Log Buffer #67: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Dave has been sick these past two days and as a result, we do not have a comprehensive log buffer ready. I had two choices – cancel this week’s log buffer, or try to make it great despite this adversity. Never one to accept defeat easily, I’ll go for the second option. So this week’s log buffer is as follows: we are counting on each and every one of you, our faithful readers, to propose the one article you read in the last week, and include a short paragraph as to why this article was interesting to you and why it should interest us.

The Prototype

The first start-up stage I’ve worked within is the prototype phase. Within this phase traffic is not an issue for performance or scale, it’s about functionality. Low traffic and small datasets can hide atrocious code quite easily. The nice thing about this stage is that you should not have to invest a lot of time…

Oracle 11g: Another New Algorithm

If you are or have ever been a SQL developer, it’s very likely you’ve been asked to return the rows from two joined tables, including all the rows from both tables that do not have a corresponding row in the other table. Oracle 9i introduced the FULL OUTER JOIN syntax to better address this scenario. Now it looks as if 11g has introduced a new algorithm to handle that. So how can you get a look at this? Find out here.

Oracle 11g: New Pivot Table Feature

I was very pleased when I heard about Oracle adding pivot functionality in select statements. Finally — we wouldn’t have to copy the data to a spreadsheet or code a ton of sum(case when col1 = ‘X’ then amount else 0 end) total_X for each column we would want to display. I am basically looking for three things in a pivot-style query: the ability to specify which column will be pivoted as one or more columns in the resulting query, row subtotals, and column subtotals. The first item is the only one that really matters. I can work around the other two, so let’s get started.


I’ve been considering starting a blog of my own for quite some time, but I must admit to some hesitancy, primarily due to the quality of technical content already posted online. Finally, I’ve decided to take the plunge, and to focus on the quality I truly bring to my own customers. Yes, I possess a…

Oracle 11g: Unexpected Difference Between count(*) and count(1)

It seems Oracle 11g introduces a difference between count(*) and count(1). The way this happens is just the opposite of what I was thinking would happen. NB: I ran my test using “ 32bits” on Ubuntu Linux 7.04 (Feisty) which is not officially supported1, and which has already lead me to some unexpected behaviors. If this difference with count() is really the 11g way and not buggy behavior related to the Ubuntu install, I’m glad to have found it. Here’s what you can do to observe (or confirm or dispute) this.

The First Miracle Open World: Gala Diner

First on the schedule of the second evening (28th of September) was the Gala Diner. Mr. Nogood opened it and marked Oracle ACEs, OCP/Ms and Oak Table Network members with special distinction — a blue silk sash. Sadly, I can’t find mine in my travel bag; I think perhaps the Water-Park has it now.

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