It explains what we see is coming, at a high level, from long time Oracle database professionals’ viewpoint and using database terminology (as the E4 audience is all Oracle users like us).
However, this change is not really about Oracle database world, it’s about a much wider shift in enterprise computing: modern Hadoop data lakes and clouds are here to stay. They are already taking over many workloads traditionally executed on in-house RDBMS systems on SAN storage arrays – especially all kinds of reporting and analytics. Oracle is just one of the many vendors affected by all this and they’ve also jumped onto the Hadoop bandwagon.
However, it would be naive to to think that Hadoop would somehow replace all your transactional or ERP systems or existing application code with thousands of complex SQL reports. Many of the traditional systems aren’t going away any time soon.
But the hybrid world is coming. It’s been a very good idea for Oracle DBAs to additionally learn Linux over the last 5-10 years, now is pretty much the right time to start learning Hadoop too. More about this in a future article ;-)
Check out the keynote video here:
Whenever a patch request comes in the first and foremost thing which has to be done by an Oracle apps DBA is to look into existing system, if the patch exists. We can query ad_bugs.login to sqlplus with apps user and fire the below command.
SQL> select bug_number,creation_date from apps.ad_bugs where bug_number in (‘&bug_number’);
Enter the patch number and if you see any rows, it means the patch is in the system already and you can go ahead and tell the business that patch already exists. You will see something like this.
But if you see no rows returned, then you have to set the ball rolling. Now you will have to perform the patch analysis of requested patch.
The next step would be to login to Oracle support with your credentials and open the README of the patch, There would be a pre-requisite section which would state that if there is any prerequisite of this patch which has to be applied. Now if you see a prerequisite then you will have to open the REDAME of that patch and check the prerequisite of that patch and this process goes on till there is no prerequisite.
From my personal experience I would suggest to prepare a template like below to do the analysis of the patch.
Now lets understand the example given above, the main patch requested in 123456, this patch has a pre-requisite 67890 and 67890 has a pre-requisite 8585858 and this has a pre-requisite 8686868.
So to apply the main patch we have to
a) First apply 8686868 and
b) Then 8585858 and
c) Then 67890 and then the main patch.
So now you will send this analysis back to your business and you will request for the downtime. Now downtime is calculated on the basis of your experience.
I assume that you have received the confirmation from the business to apply the patch. Download the patch in your patch top directory and unzip the file. After unzipping you will see a driver file like u123456.drv. When you will run adpatch (in 12.1) from this location it will ask you the name of the driver file and you have to give u123456.drv.
Now something about file systems, There are basically two types
1)Shared file systems
2)Distributed file systems
In my environment, I have shared file system and there are multiple web nodes. So in case of shared file system patches have to be applied on one node only since it is shared file system.
So let us assume that we have 3 application nodes and Non RAC DB server and also the patch is available only in American English and there are no other languages installed on the application.
Steps for patching (EBS 12.1) would be
- Shut down the application on all the 3 nodes by logging into each node separately.
- From adadmin put the application into maintenance mode
- Take the count of invalids by logging to sql plus with apps user
- Use adpatch to apply patches to the application.
- Again check the count of invalid objects in database and compare with pre-patch application invalid count.
- From adadmin disable the maintenance mode
- Start the application on all the 3 nodes
Please don’t forget that for any operation to take place in the app, DB has to be up and running.
Please note that before doing any kind of patching activity, ask the unix team to perform the backup of the file systems because we can’t roll back the patch applied using adpatch
We will discuss more about patching in my next blog. Any comments or queries then post hereRelated Posts for R12 Patches
- Basics of Patching in Oracle Apps (adpatch)
By Phil HillMore Posts (339)
A year ago I wrote about Google Classroom, speculating whether it would affect the institutional LMS market in higher education. My initial conclusion:
I am not one to look at Google’s moves as the end of the LMS or a complete shift in the market (at least in the short term), but I do think Classroom is significant and worth watching. I suspect this will have a bigger impact on individual faculty adoption in higher ed or as a secondary LMS than it will on official institutional adoption, at least for the next 2 – 3 years.
And my explanation [emphasis added]:
But these features are targeted at innovators and early adopter instructors who are willing to fill in the gaps themselves.
- The course creation, including setting up of rosters, is easy for an instructor to do manually, but it is manual. There has been no discussion that I can find showing that the system can automatically create a course, including roster, and update over the add / drop period.
- There is no provision for multiple roles (student in one class, teacher in another) or for multiple teachers per class.
- The integration with Google Drive, especially with Google Docs and Sheets, is quite intuitive. But there is no provision for PDF or MS Word docs or even publisher-provided courseware.
- There does not appear to be a gradebook – just grading of individual assignments. There is a button to export grades, and I assume that you can combine all the grades into a custom Google Sheets spreadsheet or even pick a GAFE gradebook app. But there is no consistent gradebook available for all instructors within an institution to use and for students to see consistently.
Well today Google announced a new Google Classroom API that directly addresses the limitation in bullet #1 above and indirectly addresses #4.
The Classroom API allows admins to provision and manage classes at scale, and lets developers integrate their applications with Classroom. Until the end of July, we’ll be running a developer preview, during which interested admins and developers can sign up for early access. When the preview ends, all Apps for Education domains will be able to use the API, unless the admin has restricted access.
By using the API, admins will be able to provision and populate classes on behalf of their teachers, set up tools to sync their Student Information Systems with Classroom, and get basic visibility into which classes are being taught in their domain. The Classroom API also allows other apps to integrate with Classroom.
Google directly addresses the course roster management in their announcement; in fact, this appears to be the primary use case they had in mind. I suspect this by itself will have a big impact in the K-12 market (would love to hear John Watson’s take on this if he addresses in his blog), making it far more manageable for district-wide and school-wide Google Classroom adoptions.
The potential is also there for a third party to develop and integrate a viable grade book application available to an entire institution. While this could partially be done by the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) ecosystem, that is a light integration that doesn’t allow deep connection between learning activities and grades. The new API should allow for deeper integrations, although I am not sure how much of the current Google Classroom data will be exposed.
I still do not see Google Classroom as a current threat to the higher ed institutional LMS market, but it is getting closer. Current ed tech vendors should watch these developments.
Update: Changed Google Apps for Education acronym from GAE to GAFE.
The post Google Classroom Addresses Major Barrier To Deeper Higher Ed Adoption appeared first on e-Literate.
A leap second will be inserted at the end of June 30, 2015 at 23:59:60 UTC.
There is a small time difference between the atomic clock and astronomical time (which is based on the rotation of earth). Rotation of earth is slowing down.
To synchronize these times, one second will be added to the atomic clock – a leap second – so that both clocks will synchronize. This will happen on June 30th – July 1st midnight UTC (not in local time, time the same as in GMT time zone). After 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds, the time will become 23 hours 59 minutes 60 seconds.
Since this system of correction was implemented in 1972, 26 such leap seconds have been inserted. The most recent one happened on June 30, 2012 at 23:59:60 UTC.
Unlike daylight savings time, which shifts the timezone information and does not alter the underlying UTC time clock on which servers work, a leap-second change is an actual change in the UTC time value. Usually, UTC time is continuous and predictable, but the leap second breaks this normal continuity requiring it to be addressed.
What You Need to Know – Summary
The June 2015 leap second event is the addition of one second to the atomic clock on June 30, 2015. Pythian has researched the implications that the upcoming leap second insertion may have and presents the relevant information to its clients and the wider community.
At the operating system level:
- Windows and AIX servers are not affected by this issue.
- Linux servers using NTP (network time protocol) may be affected, potentially causing error messages, server hangs or 100% CPU utilization. There are a series of patches and workarounds available, depending upon the needs of the components running on the Linux server.
- HP-UX servers have NTP patches released in Q2 2015.
For databases and other software components:
- Java programs are at risk of generating endless error loops, spiking CPU utilization. Patches are available.
- Databases generally obtain time-stamps from the server OS, so those running on Linux have potential issues. For most, there are no additional corrections necessary.
- Oracle databases have minimal additional risk. Oracle clustered environments and java-based administration tools should be reviewed and corrective actions taken.
- Microsoft SQL Server databases have no risk but may expose minor application issues on data granularity and error handling.
- Open source databases should be reviewed for Java risks. Updated kernels are available.
- Cisco UCS environments should be reviewed. Patches are available.
Symptoms from the leap second event may persist for up to a day before and after the leap second event, as server NTP service updates are provided.
For all environments, a complete assessment and planning for your systems should be performed. The Pythian team would be pleased to help you perform this assessment and complete the planning necessary to ensure your systems can handle the leap second event in 2015. Get started by reviewing the full Leap Second Report.
A nice Oracle Database 12c New Feature enhances the multisection backup, introduced in 11g: You can use it now for image copies also!
RMAN> report schema; using target database control file instead of recovery catalog Report of database schema for database with db_unique_name PRIMA List of Permanent Datafiles =========================== File Size(MB) Tablespace RB segs Datafile Name ---- -------- -------------------- ------- ------------------------ 1 347 SYSTEM YES /u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/system01.dbf 2 235 SYSAUX NO /u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/sysaux01.dbf 3 241 UNDOTBS1 YES /u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/undotbs01.dbf 4 602 USERS NO /u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/users01.dbf List of Temporary Files ======================= File Size(MB) Tablespace Maxsize(MB) Tempfile Name ---- -------- -------------------- ----------- -------------------- 1 40 TEMP 32767 /u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/temp01.dbt RMAN> configure device type disk parallelism 2; new RMAN configuration parameters: CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE DISK PARALLELISM 2 BACKUP TYPE TO BACKUPSET; new RMAN configuration parameters are successfully stored RMAN> backup section size 301m as copy datafile 4; Starting backup at 29-JUN-15 using channel ORA_DISK_1 using channel ORA_DISK_2 channel ORA_DISK_1: starting datafile copy input datafile file number=00004 name=/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/users01.dbf backing up blocks 1 through 38528 channel ORA_DISK_2: starting datafile copy input datafile file number=00004 name=/u01/app/oracle/oradata/prima/users01.dbf backing up blocks 38529 through 77056 output file name=/u02/fra/PRIMA/datafile/o1_mf_users_bs2v934z_.dbf tag=TAG20150629T180658 channel ORA_DISK_1: datafile copy complete, elapsed time: 00:00:15 output file name=/u02/fra/PRIMA/datafile/o1_mf_users_bs2v934z_.dbf tag=TAG20150629T180658 channel ORA_DISK_2: datafile copy complete, elapsed time: 00:00:15 Finished backup at 29-JUN-15 RMAN> host 'ls -rtl /u02/fra/PRIMA/datafile/'; total 616468 -rw-r-----. 1 oracle oinstall 631250944 Jun 29 18:07 o1_mf_users_bs2v934z_.dbf host command complete
We use backupsets by default now especially also upon the DUPLICATE DATABASE command, which leads finally to image copies of course.
Tagged: 12c New Features, Backup & Recovery, PracticalGuide, RMAN
We are happy to have Mitchell Palski joining us on the blog for a Q&A around how you can Simplify Enterprise Mobility with Mobile Application Framework.
Q. How can Mobile Application Framework deliver Secure, Seamless Mobile for the Enterprise? For many years, corporate IT departments looked to the desktop as the only way to present information from their corporate enterprise applications. With the advent and exponential growth in mobile computing, applications are no longer tethered to the desktop; users expect to be able to switch among desktops, tablets, or smartphones anytime, anywhere. Multi-channel, mobile environments are becoming the new normal. Oracle helps simplify your organization’s transition into a mobile offering by providing a comprehensive platform for developing a mobile solution.
Q. Is it possible to Develop Cross-Platform Mobile Applications with Mobile Application Framework? Based on a hybrid architecture, Oracle MAF lets you build apps that are portable across devices and operating systems while still leveraging the device specific capabilities that deliver a rich user experience.
Oracle MAF end users will realize benefits from native apps that can work in both connected and disconnected mode, access device services, and store data in a local SQLite database.
Q. We’ve been hearing a lot about Digital Experience in the market today. How can Oracle Mobile Application Framework be leveraged to deliver optimized user Experiences? The key word in the question is “how”. Anyone can develop something using any number of frameworks, but what separates Oracle Mobile Application Framework? How can MAF not only accelerate your development lifecycle, but also enhance the product you are ultimately delivering to your users?
Oracle MAF is designed to increase developers’ productivity and enable intuitive mobile application development by offering extensive out-of-the-box capabilities and a declarative integrated environment. By easing the learning curve of app development, Oracle MAF allows developers to focus on user experience and get the most out of their organization’s mobile offering.
Mobile Application Framework includes a library of more than 80 professionally developed components that can be used to create rich mobile application interfaces in a declarative way. Oracle MAF components were designed specifically for mobile devices, which means they include support for touch and swipe gestures and are “skinned” to look great on mobile form factors. Developers also have the ability to quickly and declaratively integrate with local device services and features, such as camera, phone, SMS, contacts and GPS, through the declarative binding layer.
Along with UX development, Oracle MAF supports the development of applications that can work offline as well as online. Applications are self-contained and can run on the mobile device in both connected and disconnected mode which means users are never stranded when they lose internet access.In addition to the component based user interfaces, Oracle MAF can incorporate local HTML5 pages into the same application. This enables developers who prefer direct coding of the UI to incorporate their expertise along with third party components and code-libraries to create features in the application while keeping the ability to leverage the Oracle MAF container’s services.
Q. Integration is a common concern among business and IT today. Can you Integrate Data and Services across the Mobile Enterprise? Integration is one of the leading challenges of mobile application development. Oracle Mobile Platform supports and utilizes standard technologies and tools to expose many data formats and back-end business systems for exchange with any mobile application, primarily through the use of web services.
Web services provide the ability for a publisher of business services or content to provide that content and data to a consumer in a standardized and loosely coupled manner. In this case our MAF-developed mobile app is the consumer. SOAP or REST services can both be used by Oracle MAF through the use of data controls. Data controls create a level of abstraction over a business service that gives developers a consistent interface into all available business services, whether they are web-services or not.
They key to integration with an Enterprise is having those consumable services available to your mobile application. Many customers rush into mobile development without focusing on the business functions that their app will actually provide. A slick-interface that incorporates HTML5 and CSS3, ties into mobile device tools, and has offline functionality, still serves little to no purpose without the availability of a meaningful service-oriented architecture. The only case this might not be true is when you are developing a dictionary or glossary type app that is used purely an index for uses to reference.Q. What about Connectivity? Can you Simplify Mobile Connectivity in the Cloud?
Separate from Mobile Application Framework, Oracle Mobile Cloud Service provides you with the tools you need to develop a strategy for supporting your mobile development. It provides out-of-the-box services that every mobile app requires, plus the ability to define and implement new enterprise-ready APIs quickly and cleanly. All API calls from your client applications are made via uniform REST calls, creating a cohesive development environment that’s easy to control and maintain.
Q. Finally, security is also a common concern when deploying anything on multiple devices. Can Mobile Application Framework deliver Secure Mobility Across All Layers? Security is a top priority for mobile application development given that mobile devices have higher risks of loss or theft. Oracle Mobile Application Framework comes with built in security that can limit access to your applications and ensure encryption of sensitive data. Oracle Mobile Application Framework enforces Communication Encryption, On-device Encryption, and SQLite Database Encryption. At the presentation layer, Developers can build single user interfaces that meet the needs of users with different privileges and provide role-based access to various features and pages.
Thank you, Mitchell for sharing your insight into how to Simplify Enterprise Mobility with Mobile Application Framework. You can listen to a podcast on this topic here, and be sure to tune in to the Oracle WebCenter Café Best Practices Podcast Series for more information!
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What I forgot was to copy the adapter plan.xml from the oracle home on my old laptop. So the resource adapter did not start correctly. It was even not editable, since it required the missing adapter plan. Searching the domain on files containing the name of the plan brought me to editing the config.xml of the domain.
For all the resource adapters you'll find entries like:
<app-deployment>If you compare this to an entry that was not edited before, for instance, the AQ Adapter, you'll find that the other Adapter lacks the elements for plan-dir and plan-path. So I deleted those and restarted my domain. When I edited the adapter again, it asked for the plan name again, as it would on editing it for the first time. Nice thing is that the default/demo entries were there again. So I only had to edit my own custom datasource and was on track again.
By Phil HillMore Posts (338)
As part of our e-Literate TV set of case studies on personalized learning, Michael and I were fully aware that Arizona State University (ASU) was likely to generate the most controversy due to ASU’s aggressive changes to the concept of a modern research university. As we described in this introductory blog post:
Which is one reason why we’re pretty excited about the release of the first two case studies in our new e-Literate TV series on the trend of so-called “personalized learning.” We see the series as primarily an exercise in journalism. We tried not to hold onto any hypothesis too tightly going in, and we committed to reporting on whatever we found, good or bad. We did look for schools that were being thoughtful about what they were trying to do and worked with them cooperatively, so it was not the kind of journalism that was likely to result in an exposé. We went in search of the current state of the art as practiced in real classrooms, whatever that turned out to be and however well it is working.
As part of the back-and-forth discussions with the ASU case study release, John Warner brought up a good point in response to my description that our goal was “Basically to expose, let you form own opinions”.
@PhilOnEdTech Can't form opinion without a more thorough accounting. Ex. How did you choose students and fac. to talk to?
— John Warner (@biblioracle) June 1, 2015
Can’t form opinion without a more thorough accounting. Ex. How did you choose students and fac. to talk to?
