November 13, 2008

CarrAmerica Conference Center
4400 Rosewood Drive
Pleasanton, CA 94588


See directions to the conference location near the bottom of this page.


8:00 - 9:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast - Refreshments Served
9:00 - 9:30 General Session and Welcome - Roger Schrag, NoCOUG President
9:30 - 10:30 Keynote: Testing, Testing, Testing - Jonathan Lewis, JL Computer Consultancy
10:30 - 11:00 Break
  Auditorium Tassajara Diablo
Session 1
11:00 - 12:00
Beginners Guide To Partitioning by Jonathan Lewis, JL Computer Consultancy Using Oracle in a Cloud by Bill Hodak, Oracle Corporation Service-Oriented Data Management Using Oracle Data Integration by Nabin Bilas, Oracle Corporation
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
Session 2
1:00 - 2:00
Xtreme SQL Tuning: The Tuning Limbo by Iggy Fernandez, Database Specialists Oracle's Real Application Testing - How real it is? by Hanan Hit Oracle Database 11g: Security and Regulatory Compliance by Kris Bhanushali, Oracle Corporation
2:00 - 2:30 Break
Session 3
2:30 - 3:30
First Failure Fault Detection and Diagnostics: 11g New Features and Novel Methods by Jeremiah Wilton SQL Tuning - Reaching Recent Data Fast by Dan Tow What DBAs Need to Know About Data Quality by Michael Scofield, ESRI
3:30 - 4:00 Raffle and Refreshments
In the vendor area.
Session 4
4:00 - 5:00
Breaking Oracle: Creating Realistic Failures for Testing and Diagnostic Practice by Jeremiah Wilton Database Development Tasks with SQL Developer by Kris Rice, Oracle Corporation Data Quality and the Functional Requirements for DQ Tools by Michael Scofield, ESRI
5:00 - ??? NoCOUG Networking and No Host Happy Hour at FAZ Restaurant (bar area), 5121 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton. 925-460-0444
(Directions: Leaving the conference, Head west on Rosewood Dr toward Owens Dr 0.6 mi. Turn right at Owens Dr 0.2 mi. Turn left at Hacienda Dr 0.3 mi. Turn right at Gibraltar Dr 0.5 mi. Turn right at Hopyard Rd.)

Mark your calendar for NoCOUG's Winter Conference:
February 12, 2009 at Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores.



Speaker Abstracts for Fall Conference


“Testing, Testing, Testing” - Jonathan Lewis, JL Computer Consultancy

In the Oracle world, there are two main reasons for constucting tests. One is to track down the cause of an existing problem, the other is to predict probable outcomes of a design strategy.

In theory, creating tests sounds as if it ought to be easy - and if you take the wrong approach you can waste a lot of time.

This presentation looks at the problems of testing, making its point and highlighting the accidents that can happen by discussing a few production cases.

From a technical perspective, we list a few key mechanisms that should be the focal point of your testing if you want to spend the smallest possible time winning the larger possible rewards.

“Beginners Guide To Partitioning” - Jonathan Lewis, JL Computer Consultancy

Partitioning has been around for a long time - and Oracle 11g has added yet more options to the feature. But are there any good reasons to use partitioning, can you bolt it on to an existing application, and what do you think you are going to get out of it.

In this presentation we discuss the costs and benefits of partitioning, with particular attention to the fact that a bad implementation can damage performance rather than enhancing it.

After seeing this presentation you will be better equipped to evaluate situations which might benefit from the introduction of the partitioning option.

“Xtreme SQL Tuning: The Tuning Limbo” - Iggy Fernandez, Database Specialists

Every limbo boy and girl
All around the limbo world
Gonna do the limbo rock
All around the limbo clock.

We illustrate a plethora of SQL tuning concepts using a simple join of two tables - the tables are modeled after the well-known Oracle views, DBA_TABLES and DBA_INDEXES, and the exercise is to list the names of just those tables which have indexes of a specified type, e.g. BITMAP. The efficiency of an SQL statement is measured by the number of "logical reads" - that's your first SQL tuning concept right there - and our first solution requires 222 of them. Using a variety of methods, we bring the number of logical reads lower and lower - all the way down to 2. But we don't stop there; the limbo continues and we lower the number of reads to just 1 - how can you get data from two tables with just one logical read? Finally, we eliminate logical reads altogether - we'll have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief. Learning can be fun too - you'll enjoy the limbo music and limbo videos.

“First Failure Fault Detection and Diagnostics: 11g New Features and Novel Methods” - Jeremiah Wilton

Most unplanned Oracle downtime and service reductions are caused not by the initial occurrence of a fault, but by the many subsequent occurrences of the same problem that take place before DBAs or support find a solution or workaround. Diagnosing a problem the first time it happens in a mission-critical environment is difficult even for the most experienced Oracle professionals. To address such circumstances, several new 11g features have been introduced under the umbrella of the Diagnosability Infrastructure. In addition, there are a variety of novel methods that make it possible to automatically detect and diagnose faults upon the first occurrence. Instead of suffering through dozens of failures from the same problem, mission-critical sites will benefit from implementing first-failure fault detection and diagnostics strategies as described in this session.

“Breaking Oracle: Creating Realistic Failures for Testing and Diagnostic Practice” - Jeremiah Wilton

To become highly skilled in the area of troubleshooting and failure resolution, most Oracle professionals endure a wide variety of "trials by fire" in production environments, over many years. By learning to create realistic load levels and failure scenarios in test systems, Oracle professionals with little experience in troubleshooting and fault resolution can hone their skills without the customary stressful ordeals and business impact. This session will provide live simulations of problems, including hangs, spins and crashes, followed by effective techniques for diagnosing and resolving faults.

