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June 2019

JSON_TABLE() and date/time columns in Oracle 19c

While researching the use of JSON in Oracle 19c I came some interesting behaviour that wasn’t immediately obvious (to me). With this post I am hoping to save you a couple of minutes scratching your head when working with JSON_TABLE(). This is Oracle 19.3.0 on Linux and I’m connecting to it using SQLcl 19.1.

Some background

As part of my JSON-support-in-Oracle research I had a good look at JSON_TABLE. Although complex at first sight, it is a lot less intimidating if you know how to use XMLTABLE :) My goal for this post is to convert a JSON document to a relational structure.

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Here’s an answer I’ve just offered on the ODC database forum to a fairly generic type of problem.

The question was about finding out why a “program” that used to take only 10 minutes to complete is currently taking significantly longer. The system is running Standard Edition, and the program runs once per day. There’s some emphasis on the desirability of taking action while the program is still running with the following as the most recent statement of the requirements:

We have a program which run daily 10minutes and suddenly one day,it is running for more than 10minutes…in this case,we are asked to look into the backend session to check what exactly the session is doing.I understand we have to check the events,last sql etc..but we need to get the work done by that session in terms of buffergets or physical reads(in case of standard edition)

Parallel Fun – 2

I started writing this note in March 2015 with the following introductory comment:

A little while ago I wrote a few notes about a very resource-intensive parallel query. One of the points I made about it was that it was easy to model, and then interesting to run on later versions of Oracle. So today I’m going to treat you to a few of the observations and notes I made after modelling the problem; and here’s the SQL to create the underlying objects:

One Year at Microsoft

Hard to believe its been one year, but it was June, 2018 when I joined the unstoppable company known as Microsoft.

Why does my REST Services menu not show up in SQL Developer?

Oracle SQL Developer has excellent support for Oracle Restful Data Services (ORDS). A lot of the functionality is just a mouse click away. With so many people speaking about RESTful APIs I wanted to see what they are like. However, when I first tried to use SQL Developer to administer ORDS in the database I was surprised at first to not find the menu item to do so. This post might be stating the (insert colourful adjective) obvious, but it took me a little time to work it out and I’m hoping this post saves you 5 minutes.

What’s the problem?

When right-clicking my connection node in the Connections tree I should be shown a menu named “REST Services”. Which I wasn’t, as shown in the figure below.

SMON_SCN_TIME and ORA-8161? Digging deeper

In the recent versions of the Oracle database, we’ve had the ability to convert between a System Change Number (SCN) and the approximate time to which that SCN pertains. These functions are unsurprisingly called SCN_TO_TIMESTAMP and TIMESTAMP_TO_SCN. The only potential misnomer here is that even though the functions are called “timestamp” and return a datatype of timestamp, on most platforms you are going to notice that the granularity doesn’t run down into fractions of seconds

SQL> select scn_to_timestamp(14816563713652) from dual;

08-JUN-19 AM

This all looks great until you start poking around too far into the past, and you end up in territory like this:

Redo Dumps

A thread started on the Oracle-L list-server a few days ago asking for help analysing a problem where a simple “insert values()” (that handled millions of rows per day) was running very slowly. There are many reasons why this might happen, ranging from the trivial (someone has locked the table in exclusive mode), through the slightly subtle (we’re trying to insert a row that collides on a uniqueness constraint with an uncommitted insert from another session) to the subtle (Oracle has to read through the undo to check current versions of blocks against read-consistent versions) ending up at the esoteric (the ASSM space management blocks are completely messed up again).

PeopleTools Table Reference Generator

Like many other PeopleSoft professionals, I spend a lot of time looking at the PeopleTools tables because they contain meta-data about the PeopleSoft application. Much of the application is stored in PeopleTools tables. Some provide information about the Data Model. Many of my utility scripts reference the PeopleTools tables, some of them update them too. Therefore, it is very helpful to be able to understand what is in these tables. In PeopleSoft for the Oracle DBA, I discussed some tables that are of regular interest. I included the tables that correspond to the database catalogue and that are used during the PeopleSoft login procedure. The tables that are maintained by the process scheduler are valuable because they contain information about who ran what process when, and how long they ran for.

CPU percent

A recent post on the ODC General Database forum asked for an explanation of the AWR report values “%Total CPU” and “%Busy CPU” under the “Instance CPU” label, and how the “%Busy CPU “ could be greater than 100%.  Here’s a text reproduction of the relevant sample supplied: