Month: November 2006

AUSOUG Conference 2006 over

Another enjoyable conference. I’ve attended it every year since 2000 and this year’s was packed with presentations. Over 300 attendees spread over up to six presentations meant less crowding, I think; although as always there were a few packed sessions.

Highlights for me were:

  • Connor’s “live demo” of 11g in Being a successful developer with Oracle
  • Learning that cancelling a cursor is a good thing, but finding it can’t be done in PL/SQL – Anjo Kolk, The life of a cursor and its impact on the shared pool
  • Trace Analysis on Steroids – Dave Moore’s talk was an eye-opener, not about performance-enhancing drugs (caffeine’s usually enough for me), but about Trace Analyzer. I thought this would be just another “if you’re not buying our product you’re wasting your time” talk, but in fact this is a totally free, open-source (PL/SQL!) tool that not only collates all the data from a trace file (as tkprof does), but also digs into your database to correlate the trace info with the data dictionary and present it all beautifully in HTML. Downloading and trying out this tool is definitely on my to-do list.
  • Connor again, Odds and ends – an odd but arguably the best session to end the conference with. A number of tricks I’ll want to experiment with once I get a copy of the powerpoints (e.g. I wasn’t aware that contexts can be made “globally accessible”).

Thanks to the AUSOUG committee for another well-organised event.

Generic Audit

Looking at the column comments on this table, I can sympathise with the poor soul who after painstakingly describing 100 columns just decided that it just wasn’t worth it…

table audit_history (column comments in quotes):

id number(18) “Unique identifier”
aud_table_name varchar2(30) “audit record table”
audit_action varchar2(50) “audit action e.g. update”
aud_timestamp date “timestamp of the audit”
aud_user_id varchar2(100) “user performing the action”
aud_col_1 varchar2(4000) “audit column 1”
aud_col_2 varchar2(4000) “audit column 2”
aud_col_3 varchar2(4000) “audit column 3”
… (etc.) …
aud_col_99 varchar2(4000) “audit column 99”
aud_col_100 varchar2(4000) “audit column 100”
aud_col_101 varchar2(4000)
aud_col_102 varchar2(4000)
… (etc.) …
aud_col_139 varchar2(4000)
aud_col_140 varchar2(4000)

Tip: Don’t let anyone even think about using this kind of design for their change history auditing requirements. It might look elegant to them, but it is not good. Just, don’t.