how you can perform sentiment analysis using the Oracle Advanced Analytics Option (aka using Oracle Data Mining). I’ve tried to keep the number of slides to a minimum for this presentation, so most of the time will be taken up with a live demo of how to build a Sentiment Analysis Model using the Oracle Data Miner tool, then we jump into SQL*Plus and I will show how you can use the Sentiment model using SQL. The final part of the presentation I will show how you can then add the Sentiment model to OBIEE.

So lots of demos and code examples.  Fingers cross it all works on the day Smile

I’ll also be making a little announcement about something that I have been working on recently and should be available in Spring 2014 Smile

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Oracle Magazines for my Collection

You may or may not know that I have been collecting Oracle Magazines. It all began back when I had my very first job as a graduate consultant with Oracle in Ireland. A few days ago I received a package that contained the following Oracle Magazines.  You will see that the list contains the very first edition and the second edition. Up to now I’ve just had an electronic copy of the first edition.

Here is the full list of the Oracle Magazines that were in the package.

- Volume 1, Number 1 : A New Dimension in Customer Support & Oracle version 5.1 Released
- Fall 1987, Volume 1, Number 2 : Enhancing Cellular Communications Oracle Helps Canada go Mobile
- Winter 1990, Volume IV, Number 1 : Focus on Financial Services & Systems Integration
- Spring 1990, Volume IV, Number 2 : Focus on Pharmaceuticals & National Language Support
- Summer 1990, Volume IV, Number 3 : Focus on Public Sector & Networking the Network
- Summer 1991, Volume V, Number 3 : Focus on Telecommunications & Open Systems Standards
- Winter 1992, Volume VI, Number 1 : Manufacturing Technologies & Massively Parallel Systems
- Spring 1992, Volume VI, Number 2 : Smart Cities Integrating Old and New, & Interview with Next Computer’s Steve Jobs
- Summer 1992, Volume VI, Number 3 : Mapping the Human Blueprint & Oracle version 7
- Fall 1994, Volume VIII, Number 4 : Systems Management & Oracle 7.1. Parallel Everything
- January/February 1995, Volume IX, Number 1 : Data Warehouse
- July/August 1995, Volume IX, Number 4 : Distributed Enterprise & Oracle release 7.2
- September/October 1995, Volume IX, Number 5 : Mission Critical Applications & Optimal Flexible Architecture
- November/December 1995, Volume IX, Number 6 : Managing Change & Client.Server Administrator Security
- January/February 1996, Volume X, Number 1 : Untangling the Web & Tuning Oracle 7 for Optimal Performance
- March/April 1997, Volume XI, Number 2 : Platform Diving & Performance Tuning with Oracle Expert.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts that summarize the contents of some of the previous editions. This is a work in progress project and at some point I will have summarized them all. On my Oracle Magazine Collection page I have a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

I’m now very close to having the full collection.  If you have any of the magazines that I’m missing and you are willing to donate them, let me know Smile

Friday, November 15, 2013

2014 Oracle User Group Conferences

Over the past few days I've put together a list of Oracle User Group Conferences from around the World that will be on in 2014.

This list is not complete and I’m sure I have left out some very well known conferences.  If I have left a conference out let me know. If you are running a conference let me know and I will add these to the list.

The table below is my initial list.  I've also posted this list to a new page called  OUG Confs. This can be accessed from the menu at the top of my webpage.  The plan is to keep this table updated (on the page/menu link) going forward into 2014, 2015 and beyond.

The only non Oracle User Group conference that I have included in the list is Oracle Open World.

