Most Valued Contributor for Database and Engineered Systems / Company Blog

Well, some of you may have seen this new badge on the right side of the blog. I was announced by the My Oracle Support Communitiy Team as "Most Valued Contributor" for the community in the area of database and engineered systems for 2019. What does this mean?
Oracle says:
"The MVC award is a prestigious recognition awarded annually in the My Oracle Support Community to customer users who demonstrate an exceeding commitment to the ongoing success of their peers. These users go above and beyond to provide recognized correct and helpful responses to online requests for assistance, and they regularly, willingly, and selflessly share their hard-earned expertise and knowledge of Oracle products for the benefit and betterment of the wider community."


This is really an honour to be selected as one of nine people WORLDWIDE. Well, some of you may not know https://community.oracle.com as a separate website. You don't need to!

Most of the discussions can be found using a normal e.g. google search as the first lines of the posts are available without any Oracle login. You can also start with https://support.oracle.com as entry point and do a normal Knowledge Base search.
Then you do get two different results - one is the Knowledge Base Results, which is the official part of Oracle with bug notes, etc. - the other one is the Community Search Results.

That is the part, where people like me invest spare time to help others on a peer to peer base. Like with this blog, but based on direct questions/problems. You also get (sometimes/often) answers to e.g. releases which aren't under support (like XE or older versions). So, if you are looking for some help, try to search there or put in your own question.
If you want to create your own post with a question inside, you can do this either using the direct community web page, or you can go to the Technical Service Requests area of the Dashboard in support.oracle.com. If you press the "Ask in community" button, you get automatically routed to community.oracle.com. As I said, most people are answering there for free, with enthusiasm and in their spare time.

To get fast and helpful answers, ensure:
- First search for your topic, maybe it's answered already. If you find old (more than a year or two) posts which are still open/unanswered, don't ask there in a comment. Create your new, own post.
- If you write a new post, put in so many information as you can. Often questions are not answered, because there are things like edition, version,... missing.
- Don't say: You have to - we just do voluntary work for free, so be kind.
- Put your question in the right space and only once (you don't get any more help if you cross post things). Come back regularly to see, if someone has answered something or is asking for more input. If we ask some questions to understand YOUR problem and don't get any answer from the original poster... well...
- And don't forget: Mark your question if one of the answers helped you/is correct. So the next guy with the same question can see, there is a solution for his problem and does not need to open another post. If you find a solution by yourself, write it into a comment and close your original post. This also helps others!
- Last, but not least: Sometimes we need to say: Sorry, that is something for the Oracle Support, so you need to open a SR (which means, you need a support contract) and sometimes things are so complicated, that we need to say, we can't step further into a problem. Especially when it comes to reading traces, which could be something that needs days of time, we will not do that for free (but we will not ask you in the post blog for paid work, so if you want this, you need to ask us directly).

That's it, guys. 👌

Now to something different. As you can see, I do a lot things regarding Oracle and I like to help - and I am not alone. Therefore, if you do speak german, please follow the blog of my employer Robotron (I will also write there - with some colleagues). You will get a lot of information not only about Oracle, but also about other technologies. You can subscribe e.g. to the Robotron Blog (RSS) or just visit it from time to time at https://www.robotron.de/unternehmen/aktuelles/blog/.

Oracle Database Autoupgrade Tool throws Java Error on MS Windows

Hi,

building up knowledge often starts with trying new things. One of the things I am currently playing around with is the new autoupgrade tool provided by Oracle.
If you start with this tool, I would suggest you to consult Mikes blog.
Mike Dietrich has some blog posts (and more are coming) regarding autoupgrade.jar, how to use it, etc..

