Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What wows you.

Someone wrote me: Had a suggestions for blog topic (if you are interested). The systems/applications that amaze/impress you the most, details and architecture (if possible). For example: At one of the Oracle events, Larry Ellison talked about the global credit system...a person buying a watch in another country and the merchant knowing in seconds if they should get the credit... What systems wow you the most...

That is easy – google.com.  Just look at this page, at the bottom:

Passionate about these topics? You should work at Google.

Not only does the technology impress me, the culture does too.  Not many companies would state it the way they just did.  What do I use of googles?  Well, I do most of my online shopping via froogle.google.com.  I typically find what I’m looking for – across many stores.  Then I use just good old www.google.com to research what I found.  I use http://maps.google.com/ more and more now (still use yahoo maps to find hotels though, need to convince myself that google has them all).  I use their http://www.google.com/alerts to scan the news for me.  I use http://images.google.com/ to search for images.  http://groups-beta.google.com/ to search the newsgroups.

The best news page for me on the web? http://news.google.com/ by far.  I personalized that with an Oracle news section.  Now that is cool.  And truly useful to boot. 

This blog you are reading – google owns the site. 

Their interface to me is a thing of joy.  Only thing I would change would be to use courier fonts :)  Seriously, they are not overdone at all.  Very plain, very simple, very usable, very easy.  Very smart.  I used to use yahoo news http://news.yahoo.com/ but they changed the interface – pop up little boxes (always getting in my way, they just appear – how annoying).  The layout got really busy.  Google news — very simple, very plain, very smart (in my opinion).

You should read about how they do lots of this.  A 15,000 node cluster — now that is cool (actually, it is probably very hot, they discuss cooling and other serious issues).  If I were just starting out again, that would be a place I’d be very interested in.

On a side note, I’d be interested myself in hearing what people think about this announcement that JDEV is free.  If you haven’t looked at it before and  you debug PLSQL, time to give it a look see.  I know it says “J”, but it does “P” as well.



Blogger Jasper Scholten said....


Quite funny actually. Yesterday and today I had workshop and reading about Oracle Grid and grid computing in general.

The grid and clustering google has, is an example for many companies.

To come back on the JDeveloper part, I had the assumption that JDeveloper in combination with JHeadstart would be much less productive than designer/developer.

I got a presentation of Oracle a few weeks ago. During that presentation of 2 hours, the guy builded 2 administrative applications and proved my wrong assumption(s).

Now after your comment in this blog, I think I have to take a very serious look at JDeveloper.


Tue Jun 28, 05:29:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Nicholas Goodman said....

I may be off base here but I think it's actually a BAD thing for JDeveloper customers. Rather than rewrite it all, I'll post a link to my blog that explains my reasoning.

JDeveloper is "free"; Hoooey!

However, I'd be happy to be convinced otherwise! :)

Tue Jun 28, 05:43:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Something I really like about google (that would make me abandon it otherwise) it's that the ads are non-intrusive and that searches etc are not affected by the ads (no concept of "you pay me and you'll get your site at the top of search results"). That's important - impartial and credible results, much more important than technology (google is my window to the net - I want its glass pane clean and free from distortions first, performant second).

Tue Jun 28, 06:03:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Eddie said....

If you're not blown away by Google yet, try the all new and free Google Earth

Tue Jun 28, 06:13:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Robert said....

i am just wondering what DBMS they use if it is not "home-brew"

Tue Jun 28, 07:33:00 PM EDT  

Blogger David Aldridge said....

Free JDev has piqued my interest. Unfortunately ...
We're sorry.

An unexpected exception has occurred when contacting Database. Cannot proceed further.

You can change or re-visit previous page(s) by starting a new session.

Try later, I guess. Grrrrr.

Tue Jun 28, 10:01:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Giovanni Cuccu said....

I'm using JDevelopers since 2001 and I find it a very powerful IDE. Being a Java developer I can say that JDeveloper is one of the best Java products around. Freeing JDeveloper is, at least in my opinion, an obbligation since most of the other Java IDEs are free. I'd like to remember that while JDeveloper is free , ADF is not (if you deploy your application on a different AS than the Oracle one).

Wed Jun 29, 02:09:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Tim... said....

I guess Oracle didn't have much choice about the pricing model. There is so much momentum behind Eclipse in the Java world.

We bought JDeveloper, but the guys all use Eclipse. If they need a JDeveloper feature they start it up, run the particular wizard, save the files and go back to Eclipse.

I do use JDeveloper for small amounts of Java, but I never use it for PL/SQL. I find it slow and really memory hungry. It also lacks some of the basic features present in most PL/SQL editors, but it's now free so you can't complain.

Provided Oracle keep investing in the PL/SQL functionality in JDeveloper they may give some of the other IDEs a run for their money. As for Java, I'm not so sure.