Let’s explore this subject for the four case studies already released. Because the majority of interviewees shared positive experiences in our case studies, I’ll highlight some of the skeptical, negative or cautionary views that were captured in these case studies.Our Approach To Lining Up Interviews
When we contacted schools to line up interviews on campus, it is natural to expect that the staff will tend to find the most positive examples of courses, faculty and students to share. As described above, we admit that we looked for schools with thoughtful approaches (and therefore courses), but we needed to try and expose some contrary or negative views as well. This is not to play gotcha journalism nor to create a false impression of equally good / equally bad perspectives. But it is important to capture that not everyone is pleased with the changes, and these skeptics are a good source of exposing risks and issues to watch. Below is the key section of the email sent to each school we visited.
The Case Study Filming Process
Each case study will include a couple of parts. First, we will interview the college leadership—whoever the school deems appropriate—to provide an overview of the school, it’s mission and history, it’s student body, and how “personalized education” (however that school defines the term) fits into that picture. If there are particular technology-driven initiatives related to personalized learning, then we may talk about those a bit. Second, we will want to talk some teachers and students, probably in a mixed group. We want to get some sample reactions from them about what they think is valuable about the education they get (or provide) at the school, how “personalization” fits into that, and how, when, and why they use or avoid technology in the pursuit of the educational goals. We’re not trying either to show “best/worst” here or to provide an “official” university position, but rather to present a dialog representing some of the diverse views present on the campus.
Campus Input on the Filming
In order for the project to have integrity, MindWires must maintain editorial independence. That said, our goal for the case studies is to show positive examples of campus communities that are authentically engaged in solving difficult educational challenges. We are interested in having the participants talk about both successes and failures, but our purpose in doing so is not to pass judgment on the institution but rather to enable to viewers to learn from the interviewees’ experiences. We are happy to work closely with each institution in selecting the participants and providing a general shape to the conversation. While we maintain editorial control over the final product, if there are portions of the interviews that make the institution uncomfortable then we are open to discussing those issues. As long as the institution is willing to allow an honest reflection of their own challenges and learning experiences as an educational community, then we are more than willing to be sensitive to and respectful of concerns that the end product not portray the institution in a way that might do harm to the very sort of campus community of practice that we are trying to capture and foster with our work.
As an example of what “willing to be sensitive to and respectful of concerns” means in practice, one institution expressed a concern that they did not want their participation in this personalized learning series to be over-interpreted as a full-bore endorsement of pedagogical change by the administration. The school was at the early stages of developing a dialog with faculty on where they want to go with digital education, and the administration did not want to imply that they already knew the direction and answers. We respected this request and took care to not imply any endorsement of direction by the administration.
Below are some notes on how this played out at several campuses.Middlebury College
As described in our introductory blog post:
Middlebury College, the first school we went to when we started filming, was not taking part in any cross-institutional (or even institutional) effort to pilot personalized learning technologies and not the kind of school that is typically associated the “personalized learning” software craze. Which is exactly why we wanted to start there. When most Americans think of the best example of a personalized college education, they probably think of an elite New England liberal arts college with a student/teacher ratio of under nine to one. We wanted to go to Middlebury because we wanted a baseline for comparison. We were also curious about just what such schools are thinking about and doing with educational technologies.
Middlebury College staff helped identify one faculty member who is experimenting with technology use in his class with some interesting student feedback, which we highlighted in Middlebury Episode 2. They also found two faculty members for a panel discussion along with two students who have previously expressed strong opinions on where technology does and does not fit in their education. The panel discussion was highlighted in Middlebury Episode 3.
As this case study did not have a strong focus on a technology-enabled program, we did not push the issue of finding skeptical faculty or students and instead exposed that technology was not missing from the campus consideration of how to improve education.
The administration did express some cautionary notes on the use of technology to support “personalized learning” as captured in this segment:
By way of contrast, our second case study was at Essex County College, an urban community college in Newark, New Jersey. This school has invested approximately $1.2 million of its own money along with a $100 thousand Gates Foundation grant to implement an adaptive learning remedial math course designed around self-regulated learning. Our case study centered on this program specifically.
Of course, the place where you really expect to see a wide range of incoming skills and quality of previous education is in public colleges and universities, and at community colleges in particular. At Essex County College, 85% of incoming students start in the lowest level developmental math course. But that statistic glosses over a critical factor, which is there is a huge range of skills and abilities within that 85%. Some students enter almost ready for the next level, just needing to brush up on a few skills, while others come in with math skills at the fourth grade level. On top of that, students come in with a wide range of metacognitive skills. Some of them have not yet learned how to learn, at least this subject in this context.
Given the controversial nature of using adaptive learning software in a class, we decided to include a larger number of student voices in this case study. Douglas Walcerz, the faculty and staff member who designed the course, gave us direct access to the entire class. We actively solicited students to participate in interviews, as one class day was turned over to e-Literate TV video production and interviews, with the rest of the class watching their peers describe their experiences.
As we did the interviews, almost all students had a very positive view of the new class design, particularly the self-regulated learning aspect with the resultant empowerment they felt. What was missing was student voices who were not comfortable with the new approach. For the second day we actively solicited students who could provide a negative view. The result was shared in this interview:
As for faculty, it was easier to find some skeptical or cautionary voices, which we highlighted here.
As described above, our intent was not to present a false balance but rather to to include diverse viewpoints to help other schools know the issues to explore.Arizona State University
At ASU we focused on two courses in particular, Habitable Worlds highlighted in episode 2 and remedial math (MAT 110) using Khan Academy software highlighted in episode 3.
We did have some difficulty getting on-campus student interviews due to both of these being online courses. For MAT 110 we did get find one student who expressed both positive and negative views on the approach, as shown in this episode.
Like ASU, Empire State College presented a challenge for on-campus video production from the nature of all-online courses. We worked with ESC staff to get students lined up for interviews, with the best stories coming from the prior learning affects on students.
