Use the features available!

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Advance warning: This post is a just another normal Friday morning rant. If you’re not interested in my pontificating, move along…nothing else to see here Smile

Sometimes you can’t make use of a facility that you normally would, and you have to substitute in something else. For example, if I would normally take the train to the basketball game, but today it’s not running due to track maintenance, then I’ll take the bus. I have no problem with that, because there’s a reason that I can’t take the train that day.

What does get my goat is on a day when the train is running, you come to me and say:

“Can you tell how to get the basketball game? Oh, by the way, I can’t take the train; I won’t use the bus; I don’t have a car; planes bother me; I get sea sick; I’m allergic to horses, and my feet hurt when I walk.”

Because all I’m thinking then is: “Then just don’t go to the damn game!” Smile

So lets bring that metaphor into the world of Oracle. I always chuckle when AskTOM questions come in along the lines of:

“I need to achieve ‘X’. I have read that there is a feature ‘Y’ that achieves ‘X’. But I cannot use ‘Y'”

Don’t get me wrong. If there is a reason why “Y” is not a potential solution (eg, requires Enterprise Edition or perhaps an optional feature), then fine. We can then try work within those restrictions. But often what seems to be the case is that the statement:

“I cannot use ‘Y'”

is really just someone saying:

“I am not familiar with ‘Y’ so I’d rather not take the time and effort to become familiar with it”

and that’s…well…annoying.

No-one expects you to have immediate grasp and knowledge of the entire suite of features available in the Oracle database. I doubt that anyone does that breadth of knowledge. That is why we have the documentation; that is why we have community forums and sites like AskTOM, so that the collective knowledge of the community can be of assistance. But if you’re not prepared to spread your wings a little, and learn those new things, then you’re missing out on some of the great functionality available to you in the Oracle database.

AskTOM Question: How I can restrict the number of sessions a user has ?

Us: You can use a profile for this.

Response: I’d rather not use a profile

Us: OK then, then perhaps look at using Resource Manager to limit session activity.

Response: I’d rather not Resource Manager

Us: OK then, then perhaps look at using a logon trigger to perform your own custom logic to manage sessions.

Response: I don’t to write a trigger for this.

Us: Then just don’t go to the damn game! Smile


The 19c database has just come out, and I know it’s always tempting just to focus on the new features that come with a release, but rest assured that inside Oracle, the focus for 19c was less on new features, but more on honing and improving the existing features in the Oracle database, to make them even more compelling solutions for your business requirements. But all of that won’t count for much if you’re not prepared to give them a chance.


  1. I rememebr a time – and I guess many of us do when you could actually read the documentation or at least skim through it and have some idea of everything. The disadvantage of putting everything into the database including an https server ftp server http briwser mail client and the kitchen sink is the documentation is too vast now for any one person :0 but I agree with you that someone seeking help should not be proscriptive. “Thou shalt not use feature X” smacks of the cult of database premature optimization 🙂

  2. What if the response after the first question “I’d rather not use a profile” been “Well, we know Oracle pretty well and that is the best way to do what you want to do. Why wouldn’t you want to use a profile?”

    I find when you are interacting with someone and they respond with “because” without any other information or explanation that they either don’t understand the response or don’t want to understand or have an opinion that they believe is fact (which might or might not be ) that they are going to stick with it no matter what.

  3. I’d rather not use “X” usually translates as “I’d rather not have to get the DBA and/or upper management involved as anything other that creating tables, and other basic stuff has to go through months of paperwork that’s designed to fail”

    *cough* DBFS *cough*

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