Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOUG: Tampa Oracle Day

Life has been busy and I haven't been to a meeting in a while. There's a good one coming up though. If you're in the area you should make plans. RSVP here.

Here are the rest of the details from the email blast:

I wanted to give everyone an early head's up that we have a whole day of Oracle info coming up next week on Thursday, November 8th. We will have the Tampa Oracle Day and Product Fair at Raymond James Stadium from 9am-4pm. Following a brief intermission, our November Suncoast Oracle Users Group meeting will begin at 6pm in our regular Rocky Point location.

The Oracle Day event will include separate tracks with 4 sessions each for Simplify IT, Social/Mobile/Cloud, and Customer Experience. There will also be a Solutions Pavilion/Demo Grounds, breakfast and lunch, and a couple of Keynotes. In one of the Keynotes, I'll be relating some of our experiences at Nielsen in Leveraging Exadata for Consolidation and Business Growth.

You can register for the Tampa Oracle Day by calling 800.820.5592 ext.10942 or online at : http://www.oracle.com/us/dm/06495-nafm12034228mpp041-oem-1844932.html.

One of the most recent additions to Oracle's ever growing line of Engineered systems is the Oracle Database Appliance. The ODA is a 2-node RAC cluster with 4TB of storage all buttoned up in a 2U chassis. They've combined this hardware with a slick web interface management layer that allows you to stand up a 2-node RAC cluster in less than an hour with just a few clicks of the mouse. For our SOUG meeting this month, we will have one of these boxes in hand for a live demo and further discussion of the technology.

The Thursday evening SOUG meeting begins with refreshments and an opportunity for networking with your peers from 6:00-6:30pm followed by a presentation from 6:30-8:30pm. The meeting will be held in the Knowledge Services facilities at:

3031 North Rocky Point Drive West, Suite 275
Tampa, FL 33607

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

OBIEE: 14006 Unsupported Predicate

My favorite Admin tool error:

In one of our subject areas, we recently changed the physical source from one system to another. No big deal right?

One of my colleagues figured out this neat little trick using Fragmentation content on the Content table of a logical table source. Basically, if the date was yesterday or greater, use Table_A, if not, use Table_B. Worked like a charm.

With the change to the physical source, it no longer worked. WTH?

I suspected the Fragmentation content because the data types changed, well, one was no longer the driver, if that makes sense. See, we had to do this work-around because the original source system wasn't designed with date date types. We had to pass a string in the YYYY-MM-DD format.

With the new source, that was resolved. We now had a date data type, awesome.

Not so awesome, because it broke. By broke I mean all the facts were doubling for everything but the current day (today).

If you're wondering, here is the logic in the Fragmentation content section for Table_A:

"BMM"."Dim - Date"."YYYY-MM-DD Column" >= VALUEOF( "INIT_BLOCK"."YYYY-MM-DD" )
For Table B:

"BMM"."Dim - Date"."YYYY-MM-DD Column" < VALUEOF( "INIT_BLOCK"."YYYY-MM-DD" )
The only thing different is the operator.

Since we now had a true date data type, I tried to use that, which is how I came across the 14006 Unsupported Predicate issue. You see, now I didn't have to use a repository variable, I could simply use OBIEE date functions. I came up with this to mimic the same behavior:

Of course I changed the operator for each LTS. Save RPD, Transaction Update Failed. Check Consistency,

It's a valid formula. Works in Answers (or whatever it's called these days). Perhaps someone with far more experience can spot the mistake.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the katezilla t-shirt

Been thinking about doing this for a long time. No particular reason, just seems natural. Note the awesome font style I chose and how much it differs from the regular oraclenerd font. I'm very creative.

All proceeds go to support katezilla in all her awesomeness.

$25 (US Only, for now)

the katezilla

Erotic Problem Solving

by Michael O'Neill
Posts on oraclenerd, Twitter, Facebook

Writing code well is hard enough. Does it have to be boring too?

Business problems can be boring. This is perpetually true for the professional responsible for authoring the code to solve them who is technical-expertise-first and business-expertise-second. Emotional motivation and individual energy is a tremendous factor in the results of any problem solver.

In my career, I have repeatedly faced boring problems and successfully mucked through them with boring solutions. Sometimes though, I have faced interesting problems and unsuccessfully met them with boring solutions. Failure required a twist in my thoughts and energy to regain the upper hand on achieving a solution. Here is an example:

How do you code an effective solution with an ineffective domain model? Sophisticated social applications require a complex network model. Network models are difficult enough to document and even harder to conceptualize beyond a certain complexity. And when doubt creeps in on a modeling effort, the problem solver's all too frequent retreat is into previously reliable modeling techniques. Even if those techniques are an ill-fit at best. In a recent application, the problem ahead of me was building an intricate and robust human trust, credibility and reputation engine.