Wed Jun 29, 03:01:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

But what of the researcher at Google who claims that relational databases are not up to the challenge ?


"Examples include telephone call records, network logs, and web document repositories. These large data sets are not amenable to study using traditional database techniques,
if only because they can be too large to fit in a single relational database"

Can someone call them and let them know about a product called Oracle?

Wed Jun 29, 06:55:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Pierre M. said....

Systems that always "whoaw" me are very similar to credit systems: Airplane reservation systems. They've been around for some times now.
You can book seats for a given airplaine anywhere in the world, in any travel agency. And recall that you've been able to do this for quite some times now. (definitively more that 15 years ago.)
So, congrat to those who designed and made such a decentralized system work without all that inter-junk ;-) technology that we can use today.

Wed Jun 29, 07:37:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Niall said....


Google don't use a dbms for their search application. There are a number of papers at Google Labs that do talk about their technology.


I'm with the researcher. What is the benefit of Oracle for network logfiles or the other flat structures that are being talked about. Think about the ERD or Object model that you would build for the application. In most cases it would have precisely one object/table in it. I'm not sure I buy the size argument - though RAC on 15,000 nodes would be an, err interesting, challenge.

Wed Jun 29, 07:39:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Mahesh Rajendran said....

Did anyone try Google suggest!!!.

I am impressed!!!.

Wed Jun 29, 09:14:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Tony said....

Google is pretty impressive. Like Tom , I really appreciate and enjoy the simplicity of their interface. Nothing fancy, just functionaly. Nice.

I am amazed at how they continue to improve upon the web experience. Whether it is their new Earth Application, Maps, or their local search, I am surprised that they can come up with fresh approaches to these old ideas.

Wed Jun 29, 09:42:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Heath Sheehan said....

I have been using JDeveloper to debug PL/SQL and find it to be a fairly robust debugger. It's interface is intuitive to me from user other popular IDEs. I've paritcularly liked the remote debugging capability. I also like the Smart Data watch, conditional breakpoints and other things that I've learned to love in other IDEs that are not present in some other PL/SQL debuggers that I've used.

Cons are that it's really slow to load up and is a resource hog. And don't bother trying to debug a database across a WAN, say across the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. :P It appears to be rather "chatty" and any high network latency will make working with it nearly intolerable.

My biggest criticism of it is that it doesn't provide the basic ability to edit a PL/SQL source file on my machine, compile it into the database and debug it that way. For those of us who use SCM for our application code, the database is not the repository of our source code. (If I'm wrong and this last bit is possible, then I'll be rather pleased to learn how to do so because I've failed to figure out how to do so on my own. )

Wed Jun 29, 09:52:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Nicholas Goodman,

Nice post on your blog on the "free" JDeveloper.

Wed Jun 29, 10:27:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Mark A. Williams said....

I read Nicholas Goodman's blog (comment #2) about this subject and found it to contain some compelling points as to why "free" may not be "in the best interest of the target customer".

To be fair, I rarely use JDeveloper for PL/SQL (and I "do Java" very, very rarely) so my opinion is not that of someone with ages of experience with the product. However, I think that the resources consumed and performance are issues that could be addressed. As Heath noted, "remote" debugging can be a painful process as well. I have difficulty using JDeveloper through the VPN (and, yes, I have read about how to do it).

I'm surprised I have not seen this mentioned yet -- the biggest concern for me is that you must do this:

grant debug any procedure to user;
grant debug connect session to user;

The "debug connect session" I can live with, the "debug any procedure" I do not like. I like to stay away from the "any" privileges!

I currently use PL/SQL Developer from Allround Automations if I "need" to use a GUI. Mostly I use SQL*Plus though. I was a beta tester for the Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET and they are showing promise.

Corrections always welcome...

- Mark

Wed Jun 29, 10:36:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous jeremy schneider said....

I agree with Nicholas Goodman's post on his blog.

I've been using JDeveloper for awhile now to develop a J2EE application that uses Oracle on the backend. My overwhelming impression of JDeveloper is that it's strongest point is integration with Oracle's technology stack - mainly ADF. ADF drives *all* of JDeveloper's most useful functions.

If you're using ADF at all -- even if you're just using it for binding -- then you can't deploy your app without buying either Oracle Application Server or an ADF license. So it seems to me that the "free JDeveloper" is not really as big of a deal is it's being made out. Sure, JDeveloper is free... but you have to pay to actually run your app.

In fact Oracle's FAQ even said that a major reason for this move is to attract developers to the "Oracle Java technology stack" (read: ADF) -- which is *not* free.

Wed Jun 29, 10:40:00 AM EDT  

Blogger LewisC said....

