Sunday, July 29, 2007

An Oracle Expert's Guide to Learning Oracle

Check out my Squidoo lens, An Oracle Expert's Guide to Learning Oracle. This lens contains link to Oracle tutorials and more. You can also check out the Squidoo Oracle group.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tutorials to Learn Oracle

Below are links to some articles that I have written on IT Toolbox that will help you learn Oracle. The most common question I get is, "How do I learn Oracle?" I am going to start a series this weekend that will guide people in their quest to master the Oracle database and Oracle programming. The links below will help get you started: Learn Oracle: General Learn Oracle - What is Oracle? (8/22/2005) What is the difference between Oracle, SQL and PL/SQL? (5/30/2006) Accessing Multiple XE Databases from a single machine (12/8/2005) Database Links: A Definition in Plain English (12/21/2005) Oracle Security: A Definition in Plain English, Part 1 (4/4/2005) Oracle Security: A Definition in Plain English, Part 2 (4/7/2005) Oracle Security: A Definition in Plain English, Part 3 (4/17/2005) Oracle Security: A Definition in Plain English, Part 4 (4/28/2005) Advanced Queues and Streams: A Definition in Plain English (3/30/2005) Oracle Advanced Replication: A Definition in Plain English (3/24/2005) Cryptography in the Database (12/16/2005) Learn Oracle: SQL Introduction to Basic SQL, Part 1 (8/24/2005) Introduction to Basic SQL, Part 2 - Joins (6/6/2006) Introduction to Basic SQL, Part 3 - Complex Joins and Sub-queries (6/8/2006) Merge (AKA Upsert) - A Definition in Plain English (8/3/2005) Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Numbers Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Strings Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Dates Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Boolean and Large Objects (LOB) Learn Oracle: PL/SQL Learn PL/SQL: Structure and Comments (7/7/2006) Learn PL/SQL: Declaring Variables, Named vs Anonymous Blocks (7/14/2006) Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Numbers Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Strings Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Dates Learn Oracle: Datatypes for SQL and PL/SQL, Boolean and Large Objects (LOB) Learn Oracle: Procedures and Functions Overloading Procedures in PL/SQL Oracle Collections: A Definition in Plain English Part 1 (9/27/2005) Oracle Collections: A Definition in Plain English Part 2 (10/4/2005) Oracle Collections: A Definition in Plain English Part 3 (10/11/2005) The Sorcerer of OO (Object Oriented Programming), Part 1 (5/5/2005) The Sorcerer of OO (Object Oriented Programming), Part 2 (5/14/2005) The Sorcerer of OO (Object Oriented Programming), Part 3 (5/26/2005) The Sorcerer of OO (Object Oriented Programming), Part 4 (7/19/2005) XML and OO in Oracle, A Scenario (11/17/2005) Oracle and XML In Action - A Real World Example (8/10/2005)

Friday, July 27, 2007

New Star Trek Movie Coming

From Yahoo News, Nimoy to reprise Spock role in Trek film, it looks like a new Star Trek (with the Capt Kirk/Spock crew) will be out by Christmas 2008. JJ Abrams (Lost fame) is directing. Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as spock and the article says there will be a "young spock". The article also mentions that it is likely that William Shatner will play Kirk again. I wonder if this is the "Early Days" movie I have been hearing about? Why have old and young though? Hopefully, it will not be a flash back movie! I'll go see, though, regardless. LewisC

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Half way there at 20 weeks! We know the sex.