I experienced project-crippling difficulty during the initial modeling efforts. My mind was constantly circling the boring drain of popular technical trust models, like public-private keys and centralized certificate authorities. Every model fell apart eventually. My models required hierarchies that meant nothing in the real world of human trust. My models introduced single points of dependency that do not exist in human interactions.

I took a step back. I ended the boring. I turned myself on.

I imagined a small community of nonmonogamous individuals and their social sexual lives. How did they decide to hook up? How did they decide to break up? Did they like another, or like-like another? Were the states of those feelings returned? How did they decide whether to exchange bodily fluids or not? What were the layers, causes and watersheds of lust, love, trust, sacrifice, distrust? How was deceit employed? Did absolute trust exist? How did feelings of love affect everything?

I was able to configure a myriad of practical models, all intertwined based on a community of people I made up with my pencil. Right or wrong about how people work, it didn't matter. Its complexity and the energy I was able to pour into understanding the possibilities was what was valuable. It was adventure that proffered understanding of the solution required for my work. My intricate thoughts expressed in an exciting context was an excellent conversation with everyone I knew, eager every one of them to have themselves chatted up about sex. Each person I included in the discussion introduced a valuable complexity I was able to model. I remembered the what ifs shared over a pint were the reason I do what I do for a living.

I am not advocating having multiple simultaneous sexual partners to get through a modeling effort. Well, alright I am, but that is beside the point. Approaching a complicated business modeling problem required that I stop circling the boring drain and leverage the energy of thinking of all the complexities of people, emotions and how they interact - something in which I already had knowledge, intuition and interest.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My First Triathlon (in 11 years)

A couple of months ago I talked a friend through her first triathlon. Yesterday (Saturday), was my turn.

1/3 mile swim. 10 mile bike. 3.1 mile run.

It was my first race in 11 years, to the day. On October 20th, 2001, I competed in the Great Floridian, an ultra-distance (i.e. ironman) triathlon, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile ride followed by a 26.2 (marathon) mile run. I quit at about mile 20 or 21, it was 10:30 PM, 15+ hours after starting the day. The biggest reason I quit was because it was a loop run, we ran around a lake three or four times. After the second time around and coming up towards the finish line (for everyone else), I was applauded and cheered for...but I had two more laps. I simply couldn't take it anymore. The smaller reasons were; I didn't really train that year and I didn't feel like losing my mind that evening. Results for that race are here.

Anyway, I competed and completed my first race in over 11 years. I entered as a Clydesdale, a polite way of saying "fat guy" division. Results can be found here. I finished 7th in the group and 307th (top 56%) overall. I'll sum it up though.

Swim, 1/3 mile, 12:27, 3rd out of 20 (Clydesdale Group). Considering this is the second time I've swam in many, many years, I'm happy. I didn't have to tread water at all. I'm really glad I got in that great swim in San Francisco.

Transition 1, 4:02, 10th out of 20. I took my sweet ass time. I was tired. I was also able to finally get my glasses on, so I could see again. Sucks being blind.

Bike, 10 miles, 34:37, 12th out of 20. Overall, I'm pleased. I did this on a mountain bike (15.91 17.33 mph) while (most) everyone else had road/tri bikes. Looking at the times in my group alone, I probably would have been at or near the top. Winning time was 27:30 (in the group).

Transition 2, 2:18, 14th out of 20. Meh, I've never been good at transitions. I didn't care much about this one anyway. I was just there to finish the race.

Run, 3.1 miles, 27:55, 3rd out of 20. That's a 9 min/mile pace. Caught my tri-buddy (John Thompson) within the first quarter mile. Left him and was feeling mighty chatty. So I ran and talked with some other guy further up. When I realized that I was still talking, I told him I shouldn't be talking because my heart would explode and left him. I might have finished a minute or two faster had I not been so chatty. Who knows? I managed to actually run the entire thing too, no stopping for me. I can't remember the last time I ran 3.1 miles in a row.

Now, I can lose about 19 lbs and still compete in the Clydesdale division and possibly place. Get a "real" bike and I can take off about 7 or 8 minutes. Stop lolly-gagging in transition and I can shave off another minute or two. Get down to 7 minutes/mile on the run and that's another 6 minutes. Now the fun begins.

