Technical Papers

The links on the right will take you to various technical white papers and conference presentations. (Note - at the moment, you can only access the MS Word and PDF versions for some of the papers. I'll be moving the HTML versions over to the new website format over the next week or two)

The first is a recent paper written for the Hotsos Symposium 2006 that tries to answer the question - 'How many Parallel Execution slave processes should I run on a given hardware configuration?'.

Next is a paper on Parallel Execution (or Parallel Query ... take your pick) that I presented at the UKOUG 2004 annual conference in Birmingham and the UKOUG's Unix and Scottish SIGs. It seemed to go down fairly well, apart from me running hopelessly over schedule (which is unusual). It was also published in the IOUG's Select Journal and I presented it at the Hotsos Symposium 2006. (Note - The current version has been edited based on feedback from a number of Oracle experts, eliminating some of the original errors. A list of the changes made is here)

Then there's a paper that looks at how you can use the CASE function to improve the efficiency of SQL statements. This is a replacement paper for 'The Power of Decode' and should be read in preference to that.

The Power of Decode is a paper that I presented at the UKOUG 1999 Conference in Birmingham and the EOUG Middle East 2000 Conference in Dubai. What's amazing is just how popular this paper still is after all this time - easily the most popular on this site.

Next is a detailed solution to one of the most common questions from students on the PL/SQL course I used to teach - how can I write a PL/SQL procedure that will return a Recordset to Visual Basic?. It's also one of the most powerful and understandable uses of the much-misunderstood Cursor Variables or REF CURSORs. The author (Alastair Vance) attended the course, went back to his work, came up with this well-presented solution and agreed to let me put it on these web pages for others to benefit from. There is an HTML version to fit in with the overall look of the site, but Alastair's original document (minus his email address) is available as a PDF file as well. Many thanks to Alastair.

Finally, there's 'Developing Dynamic WAP-Enabled Websites using Oracle's XDK' (quite a mouthful!) which I presented at Openworld and the UKOUG conference in 2000. This is a definite candidate for a future update as there are easier ways to build these sites than the approach used in the paper (I only wish it wasn't so popular because now I'll have to update it). However, it's a great way of getting your hands dirty with XML and WML in an Oracle environment.