The whole family went to the OB/GYN today. We finally had the 20 week sonogram done. I had the feeling that it was going to be a girl. The wife was absolutely certain it was going to be a girl. Everything about this pregnancy is so different from when we had Logan that she had completely convinced herself. Anytime we mentioned the possibility of a girl to Logan, it was, "No. I am having a brother!" If Gina asked him about girls names, "No! Boy names only!" At the doctor's office, with the lights off, the nurse moved the little doohickey around doing measurements. They measure the baby's head and arms, etc. Gina laid on the table and I held Logan while standing next to the table. The only light in the room was the light of the monitor. Logan would whisper questions as the nurse worked, mainly, "What is she doing now?" or "What is that?" When it came time to see the sex, the nurse moved the doohickey around and said, "See, here is head. " Movement. "The face and the arms." Movement again. "Here are the legs and here are the boy parts." "How do you know that's not the umbilical cord," Gina asked? "I can colorize it to show you the difference," the nurse said. She did what she said and it was obvious that the "boy parts" ended before the umbilical cord did. "What does that mean," Logan whispered in my ear? "That means you're going to have a brother. That's a boy in mommy's belly." "I knew it! I knew I was going to have a brother!" Logan said, still whispering. I had to laugh. He was so excited. As we were checking out, he told Gina, about 5 times, "See Mommy. I was right and you were wrong. We're having a brother." Hehe. Gina is tired of hearing that now but he still keeps reminding her every now and then. Logan's initials are LLC. His brother's will be the same (although the actual name is different). I will be the proud daddy of two LLCs. ;-) I'm pretty proud of the one I already have. LewisC

It has boy parts!

My wife and I just left the ob/gyn after getting a sonogram. I'll upload the pictures after I get them scanned in. I'm having a boy! My second. LewisC

Monday, July 23, 2007

Oracle ACE 2.0

Justin Kestelyn, OTN Editor-in-Chief, posted about some changes to the Oracle ACE program. Justin says, "This is good news for a number of reasons, but most important, it allows anyone with a track record of Oracle technical community involvement/outreach to get formal support from Oracle for their activities. PHP developer working on Oracle Database XE? Check. Java developer evangelizing rich client interfaces built on ADF/JSF? Check. Database performance expert who eats database statistics for breakfast? Check. You can become an Oracle ACE or ACE Director, with all the attendant benefits." I'm not sure where I fit in there. I have mixed emotions about the change but I am willing to give Oracle the benefit of the doubt and see what happens. I am curious as to what the ACE Directors will be doing. Justin added, "When I say [formal support from Oracle,] I mean that we will consider it our job to create a relationship between you and new audiences, whether via publishing, blogging, speaking/presenting, or teaching. In other words, we will provide the [bullhorn and soapbox] you need to be even more effective in community outreach/education than you already are, and to reach people you otherwise would never have met." LewisC

Posting from my blackberry

This is a test. I had a few spare moments so I decided to see if I could post a blog entry from my phone. It seems to be working. LewisC

EnterpriseDB Book - My First Press Release Oracle ACE Award Winner, Lewis Cunningham, Writes the First EnterpriseDB Reference Tampa. Florida, USA. ( July 23, 2007 -- Lewis Cunningham, a frequent oracle user group presenter and Oracle ACE, has written EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference. This book, sanctioned by EnterpriseDB Corporation, teaches database professionals how to acquire, install and use the EnterpriseDB Advanced Server database. "It is significant that this book was conceived and authored by Oracle ACE Lewis Cunningham, one of the world’s foremost Oracle authorities", says EnterpriseDB CEO Any Astor. "His hands-on expertise uniquely qualifies him to present this book’s technical material, especially to Oracle developers and DBAs. We could not hope for a better steward to bring this information to you." Sony Online Entertainment, Vonage, FTD, Tomax & TicketLine: what do these companies all have in common? All of these companies have replaced the industry leading Oracle database with EnterpriseDB, allowing them to save millions in combined income. EnterpriseDB is the new Oracle compatible, enterprise class database based on open source PostgreSQL. In EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference, Lewis Cunningham provides hands on tutorials, design guides and compatibility issues and work arounds. EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference provides the information technology professionals need to evaluate and migrate applications from Oracle to EnterpriseDB. Author: Lewis Cunningham is a certified Oracle developer and Oracle ACE. Lewis lives in Tampa, Fl. Lewis has two decades of database experience, most of it working with various Oracle technologies. Lewis writes a popular blog, An Expert's Guide to Oracle Technology, and has written many database related articles. EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference Publisher: Independent Pub Group Publish date: Aug 2007 ISBN-13: 9780977671571 ISBN-10: 0977671577 Format: Paperback , 500 pages

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Should Oracle Worry About Open Source Databases?

