Month: January 2013

Oracle Magazine-Nov/Dec. 1998

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The headline articles for the Nov/Dec 1998 edition of Oracle Magazine were on building web based applications and thin client computing. A large part of the magazine was dedicated to these topics.  This was a bumper edition with a total of 152 pages of content.


Other articles included:

  • There was a few articles on using Oracle 8i, including how to use Java in the Database, the Internet File System, Intermedia and Data Warehousing.  Oracle 8i comes with over 150 new features
  • There was a couple of articles on the Millennium Bug and how to approach such projects. There was also some advice for organisations who would have to look at how to deal with the introduction of the Euro currency in Europe.
  • There was a section for articles on new product announcements from Oracle partners, including Quest, Nextek, Maxager, ObjectShare, Constellar (Warehouse Builder), Prism, DataMetrics, IQ Software, Eventus, DataMirror, Precise, Saville, DataShark, J-Database Exchange, Andataco, GeoMedia
  • Oracle makes available Oracle 8i and the Application Server on a Linux platform for the first time.
  • With Oracle 8i we have a number of ways of managing our constraints, including:
    • Deferrable integrity constraints
    • Non unique indexes for primary key and unique constraints
    • Immediate constraint enabling
  • Detecting lock and waiting transactions was always a task that consumed a lot of time for a DBA. A number of scripts was given to help you identify these and to resolve these problems.
  • For allow of Oracle Certified DBAs out there. There was an article promoting the OCP DBA program and Exam. Some hints and tips about the exam were given, along with some practice questions.
  • Plus there was 12 pages on adverts at the back of the magazine.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.


Rexer Analytics 2013 Data Miner Survey

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Rexer Analytics has been conducting the Data Miner Survey since 2007.  Each survey explores the analytic behaviors, views and preferences of data miners and analytic professionals.  Over 1300 people from around the globe participated in the 2011 survey.  Summary reports (PDFs of about 40 pages) from previous surveys are available FREE to everyone who requests them by emailing us at  Also, highlights of earlier Data Miner Surveys are available online, including best practices shared by respondents on analytic success measurement, overcoming data mining challenges, and other topics.  The FREE Summary Report for this 2013 Data Miner Survey will be available to everyone in the fall of 2013.

Your survey responses are completely confidential.  This research is not being conducted on behalf of any third party, but is solely for Rexer Analytics to disseminate the findings throughout the data mining and analytics community.

To participate, please click on the link below, then click on the “Start Survey” link on the bottom of the webpage.  Please enter the access code in the space provided.  The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.  Anyone who has had this email forwarded to them should use the access code in the forwarded email.

Survey Link:

Access Code:  UL3X7

OUG Norway Agenda is now live

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The OUG Norway spring conference (17th April – 19th April) agenda is now live and is open for registrations.

Click here for the Conference Agenda

Click here for the Conference Registration

This is a 3 day conference. The first day (17th April) will be held in the Radisson BLU Scandinavia ( Holbergsplass ) and the next two (and a bit) days will be on the Color Magic boat that will be travelling between Oslo and Kiel in Germany and back to Oslo. The boat will be arriving back in Oslo on the Saturday morning (20th April).

There will be some presentations in Norwegian, but it looks like most of the presentations will be in English. There will also be some well known names from the Oracle world presenting at this conference.

In addition to these people, I will be giving two presentations on using Predictive Analytics in Oracle using the Oracle Data Miner tool and in-database functionality.

My first presentation will be an overview of the advanced analytics option and a demonstration of what you can do using the Oracle Data Miner tool (part of SQL Developer). This presentation is currently scheduled for Thursday (18th April) at 5pm.

My second presentation will be at 9:30am on the Friday morning (19th April). In this presentation we will look at the in-database features, what can we do in SQL and PL/SQL, and we will look at what you need to do deploy you Oracle Data Mining models in a production environment.

If possible we might be able to review some new 12c new features for Oracle Data Miner Smile

Agenda Planning for OUG Ireland Annual event 2013

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Over the past week there has been a number of meetings by the organising committee of the Annual OUG Ireland event, to arrange the agenda for the 2013 event. This will be held on the 12th March in the DCC (same as last year)

We have had a large number of submitted presentations from experts from around the world. The choices we have had to make were very difficult.

The agenda is almost complete. A few finishing touches and we should have it all sorted out by the end of the week.

This year we will have the largest conference/annual event yet. There will be a good mixture of presentations from Oracle, Customers, Partners, Oracle ACE’s and other people (with an interesting story to tell) from around the world.

At the moment it looks like we will have tracks on

  • Oracle Database
  • Tech
  • Development
  • Fusion
  • EBS
  • Product & JDE
  • BI & EPM (this may have 2 parallel tracks)

When the agenda is available and live, I put up a new post.

Registration is now live and by reports a lot of people have already registered.

OUG Ireland Annual event – online Registrations

In previous years this event used to be called the Annual OUG Ireland Conference, but the Conference part has been dropped. I’ll try to explain it over a drink some time.

