The Spoken Nerd

The Spoken Nerd

Musings on technology from long time database professional. Some times we can't dedicate 100% of our attention to blog posts, or videos, or webinars, so whether you are working, or just working out. you can enjoy these podcasts alongside the daily grind

Episodes

July 4, 2022 22 min

I first met Jackie McIlroy a few years back where she was an attendee at a pre-covid conference. Since then she has gone from strength to strength in the Oracle community, being a much-sought after speaker, an Oracle Ace, ODTUG committee member and chair for the Kscope APEX program. I caught up with her at the Kscope22 conference in Dallas Texas to chat about the impact of APEX and Community on her career.

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Databases are incredibly complex pieces of software, which can come as a surprise given that anyone can throw together a few lines of C code to read and write data from a file. What differentiates a database from simple file read/write is how databases handle concurrent access to the data. For many years, the feature that has set Oracle Database apart from all others is its "read consistency" implementation or Multi Version...

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Parsing is the act of preparing to execute a SQL statement on your database.  It would seem to be a necessary activity - after all, that is what databases are designed to do - execute SQL.  But the topic of parsing requires a more nuanced look, because a high transaction frequency database typically succeeds or fails based the amount of SQL parsing it does.

In this episode, I'll take you on a trip down memory lane on how slow s...

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No topic quite gets emotions rolling as much as the Oracle Query Optimizer. Thus you might expect that one of the least enviable jobs in the database world would be being the public face of the database optimizer. But since 2014, Nigel Bayliss has regularly fronted the community and shared the depth and breadth of his optimizer knowledge, whilst entertaining us with his sardonic wit on the challenges of databases and database optim...

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No topic quite gets emotions rolling as much as the Oracle Query Optimizer. Thus you might expect that one of the least enviable jobs in the database world would be being the public face of the database optimizer. But since 2014, Nigel Bayliss has regularly fronted the community and shared the depth and breadth of his optimizer knowledge, whilst entertaining us with his sardonic wit on the challenges of databases and database optim...

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No topic quite gets emotions rolling as much as the Oracle Query Optimizer. Thus you might expect that one of the least enviable jobs in the database world would be being the public face of the database optimizer. But since 2014, Nigel Bayliss has regularly fronted the community and shared the depth and breadth of his optimizer knowledge, whilst entertaining us with his sardonic wit on the challenges of databases and database optim...

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No topic quite gets emotions rolling as much as the Oracle Query Optimizer. The fact that a piece of software can determine the best way to run the myriad of potential SQL statements, no matter how poorly they sometimes might be written, never ceases to amaze me. But conversely, the moment the optimizer does not meet our expectations, we're quick to throw our toys out of the pram and rain down on it with our invective.

Thus you...

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January 6, 2022 22 min

The very name of the product - Application Express (APEX) - suggests that this is a tool solely for building applications, and thus it should belong solely in the realm of developers. But that is underselling the ability of APEX to be a perfect use case for a different IT demographic - the Database Administrator. In this episode I present my reasons for APEX is a vital part of the DBA toolkit, and how a DBA using APEX can free up t...

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Chances are, if you have Googled for help on an Oracle problem, you have ended up on a concise yet precise solution to your problem at oracle-base.com. The site has been running for over 20 years and gets millions of hits from the Oracle community.  In this episode I wrap up the three-part chat with Tim by focussing on the latest release of the database 21c and its free companion, 21c Express Edition.

If you like this episode, be s...

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Chances are, if you have Googled for help on an Oracle problem, you have ended up on a concise yet precise solution to your problem at oracle-base.com. The site has been running for over 20 years and gets millions of hits from the Oracle community.  In part 2 of this three-part series, I dive into how Tim got the oracle-base.com site started and how both of us have been trying our hand at YouTube for tech content.

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Chances are, if you have Googled for help on an Oracle problem, you have ended up on a concise yet precise solution to your problem at oracle-base.com. The site has been running for over 20 years and gets millions of hits from the Oracle community.  In this three-part series, I catch up with the owner of the site, and good mate, Tim Hall to talk tech, blogging, video and everything else that grabbed our attention.

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If you're an Oracle developer, what is the most important skill you need? Is it database modelling? Is it SQL coding? Its none of these.

I believe the core of being a successful modern developer is something far far simpler. Most of us get into the IT field because we like solving problems, so the most difficult challenge for many of us when we hit a problem that we cannot solve is being able to reach out for help . You might b...

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With the modern trend of automated testing, it is often easy to fall into the trap of relying solely on automation, especially when emotionally as developers we hard-wired to a bias of success. If you write working code, you are valued by your team. Your remuneration and career progression are often linked to working code.  Thus as motivated as we want to be about finding bugs in our code with thorough testing, it is easy to fall p...

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SQL Tuning - It is probably the biggest topic in database technology, and it is little surprise why. There is nothing sexier than diving into the heart of the application code, making a few changes and then basking in the admiration of your colleagues as you have once again saved the day! But that very allure of getting our ego stroked can mean that you have lost sight of where you are supposed to be tuning things. In this episode,...

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Pick up a reference book and there will most likely be an index at the back to help you locate particularly topics. Are database indexes the same? The goal of indexes in the database is allow rapid lookup of a known value in a table. But how do they achieve this? The secret lies on the structure used by indexes to ensure that finding a value even in billions of rows can be virtually instantaneous. In this episode, we'll extend ...

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April 13, 2021 28 min

Every database has indexes...but should they? In this episode, lets consider a different proposition.  What if the indexes you have on your database are a mistake...A bug... An implementation error. Give me 30 minutes to convince you of a whole new mindset when it comes to indexes on your database. Enjoy!

Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d if you have questions.

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Can it be done? Can you delve into the hex dumps, the byte headers, the acronyms all wrapped up in the magic that is an Oracle Database block with no slides, no code, no demos and no visuals? Who knows, but I'll give it my best shot! Don't panic, this is not an episode about digging into internals just for the sake of digging. I'll take a look at the main components of a database block, why they exist, and how these com...

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The ROWID underpins many forms of data access within the Oracle Database. If you're a newcomer to Oracle, querying the rowid from a table returns a cryptic string such as "AAAhDyABAAABd0SAAA". But head back into the earlier versions of the database, and querying the rowid would return a completely different format like "0005DD12.0000.0040". In this episode, I'll cover what the rowid is, why the format of the...

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A tablespace is just a logical grouping of files in your Oracle database. But behind that simple definition sits a remarkable evolution of how tablespaces are defined and managed internally. This episode covers the early days of tablespaces and the pitfalls with managing their space utilisation from within the data dictionary. Then we'll move into the changes and improvements that with Oracle 8i and 8i. Finally we cover some of...

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The beauty of databases is they we just throw SQL at it, and it handles all the heavy lifting of working out where your data is, and how best to find it. But even for the novice, it is useful to know the fundamental mechanisms in which data is stored. In this episode, I cover datafiles, segments, extents and how your queries translate to the data physically stored on disk. Finally I'll go through how all of that applies when it...

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