This is a blog entry at my blog on Does Oracle have anything worry about from open source databases like PostgreSQL or MySQL? Charles Babcock, at InformationWeeks' Open Source Blog posts Why Oracle Should worry . In that entry he talks about FTD and how they recently switched from Oracle to EnterpriseDB for a reporting application and, according to Jason Weiss, FTD Software Architect, "EnterpriseDB enabled us to run our Oracle application at one-sixth the price of Oracle, freeing budget for other important initiatives. EnterpriseDB's fantastic technical support is also a refreshing change from what Oracle usually delivers." He even said, "Oracle should be terrified." That is bad. In one fell swoop, Oracle lost a client, to a competing database, who went very public about his dissatisfaction with both Oracle's licensing costs and it's support. In Oracle's defense, I have dealt with Oracle support for many years and have had pretty good results. I can think of only a single instance where I was completely unhappy with the results. In most cases, things were resolved quickly. No support organization gets it right every time. I personally think Oracle support does a pretty good job. Having said that, I have not liked Oracle's licensing for a long time. I think it is too confusing and too expensive. This is not just an Oracle issue. I think all of the major database players are too expensive and and most enterprise licensing schemes are too complex. If I could change anything about Oracle, it would be licensing. I think stories like FTD will become more common over time as EnterpriseDB, PostgreSQL and MySQL become more mainstream. Oracle does need to look at their licensing and make changes. Oracle does NOT need to worry on this score. If they adjust prices, modify the process and continue innovating, they will stay the number one database. Oracle has something else to be worried about and I think it is a much more significant threat. Recently, Tomax switched from Oracle to EnterpriseDB. Tomax is the leading provider of real-time merchandising and store execution applications and services. "EnterpriseDB allows us to bring the benefits of open source to all our customers, large and small, without sacrificing the quality or performance of our retail management solution," said Eric Olafson, chief executive officer, Tomax. "We are also extremely pleased with the outstanding technical support provided by EnterpriseDB. Thousands of smaller, retailer-owned food distributors and grocers now have an affordable way to realize the same labor cost savings and competitive advantage enjoyed by their larger rivals." You can finished reading this blog at Should Oracle Worry About Open Source Databases? - Monetize your blog

Bloggerwave is a new site for making money from your blog. I'm making money right now by blogging about this. Bloggerwave, as far as I can tell, make no requirements about what you blog. You just need to include links or text as required by the vendor and then post as normal. I think in general it will be reviewing web sites or products and things like that. This is my first so I am not positive. They do require a minimum number of words and sometimes will require other minimal items in the blog. When I use them, I will put a disclaimer like the one below. Bloggerwave did make headlines not very long ago when paypal thought they might be a scam. See Did Bloggerwave make a Payment with a Fraudulent Bank Account or Credit Card? or Bloggerwave defaults payments. According to the comments, the issues have been resolved and people are being paid. I guess I'll find out. If you are thinking about making some money from your blog, keep an eye out here and I will keep you posted. I am also going to try some of the other money making sites to see how they do. I don't plan to get rich doing this but if I am spending my time blogging anyway, I might as well make some money. ;-) LewisC

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Transformers: A Review (Seriously!)