I like the fact that JDev is free now. My company is standardizing on websphere but I've been trying to include as much oracle in the stack as I can. With it being free, I'm hoping to convince everyone that we should at least allow it as an alternative. If nothing else for pl/sql debugging.

I posted about it yesterday when I heard.


Wed Jun 29, 10:47:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Scot said....

Just curious, but are you guys running the lates (developer preview I think they call it) version of JDeveloper? I think it is version It looks rather nice, and I love that it is now free so that I can have a real development tool instead of wordpad.

But, from what I've been reading on otn and Sue's blog, the next release is going to have some major new database modeling, programming, and administration capabilities. We'll have to wait and see, but it looks promissing as a replacement to products such as Designer and Erwin. And even TOAD.

Wed Jun 29, 11:53:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Pratap said....

You must have worked on many large sites. Did you have an opportunity to work in google - troubleshoot some performance problem there etc. If you would not like to answer this, a generic question - Have you worked on very high transaction OLTP systems. In Oracle when you guys go troubleshooting, do you send experts depending on type of system - OLTP/Data warehouse etc.

Wed Jun 29, 12:38:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Pratap said... You must have worked on many large sites.

I've never worked on google, no. Yes, I've worked on large sites - large from data volumes or large from number of users.

Most of my work in in the application area - when the problem cannot be diagnosed using conventional methods typically. It all (to me) comes down to instrumentation for OLTP (and no one seems to do that! How annoying).

You want to be able to tune, you better be able to figure out where your time is spent. If I'm sitting on the back end of 14 tiers and looking at a 48 cpu Solaris box that isn't breaking a sweat and things are just flying (the little work we see) but you say "the database is slow because this web page takes long" -- them's fighting words!

Code instrumentation -- maybe that's what I'll write about next. Drives me nuts to hear "the database is slow". Usually, well, it isn't (well, my experience is skewed because many times by the time someone asks me to peek at it, most normal things have been totally ruled out already).

Yes, they try to send in experts based on the type of system and technologies used generally. I do anything database related however.

Wed Jun 29, 12:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Jdeveloper will never be more than a niche market even if it's by far the best tool on the market. The problem is that Oracle makes it. Java developers are all about database independence.

Whenever I talk to a java developer about building applications they state that all applications should be database independent. There argument is almost always a recitation of the J2EE spec written on the sun website. They resite it word for word as if its their own idea in almost the exact same tone of voice as every other java developers. They even seem to have the same exact facial expressions.

There is no original thought. They just recite what other people said and act like it's the own idea. Now, I have seen people in lots of technical disciplines do this(including Oracle DBAs), but the java guys appear to be the worst.

They go 'ok how do we make this DB independent'. Instead of 'ok how do we make the most cost effective solution for the customer. If necessary we make it DB independent, if not we won't'.

Toon Koopelaars wrote some excellent articles are creating DB Driven java applications. The link to it got posted on 'The Serverside' a java fan site. The java guys got hysterical.


Fabian Pascal had a take on it also...



Wed Jun 29, 01:04:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Niall said:
What is the benefit of Oracle for network logfiles or the other flat structures that are being talked about.

It depends on the type of analysis you need to perform on them. If you need to mine them (eg to perform trend analysis, find the most faulty device, etc), being able to throw sql at the log file (and having perhaps materialized views there to help) is very very powerful.

Wed Jun 29, 01:59:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Niall said....

Alberto Dell'era said
being able to throw sql at the log file (and having perhaps materialized views there to help) is very very powerful

Perl, or even more pertinently (hope jared still doesn't read this) Log Parser.

Wed Jun 29, 04:18:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

Maybe when experts are scratching their heads there actually is something wrong.

Google - a bubble of one.

Wed Jun 29, 04:21:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

niall said...

Perl, or even more pertinently (hope jared still doesn't read this) Log Parser.

sorry Niall, I'll have to very much disagree with you here. I would not want to use Perl to analyze my logs (which I actually do, couple million records).

Give me ANALYTICs with lag and lead, the ability to create intervals and the like.

The largest table I ever worked with (some 5 billion rows) was full of log records and nothing else. Roll data in, roll data out constantly. I cannot imagine using Perl or any procedural language really as a replacement.

Is the relational database right for everything? No, nothing is 100% right for everything -- but for data problems -- I think so. I'll have to agree to disagree with the guy at google. Could be he doesn't know what the database can actually do :)

(spoken as a guy who keeps his portfolio in a table and not a spreadsheet of course -- views rock :)

Wed Jun 29, 04:49:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

joel garry said...

Maybe when experts are scratching their heads there actually is something wrong.

Financial Stock Picking

hmm, I smell oxymoron.

I agree stock is overpriced, but that doesn't mean the technology is bad/wrong...

Wed Jun 29, 04:52:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Niall (Litchfield?) said....
Perl, or even more pertinently (hope jared still doesn't read this) Log Parser.