“Using Oracle in a Cloud” - Bill Hodak, Oracle Corporation

Cloud computing? Utility computing? Elastic computing? Are you having a hard time understanding what these new industry buzzwords mean? If so, you don't want to miss this session. Have you ever wanted a new server to start developing your next database application but had to wait for months? How does having a new server in 30 minutes sound? Imagine if it already had Oracle Database installed and configured. The presentation explores how Oracle can help you derive the most out of the exciting developments in the cloud-computing arena.

“Oracle's Real Application Testing - How real it is?” - Hanan Hit

Oracle's RAT (Real Application Testing), which is part of the 11G release, allows businesses to quickly adopt new technologies while eliminating the risks associated with change. Real Application Testing combines a workload capture and replay feature with an SQL performance analyzer to help identify performance changes introduced by replaying of real-life workloads in a new database environment, and then helps to finetune them before production deployment.

In this presentation we describe the ways to record, replay, and analyze the database workload transactions. We discuss ways to assist in smooth migration from prior versions (10G), and the ability to test changes. We discuss different database connections methods like JDBC, PHP/OCI, BEQ and Loopback. We conclude with a brief discussion on the benefits and drawbacks and comparison to other database load testing methods from the user and system perspective.

“SQL Tuning - Reaching Recent Data Fast” - Dan Tow

In the simplest view of SQL tuning, we ask what number of rows and fraction of rows meet a given filter, or WHERE-clause condition. In this presentation I explain the usefulness of another consideration - is the filter correlated with the age of the rows? "Timely" (age-related, that is) filters have subtle avantages, as explained in this presentation, as conditions to use to reach the driving table.

“Database Development Tasks with SQL Developer” - Kris Rice, Oracle Corporation

SQL Developer provides database developers with a powerful tool for database tasks. Users can browse, create, edit, and delete Oracle database objects; create, edit, and debug SQL and PL/SQL code; manipulate and export data; run reports and place files under version control. This session demonstrates activities including creating connections, creating basic objects and interrogating the database. Participants see features including schema copy and compare, code templates, advanced formatting, source code control and the latest features.

“Service-Oriented Data Management Using Oracle Data Integration” - Nabin Bilas, Oracle Corporation

Data Integration is more than simply Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL); it is about turning data into agile information, re-usable across the enterprise. Your business needs to expand to keep up with growing demands, external pressures, and compliance mandates. At the same time, your IT struggles to manage its data-centric assets more efficiently. This presentation will highlight to Enterprise Architects, Data Architects, and Data Stewards what steps they can take to successfully manage terabytes of complexity of their data-centric architectures, data warehouses, and information applications. It will define the benefits of embracing technologies in Data Services, Real-time data warehousing, Data Governance, and Master Data Management along with real examples of enterprise-wide data integration solutions. Also included are details on Oracle's strategy for Data Integration including Oracle Data Integration Suite and the role of BEA technologies going forward.

“Oracle Database 11g: Security and Regulatory Compliance” - Kris Bhanushali, Oracle Corporation

Data breaches, insider theft, outsourcing, data consolidation, and attacks targeting databases have made protecting mission-critical business data harder than ever. Additionally, government regulations and industry standards have raised the stakes for enterprises failing to implement necessary database controls. During this session, we will discuss how you can use Oracle database security solutions to protect business data from internal and external threats, and achieve regulatory compliance without changing existing applications.

“What DBAs Need to Know About Data Quality” - Michael Scofield, ESRI

A survey of the basic elements of data quality (currency, validity, reasonableness, accuracy, precision, etc.) and some discussion on the politics of DQ (who in the organization should be doing what to improve data quality). This presentation will give particular emphasis to simple technique for detecting bad data, without the need to purchase a data quality tool. We will also discuss the politics of DQ in complex organizations and how fixing data is NOT the responsbility of the DBA, or a DQ guru, but rather a distributed function.

“Data Quality and the Functional Requirements for DQ Tools” - Michael Scofield, ESRI

Many vendors offer tools for data quality survey, testing, and even "data scrubbing". This presentation addresses the questions you need to ask before selecting a tool. Questions include: What are the expectations of what the tool will do? What kind of data (by subject, by timing, by structure) must the tool address? Is data examination a one-time event, or an on-going process? Where is the data? At rest or in a data flow? On premises or off-site? And, of course, in what technical environment?

It is important to understand the kinds of data problems which need to be detected, and the general kinds of tests which can or should be performed (e.g.. absolute tests vs. reasonability tests).

Topics discussed include:

  • The trade-off between a tool and human judgment
  • When and where to do testing
  • A survey of kinds of granular data tests
  • Kinds of reasonability testing


If you have suggestions for future meetings or would like to offer feedback on previous conferences, then please complete our online survey or send us an email.

Area Map and Driving Directions to the conference.

BART/Bus Information

From BART -
Take Bus 1B from BART and this will drop you off at the CarrAmerica Corporate Center property in the morning. Bus stops are located on Rosewood Drive across from the Conference Center at 4400.

To BART - Bus 1A will take you from the CarrAmerica Corporate Center to BART in the afternoon. Bus stops are located on Rosewood Drive across the street from the Conference Center at 4400.

For a map and schedules, see wheelsline01.pdf and www.bart.gov.

Copyright © 2008 NoCOUG.  All rights reserved.