It was easier and more relevant to explore the different perspectives on personalized learning from faculty and staff themselves, as evidenced by the following interview. ESC offered him up–proudly–knowing that he would be an independent voice. They understood what we meant in that email and were not afraid to show the tensions they are wrestling with on-camera. Not every administration will be as brave as ESC’s, but we are finding that spirit to be the norm rather than the exception.
It’s also worth pointing out the role of selecting colleges in the first place, which is not just about diversity. We know that different schools are going to have different perspectives, and we pick them carefully to set up a kind of implicit dialog. We know, for example, that ASU is going to give a full-throated endorsement of personalized learning software used to scale. So we balance them against Empire State College, which has always been about one-on-one mentoring in their design.
Hopefully this description of our process will help people like John Warner who need more information before forming their own opinion. At the least, consider this further documentation of the process. We are planning to release one additional case studies – the University of California at Davis in early July – as well as two analysis episodes. We’ll share more information once new episodes are released.
The post How Student and Faculty Interviews Were Chosen For e-Literate TV Series appeared first on e-Literate.
Indexing queries for like/similarity conditions is not that easy with the usual index types. The only option you have with btree indexes (especially if the wild-card is at the beginning of the filter) is to create a partial index on that columns for a very specific query.
A little over a year ago I was at the BGOUG Spring Conference and I watched a session by Maja Veselica about auditing in Oracle Database 12c. At the time I noted that I really needed to take a look at this new functionality, as is was quite different to what had come before. Fast forward a year and I’ve finally got around to doing just that.
- Auditing Enhancements (Audit Policies and Unified Audit Trail) in Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1)
I’ve tried to keep the article quite light and fluffy. The Oracle documentation on this subject is really pretty good, so you should definitely invest some time reading it, but if you need a quick overview to get you started, my article might help.
My 12c learning experience continues…
Tim…Auditing Enhancements (Audit Policies and Unified Audit Trail) in Oracle Database 12c was first posted on June 29, 2015 at 7:12 am.
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By Michael FeldsteinMore Posts (1033)
This post has nothing to do with educational technology but everything to do with the kind of humane and truly personal education that we should be talking about when we throw around phrases like “personalized education.” Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) go hand-in-glove with the trendy Competency-Based Education (CBE). The basic idea is that you test students on what they have learned in their own lives and give them credit toward their degrees based on what they already know. But it is often executed in a fairly mechanical way. Students are tested against the precise curriculum or competencies that a particular school has chosen for a particular class. Not too long ago, I heard somebody say, “We don’t need more college-ready students; we need more student-ready colleges.” In a logical and just world, we would start with what the student knows, rather than the with what one professor or group of professors decided one semester would be “the curriculum,” and we would give the student credit for whatever college-level knowledge she has.
It turns out that’s exactly what Empire State College (ESC) does. When we visited the college for an e-Literate TV case study, we learned quite a bit about this program and, in particular, about their PLA program for women of color.
But before we get into that, it’s worth backing up and looking at the larger context of ESC as an institution. Founded in 1971, the school was focused from the very beginning on “personalized learning”—but personalized in a sense that liberal intellectuals from the 1960s and 1970s would recognize and celebrate. Here’s Alan Mandell, who was one of the pioneering members of the faculty at ESC, on why the school has “mentors” rather than “professors”:
Alan Mandell: Every single person is called a mentor.
It’s valuable because of an assumption that is pretty much a kind of critique of the hierarchical model of teaching and learning that was the norm and remains the norm where there is a very, very clear sense of a professor professing to a student who is kind of taking in what one has to say.
Part of the idea of Empire State, and other institutions, more and more, is that there was something radically wrong with that. A, that students had something to teach us, as faculty, and that faculty had to learn to engage students in a more meaningful way to respond to their personal, academic, professional interests. It was part of the time. It was a notion of a kind of equality.
This was really interesting to me actually because I came here, and I was 25 years old. Every single student was older than I was, so the idea of learning from somebody else was actually not very difficult at all. It was just taken for granted. People would come with long professional lives, doing really interesting things, and I was a graduate student.
I feel, after many years, that this is still very much the case—that this is a more equal situation of faculty serving as guides to students who bring in much to the teaching and learning situation.
Unlike some of the recent adoptions of PLA, which are tied to CBE and the idea of getting students through their degree programs quickly, Empire State College approaches prior learning assessment in very much the spirit that Alan describes above. Here’s Associate Dean Cathy Leaker talking about their approach:
Cathy Leaker What makes Empire State College unique, even in the prior learning assessment field, is that many institutions that do prior learning assessment do what’s called a “course match.” In other words, a student would have to demonstrate—for example, if they wanted to claim credit for Introduction to Psychology, they would look at the learning objectives of the Introduction to Psychology course, and they would match their learning to that. We are much more open-ended, and as an institution, we really believe that learning happens everywhere, all the time. So, we try to look at learning organically, and we don’t assume that we already know exactly what might be required.
One of my colleagues, Elana Michelson, works on prior learning assessment. She started working in South Africa where they were—there it’s called “recognition for prior learning.” And she gives the example of some of the people who were involved in bringing down Apartheid, and how they, sort of as an institution working with the government, thought it might be ridiculous to ask those students to demonstrate problem solving skills, right? How the institution might look at problem-solving skills, and then if there was a strict match, they would say, “Well, wait a second. You don’t have it,” and yet, they’re activists that brought down the government and changed the world.
Those are some examples of why we really think we need to look at learning organically.
Students like Melinda come to us, talk about their learning, and then we try to help them identify it, come up with a name for it, and determine an amount of credit before submitting it for evaluation.
