Month: September 2013

Roundup of OOW13–Part 1

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Oracle Open World 13 finished up last Thursday and I’ve send most of the time since either traveling back to Ireland, trying to re-adjust to Irish time and most importantly spending some time with the family.

I want to use this blog post to say ‘thank you’ to a large number of people. I will have another blog post on some of the important announcements (for me) at Oracle Open World.

I had 2 presentations at OOW and I also assisted at a hands-on lab. These were spread out over Monday to Wednesday, with one presentation/lab on each day. It was fun and many thanks to the people who came to these sessions. I had many conversations during the remainder of OOW with some of the people who attended my sessions.

I would like to thank Lillian, Vikki and all the OTN team for making all the arrangements, organizing events and lots and lots of things that happened at OOW. The Oracle ACE Programme paid for my flights and accommodation while I was at the ACE Directors briefing at Oracle HQ before OOW and during OOW.

I’ve heard stories about the ACE Directors briefing over the years. This year was my first one and all I can say is that it lived up to the stories and more. Over 2 (long-ish) days we had a number of SVPs, VPs, and other very senior people from various divisions of Oracle come into the briefing and openly tell us what is happening with the products, what will be announced at OOW and what will be coming over the next 6 to 12 months. They told us all of this under NDA, so we cannot talk about any of it until Oracle has publically announced it. We also had Thomas Kurian EVP talk to us for just over an hour. He was very impressive.  In my next blog post I will talk about some of the announcements that were made during OOW.

Thank you to DIT for making the necessary arrangements and facilitating  me to be away for this prolonged trip.

There were many social events during OOW and on some evening there was 3 different events for me to go to. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to all of them. I met up with lots of people from countries like Norway, Belgium, Holland, UK, Austria, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Ireland and the USA.  Many thanks to RittmanMead and Peak Indicators for the meals, and lots of user groups and various Oracle countries for the drinks.

On my last night at OOW I went to my first baseball game between the Giants and the Dodgers, with Roel Hartman from Holland. This was a great night of entertainment and I would highly recommend going to a baseball game. The Giants won.

As always I’m sure that I have missed some people off this list. I do apologise and I’ll blame the jet lag for it Smile

OOW is great for all the conference swag you can get. I tried not to get too carried away with it, but the photographs below will give you some idea of what I collected.

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Adding Oracle Data Miner to OBIEE

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Oracle Data Miner is a very powerful tool that provides advanced machine learning algorithms that are embedded in the Oracle database. By using Oracle Data Miner you do not have to use another tool, from another vendor, to do your data mining. You can do everything in the database, ensuring that the security of your data is maintained and use all the performance functionality that comes with the database.
To add to the advanced insights that you can get from using ODM, you can combine ODM with your OBIEE dashboards to gain a deeper level of insight of your data. This is the combining of data mining techniques and visualization techniques.
The purpose of this blog post is to show you the steps involved in adding an ODM model to your OBIEE dashboards. Lots of people have been asking for the details of how to do it, so here it is.
The following example is based on a presentation that I have given a few times (OUG Ireland, UKOUG, OOW) with Antony Heljula.
1. Export & Import the ODM model
If your data mining analysis and development was completed in a different database to where your OBIEE data resides then you will need to move the ODM model from ODM/development database to the OBIEE database.
ODM provides two PL/SQL procedures to allow you to easily move your ODM model. These procedures are part of the DBMS_DATA_MINING package. To export a model you will need to use the DBMS_DATA_MINING.EXPORT_MODEL procedure. Similarly to import your (exported) ODM model you will use the DBMS_DATA_MINING.IMPORT_MODEL procedure.
2. Create a view that uses the ODM model
You can create a view that uses the PREDICTION and PREDICTION_PROBABILITY functions to apply the import ODM model to your data. For example the following view is used to score our customer data to make a prediction of they are going to churn and the probability that this prediction is correct.
SELECT st_pk,
       prediction(clas_decision_tree using *) WITHDRAW_PREDICTION,
       prediction_probability(clas_decision_tree using *) WITHDRAW_PROBABILITY
FROM   CUSTOMER_DATA;