Conference Name / Web Site
CFP Open
CFP Close
14-16 January
BIWA Summit
Redwood, CA, USA
5-7 February
RMOUG Training Days
Denver, USA
11th March
OUG Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
1st November, 2013
15th December, 2013
3-5 April
OUG Norway
Oslo, Norway
September, 2013
1st December, 2013
7-11 April
Las Vegas, USA
OUG Bulgaria
, Bulgaria
2-3 June
E4 2014 - Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo
Dallas, Texas
Registration opens : 2nd January, 2014
Nov, 2013
31 Dec
5-6 June
OUG Finland
September, 2013
15th January
(Notification : 14th Feb)
22-26 June
Seattle, USA
15th October, 2013
27 Sept – 2 Oct
Oracle Open World
San Francisco, USA
Oak Table World
San Francisco, USA
UKOUG APPS Conference
, UK
OUG New Zealand
Australian OUG – INSYNC Conference
, Australia
30 Nov – 3 Dec
UKOUG TECH Conference
, UK
Oak Table World UK
, UK

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ODMr 4 EA3 : Repository Migration Failure

SQL Developer 4 Early Adaptor release 3 (EA3) was released just over a week ago. This EA3 release has over 500 bug or “feature” fixes since the EA2 release.

But there could be some new “features” introduced into the new EA3. This is the case with the Oracle Data Miner tool. One of the based features of using this tool is that a ODM repository is needed in the database. With each new release of the Oracle Data Miner tool there are typically some new features added to the repository. This will require an upgrade to be done to your repository.

For EA3 this repository upgrade steps does not seem to work. If you use automatically perform the upgrade it will not complete and will leave your repository in a locked state.

Fortunately Mark Kelly put up a notice about this on OTN along with how to fix it.

When EA2 came out just before OOW13, I performed the upgrade to EA2 on my laptop. During the EA2 upgrade the my ODM repository got recreated and I lost all my ODM work. As I was in the USA when this happened I did not have access to my backup and I had to wait until I got back home after OOW13 to recover my work.

So when EA3 was released I was not in a hurry to upgrade straight away. I waited just over a week. I was about to perform the upgrade and migrate my repository when I received the email notification of the post on the ODM OTN forum.  I had a lucky escape Smile

The “fix” involves a minor change to one of the scripts that comes with Oracle Data Miner (part of SQL Developer EA3) and just involves a cut and past from the post on the OTN forum.

I’ve make the suggested changes and I’m delighted to report that everything has worked without any problems. There are a number of “feature” fixes in ODMr EA3 which I’ve been able to test out so far.


Check out the OTN form post here.

I’ve now upgraded my ODM repositories on my and 12.1 databases and all seems to be good.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Dropping all your ODM model

This post is main a note to myself of a script to drop all my Oracle Data Miner models.

1. Check to see what models you have in your schema

SELECT model_name,

2. Drop all the ODM models

set serveroutput on
   cursor c_1 is SELECT model_name
                 FROM ALL_MINING_MODELS;
  FOR r_1 in c_1 LOOP
     dbms_output.put_line('Dropping model '||r_1.model_name);
     DBMS_DATA_MINING.DROP_MODEL(model_name => r_1.model_name);

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oracle 12c Book List for Santa

How many days are there to Christmas?

to_date('25/12/2011','DD/MM/YYYY') - trunc(sysdate) "How Many Sleep to Santa"
from dual;

There are a few Oracle 12c books available on Amazon (see below for  Here is my letter to Santa

Dear Santa

Could I have some of these books?  I've been good this year.








Monday, November 4, 2013

SQL Developer is dropping connections

I have SQL Dev 3.2.2 (32-bit) with the supplied JDK running on windows, in work and is rolled out to a large number of PCs. Sometimes we can have 10 users running SQL Developer against our 11.2 Database. But sometimes we can have 100 users using SQL Developer at the same time. They have all set up their connections to use the jdbc driver.

An error that has been occurring is that it SQL Developer is dropping connections to the database. The users get windows popping up that says

Your Database Connection has been reset. Any pending transactions or session state has been lost.

This typically happens when a user clicks to expand one of the objects under their schema in the Connections pane.

After searching and searching and a bit more searching it seem that this is being caused by and Out of Bands (OOB) error in the jdbc driver or on the network.  Our DB is set to be dedicated (not shared) so that is not what is causing the issue. So after all my searching, if the following statement is added to the sqldeveloper.conf file then SQL Developer should ignore the OOB errors.