This is not personalized in the sense trying to figure out which institution-defined competencies you can check off on you way to an institution-defined collection of competencies that they call a “degree.” Rather, it’s an effort to have credentialed experts look at what you’ve done and what you know to find existing strengths that deserve to be recognized and credentialed. The Apartheid example is a particularly great one because it shows that traditional academic institutions may be poorly equipped to recognized and certify real-world demonstrations of competencies, particularly among people who come from disadvantaged or “marked” backgrounds. Here’s ESC faculty member Frances Boyce talking about why the school recognized a need to develop a particular PLA program for women of color:
Frances Boyce: Our project, Women of Color and Prior Learning Assessment, is based on a 2010 study done by Rebecca Klein-Collins and Richard Olson, “Fueling the Race to Success.” That found that students who do prior learning assessments are two and a half times more likely to graduate. When you start to unpack that data and you look at the graduation rates for students of color, for African American students the graduation rate increases fourfold. For Latino students it increases eightfold. Then, when you look at it in terms of gender, a woman who gets one to six credits in prior learning assessment will graduate more quickly than her male counterpart given the same amount of credit.
That seemed very important to us, and we decided, “Well, let’s see what we could do to improve the uptake rate for women of color.” So, we designed four workshops to help women of color, not only identify their learning—the value of their learning—but identify what they bring with them to the institution.
What’s going on here? Why is PLA more impactful than average for women and people of color? In addition to the fact that our institutions are not always prepared to recognize real-world knowledge and skills, as in the Apartheid example, people in non-privileged positions in our society are tacitly taught that college is not “for them.” That they don’t have what it takes to succeed there. By recognizing that they have, in fact, already acquired college-level skills and knowledge, PLA helps them get past the insults to their self-image and dignity and helps them to envision themselves as successful college graduates. Listen to ESC student Melinda Wills-Stallings’ story:
Michael Feldstein: I’m wondering if you can tell me, do you remember a particular moment, early on, when the lightbulb went off and you said to yourself, “Oh, that thing that’s part of my life counts”?
Melinda Wills-Stallings: I think when I was talking to my sons about the importance of their college education and how they couldn’t be successful without it and them saying to me, “But, Mom, you are successful. You run a school. You run a business.” To be told on days that I wasn’t there, the business wasn’t running properly or to be told by parents, “Oh, my, God. We’re so glad you’re back because we couldn’t get a bill, we couldn’t get a statement,” or, “No one knew how to get the payroll done.”
That’s when I knew, OK, but being told by an employer who said I wasn’t needed and I wasn’t relied on, I came to realize that it flipped on me. And I realized that’s what I had been told to keep me in my place, to keep me from aspiring to do the things that I knew that I was doing or I could do.
The lightbulb for me was when we were doing the interviews and Women of Color PLA, and Frances said to me, “That’s your navigational capital.” We would do these roundtables where you would interview with one mentor, and then you would go to another table. Then I went to another table, and she said, “Well, what do you hope to do with your college degree?” And I said, “I hope to pay it forward: to go continue doing what I love to do, but to come back to other women with like circumstances and inspire them and encourage them and support them to also getting their college degrees and always to be better today than I was yesterday, so that’s your aspirational capital.” And I went, “Oh, OK.” So, I have aspirational capital also, and then go to the next table and then I was like, I couldn’t wait to get to the next table because every table I went to, I walked away with one or two prior learning assessments.
And then to go home and to be able to put it into four- or five-page papers to submit that essay and to have it recognized as learning.
I was scared an awful lot of times from coming back to school because I felt, after I graduated high school and started college and decided I wanted to get married and have a family, I had missed the window to come back and get my college education. The light bulb was, “It’s never too late,” and that’s what I tell women who ask me, and I talk to them all the time about our school and our program. Like, “It’s never too late. You can always come back and get it done.”
Goals and dreams don’t have caps on them even though where I was, my employer had put a cap on where I could go on my salary and my position. Your goals and dreams don’t have a cap on it, so I think that was the light bulb for me—that it wasn’t too late.
It’s impossible to hear Melinda speak about her journey and not feel inspired. She built up the courage to walk into the doors of the college, despite being told repeatedly by her employer that she was not worthy. The PLA process quickly affirmed for her that she had done the right thing. At the same time, I recognize that traditionalists may feel uncomfortable with all this talk of “navigational capital” and “aspirational capital” and so on. Is there a danger of giving away degrees like candy and thus devaluing them? First, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving a person degree certification if they have become genuine experts in a college-appropriate subject through their life experience. In some ways, we are all the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, or the Cowardly Lion, waiting for some wizard to magically convey upon us a symbol that confers legitimacy upon our hard-won skills and attributes and thus somehow making them more real. But also, a funny thing happens when you treat a formal education as a tool for helping an individual reach her goals rather than a set of boxes that must be checked. Students start thinking about the work that education entails as something that is integral to them achieving those goals rather than a set of obstacles they have to get around in order to get the piece of paper that is the “real” value of college. Listen to ESC student Jessi Colón, a professional dancer who chose not to get all the credits she could have gotten for her dance knowledge because she wanted to focus on what she needed to learn for her next career working in animal welfare:
Jessi Colón: It was little bit tricky especially because I had really come here with the intention of maximizing and capitalizing on all this experience that I had. Part of the prior learning assessment and degree planning process is looking at other schools that may have somewhat relevant programs and trying to match what your learning is to those. As I was looking at other programs outside of New York or at other small, rural schools that do these little animal programs, I found that there were a lot of classes that I really wanted to take.
One of the really amazing things about Empire State is that they can also give you individualized courses, and I did a lot of those. So, once I saw these at other schools, I was like, “Man, I really want to take a class in animal-assisted therapy, and would I like to really, really indulge myself and do that or should I write another essay on jazz dance composition?” I knew that one would be more of a walk in the park than the other, but I was really excited about my degree and having this really personal degree allowed me to get excited about it. So, it made sense, though hard to let go of that prior learning in order to opt for the classes.
I could’ve written 20 different dance essays, but I wanted to really take a lot of classes. So, I filled that with taking more classes relevant to my degree, and then ended up only writing, I think, one or two dance-relevant essays.
It turns out that if you start from the assumption that the education they are coming for—not the certification, but the learning process itself—can and should have intrinsic value to them as tools toward pursuing their own ambitions, then people step up. They aspire to be more. They take on the work. If the education is designed to help them by recognizing how far they have come before they walk in the door and focusing on what they need to learn in order to do whatever it is they aspire to do after they leave, then students often come to see that gaming the system is just cheating themselves.