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3. Import the view into the Physical layer of the BI Repository (RPD)
The view was then imported into the Physical layer of the BI Repository (RPD) where it was joined on primary key to the other customer tables (we had one records per customer in the view). With the tables being joined, we can use the prediction columns to filter the customer data. For example filter all the customer who are likely to churn, WITHDRAW_PREDICTION = ‘N’
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4.Add the new columns to the Business Model layer
The new prediction columns were then mapped into the Business Model layer where they could be incorporated into various relevant calculations e.g. % Withdrawals Predicted, and then subsequently presented to the end users for reporting
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5. Add to your Dashboards
The Withdraw prediction columns could then be published on the BI Dashboards where they could be used to filter the data content. In the example below, the use has chosen to show data for only those customers who are predicted to Withdraw with a probability rating of >70%
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Oracle Magazine review–May/June 2000

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The headline articles of Oracle Magazine for May/June 2000 were on the evolution of organisations into adopting a e-business model. It included 8 steps on evolving to e-business, how to use the Oracle Internet Platform, Web Portal and Java technology.
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Other articles included:

  • Tom Kyte has an article on Oracle Availability Options and explains when to implement Oracle Parallel Server or replication or a standby database.
  • There is a new release of Oracle Discover 3i and Oracle Reports 6i that support XML and are part of the Oracle Intelligent WebHouse initiative.
  • Oracle licenced the mobile moddleware developed by Nettech System, to support Oracle’s steps into this field.
  • There is an overview of the IOUG-A Live! 2000 conference which is being held between 7-11 May in the Anaheim Convention Centre. Over 4,000 attendees are expected.
  • Kelli Wiseth gives and overview of Java 2, explaining the differences between J2SE and J2EE. The article also discusses how Java is part of the Oracle Internet Platform.
  • Steven Feuerstein gives the second part of his article on using Java Classes and Objects in the Oracle 8i database.
  • Richard Niemiec has an articles on Fundamental Tuning Goals and details the followings:
    • Allocate the right amount of memory for the Oracle instance.
    • Keep the right data in memory.
    • Find problem queries.
  • Kevin Loney had an article on how to protect your database from security threats. These included:
    • Guard your backups and development environments
    • Know your default user and applications accounts
    • Control the distribution of database names and locations
    • Use auditing effectively
    • Make password changes mandatory yet simple
    • Isolate your production database
  • Venkat Devraj talks discuss six storage tips for 24×7 availability
    • Know and understand RAID options
    • Choose your disk-array size with caution
    • Do not use read ahead caches for online transaction processing applications
    • Do not reply on write caches to eliminate I/O hot spots
    • Consider using multilevel RAIDS
    • Ensure that your stripe sizes are consistent with your OS and database block sizes

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.

Nested Tables (and Data) in Oracle & ODM

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Oracle Data Mining uses Nested data types/tables to store some of its data. Oracle Data Mining creates a number of tables/objects that contain nested data when it is preparing data for input to the data mining algorithms and when outputting certain results from the algorithms.  In Oracle 11.2g there are two nested data types used and in Oracle 12.1c we get an additional two nested data types. These are setup when you install the Oracle Data Miner Repository. If you log into SQL*Plus or SQL Developer you can describe them like any other table or object.

DM_NESTED_NUMERICALS

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DM_NESTED_CATEGORICALS

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The following two Nested data types are only available in 12.1c

DM_NESTED_BINARY_DOUBLES

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DM_NESTED_BINARY_FLOATS

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These Nested data types are used by Oracle Data Miner in preparing data for input to the data mining algorithms and for producing the some of the outputs from the algorithms.

Creating your own Nested Tables

To create your own Nested Data Types and Nested Tables you need to performs steps that are similar to what is illustrated in the following steps. These steps show you how to define a data type, how to create a nested table, how to insert data into the nested table and how to select the data from the nested table.