This is a review of both the book and the movie, Transformers. I was recently in Books a million and saw a display for the new movie Transformers. Actually, the display was for a novelization of the movie by Alan Dean Foster. If you don't know Alan Dean Foster he did the novelization of at least the first Alien movie (and I think more), Krull, a bunch of original Star Treks, Pip and Flinx, Outland, the Spell Singer series, and about a bazillion more. If you read, you have probably read something from Alan. Transformers, the book:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Mti edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345497996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345497994
I was a fan of the transformers in my late teens when they first came out. I've always been a fan of comics and cartoons. As a fan, I decided to pick up the book and give it a read. My son wanted to see the movie (he is a HUGE fan) so I figured I could use "research" as an excuse to buy it. If you don't know the premise, it's fairly simple. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away a battle raged between intelligent cybernetic beings on a planet called Cybertron. The good beings are, being autonomous, Autobots. The bad guys, being deceptive, are Decepticons. Combined are they Cybertronians? Cybertrics? Cybertronner? The war between good and evil starts to destroy Cybertron so the All Spark, the special energy cube that gives life to inanimate (but only complex inanimate) objects, is ejected into space to prevent Megatron (leader of Decepticons) from getting it. Megatron goes after the cube and after thousands of years, both arrive on Earth. Eventually the good guys follow, followed by additional bad guys. The story is about the search for the All Spark, the battle between good and evil and two horny teenagers. Sam Witwicky, bumbling teenager, manages to, ineptly, steal the girlfriend of the ultra-macho, footballer bad guy. The girl, Mikela, is poor where Sam is solidly middle class. In the meantime, the Men In Black, are tracking Sam and Mikela down and the Secretary of Defense is trading witty banter with a green haired punk rock computer genius (in the book anyway, the same character in the movie is an attractive blond with an British accent). The movie ends in a crescendo of robotic violence of epic proportions. I'm not sure how many more cliches could have been squeezed into a single novel/movie. The weird thing is, it works. The novel is better than the movie but only because Alan Dean Foster is a master and he can spend more time building the characters. An example of the time spent on characterization is this bit from an early scene in the book:
Later, as they cruised back toward town, her voice rose above the hum of the Camaro's engine as the car coasted down a hillside road. Sunset muffled the light but did nothing to mute her continuing rant. "I cannot believe I am here," she was saying. "You can duck down if you want," Sam suggested helpfully. "It won't hurt my feelings." She flicked her eyes at him. "Duck down? Are you crazy? Not with you, in your car. Here, in this situation." Leaning back against the headrest, she implored the heavens. "This serves me right. God, I've got such a weakness for hot guys." So this is what grandma meant when she used to talk about someone making her feel knee-high to caterpillar, Sam mused as he mumbled a response. "Yeah, that, that is a weakness."
The story is enjoyable on many levels. My four old, whom I did bring to the movie with me, was only impressed with the last 15 or so minutes. I, on the other hand, read the book in about 8 hours and then two weeks later was held spellbound for the entire two hours and twenty three minutes. The other audience members, who seemed to range from young teen to elderly, were also spellbound. The theater resounded with applause in several places and the applause lasted for several minutes at the end.
This movie/book combination has something for everyone. Drama (teen angst, alien invasion, politics, world war), humor (the way the autobots talk, computer geek inside jokes, Sam's slightly tipsy mom and his "special time"), special effects (transforming giant robots), military jargon, and so much more. Some of the humor is decidedly adult but much of it is straight at the teen demographic. Maybe it's just because I am an old fan but I would be willing to see a part 2, if there is one. Want to take odds that there will be? Alan Dean Foster has written a prequel to the movie, Transformers: Ghosts of Yesterday (Transformers (Ballantine Books)). I plan to buy this the next time I am in a book store. If you need a book to while away a lazy weekend or if you have a few hours to burn on a movie, you could do worse than Transformers. LewisC

Friday, July 20, 2007

Datamation Posts 100 Open Source Downloads

The list is not meant to cover everything. According to the article, it is not meant to be a top 100. Just a list of very usable, open source software. I use quite a bit of the software on the list. Check it out: 100 Open Source Downloads Some of my favorites on the list are:

  • Audacity - I give this an A+
  • Easy Tag - Another good one
  • PostgreSQL
  • SharpDevelop - FREE IDE for .Net
  • Hibernate - Java Framework
  • TightVNC
It's an article well worth the time to browse through, especially if you don't normally keep up with sourceforge or freshmeat. LewisC

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Celestron Contest: Have a Star named in your honor