There are many ways to make schooling more personal but, in my opinion, what we see here is one of the deepest and most profound. This is what a student-ready college looks like. And in order to achieve it, there must be an institutional commitment to it that precedes the adoption of any educational technology. The software is just an enabler. If college community collectively commits to true personalization, then technology can help with that. If the community does not make such a commitment, then “personalized learning” software might help achieve other educational ends, but it will not personalize education in the sense that we see here.
I’m going to write a follow-up post how ESC is using that personalized learning software in their context, but you don’t have to wait to find out; you can just watch the second episode of the case study. While you’re at it, you should go back and watch the full ETV episode from which the above clips were excerpted. In addition to watching more great interview content, you can find a bunch of great related links to content that will let you dig deeper into many of the topics covered in the discussions.
More parts to follow.
I posted a tweet with a link to a very old document - 20 years old - about 'internals of recovery'. It's a gem. All the complexity of the ACID mecanisms of Oracle are explained in a very simple way. It was written for Oracle 7.2 but it's incredible to see how much the basic things are still relevant today. Of course, there is a reason for that: the mecanisms of recovery are critical and must be stable. There is one more reason in my opinion: the Oracle RDBMS software was very well designed, then the basic structures designed 20 years ago are still able to cope with new features, and to scale with very large databases, through the versions and the years.June 26, 2015
If you check the conversation that followed, a doubt has been raised about the following sentence:
According to write-ahead log protocol, before DBWR can write out a cache buffer containing a modified datablock, LGWR must write out the redo log buffer containing redo records describing changes to that datablock.
There are 2 ways to clear out that kind of doubt: read and test. And we need both of them because:
- documentation may have bug
- software may have bug
so you can be sure about a behaviour only when both documentation and test validates your assumption.Documentation
The first documentation I find about it is another gem describing how Oracle works: Jonathan Lewis 'Oracle Core (Apress)'. And it's clearly stated that:
One of the most important features of the Oracle code is that the database writer will not write a changed block to disk before the log writer has written the redo that describes how the block was changed. This write-ahead logging strategy is critical to the whole recovery mechanism.
Then there is of course the Oracle Documentation:
Before DBW can write a dirty buffer, the database must write to disk the redo records associated with changes to the buffer (the write-ahead protocol). If DBW discovers that some redo records have not been written, it signals LGWR to write the records to disk, and waits for LGWR to complete before writing the data buffers to disk.Test case
Ok, that should be enough. But I want to do a simple testcase in order to see if anything has changed in the latest version (126.96.36.199). My idea is to check two things:
- whether a checkpoint is requesting so work to be done by logwriter
- whether a change is written to redo log after a checkpoint, without waiting the usual
I create a table:
19:07:21 SQL> create table DEMO as select '--VAL--1--'||to_char(current_timestamp,'hh24missffff') val from dual;
19:07:21 SQL> select * from DEMO;
I start with a new logfile:
19:07:21 SQL> alter system switch logfile;
And I retrieve the log writer process id for future use:
19:07:21 SQL> column spid new_value pidupdate and commit
19:07:21 SQL> select spid,pname from v$process where pname='LGWR';
19:07:21 SQL> host ps -fp &pid
UID PID PPID C STIME TTY TIME CMD
oracle 12402 1 0 Jun25 ? 00:00:46 ora_lgwr_DEMO14
Here is a scenario where I update and commit:
19:07:21 SQL> update DEMO set val='--VAL--2--'||to_char(current_timestamp,'hh24missffff');
1 row updated.
19:07:21 SQL> select * from DEMO;
19:07:21 SQL> commit;
I want to see if a checkpoint has something to wait from the log writer, so I freeze the log writer:
19:07:21 SQL> host kill -sigstop &pid
and I checkpoint:
19:07:21 SQL> alter system checkpoint;
No problem. The checkpoint did not require anything from log writer in that case. Note that the dirty buffers related redo has already been written to disk at commit (and log writer was running at that time).
I un-freeze it for the next test:
19:07:21 SQL> host kill -sigcont &pidupdate without commit
Now I'm doing the same but without commit. My goal is to see if uncommited dirty blocks need their redo to be written to disk.
19:07:51 SQL> select * from DEMO;
19:07:51 SQL> host kill -sigstop &pid
19:07:51 SQL> update DEMO set val='--VAL--3--'||to_char(current_timestamp,'hh24missffff');
1 row updated.
19:07:51 SQL> alter system checkpoint;
Here it hangs. Look at the wait events:
My checkpoint is waiting on 'rdbms ipc reply' until the log writer is woken up.
$ kill -sigcont 12402
19:09:37 SQL> select * from DEMO;
The checkpoint is done.
Note that if I run the same but wait 3 seconds after the update (because I know that log writer writes redo at least every 3 seconds even not asked to do it):
21:33:35 SQL> update DEMO set val='--VAL--3--'||to_char(current_timestamp,'hh24missffff');
1 row updated.
21:33:35 SQL> host sleep 3
21:33:38 SQL> host kill -sigstop &pid
21:33:38 SQL> alter system checkpoint;
checkpoint is not waiting because all the redo that covers the dirty buffers are alerady written.
I've also checked that immediately after the checkpoint (without stopping the log writer here) the uncommited change is written to the redo log files:
21:56:38 SQL> select group#,v$log.status,member from v$log join v$logfile using(group#) where v$log.status='CURRENT';
GROUP# STATUS MEMBER
---------- ---------------- ----------------------------------------
2 CURRENT /u01/DEMO/oradata/DEMO14/redo02.log
21:56:38 SQL> update DEMO set val='--VAL--2--'||to_char(current_timestamp,'hh24missffff');
1 row updated.
21:56:38 SQL> select * from DEMO;
21:56:38 SQL> alter system checkpoint;
21:56:38 SQL> host strings &redo | grep "VAL--"
A simple grep reveals that redo has been written (I've no other activity in the database - so no concurrent commits here).Conclusion
Even if some mecanisms have been improved (see Jonathan lewis book for them) for performance, the fundamentals have not changed.