What is really annoying about this error message is that this config file change seems to have worked for some users but for other users it has not. They are still getting their connections dropped when using SQL Developer, either while they are using their worksheets or when they click to expand/open a schema object.

Our next test is to roll out Oracle Client on the PCs and then get the users to connect to their schemas using the Oracle Client networking and a TNS entry. 

Will this work? Will this make the error go away? Is there a problem with using the jdbc connection? Is it picking up another jdbc driver on the PC? Is it a bug in SQL Developer? Will using Oracle TNS work? Is it a problem on the Server? Is it a problem with the Database (no errors are being reported)?

Lots of questions that need answering.

If you can answer some of these then let me know.

If/When I find out I will update this blog post.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

OUG Ireland 2014 Call for Presentations is now open

The call for presentations at the OUG Ireland 2014 conference (or special event) is now open for submissions. Deadline is Sunday 15th December, 2013.

We hope to build on the previous successful events over the past few years, where we had seen the number of attendees double in two year.

The annual conference (or special event) will be back in the Conference Centre in Dublin, which is just a few minutes walk from the centre of Dublin.image

There will be a number of streams and these will include:
  • Technology / DBA
  • Business Intelligence
  • Development
  • Applications & E-Business
So there will be something for everyone and I’m sure there will be some sessions on 12c.
We are hoping to get some very well known names in the Oracle World to present at the conference and these people along should attach a large number of attendees Smile

If you are interested in Submitting a presentations then click on the image above or below and you will be taken the submissions webpage.
I’ve already submitted some presentations and although I’m on the conference committee, there is no guarantee I’ll have one selected Sad smile
I hope to see you there.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oracle Scene 12c Supplement

The autumn edition of Oracle Scene is now available (I’m the deputy editor) and if you are due to get a printed copy then you be receiving it really soon.

In addition to the main Oracle Scene magazine we had lots of extra 12c articles, so we decided to create a separate 12c Supplement. This is only available online.

There was article from Jonathan Lewis, Bryn, Llewellyn, Melanie Caffrey, Pete Finnigan, Bob Mycroft, Alex Nuijten and myself.

Check out this online edition by clicking on the image below


If you are using Oracle 12c or any of the related produce over the next past few months or next few month, why not write a short article telling us about your experiences. The next submission deadline is early January for the Spring edition.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to Fix Odd Layout Behaviour in ODM v4 EA1 & EA2

If you have been using the last versions of the Oracle Data Miner tool that have been released as part of SQL Developer 4 EA1 and EA2, you may have noticed that the layout of your worksheets and other areas are inconsistent each time you open ODM.

This can be very frustrating as you have to rearrange the layout of the worksheets, property inspection, the ODM connections tab, etc, etc, etc.

This “feature” seems to be linked to when you installed the new version of the software. When you open SQL Dev 4 EA1 & EA2 you are asked if you would like to migrate your settings.  If you selected Yes for this then it is this that is causing the project.

How do you fix this?

1. Export your SQL Developer Connections. To do this go to the Connections tab and right click on Connections and select export from the menu


This will create a XML file.  Save this to your desktop so that you can find it easily later.

2. Locate the AppData directory for SQL Developer.  This really depends on your environment. If you are using Windows for your client then the AppData directory will be located somewhere live the following

C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\SQL Developer

3. Rename the System4.0… Directory.  Located in the AppData/SQL Developer directory called some like  ‘system4.’  if you have installed and migrated to SQL Dev 4 EA2.  Rename this directory to another name e.g. ‘system4.’.  This effectively deletes all your setting for SQL Developer 4

4. Start SQL Dev 4.  When you start SQL Developer 4 EA1 or EA2 it will be like you are running the software for the first time.  But this time, when you are asked do you want to migrate your setting from an earlier version, select No.  This will create a clean system folder.

5. Import your Connections.  When SQL Developer opens you can right click on the connection link and select Import Connections (see image above). Then enter the name and location of the file you create in step 1 above.


