SUM is better than DISTINCT

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There is a good chance that (based on this blog post title) that you’re expecting a post on SQL, and that’s understandable. But I’ll come clean nice and early – that was just to lure you in Smile

The post is about SUM and DISTINCT, but not in the technical sense.

A few days ago, fellow OakTable member Jonathan Lewis put a post on his blog: where he is launching a mechanism where you can pose questions to him, and he will select topics of interest and write about them in the UKOUG Oracle Scene magazine.  What I found hilarious was that people started emailing me saying “Are you concerned about AskTOM?”.  Now, last time I checked, we don’t have Google Ads or Facebook Ads on AskTOM, so it is not as if we have some fiscal need to keep the website hits high, increase our “social engagement”, or whatever the latest buzzword is for that sort of thing.  If it was – you see lots of cat videos and references to Justin Bieber in our answers Smile

AskTOM does one thing…and one thing only – we try to help out the Oracle community, to make them more successful.  It’s what Tom did in the past, and it’s what the team do now.  That’s the same reason why our answers will often refer people to links / blog posts / tutorials outside of the domain, for example, to the excellent work of some of the Oracle Aces and Ace Directors.  It’s about getting good information and getting the job done.  Similarly, when I give talks on AskTom to user groups, one of the things I encourage people to do is form their own “AskMe” concept within their own IT shops – get people asking questions, and discussing solutions at the department level, the organizational level, and ultimately the global community level.  Then we all benefit – we all win.

So rather than being “concerned”, I’m thrilled by anyone that wants to put their hand up and say “Hey, I’m here to help out the community”.  I encourage any of us who are experienced practitioners in the Oracle community to do the same.

The SUM of contributors to the Oracle community will be much better for that community than just a few DISTINCT people !  … and hence the title of the post.


  1. All you needed to do was give out free timtams “If it was – you see lots of cat videos and references to Justin Bieber in our answers Smile”

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