Lest you think I'm getting all cocky...I did this race in 1:21:07. I've done this same distance in well under an hour before. I think my best time was just under 54 minutes. I'm one or two years older and just one or two pounds heavier now...I don't expect to be there again. It'll certainly be fun (and healthy!) trying though.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Idea #1


I'd like to start posting my random (rambling?) ideas here in short form more often. Here's idea #1.

I'd like to do a presentation with Cary Millsap while playing catch. I'd ask questions about instrumentation and stuff and he'd opine while trying to catch my knuckle-ball.

This would achieve 3 objects:
1. Presenting (with Mr. Millsap)
2. Playing catch
3. Playing catch indoors (technically this would be Mr. Millsap's completed objective).

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

OBIEE: Where'd my SQL Go? Part II

Back in July I wondered where my SQL went when I deployed an opaque view to the database. I found it.

Recently, I was introduced to a person at the client site I'll just call The Process Queen™. I had written some code (pipelined table function) that was to be deployed to the database, she was making helping me get it into SVN and showing me how they deployed code. The Process Queen™

In that regard, I wanted to get everything that we could into SVN. Those opaque views (now deployed as database views) were a perfect candidate.

The client impressed me with their deployment tools, I hadn't seen anything like it. I wish I could say more, of course...perhaps I can talk The Process Queen into a guest post?

Anyway, so there I was, following my own guide Where'd My SQL Go? and then I noticed this

and this.

Notice those SQL statements are different. Apparently in OBIEE you can add a SQL statement in to each and every database type that you want.

An interesting, if not scary, find. Which begs the question, why would you need this kind of functionality?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Fun of Oracle OpenWorld

Another one in the books.

What did I accomplish while there?
  1. I helped organize a Sunday Symposium for ODTUG. I convinced 9 very busy, talented and gracious people to speak. I couldn't have imagined that just a few short years ago.
  2. Oracle ACE Dinner
  3. Interview with Bob Rhubart
  4. I swam in the Bay with other crazy people.
  5. Caught a few sessions at Oak Table World
    • Karl Arao
    • Cary Millsap
    • Tanel Poder
  6. RAC Attack
  7. ...
I had this long list in my head, but I can't remember everything I did.

I got to play catch with Mr. Millsap. That's two conferences in a row, I plan on keeping that streak alive.

What I remember most are the people. Shocking, I know.

- Lunch with Floyd Teter and Jake
- Seeing my old (first IT) boss for the first time in years.
- Being yelled at by people who said I was mean, that I never gave them props for their hard work. Ahem.
- Walking around San Francisco with Jeff Smith and testing the water for Monday's swim.
- The view. Man, everywhere had a gorgeous view (I know, that's not a person).
- The ODTUG crew. Mike, Crystal, Monty, Lauren, Bambi, Jerry, John and Barbara. It's a fun group of people who make work fun, and it shows.
- Catching up with Bex.
- Hanging out with Lillian and Vikki.
- The Blogger's meet-up sponsored by Pythian (among many events). Fuad Arshad has the best pictures too. I'll end up stealing a few of those I'm sure.
- Dinner at the Pier Market with an incredible group of people. Dirty jokes ensued (jam vs. jelly) and then Connor McDonald brought down the house. I couldn't breathe for about 5 minutes I was laughing so hard.
- The walk home from the Pier Market listening to Cary and Greg Rahn talk.
- Foley's. Joe, Tom and Bex.
- Dinner with Jake, David and Terrence. A repeat of 2 years ago. It felt like it had only been a day. That's pretty cool.
- Bjoern Rost. Wow, that guy is full of life. So much fun to be around.
- Tim and Kellyn. Good people.
- And my remora, Alex. I mean that in a good way too. His first time at OOW and he wasn't shy, that's not always easy to do.
I'm sure I could do this all night.

I learned a lot of cool things in San Francisco which I can use immediately. For me it's the opportunity to meet a lot of fun, intelligent, kind people in a very short amount of time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld - Swim in the Bay 2012

Last Monday at 7:30 AM PST, 17 brave souls joined me in the First Annual Oracle OpenWorld Swim in the Bay, a refreshing swim in San Francisco waters.

To be precise, it was at the Aquatic Part near the Dolphin Swim & Boat Club. OK, here's the map to make it easier.