Oracle Magazine-Sept/Oct 1998

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The headline articles for the Sept/Oct1998 edition of Oracle Magazine were on all on how to build and deploy intranets within an organisation, using Oracle products. There were a few case studies illustrating the benefits that using intranets can bring to an organisation


Other articles included:

  • Project Webview was the codename for a new project (part of Oracle 8i) whose aim was to provide and end-to-end solution for instantly building, deploying and proactively monitoring database applications and content driven websites. This was a very early start to what we call APEX now.
  • Oracle 8i would be available any day now during the fall of 1998!
  • Oracle Applications R11 now has a Business Intelligence system integrated into it. It comes with preconfigured standard performance indicators and with the ability to perform what-if analysis
  • Oracle purchases Price Waterhouse ACTIVA Software. ACTIVA is a strategic software solution for activity management, process improvement, activity based budgeting and performance measurement
  • You can not install and use Oracle Lite on a Palm Pilot, allowing replication with an enterprise Oracle 8i database.
  • There was some useful tips given for companies who are looking to issue and RFP (Request for Proposal)
    • Realize that everything costs money
    • Provide a complete description of your current state
    • Be clear, definitive, comprehensive and complete about your requirements
    • Require the vendor to take a position on each and every requirement
    • Whenever you ask vendors to provide costs, also ask them to list their assumptions
    • Give vendors room to be creative and make suggestions on good alternatives
  • When designing your data marts don’t be afraid to add more dimensions than you think are required for the initial spec. By adding more dimensions gives your users greater flexibility with slicing and dicing
  • There are 7 simple ways to take advantage of Oracle 8
    • New Table partitioning option.
    • New Index partitioning
    • Improved backup and recovery
    • New Parallel data-manipulation language ability
    • New and improved networking features
    • A better optimizer
    • Reduced resource consumption
  • Using array process with dynamic SQL using the following steps
    • Open a cursor
    • Parse the cursor with the PL/SQL statement
    • Associate a PL/SQL type table_var with the cursor, by using a DEFINE_ARRAY for each variable in the select statement
    • Execute the fetch in a loop
    • Associate each variable in the select statement using a COLUMN_VALUE with the PL/SQL TABLE_VAR
    • Use the PL/SQL table variable for any processing

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.

BIWA Oracle Data Scientist Certificate

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Last week I had had the opportunity to present at the BIWA Summit conference. This was held in the Sofitel Hotel beside the Oracle HQ buildings at Redwood Shores just out side of San Francisco.

This conference was a busy 2 days of with 4 parallel streams of presentations and another stream for Hands-on Labs. The streams covered Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing. There was lots of great presentations from well known names in the subject areas.

The BIWA Oracle Data Scientist Certificate was launched at the summit. The requirements for this certificate was to attend my presentation on ‘The Oracle Data Scientist’ (this was compulsory) and then to attend a number of other data science related presentations and hands-on labs. In addition to these presentations there is a short exam to take. This consists of some 30-ish questions, which were based on my presentation and some of the other presentations and hand-on labs. The main topic areas covered in the exam include what is data science about, Oracle Data Miner, Oracle R Enterprise and then some questions based on the key notes, in particular the keynote by Ari Kaplan.

There are a few days left to take the exam. Your answers to the questions will be reviewed and you should receive an email within a couple of days with your result and hopefully your certificate.


This was my first trip to Redwood Shores and I had some time to go for a walk around the Oracle HQ campus. Hopefully it wont be my last. Here is a photo I took of some of the Oracle buildings.


The BIWA Summit conference returns to Redwood Shores again in 2014 around the 14th and 15th January. It will be in the Oracle Conference centre that is part of the Oracle HQ campus.

Maybe I’ll see you there in 2014.

The ‘Oh No You Don’t’ of (Oracle) Data Science

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Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had conversations with a large number of people about Data Science in the Oracle arena.

A few things have stood out. The first and perhaps the most important of these is that there is confusion of what Data Science actually means. Some think it is just another name for Statistics or Advanced Statistics, some Predictive Analytics or Data Mining, or Data Analysis, Data Architecture, etc.. The reality is it is not. It is more than what these terms mean and this is a topic for discussion for another day.

During these conversations the same questions or topics keep coming up and the simplest answer to all of these is taken from a Pantomime (Panto).

We need to have lots of statisticians
       ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We can only do Data Science if we have Big Data
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We can only do data mining/data science if we have 10’s or 100’s of Million of records
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need to have an Exadata machine
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need to have an Exalytics machine
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need extra servers to process the data
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need to buy lots of Statistical and Predictive Analytics software
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need to spend weeks statistically analysing a predictive model
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
We need to have unstructured data to do Data Science
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
Data Science is only for large companies
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’
Data Science is very complex, I can not do it
        ‘Oh No You Don’t !’

Let us all say it together for one last time ‘Oh No You Don’t

In its simplest form, performing Data Science using the Oracle stack, just involves learning and using some simple SQL and PL/SQL functions in the database.

Maybe we (in the Oracle Data Science world and those looking to get into it) need to adopt a phrase that is used by Barrack Obama of ‘Yes We Can’, or as he said it in Irish when he visited Ireland back in 2011, ‘Is Feidir Linn’.

Remember it is just SQL.