1. Set up the Object Type

Create a Type object that will defines the structure of the data. In these examples we want to capture the products and quantity purchased by a customer.

create type CUST_ORDER as object
(product_id     varchar2(6),
quantity_sold  number(6));
/

2. Create a Type as a Table

Now you need to create a Type as a table.

create type cust_orders_type as table of CUST_ORDER;
/

3. Create the table using the Nested Data

Now you can create the nested table.

create table customer_orders_nested (
cust_id       number(6) primary key,
order_date    date,
sales_person  varchar2(30),
c_order       CUST_ORDERS_TYPE)
NESTED TABLE c_order STORE AS c_order_table;

4. Insert a Record and Query

This insert statement shows you how to insert one record into the nested column.

insert into customer_orders_nested
values (1, sysdate, ‘BT’, CUST_ORDERS_TYPE(cust_order(‘P1’, 2)) );

When we select the data from the table we get

select * from customer_orders_nested;

   CUST_ID ORDER_DAT SALES_PERSON
———- ——— ——————————
C_ORDER(PRODUCT_ID, QUANTITY_SOLD)
—————————————————–
         1 19-SEP-13 BT
CUST_ORDERS_TYPE(CUST_ORDER(‘P1’, 2))

It can be a bit difficult to read the data in the nested column so we can convert the nested column into a table to display the results in a better way

select cust_id, order_date, sales_person, product_id, quantity_sold
from customer_orders_nested, table(c_order)

   CUST_ID ORDER_DAT SALES_PERSON                   PRODUC QUANTITY_SOLD
———- ——— —————————— —— ————-
         1 19-SEP-13 BT                             P1                 2

5. Insert many Nested Data items & Query

To insert many entries into the nested column you can do this

insert into customer_orders_nested
values (2, sysdate, ‘BT2’, CUST_ORDERS_TYPE(CUST_ORDER(‘P2’, 2), CUST_ORDER(‘P3’,3)));

When we do a Select * we get

   CUST_ID ORDER_DAT SALES_PERSON
———- ——— ——————————
C_ORDER(PRODUCT_ID, QUANTITY_SOLD)
————————————————————-
         1 19-SEP-13 BT
CUST_ORDERS_TYPE(CUST_ORDER2(‘P1’, 2))

         2 19-SEP-13 BT2
CUST_ORDERS_TYPE(CUST_ORDER2(‘P2’, 2), CUST_ORDER2(‘P3’, 3))

Again it is not easy to ready the data in the nested column, so if we convert it to a table again we now get a row being displayed for each entry in the nested column.

select cust_id, order_date, sales_person, product_id, quantity_sold
from customer_orders_nested, table(c_order);

   CUST_ID ORDER_DAT SALES_PERSON                   PRODUC QUANTITY_SOLD
———- ——— —————————— —— ————-
         1 19-SEP-13 BT                             P1                 2
         2 19-SEP-13 BT2                            P2                 2
         2 19-SEP-13 BT2                            P3                 3

Upgrading ODMr and SQL Dev forEA2

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The Early Adopter 2 of Oracle SQL Developer was released yesterday (Thursday 12th Sept). To install this new version of the Tool, including Oracle Data Miner, you can follow the instructions below

  • Go to the EA2 download page and download the EA2 release
  • Unzip the EA2 download
  • Create a new shortcut that point to the sqldeveloper.exe
  • Start SQL Developer EA2
  • You will be prompted for the location of the Java JDK. On my VM it was  C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_25. 
  • Next you are prompted about importing your setting from the previous version. Select Yes.
  • After the setting have been imported SQL Developer will open and you are now able to enjoy

Oracle Data Miner

  • For Oracle Data Miner you need to make the option visible by selecting Tools->Data Miner->Make Visible. This will open the ODM connection tabs along with a couple of others. I’m running the following on a 12.1c database.
  • Open one of your ODM connections by double clicking on it.
  • ODM will check the version of the ODM repository in the DB. You will be prompted to upgrade the ODM repository to the latest version. Click on the Yes button

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  • Enter the SYS password, or talk nicely to your DBA.

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  • Then click the Start button to start the ODM repository upgrade

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  • This will take anything from a minute to 10 minutes, depending on the location of the DB and your network.
  • When everything is finished you can close the window and start using Oracle Data Miner by opening an existing workflow or by creating a new one.