The Spoken Nerd
Back to Basics: MVCC - Why databases are magic!

Back to Basics: MVCC - Why databases are magic!

May 10, 2022

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 Concurrent Control (MVCC). We've all heard the mantra: readers don't block writers; writers don't block readers. In this episode we'll explore why the feature is so cool, but also see what such flexibility could also lead a developer down the wrong path to corrupted data. 

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

Back to basics: SQL Parsing - the silent database killer

Back to basics: SQL Parsing - the silent database killer

March 11, 2022

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 servers used to be "Get Out Of Jail Free" card for IT practitioners, but how hardware advancements have shifted the responsibility for successful applications squarely back on the shoulders of developers. The way you handle parsing on the Oracle database could open the door to the incredible firepower of modern servers...or leave you scratching your head wondering why your CPUs are running hot but no work is getting done.

And believe it or not...if you have used a public restroom, you are well on the way to understanding how parsing relates to building scalable applications :-)

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 4

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 4

February 18, 2022

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 optimizers.

In this episode, I ambush Nigel with some questions that came in from Twitter from the Oracle community. In particular, how to optimize queries that contain TABLE functions, and what is best way for developers to quickly and efficiently tackle SQL tuning.

Keep updated with the optimizer at https://blogs.oracle.com/optimizer.  If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

 

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 3

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 3

February 9, 2022

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 optimizers.

In this episode, Nigel and I tackle the area that perhaps causes the most anxiety for database professionals when it comes to the optimizer, that is, what is going to change when upgrade. Keep updated on the optimizer at https://blogs.oracle.com/optimizer 

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 2

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 2

February 1, 2022

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 optimizers.

In this episode, I get Nigel's thoughts on SQL Plan Management, the types the statistics that the optimizer needs now and what it might need in future, and whether setting statistics is a good idea. Keep updated with Nigel's thoughts on the optimizer at https://twitter.com/vldbb 

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

 

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 1

The Oracle Optimizer - A conversation with Nigel Bayliss - Part 1

January 25, 2022

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 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 optimizers.

In this series, I catch up with Nigel to talk about the optimizer, its various features, how it has evolved over the years and what might be coming in future.

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d  if you have comments or questions.

Why every DBA should learn APEX

Why every DBA should learn APEX

January 6, 2022

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 their time to more efficiently manage the databases in their organisation. If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d if you have comments or questions.

Check out APEX at https://apex.oracle.com/

 

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 3

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 3

November 1, 2021

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 sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d if you have comments or questions.

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 2

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 2

October 25, 2021

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.

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d if you have comments or questions.

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 1

A conversation with Tim Hall (oracle-base) - Part 1

October 19, 2021

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.

If you like this episode, be sure you hit the Like button and share it with your colleagues. Catch me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/connor_mc_d if you have comments or questions.

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