Niall Litchfield's picture

Technology isn’t the answer

Sometimes I wonder about our industry. We seem so keen to promote silver bullets and technology solutions to what are at heart human problems. This blog post by an excellent technologist at Oracle rather illustrates the problem for me. The British security services, rather embarrasingly, hired a spook who turned out to be guided by voices in [...]

Niall Litchfield's picture

Backward Compatability

Backward Compatability is a very big technological driver. Especially for software companies like Oracle that have customers with a large installed base of users who rely on expensive functionality that they have purchased. When companies invest in software it is usually for very good business reasons and they expect that software to carry on doing [...]

Niall Litchfield's picture

Instrumentation Overhead

One of the nice things about conferences such as ODTUG http://odtugkaleidoscope.com/technicalsessions.html is the networking and ideas exchange that they facilitate. One of the nice things about Twitter is that it allows people who aren’t there to catch up on these two conference aspects. Even @doug_conference who doesn’t use Twitter recognizes this. Anyway, @alexgorbachev commented on [...]

Jonathan Lewis's picture

Getting Help

I hope people won’t take this as a suggestion that I want them to start using this blog like a forum – but I’d like to highlight a note written some time ago by Randolf Geist on the OTN DBA Forum: HOW TO: Post a SQL statement tuning request – template posting It’s worth following his link to [...]

Jonathan Lewis's picture


A client recently upgraded from 32-bit Oracle to 64-bit Oracle because this would allow a larger SGA. At the same time they increased their SGA from about 2GB to 3GB hoping to take more advantage of their 8GB of RAM. The performance of their system did not get better – in fact it got worse. [...]

Jonathan Lewis's picture

Russian Forum

This is probably something that anyone who needed to know already knew, but there is a very active forum in Russian for Oracle users – it’s actually just one part of a much larger Russian forum, but it’s the Oracle bit that catches my eye occasionally. If you haven’t come across it before, the lead-in [...]

karlarao's picture

Oracle Mix – OOW 2010 Suggest-A-Session

I hope it’s not too late. I just finished my Suggest-A-Session on Oracle Mix titled “Mining the Oracle Database AWR repository for Capacity Planning“, this might be of interest to you… below is the abstract:

Oracle Internals and X$ tables

I try to be active on the OTN Forums, particularly the Database – General forum. Very often, I’ll see people asking about Oracle internals and X$ tables and where they can learn more. The answer is generally, that you can’t. It’s not possible to read up on stuff that’s largely undocumented. Further, you shouldn’t really care that much. While internals can be interesting, they rarely add a great deal of real, practical value.

This recently came up again in an OTN forum posting. I replied to the thread. That answer is reproduced here:

Jonathan Lewis's picture


I mentioned some time ago the presentation I did at Open World 2009 and Miracle Open World called “The Beginner’s Guide to becoming an Expert”. Over the last few months I’ve had a few people email me asking me if I’m going to post the presentation on my blog. The answer is no – because [...]

Jonathan Lewis's picture


The old chestnut of “optimal block size” came up on OTN again a few weeks ago, with someone asking for advice on how to do some testing to decide on the optimal block size for a database. The correct answer to this question is you don’t: you assume you are going to use the default [...]

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