I received an interesting email the other day from Celestron. They make optical equipment. About the size of a camcorder and weighing less than 16 ounces, the SkyScout utilizes a consumer-friendly "point and shoot" GPS technology that enables stargazers to instantly identify and/or locate over 6,000 celestial objects in the sky with the press of a button and listen to commentary on the object and its history. Among its many accolades, the SkyScout has been named "Best of America" by the editors of Reader's Digest magazine, 2006 titleholder of PC Magazine's Last Gadget Standing and is a recipient of Popular Mechanic's Editor's Choice Award as well as the Backpacker's Editor's Choice Award. Here is the link to the contest: In the press release, it says the Entrants To Nominate Their Favorite "Celebrity" To Be Forever "Immortalized" With Their Own Star Named In Their Honor by International Star Registry. You can get theSkyScout® Personal Planetarium(TM) and camping supplies and gear needed for a family outdoor adventure. "All of our stargazing and exploration products are designed to enhance the overall outdoor experience and make it easy for 'adventurers' of all levels and backgrounds to truly view the exceptional splendor of the night sky during outdoor activities like camping or hiking," said Joseph A. Lupica Jr., president and CEO of Celestron. "The SkyScout appeals to the curiosity of today's stargazers, allowing someone to observe and understand objects in space with pioneering technology never previously available. Not only does the SkyScout transform the night sky into a personal planetarium, its small size makes it the perfect accessory for any outdoor adventure." LewisC

SCIFI Tech: Samsung makes HD, flash-based camcorders affordable

Sweet, sweet camcorder. I want one of these but my wife would kill me. From scifi tech: If there was ever a time to jump in and buy an HD camcorder, it's now. Samsung's just announced their SC-HMX10 camcorder, a svelte HD device with a whopping 8GB of built-in flash memory. No tapes are necessary with this guy; you've got nearly an hour and a half of 1080i recording time right on board. You won't need to worry about fast-forwarding or rewinding tapes with this guy, as it's 100% digital.

Marketwire: EnterpriseDB to Demonstrate EnterpriseDB Advanced Server 8.2 at OSCON 2007

EnterpriseDB will be at OSCON 2007: SVP, Product Development, Gary Long to Present "Techniques for Managing Distributed Software Development Around the World"

EnterpriseDB, the Oracle-compatible database company, will be exhibiting and demonstrating its flagship product, EnterpriseDB Advanced Server 8.2, at OSCON 2007.

EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is an enterprise-class relational database management system (RDBMS) that is compatible with applications written for Oracle. This means that applications written for Oracle run on EnterpriseDB without modification and Oracle-skilled developers can use EnterpriseDB without retraining. EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is based on PostgreSQL, the world's most advanced open source database, ensuring world-class data integrity, security, and performance necessary for enterprise environments. In addition, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an enterprise database solution powered by EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is only a small fraction of the TCO of a comparable Oracle-powered solution.

LewisC 'Highly critical' flaws plague Oracle software

Secunia warns of DoS attacks, security bypass and manipulation of data

A raft of 'highly critical' flaws have been found in several of Oracle's software products.

The vulnerabilities could allow a remote user to bypass a system's security, manipulate data or cause a denial of service, according to Secunia.

The flaws have been addresses and a patch is available from Oracle. The flaws affect multiple Oracle applications.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

IBM Reports 2007 Second-Quarter Results

I don't see anything about DB2 revenues in the statement. I'm guess that's included in the software numbers:

  • Total revenues of $23.8 billion, up 9 percent as reported;
  • Global Services revenues up 10 percent, Software revenues up 13 percent;
  • Diluted earnings of $1.55 per share, including a gain from sale of Printing Systems; earnings per share were $1.50, up 15 percent without the gain;
  • Gross profit margin increased year to year for the 12th consecutive quarter.
IBM today announced second-quarter 2007 diluted earnings of $1.55 per share from continuing operations, including 5 cents per share for a pre-tax gain of $81 million relating to the sale of the Printing Systems Division (PSD), an increase of 19 percent as reported, compared with diluted earnings of $1.30 per share in the second quarter of 2006. Diluted earnings for the second-quarter 2007 were $1.50 per share, excluding this gain, an increase of 15 percent year over year.

Revenues from the Software segment were $4.8 billion, an increase of 13 percent (9 percent, adjusting for currency) compared with the second quarter of 2006. Revenues from IBM's middleware products, which primarily include WebSphere, Information Management, Tivoli, Lotus and Rational products, were $3.7 billion, up 16 percent versus the second quarter of 2006. Operating systems revenues of $568 million increased 2 percent compared with the prior-year quarter.

