Friday, August 17, 2012

The keys to Oracle…



This is a question I get on asktom frequently – what are the things I need to know, what do I have to do to become expert, where is the list of key things I need to do with regards to Oracle.  It is a hard sounding question that has an easy answer.

If you are still wet behind the ears – or even just damp – then the definitive place to start is the Oracle Server Concepts Guide. Not only is this free - but it is your guide to understanding how the database works.  If you understand something - you can use that thing.  If you don't, well, simply put - you won't be able to effectively use it.  Getting a solid knowledge of how a transaction is done, what locking and concurrency controls are and how they work, how the database makes the data durable on disk (redo, undo management) - all of it is key to effectively using the database.

If you don't know who can see what data, which version of data, at what points in time - confusion will abound and data integrity will be lost.  Getting a good basic knowledge of how the database manages data is the only way for you to know how to code a correct program.

Once you've mastered the material in that document - I would suggest taking a look at the 2-Day guides.  They are a good way to get spun up on the necessary knowledge for either a Developer or DBA track. There is the 2-Day Developers Guide and the 2-Day DBA Guide.  These documents are designed to get you going - you won't be an expert after reading them, but you'll know the gist of what it is you need to know, to learn.  You'll have a good idea of what is available feature wise at the very least.

After these 2-Day guides (you can read either one or both), you might want to move onto some of the other overview guides - the 2-Day Performance would be a must read for anyone (followed by the Performance Guide itself eventually).

While all of this is going on - you should also be communicating - a lot.  Constantly.  Get on the forums - http://otn.oracle.com/forums, start writing - start asking questions (after reading the guidelines!!), start participating.  It is the way I learned much of what I know now myself.  But communicate - a lot.  You won't be able to progress forward in a vacuum.  Share everything you have in your head - and find others that will share back with you.  You'll find you not only get to learn (and to teach eventually) from people all over the world - but you may end up calling some of them your really good friends.

And then add time, a lot of time.  Maybe years of time.  You will not become really good at what you are doing in six months, not in a year, probably not in five years.  It will take a while - you need to have lots of different experiences, encounter many different situations, attempt and fail to solve many problems - before you'll become really good at what you do.  You might feel like you are expert in a year - but trust me - you aren't.  And four years later you'll realize how little you knew and how much more you have to learn.

I learn something new everyday about Oracle, just the other day something about Total Recall but many things in general, technical and otherwise - and I've been doing Oracle things for a long time.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

Coming soon to Ireland and the Netherlands...

In September I'll be delivering a free Seminar in Dublin Ireland from 9am till 2:30pm on September 19th at the Gibson Hotel.  It is being delivered in conjunction with the Ireland OUG and anyone (even non-members) may attend.  Food is involved so it is a real deal :)  I'll be talking about big data, statistics and managing large sets of data.  We'll close up with a Q&A session before lunch.  Full details on registering and the agenda may be found here.  Also see the Ireland Oracle User Group page.

After that, on September 20th, I'll be delivering a full day seminar with Oracle University in Utrecht in the Netherlands.  Full details - including the agenda - may be found here.

Hope to see you at one of the events!
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Thursday, August 09, 2012

What I learned new about Total Recall...

Today I learned something new about the Oracle Total Recall option from a good friend (they were very happy to have told me something about Oracle I didn't know :) ) - it doesn't exist anymore!  The Total Recall option has been made part of the Advanced Compression option!!

Check this out http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/license.112/e10594/options.htm#CJACCDBA to see what you get with the Advanced Compression option which now includes the Total Recall option as well - the Flashback Data Archive capability.
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Monday, August 06, 2012

Latin America OTN Tour....

Just starting the Latin American OTN tour for the week here in Uruguay.

This is my first time in Uruguay and I spent the weekend in Montevideo.  It was a wet, damp weekend - very foggy too!  But on the plus side - the food is excellent and plentiful.  The local user group leaders here made sure we were well fed and warm for lunch every day :)

Today is the OTN conference - Dimitri Gielis is presenting right now using a "slide free" presentation.  He is building an APEX application to the specification of the audience, in real time.  A pretty neat concept, I like it, very good way to show the ability of the tool:

2012-08-06_14-57-22_202

Tomorrow Andrew Holdsworth, Graham Wood and I are doing a Real World Performance day here before we are off to Argentina for a repeat.  To get to Argentina, we are going to a three hour ferry ride.  It is supposed to rain - so that will be a damp, wet trip for sure.

After Argentina we'll be off for Sao Paulo Brazil for a repeat on Saturday (yes, Saturday!).

If you are in the area, you can find the details here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/es/community/user-groups/otn-latinoamerica-tour-2012-1634120-esa.html  or on http://asktom.oracle.com.  Hope to see you here!

Now I'm off to answer some questions that I have in my queue...
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