As I am often trying things early, I also often run in problems who can be easily avoided, if you know, what you need to do.
These days, I was struggling with running the autoupgrade.jar on my MS Windows 10 notebook.
I have downloaded the latest 19c (19.3.0) database from Oracle, I also have downloaded the last autoupgrade.jar from the support note

Running java -jar showed me, that I have the right Java 8 executable, but trying to run the autoupgrade.jar with

java -jar c:\app\oracle\product\19.3.0\rdbms\admin\autoupgrade.jar -version 

returned a wonderful java runtime error stack:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
at oracle.upgrade.autoupgrade.boot.AutoUpgMain.<init>(AutoUpgMain.java:114)
at oracle.upgrade.autoupgrade.boot.AutoUpgMain.newInstance(AutoUpgMain.java:142)
at oracle.upgrade.autoupgrade.boot.Boot.main(Boot.java:39)
Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException
at java.io.Reader.<init>(Unknown Source)
at java.io.InputStreamReader.<init>(Unknown Source)
at oracle.upgrade.commons.lang.LangSettings.resourceBundleFromFile(LangSettings.java:213)
at oracle.upgrade.commons.lang.LangSettings.loadLanguageInfo(LangSettings.java:71)
at oracle.upgrade.commons.lang.LangSettings.<init>(LangSettings.java:64)
at oracle.upgrade.commons.lang.LangSettings.<init>(LangSettings.java:54)
at oracle.upgrade.commons.context.AppContext.<clinit>(AppContext.java:47)
... 3 more 


As I have read out of the java error stack, it seems there is a problem with some language settings... Well, as an Oracle dinosaur I often have seen things in Oracle, which sometimes only worked with english/american/US settings. You can guess the language of my Windows system?
It's german!

So I tried to set NLS_LANG to american, but unfortunately that didn't helped. Afterwards, I opened a Service Request and sent that also to Mike, because we were already communicating about that.

Some days later Mike contacted me again and told me, there is a new autoupgrade.jar (published end of June) available at metalink and there is a bug fix that says, it fails back to english if a language isn't found. Maybe this could fix the behaviour of the tool on my machine also.

I then downloaded the autoupgrade.jar again from metalink and tested it. Today I am now able to start with the tests of the autoupgrade tool, because it doesn't throw an error anymore:

C:\app\oracle\product\19.3.0\rdbms\admin>java -jar autoupgrade.jar -create_sample_file config
Unsupported language [de], defaulting to English


So, if you are running in a java problem with autoupgrade.jar, don't waste time, download the newest version here and try it again. As it is a relatively new tool, there may be still some more errors in, but Oracle is fixing them and they do release new versions still often. Don't base your tests on the autoupgrade.jar that is delivered with the Oracle database downloads, neither for Windows, nor for Linux/Unix.


Slide Downloads

I have created a new sub-page at my blog where I have started to upload or linked to my presentations you can download e.g. from the DOAG events I have spoken at.
You can find them at the "Slide Download Center" at the right side of the page or you can follow this link.

Next public events where you can meet me

Hi,

more events to come - here you can find me speaking in the next months (unfortunately, all presentations will be held in german language):
  •  The first presentation is at the 15th Robotron Business Cafe at Dübendorf where I will speak about operating applications in clouds.
  • In May (14th) you can find me at the Oracle Fokustag Datenbank of Robotrons HQ at Dresden, there I will present Oracle Database 18c/19c New Features (including XE) and what a DBA need to prepare to run 19c as a long-term release.
  • The next event is the big Swiss Oracle User Group Day which takes part at May, 22nd at Olten. I will speak there again about 19c New Features. You can find me at Track 5 in the morning (10.30h) at the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz at Olten
  • The last event in May (28th at Stade de Suisse) is some kind of after work beer. Not a meetup, but an event regarding PostgreSQL and Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). Yes, you can consolidate also open source databases together with e.g. Standard Edition 2 or Enterprise Edition databases on the Oracle Database Appliances (most companies do have free resources at the ODAs they own). We will tell you how you can run PostgreSQL on ODA, which nice features you can use and what you might consider running open source databases on ODA.
So there are enough events where you can meet me - no excuse if you miss ALL of them 😉

And by the way - HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE!