Author Archive

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN (Act I)

On the Toad World site, I’m publishing a whole series of blog posts and articles on the subject of EXPLAIN PLAN. I’m using EXPLAIN PLAN as a central motif to teach not just SQL tuning but relational theory, logical database design, and physical database design. In a year’s time, I hope to have enough material for a self-published book.

I’ve published five blog posts so far:


Part 2: A Long Time Ago

Part 3: The Impossible Dream (and Why We Need EXPLAIN PLAN)

Part 4: Secret Sauce

Bonus article: Introduction to Relational Algebra and Relational Calculus

You can register at Toad World if you would like to be notified whenever there’s a new post.

Categories: Oracle, SQL Tags: ,

The people behind the NoCOUG Journal

Now in its 28th year, the NoCOUG Journal is the oldest Oracle user group publication in the world. No other small user group in the world has a printed journal. Most large user groups do not have printed journals either. But little NoCOUG does. I am the editor of the NoCOUG Journal and—I must confess—I get sad when I see a discarded copy of the NoCOUG Journal at a NoCOUG conference. But the person who discarded it probably didn’t realize how much it costs to produce the Journal—$15 per copy—and how much volunteer effort goes into each issue. A very special mention goes to Brian Hitchcock, who has written dozens of book reviews for the Journal over a 12-year period.

And the production qualities of the Journal are simply awesome. The Journal is professionally copyedited and proofread by veteran copyeditor Karen Mead of Creative Solutions. Karen polishes phrasing and calls out misused words (such as the noun “reminiscence” instead of the verb “reminisce”). She dots every i, crosses every t, checks every quote, and verifies every URL. Then, the Journal is expertly designed by graphics duo Kenneth Lockerbie and Richard Repas of San Francisco-based Giraffex. And, finally, Jo Dziubek at Andover Printing Services deftly brings the Journal to life on an HP Indigo digital printer. The professional pictures on the front cover are supplied by

The content of the Journal is beyond awesome. But I’ll let you judge that for yourself. Click on the icons below to download the last four issues of the Journal.

Spring 2014 issue of the NoCOUG JournalNoCOUG_Journal_201402_IconNoCOUG_Journal_201311_IconNoCOUG_Journal_201308_Icon

Categories: DBA, NoCOUG, Oracle

Cupcake Wars at NoCOUG Spring Conference


Cupcake Wars at NoCOUG Spring Conference on May 15 at UCSC Extension Silicon Valley

SILICON VALLEY (APRIL 1, 2014) – In a bold experiment aimed at increasing attendance at its awesome educational conferences, the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) is considering changing the format of its spring conference to that of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

Distinguished Oracle Product Manager Bryn Llewellyn will lead the PL/SQL team, OraPub founder Craig Shallahamer will lead the DBA team, Hadoop maven Gwen Shapira will lead the Big Data team, and Database Specialists Director of Managed Services Terry Sutton will lead the RAC team. NoCOUG president Hanan Hit will stride from one room to another shouting “TEN MINUTES, BAKERS! YOU HAVE TEN MINUTES LEFT!

“NoCOUG has been serving the Oracle community for 28 years but our conferences are best known for their awesome educational content. We want our conferences to also be a place where people can come together on a social level” said NoCOUG president Hanan Hit when asked for comment.

Registration for the spring conference is now open. Click here to view the complete agenda and register.

Also in today’s news:

  • Want to make easy money? “Airbrb,” based on the apartment-renting app Airbnb, lets you rent out your office desk while you hang out at the water cooler or take a bio break.
  • Convert any website into emoticon characters: Google now lets you emojify the web.

Oracle 12c Gives Fresh Life to the Relational Database Movement

Explosive Revelations about Dr. Edgar (Ted) Codd rock the NoSQL World

Secret of Oracle Database Performance Found in 1897 Sears Roebuck Catalog


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