And here's a pretty panoramic:

From Oracle Open World 2012

At my very first OOW, I did this swim 3 or 4 times. I was in much better shape back then. This time, I just thought it would be a fun, easy diversion with a chance to bond with fellow travelers. On Saturday, Jeff Smith and I wandered over to the "beach" and got our feet wet. Here's my interview with him:

Here's part of the crew before disrobing

Note John Hurley's cow hat, that's John in the lime green tank top over to the left. Others pictured here from left to right: Kent Graziano, John Hurley, Bjoern Rost, Gustavo Rene Antunez, I believe the yellow green jacket is Henning Voss, Stanley the ACE Director sitting on Debra Lilley's lap, another Bjorn (help please?) Björn Ole Voß, Connor McDonald and Mogens Norgaard. Now Connor had an unfair advantage, he's currently training for an English Channel Crossing, so I'll photoshop all future pics of him to make him look less like a superhero.

Now, here's the big group shot, disrobed this time. If you have an issue with bright lights, cover your eyes now.

From left to right: Me, Gustavo, Alex Crane, Jeremiah Wilton, Connor McDonald (who we made stand in the back so we wouldn't look so bad), Debra Lilley and Stanley the ACE Director, Bjoern Rost, Bjorn (help again), Sheeri Cabral, Henning Voss, John Hurley, I can't remember his name, help Björn Ole Voß and finally Mogens again. Not pictured: Kent Graziano and Tom Wurzbach (the guy who gave you me, i.e. my first boss).

Debra getting her feet wet...sparing Stanley the cold. In the background, you can see Sheeri Cabral and Alex Crane (I think).

And finally Kent Graziano all wet.

Good times.

Did you notice I said First Annual up at the top? Well, I did. We're doing this again next year and we have sponsors! Nothing terribly fancy, perhaps a ribbon for your badge saying, "I swam in the Bay." Or ORACLENERD swim caps. Or coffee, lots of coffee after the swim to warm up. The goal is 50 people. If you're planning on going to OOW next year, join us!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fun with United Airlines

I'm currently broadcasting from a very small hotel room in Houston, TX. My flight out of SFO was delayed (Blue Angels and other traffic) which caused me to miss my flight into Tampa. Ugh.

United automatically booked me on a flight leaving IAH at 1 getting into Tampa at 4:14, PM. To top it off, they wouldn't cover my hotel room, they said it "wasn't there fault" that the reason was "Air Traffic Control" (i.e. Blue Angels and stuff) so they weren't responsible. No food voucher, no hotel voucher. Thanks United. Reminds me of work sometimes where someone just points the finger at someone else..."it's the database" or "it's the network" or some other way to shift blame. Whatever.

I understand that it wasn't there fault. If it were me though, I would have helped out more. Pilar, from United at IAH, was very helpful, but I believe she was handcuffed by their corporate policy, you know, shift the blame. Pilar did put me on standby for an earlier flight (7:22 AM) and did book me on an earlier flight that gets in at 1:30 PM. Better than 4:14 PM.

I'll miss out on taking the kids to school. I'll miss out on katezilla's speech therapy meeting and I won't get to pick up my son from school (assuming I don't get on the standby flight). The 1:30 arrival also puts me in jeopardy of not being able to pick up katezilla. Sucks.

I know travel is hard. I expect things like this to happen once in awhile. I don't blame United for the traffic at SFO and I don't think it was their fault. However, I think they could have done a bit more to keep the customer happy. If I were in their shoes, I would have. It seems like a moment to make a great fan and they missed it. Had they helped in the smallest of ways, I would be singing their praises...opportunity lost.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Origins of ORACLENERD, katezilla and Stuff

On Sunday I attended the Oracle ACE dinner. This is an annual gathering at OOW of the ACE and ACE Directors who are in attendance (lots). The venue was the San Francisco Yacht Club. Very nice. They made me take off my hat, which I usually do inside, so it was fancy too.

Bob Rhubart of OTN Architect Community fame, asked if I would share the story of the origins of ORACLENERD, how it came about. Since I have a problem saying No, I agreed.

I wasn't very concise about the origins, I rambled for a few minutes finally getting on point. Then I started to talk about katezilla...

Long, tiring day, plus an adult beverage on board and I was just spilling my guts. Near the end, I think I cried, on TV. I asked Bob if he could see tears, he said No.

The following morning a friend of mine in Europe told me he saw the video. I asked him if he saw tears. He said, "No, I was at work, trying not to show emotions, but it was very powerful."

To which I replied, "I was talking about me. :)"

Anyway, katezilla comes on about 6:00 minutes, skip to there if you don't want to hear the whole thing.