I would have liked to see the numbers broken out a little more. LewisC

Oracle and Symantec Certify Veritas Data Center Solutions on Oracle® Enterprise Linux

I really wish Oracle would just drop the whole unbreakable thing. This is good news for Linux shops though. Oracle and Symantec Certify Veritas Data Center Solutions on Oracle® Enterprise Linux In response to growing customer demand for the Oracle® Unbreakable Linux support program, Oracle and Symantec today announced certification of Veritas data center software with Oracle Enterprise Linux. The certification will help organizations running Symantec on Linux reduce deployment time and implementation costs.

FTD Moves Mission-Critical Application from Oracle to EnterpriseDB

My blog about this topic at ittoolbox: EnterpriseDB goes mainstream The news release below has some very good information. Well worth a read. FTD Moves Mission-Critical Application from Oracle to EnterpriseDB Leading Floral Company Saves 83% Over Comparable Oracle Solution, Improves System Performance 400%; Oracle Compatibility Enables Rapid Deployment

ISELIN, N.J., Jun. 27, 2007 – EnterpriseDB, the Oracle-compatible database company, announced today that FTD (NYSE: FTD), one of the largest floral companies in the world, has selected EnterpriseDB to power the external reporting for FTD’s ARGO shipping administration system. A major factor in FTD’s selection was EnterpriseDB’s ability to run applications written for Oracle, which reduces migration costs dramatically. ARGO’s reporting subsystem originally ran on the Oracle database that supports FTD’s order-processing system, and was moved to EnterpriseDB with only minor changes. The EnterpriseDB solution cost FTD only one-sixth of the price of a comparably configured Oracle solution. It also enabled FTD to avoid costly hardware upgrades, driving additional cost savings at the company. More information about EnterpriseDB is available at

EnterpriseDB’s compatibility with and easy-to-use replication from Oracle enabled the entire transition to be completed in only six weeks. The EnterpriseDB deployment was made in time to support FTD’s peak-volume Mother’s Day season, a week in which each day’s order volume averages between 20 and 25 times typical daily order volume. The load on the ARGO reporting system increases accordingly. Another advantage of EnterpriseDB’s Oracle compatibility was that FTD’s existing Oracle-skilled staff was able to use EnterpriseDB databases and tools without re-training. A whitepaper detailing EnterpriseDB’s compatibility with Oracle is available at

Ticketline’s Live Entertainment Ticketing

Another big win for EnterpriseDB. EnterpriseDB is over 100 customers now and growing. EnterpriseDB Supports Growth of UK’s Largest Independent Ticket Agency with Improved Database Reliability, Scalability and Performance EnterpriseDB, the Oracle-compatible database company, announced today that Ticketline, the UK’s largest independent ticket agency, has selected EnterpriseDB Advanced Server as the database platform supporting its core, mission-critical ticketing system. Ticketline chose EnterpriseDB for its ability to provide a robust and scalable enterprise database with 24/7 support at a cost significantly less than alternative solutions.

Tomax Supports EnterpriseDB

I like this news release from Tomax. It's the first I have seen with a more info button. This is also another big win for EnterpriseDB. In this one, Oracle bought a competitor of Tomax. So Tomax is not switching because they are dissatisfied but because Oracle, as it buys up companies and moves up the software food chain, started directly competing with them. I will write more about this later. Workforce Management: Tomax Supports EnterpriseDB For Workforce Management Solution 7/18/2007 Request Free Information Tomax Corporation

Tomax, the provider of real-time merchandising and store execution applications and services, and EnterpriseDB, the Oracle-compatible database company, announced recently that Tomax will support EnterpriseDB Advanced Server for the Tomax Workforce Management solution. EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is an enterprise-class relational database management system (RDBMS) that runs applications written for Oracle databases with little or no modification. Built on the open source database PostgreSQL, EnterpriseDB enables Tomax to offer a low-cost yet powerful solution to its customers.