Sure, but I would rather prefer to write the conversion routines from the logfile format to a table (using perhaps LogParser, external tables, C, or Perl) once, and then being able to express my questions in an industrial-strength, flexible SQL variant, into a performant state-of-the-art RDBMS Engine.

And, using Materialized Views to help my data summarization, partitions to roll the data window ... a (mini) DWH in short.

That's overkill for my grandmother's web site, but if you're serious about mining the data, imho the best choice.

Wed Jun 29, 04:57:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Some of the issues with the 'Free' version of JDev have been brought up, but to highlight:

1. JClient applications, which were FREE to deploy, now cost $100 per Named User. This is an unexpected blow in my company, though we should have seen this coming with what happened to Forms runtime.

2. ADF/TopLink processor license is the same price as the AS Java edition. Java edition used to come with 5 JDeveloper licenses, which then removed the limitation in #1.

3. Virtually all of the functionality of JDeveloper is wrapped up in ADF/TopLink. I'd love someone to point out why they'd want to use JDeveloper over Eclipse without ADF/TopLink.

Personally, I believe it's all marketing spin around a move to raise deployment costs. Now that it's free, it will cost *us* a great deal more money for the same functionality.

Wed Jun 29, 06:41:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Steve G. said....

Small diversion...

Back to "what wows" me..

I'm using the "personalized" google home page, and one panel i've included is the "quote of the day".. I found this one quite good (and appropriate for some earlier threads)

Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
- Samuel Johnson

Thu Jun 30, 08:24:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Mihail Daskalov said....

About the anouncement that JDeveloper is free - it sucks.

The whole anouncement for me is that ADF (or BC4J) is $100/user even if it is for Swing Client/Server Applications.

Do you know what? People need applications that have rich user interface. And these applications are Client/Server apps.

Once there was forms (until january 2005). When the greatest database company saw that it cannot get enough money from forms applications, it removed the client/server version and left only the "application server" version.

It is the same story now with ADF/Swing - the only one left to easily build client server applications which were runtime free (from Oracle corp.).

Now we seem to be heading the .NET way. Where you can build Windows forms, which you may distribute free (well they do require a windows machine, but ...).

Thu Jun 30, 03:05:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Joel Garry said....

I agree stock is overpriced, but that doesn't mean the technology is bad/wrong...

Well, as a deterministic and complete logical statement, no, it doesn't directly imply the technology is bad or wrong, but consider:

Perhaps there are attitudinal downflows - just as in Oracle corp, the leadership is going to affect the workers, whatever their opinions on sweeping vision statements.

If the leadership of the company doesn't believe that transactional integrity is necessary for the products to function, the products aren't likely to have it. And they don't. Does it matter? Sometimes not. But to me, something that works sometimes and doesn't work sometimes does not engender a feeling of warm-n-fuzzy. And data integrity is a lot more important to me than a cool picture of my house from space.

If the company is built around financial gain while giving misleading perceptions of egalitarianism, that is indeed a bad thing. Search for Oracle consultants - do you think the results agree with anything like a ranking of quality? Do people have any way of ascertaining whether the rankings have been skewed by money? Nannyware? Political censorship?
Outside manipulation?

And some other things to watch for.

Do we really have any way of ascertaining where the money comes from and where it goes?

If the whole thing is a house of cards, what does that say about the future of the technology? If it collapses and all these bright people discover they've got worthless stock options they have to pay taxes on, how can that help? The only winners would be the intellectual-property vultures.

And of course there's content manipulation, which some people think is just plain evil.

I use google every day. And I remember when dejanews went away and we all wondered if we would ever see the archives again.

Thu Jun 30, 07:00:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Aman Sharma said....

hi sir
This is not anything technical at all.Just someone send these to me so thought will share.I couldnt decide where to post these so I am posting over here.
with best regards
Aman Sharma

Tue Jul 05, 03:43:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Robert Pang said....

Regarding Mark Williams' comment:

I'm surprised I have not seen this mentioned yet -- the biggest concern for me is that you must do this:

grant debug any procedure to user;
grant debug connect session to user;

The "debug connect session" I can live with, the "debug any procedure" I do not like. I like to stay away from the "any" privileges!

The "debug connect session" privilege is necessary because you don't want any application user of your app in a production environment to be able to debug anything. In the situation where users access your app via an OCI application, it is possible for the user to attach the database session to JDeveloper by setting the environment variable ORA_DEBUG_JDWP before firing off the OCI application and this privilege is put in place to guard against it.

The "debug any procedure" privilege was a mandatory requirement in Oracle 9iR2. In Oracle 10gR1, the per-library-unit debug privilege mechanism is implemented such that the "debug any procedure" is no longer mandatory.


Tue Jul 05, 06:14:00 PM EDT  


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