lørdag den 22. marts 2008

Midterm continued

We met outside of Aarhus, at fellow MEEPer Flemmings house. We sat down the four MEEPers and continued to work on the datamodel. The goal was to be able to present our first outcast for a complete datamodel. Luckily, we were almost done, when Mogens called and told us to be in Horsens 5 minutes ago. Mogens was participating in a tv program, and at the time of his call he had finished the program and was throwing a party, and needed some stuff we had in our car, so off to Horsens!!

We did have a finished datamodel, whether it is the right one, only time will tell when we get it "graded".
We did have some trouble figuring out how to connect quotes and products, and how to create the model for the product which involved product categories and so on.
We still have one item remaining and that is to figure out to create an entity that allows us to order the product via a pre-packaged definition.

Concepts guide

So I have started the concepts guide. Not much new there!! We have gotten a printed version which is split in 3 parts or actually 3 books, so I figure it will be one book per week. On top of this just for pleasure it is also mandatory to read Oracle insights: tales of the oaktable.

Well, one week into starting the concepts guide, my grandmom passed away somewhat unexpectedly, she had taken a fall breaking her hip, but she was doing allright with rehap, unfortunately she suffered a couple of bloodclots, which took a told on her old body, she was one week away from turning 92! Another bloodclot in her heart put her into cardiac arrest, and thankfully she went quickly from there. So grandma, tell Lex "42"!! R.I.P. Grandma

Off course I sat at the funeral with the concepts guide reading!!!! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
obviously it made reading a bit more difficult with the upcoming funeral and all the stuff that has to be handled with the estate.

mandag den 10. marts 2008


Anticipation was extremely high for this day. Finally a chance to see how much of this information had actually stuck. Miracle had an Oracle expert flown in to present a problem for us to fix. The problem ended up being to create a datamodel for an inventory and booking system with a quotation system. Hmmm datamodeling, when did I read about that? Not so much really? Tom Kyte discusses how important it is, but not really how to do it. Lex de Haan describes it, tells about the importance of "normalization", says a little about how to do it. Well, apparently there was also a bit confusion on how long this assignment was to last. We, the meepers, was of the expectation that it was a one day thing. A view that was apparently shared by one of the mentors as well, since we got pushed to start developing the application eventhough we weren't done with the datamodel. On the other hand the presenter expected us to finish this in the time coming. So after some dilly dalling, we are now going to meet in Aarhus to finish the datamodel on this upcoming thursday.

In retrospect, my expectations were not met for this event. I had hoped that we would get some database stuff that we would have to get a hands-on experience from the real life. It was said to be a oneday midterm, but it wasn't, and now we are going to work on this project alongside finsishing MEEP.

Don't get me wrong the project is quite exciting and interesting. It just wasn't what i had expected, and sometimes that's what happen with expectations.

Lex de Haan book

On to master SQL and SQL*PLUS. A completely different world than reading Tom Kyte's book.
But of course this also a completely different type of book. Read this book within a week, including a day of midterm in between. I knew a lot of the material in the book. I have done a lot of SQL over the years, so a lot of it was repetition. Which is always a good thing!! Did find a couple things that really caugt my eye, these where DML operations on views and Materialized views. Things I also knew before, but Lex told it in a way that made me understand it, I had been a bit perplexed about these two subjects, especially MVs. But now I feel I have a much better understanding of these. Also enjoyed a lot of the hints on how to manipulate the SQL*PLUS interface.

It is the idea that we contact the authors of the book, however with Lex that's a bit hard. I did try his homepage but it was nonexistent, so I figured I would go to an uncoventional source. The ouija board!!! ( in denmark we call it, "spirit in a glass") I think I summoned Lex's spirit 'cause all my questions were answered with 42!!! R.I.P. Lex!

torsdag den 21. februar 2008


I did it! Finished Tom Kytes book in the allotted time. It was really hard, but also very nice to have done. I guess it's a tiny bit what those maniac running a marathon, or doing the ironman feels like ;-) Don't get me wrong I loved the book, so much awesome insight to issues I know will be looking at in the future and think, good thing I read that book!

Now I move on to Lex de Haan's Mastering SQL and SQL*PLUS.

Hey so when I am done I am both an Expert and Master!!! Yeah right!!
I am looking foward to this book, probably mostly because it has hands on excersises :-) at the end of each chapter.

A short boost

Read chapters 13 and 14. Chapter 13 was about partitioning, this was quite interesting, especially because I had heard a lot about it, but never seen it in action. Lots of great concepts. Have to go back later and get a better understanding of how indexes interact with partion_key_columns and other columns. I didn't completely grasp all that.
Chapter 14 was another dull chapter, parallel execution. Again nothing wrong with the information, it just didn't grab me, not a lot I took with me from that chapter. Struggled hard to get it done, I procrastinated quite a bit on this chapter. Don't know if it is an effect from having spend 3 weeks on this book with intense reading and a monstrous amount of new information, tips and tricks, concepts and right and wrong way to do this. My head might just need something more simple for a short while.

On a completely different subject. Noticed today that my Miracle notepad is not made for writing on both sides, it is completely blank, only lines on the front of the paper. Weird. HE! and that made me remember that when I worked for Maersk Data, they made the business card so that you could not see what you wrote on the backside. They did this because it was not considered "good behavior" to write on the back of a business card... Wonder if Miracle has the same perception on the notes you take???

I am struggling

Wow the book has just taken an ugly turn. Chapter 10 100 pages of information about tables, yikes. The information is great but damned there's lots of it, and having to read in one day is just not that easy. Also has a long description of nested tables and the kicker is, don't use it you have other and in most cases better options. That's like watching a Mchael Mann movie and then have to leave 15 minutes before the ending. Anyways, long chapter 11 about indexes, very much insight in this chapter, so it was a bit easier to read. Chapter 12 almost had me broken. To me that chapter was jus dull, it was 70 pages about the 22 SQL types that is the baseline for most other database types. Maybe it was just because I was struggling for time and sleep and other stuff, but I really didn't feel this chapter gave nearly as much to build on as the other chapters. Best thing I got out of it was how DATE is stored, and how not to use to_char in a comparison. Other than that I felt it should have been a referencial appendix. I am at the point right now where I am looking forward to be done with the book.