I've said that there are two ways to validated an assumption: documention and test.
But there is a third one: understanding.
When you think about it, if you write uncommited changes to the files, then you must be able to rollback them in case of recovery. Where is the rollback information? In the undo blocks. Are the undo blocks written on disk when the database is written on disk? You don't know. Then where do you find the undo information in case of recovery? The redo genereated by the transaction contains change vectors for data blocks and for undo blocks. Then if you are sure that all redo is written before the block containing uncomitted changes, then you are sure to be able to rollback those uncommited changes.
Note that this occurs only for modifications through buffer cache. Direct-path insert do not need to be covered by redo to be undone. It's the change of high water mark that will be undone and this one is done in buffer cache, protected by redo.
Walking into something as a newcomer is always an adventure of reality interacting with expectations. Though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at the Quantified Self conference, it wasn’t what I expected. But in a good way.
The conference was structured around three main activities: talks given on the main stage, breakout sessions, which took place at different smaller areas during the talks, and break times, where one might check out the vendors, grab a snack, or chat with fellow attendees.
The talks, about ten minutes each, were mostly about the speaker’s successes in changing some aspect of their life via quantifying and analyzing it. This is partly what I wasn’t expecting—the goal-focused and very positive nature of (most) everyone’s projects.
True, some of the presenters might be tallied on the obsessive side of the spectrum, but by and large, it was all about improving your life, and not recording everything as a method of self-preservation.
On this last point, one presenter even provided this quote from Nabokov, which generated a touch of controversy: “the collecting of daily details … is always a poor method of self-preservation.”
One important theme I saw, however, is the role of measuring itself—that the very act of quantifying your behaviors, whether it’s diet, exercise, TV watching, or your productivity, can change your behavior for the better.
Granted, there can also be profound personal insights from analyzing the data, especially when combining multiple sources, but it’s possible some of these benefits come from simply tracking. Especially when it’s done manually, which takes a great deal of persistence, with many people petering out after a few weeks at the most.
This presents an interesting question about technology’s increasing proficiency at passive tracking, and the aim to provide insights automatically. For instance, the Jawbone UP platform’s Smart Coach is supposed look at your exercise and activity data with your sleep data and give you advice about how to get better sleep.
If someone had tracked this manually, and done the analysis themselves, they may not only be a lot more familiar with the facts about their own sleep and exercise, but any insights derived might be more likely to be absorbed and translate to genuine change.
When insights are automatically provided will they lead to just as much adoption?
Probably not, but they could reach a lot more people who may not be able to keep up with measuring. So it’s probably still a good thing in the end.
The other important theme was something that I’ve also been encountering in other areas of my work—the importance of good questions.
For most of the QS projects, this took the form of achieving a personal goal, but sometimes it was simply a specific inquiry into a realm of one’s life. Just looking at data can be interesting, but without a good question motivating an analysis, it’s often not very useful.
In the worst case, you can find spurious connections and correlations within a large set of data that may get you off in the wrong direction.
And while at the beginning of the conference it was made clear that QS15 was not a tech conference, there was plenty of cool technology in the main hall to check out and discuss.
There are too many to cover in much detail, but here are a few that intrigued me:
- Spire, a breath tracking device that says it can measure focus by analyzing your breathing pattern. If someone is interested in examining their productivity, this could be a promising device to check out. Also, it can let you know when you need a deep breath, which has various physiological and emotional benefits.
- Faurecia manufactures seats for automobiles, and they were showing off a prototype that uses piezoelectric bands within the chair itself to measure heart rate and breathing patterns. This is great because it can do this through your clothing, and detect when you’re falling asleep, and possibly institute some countermeasures. The data could also sync up with your phone, say through Apple’s Healthkit, if you want to add it to your logs.
is an activity and sleep tracker that uses a ring form factor, which for some people may be easier to sleep with than a wrist band. Their focus is on sleep and measuring how restorative your rest is. I look forward to seeing how this one develops.
The conference had a lot to offer—some inspiration, some cool technologies, surprisingly good lunches, and quite a bit to think about.Possibly Related Posts:
- More About Me at QS15
- Toy Blocks that Think?
- Four Weeks with Nothing on My Wrist
- Can You Stand Being Uninformed?
- Seven Weeks with the Fitbit Surge
Tiny 128x64 monochrome OLED screens are cheap and easy to come by, and quite popular for adding visual display to a microcontroller project.
My first experiments in driving them with raw SPI commands had me feeling distinctly old school, as the last time remember programming a bitmap screen display was probably about 30 years ago!
So while in a retro mood, what better than to attempt an arcade classic? At first I wasn't sure it was going to be possible to make a playable game due to the limited Arduino memory and relative slow screen communication protocol.
But after a few tweaks of the low-level SPI implementation, I was surprised myself at how well it can run. Even had enough clock cycles left to throw in a sound track and effects.
Here's a quick video on YouTube of the latest version. ArdWinVaders! .. in full lo-rez monochrome glory, packed into 14kb and speeding along at 8MHz.
Full source and schematics are in the LittleArduinoProjects collection on Github.
We announced OAM Training on 4th of July (only 3 seats left) and since our announcement lot of you asked what integration we are going to cover. Looking at kind of queries we received, I though its worth posting here. We are going to cover
- Oracle E-Business Suite (R12 – 12.1) integration with Oracle Access Manager
- Microsoft Active Directory (AD)/Windows Native Authentication (WNA) integration with Oracle Access Manager (OAM) for Zero Single Sign-On.
Register here for Oracle Access Manager Training (100 USD off if you register before 1st July, last 3 seats before we close registration)
- OAM Training (4th July) : EBS & AD Integration : 11gR2 PS3 Launch
The post OAM Training (4th July) : EBS & AD Integration : 11gR2 PS3 Launch appeared first on Oracle : Design, Implement & Maintain.