Log Buffer #44: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

May 11, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 44th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly compendium of database blogs. This one’s a grab-bag. Let’s start with some Oracle stuff this week.

Christian Shay notes that Oracle 10g for Windows Vista, is available for download.

That is sure to please Oracle doyen and fervent Vista booster Doug Burns, who also has some notes on re-linking Oracle binaries. Not typical DBA stuff, but probably a useful arrow to have in your quiver, nonetheless.

Similarly, CSV is very old-hat compared to our shiny modern RDBMSs, but you may be called on to get some. Laurent Schneider has the third in his series on generating CSV from Oracle databases.

On the Dizwell Blog, Howard Rogers unveiled his article on Oracle Internet Directory (OID) basics. “(What) was intended to be ‘the quick guide to OID’ has instead become the longest and most complicated article I’ve ever written, and there’s still two more to come to even begin to scratch the surface of the product’s capabilities. … (The) fact that documenting nothing more than the replacement for Oracle Names Server has taken me so long indicates that OID is a lot more than just the replacement for Oracle Names Server!”

Mark Rittman published his summary of what’s coming up in Oracle OLAP 11g, as gleaned from Vlamis Software’s slides, which he links to. Mark writes, …(An) interesting set of features. Potentially the most revolutionary is the interchangeability of AWs in 11g with materialized views…it looks like Oracle are now delivering on the integrated relational-MOLAP database design goal originally put forward with the 9i release of Oracle OLA.

On his oracleblog, Robert Vollman presents his overview of ANSI joins. Like most of us, I still join tables in my SQL queries the old-school way. … But increasingly often I run into people who use ANSI joins instead. … (They) look at me all smug … ‘Look how I have separated the JOIN clauses from the WHERE clauses. Isn’t that infinitely more readable? Now go back to your cave.’ Perhaps not surprisingly, there are are more shades than just that, as Robert shows.

Pete Finnigan let us know on his Oracle Security Weblog that Oracle Audit Vault is available as a free trial download. Its aim is to transparently collect and consolidate audit data in a secure central repository. There are policies, reports, monitors and adaptors to bring audit data in from 9iR2, 10gR1, 10gR2 and in the future other data sources. … These look like great products.

On DB2 News & Tips, Fred Sobotka sent back a report from the IDUG 2007 conference in San Jose, and Willie Favero is doing a day-by-day on Getting the Most out of DB2….

On Ramblings of a DBA, Tara Kizer was one of the first to let the Katmai out of the bag with a brief item pointing to Microsoft’s news about the next version of SQL Server.

DavidM in turn upbraided MS Press writers: (Your) current press releases pertaining to Katmai, showed enough ignorance to be spotted by the Huygens probe currently buried under the surface of the moon Titan.

Bob Beauchemin posts about Katmai-specific sessions coming up in June at TechEd in Orlando, Florida.

Kimberly L. Tripp previews Bob’s and her workshop at TechEd on leveraging SQL Server always-on technologies. She also covers a clarification of the SP2 confusion and a survey on VLDB maintenance practices.

Raul Garcia’s blog has a thorough introduction to Dynamic SQL and digital signatures in SQL Server 2005. “(Dynamic) SQL is a quite powerful, but also quite dangerous. In SQL Server 2005 we introduced a new feature that is also quite powerful and when used properly can be quite useful; but it is important to learn and understand any such feature in order to use it properly. In this small article I will describe a little bit more about the interaction between these two features.”

Systems Engineering and RDBMS has a couple methods for finding the last executed SQL statement for a given SPID.

Mike Hillyer is looking forward to a “virtual” training course by SQL master Joe Celko on database design with MySQL.

Mats Kindahl posted an item on his MySQL Musings, letting us know about a poll on the future of replication in MySQL on MySQL’s Developer Zone site. The problem with replication is that we have so many things that we want to do, but we are not that many people. What we do is what everybody does when the to-do list is to long: prioritize. Since the replication features are developed for you (yes, you), we have added a quickpoll…where you can pick the three most important replication features that you would like to see us focus on next.

Jay Janssen, MySQL Guy at Yahoo offers his view of where cluster needs to be. He summarizes the main points from the introduction to cluster at the recent conference. I’m really excited about MySQL Cluster. It has a lot of potential to be a good competitor to Oracle RAQ (sic), and not just in a copy-cat kind of way. The thing that makes MySQL different and a good balance…is the ‘Share nothing’ concept. In RAC…you use shared storage, usually a Netapp Filer. While filers are seriously cool, they are also seriously expensive, and, no matter how much you gussy it up, it’s still a single point of failure.

Speaking of the conference (as I keep doing), Sheeri Kritzer, the MySQL She-BA, has Guy Kawasaki’s keynote speech, “The Art of Innovation”, available in the latest episode of OurSQL podcast.

Here is the much-read (thanks in part to good old Slashdot) piece on Orthogonal Thought dealing with MySQL database migration and special characters. “…(The) problem arises from the fact that mysqldump uses utf8 for character encoding while, more often than not, mysql tables default to latin1 character encoding. … If you have special characters that are really UTF-8 encoded characters stored in the db, it works just fine until you try to move the db to another server.” Two solutions are on offer.

Eric Bergen writes, “I’ve talked to several people that have questions about how (MySQL’s) alter table works under the hood. They want to know how it handles locking tables why they can sometimes use a table during alter table and other times they can’t. Also why it’s so slow.” He explains how alter table locks tables and handles transactions with a little help from Heikki Tuuri.

On capttofu, Patrick Galbraith shows how he has done the unthinkable: connect to a PostgreSQL database from MySQL. Hey, you got Postgres in my MySQL! They taste great!

Jeremy Cole shows how to get a visual take on MySQL and I/O statistics on Linux. (Something Pythian’s Alex Gorbachev looked at in an older article on basic IO Monitoring on Linux).

On a similar bent, the AMIS Technology Blog has a piece by Lucas Jellema on generating Gantt charts with SQL. Also bar charts and gauge charts.

On Oracle’s OTN techblog, Justin Kestelyn shares news of the return of Falcons to Oracle’s offices, leaving the door wide open for Brian Aker to mention a certain MySQL storage engine in response. What an opportunist!

Archive Log

I should also mention another, older post of Justin’s apropos the recent criticism and hand-wringing about Oracle’s blogs. The comments are worth reading too, and the whole conversation sheds some clear light on this blogging thing so many of us do.

So ends LB#44. Next week, Doug Burns takes over, assuming he and I are still on speaking terms after my Vista crack. ‘Til next time!

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