After completing all of the above steps your unusual layout when you open ODM should now be fixed.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Review of OOW13–Part 2

This is part 2 of my review of OOW13 and it looks at some of the announcements that were made and were of interest to me. There were many-many more announcements. Here is the link to my OOW13-Part1 post.

In-Memory Database, combining the benefits of row and columnar storage, both will run at the same time in the database, and all of this will be in-memory. When a query is issued the database will decide which version of the data it will access to retrieve. The typical row level storage will be used for OLTP type queries and the columnar storage for DW type queries. All of the processing, updates and maintenance of this will be done seamlessly in the background, including the syncing of data between the row and columnar versions. No new coding or recoding of your applications is needed. All that is involved to enable this feature is a setting in the database. Oracle claim you will see 1000x performance with queries and 2x for transaction.  This will be available in 12.1.2 and will be an extra licence cost.

Database-as-a-Service will be a full Database-as-a-Service with your own instance. A range of support/offerings will be available ranging from basic infrastructure and DB, to managed and managed for maximum availability.

Everything-as-a-Service, or it seems that way. In addition to the full database as a service, it seemed that they announced every piece of software that they have is available as a service. Basically anything you want is available with different levels of support from self managed up right up to a full managed service and everything in-between.

Oracle Backup, Logging and Recovery appliance was announced. This appliance is designed and built to receive, capture and store backups (including incrementals) for your database server, whether it is located in a private or public cloud. The appliance will backup your database server in real-time and not just from the last backup.

Microsoft and Oracle. Yes Microsoft presented as part of the keynote presentation on Wednesday. Microsoft presented about their Oracle offerings on the Azure Cloud platform. They are offering the Oracle Database on Microsoft servers and also on Linux servers.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Roundup of OOW13–Part 1

Oracle Open World 13 finished up last Thursday and I’ve send most of the time since either traveling back to Ireland, trying to re-adjust to Irish time and most importantly spending some time with the family.

I want to use this blog post to say ‘thank you’ to a large number of people. I will have another blog post on some of the important announcements (for me) at Oracle Open World.

I had 2 presentations at OOW and I also assisted at a hands-on lab. These were spread out over Monday to Wednesday, with one presentation/lab on each day. It was fun and many thanks to the people who came to these sessions. I had many conversations during the remainder of OOW with some of the people who attended my sessions.

I would like to thank Lillian, Vikki and all the OTN team for making all the arrangements, organizing events and lots and lots of things that happened at OOW. The Oracle ACE Programme paid for my flights and accommodation while I was at the ACE Directors briefing at Oracle HQ before OOW and during OOW.

I’ve heard stories about the ACE Directors briefing over the years. This year was my first one and all I can say is that it lived up to the stories and more. Over 2 (long-ish) days we had a number of SVPs, VPs, and other very senior people from various divisions of Oracle come into the briefing and openly tell us what is happening with the products, what will be announced at OOW and what will be coming over the next 6 to 12 months. They told us all of this under NDA, so we cannot talk about any of it until Oracle has publically announced it. We also had Thomas Kurian EVP talk to us for just over an hour. He was very impressive.  In my next blog post I will talk about some of the announcements that were made during OOW.

Thank you to DIT for making the necessary arrangements and facilitating  me to be away for this prolonged trip.

There were many social events during OOW and on some evening there was 3 different events for me to go to. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to all of them. I met up with lots of people from countries like Norway, Belgium, Holland, UK, Austria, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland and the USA.  Many thanks to RittmanMead and Peak Indicators for the meals, and lots of user groups and various Oracle countries for the drinks.

On my last night at OOW I went to my first baseball game between the Giants and the Dodgers, with Roel Hartman from Holland. This was a great night of entertainment and I would highly recommend going to a baseball game. The Giants won.

As always I’m sure that I have missed some people off this list. I do apologise and I’ll blame the jet lag for it Smile

OOW is great for all the conference swag you can get. I tried not to get too carried away with it, but the photographs below will give you some idea of what I collected.