UP FRONT: From Our Readers

As Published In
Oracle Magazine
May/June 2011


Your corrections, your opinions, and your requests: Here’s your forum for telling us what’s right and wrong in each issue of Oracle Magazine, and for letting us know what you want to read.  

Praise for Uncommon Inline Savings

Thank you for publishing “Preprocess External Tables,” by Arup Nanda (March/April 2011). I have been using external tables for a while, but I never realized I could do the uncompression inline, saving not only disk space but time. It was there in the manuals, but with so many things, it was very easy to overlook. I would like to see more of these little gems, which are invaluable to users and make my job easier.
Vikky Williamson  

Building Block Bliss, Blunder

I appreciate the series of articles you’ve started with Steven Feuerstein on PL/SQL (“Building with Blocks,” March/April 2011). I have been using Oracle Application Express for a few years, and PL/SQL is a very important part of what I do. Most of what I have learned about PL/SQL has been “as needed,” with no formal structure to my training. It truly is nice to add this type of information dissemination, which reinforces what I have learned and puts it all in a much more scalable context.
Steve Brown

Your article about PL/SQL is nice and easy to follow, especially for a PL/SQL beginner. I want to give a minor correction to the following paragraph:

Update all employees in department 10 with a 20 percent salary increase. 

  UPDATE employees
    SET salary = salary * 1.2
   WHERE department_id = l_dept_id;


I think the line in the declaration should be:

employees.department_id%TYPE := 10;


Habib Amaluddin

The editors reply: Good catch, Habib. We have made the correction at o21plsql-242570.html. 

Next Steps

 E-Mail the Editors

Send your opinions about what you read in Oracle Magazine, and suggestions for possible technical articles, to opubedit_us@oracle.com. Letters may be edited for length and clarity and may be published in any medium. We consider any communications we receive publishable.


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No Limits

Thanks for publishing the useful article “Using Oracle Essbase Release 11.1.2 Aggregate Storage Option Databases,” by Mark Rittman and Venkatakrishnan Janakiraman (September/October 2010). 

It has been specified that Oracle Essbase aggregate storage option (ASO) databases can support up to 20 dimensions, and the dimension members can count into the millions. Is there any limit on the dimension members that we can have for a given dimension? I have a dimension that has up to 20 million members.
Venkata Reddy

Mark Rittman replies: There are no technical limitations as such on the number of dimensions (and the number of members per dimension) supported by an ASO cube. One of the big advantages of an ASO cube is that it can support dimensions that are extremely large, like yours (dimensions with millions of members). Having said that, a cube with 20 dimensions can become considerably large even for an ASO cube. So, careful design and capacity planning are required. A sample benchmark using an ASO cube is located at bit.ly/fUSNrY. This benchmark shows a cube with 15 dimensions, with 1 dimension having millions of members. 

What Isn’t an Architect?

What is your definition of a software architect or enterprise architect? I’ve called myself one—and think that I fill that role—but I wear so many hats in a very small shop (four regulars occasionally supplemented by two or three more). DBA, lead developer, systems analyst, and “person who has the best knowledge of all our applications and how they fit together” are all titles that have been applied to me.
John Flack 

The editors reply: The many-hatted role of architects is one that Bob Rhubart covers regularly in his Architect column. See “Software Architecture: It’s a Lot of Talk” in this issue for a discussion of how software architects spend their time.


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