My Introduction

Welcome to my blog. My name is Lewis R Cunningham and I’m an Oracle geek. I love playing with Oracle, working with Oracle and sharing what I know about Oracle. In my travels as a consultant and employee, I have found that, in the Oracle world at least, managers, project leads, etc. often have to make decisions regarding their projects, employees and day to day operations with very little, and/or erroneous, information. These decisions often negatively impact the business bottom line and ongoing projects. The lack of information can be caused by an incomplete team, a lack of communication inside the team or even ego or attitude problems.

My goal with this blog will be to remove some of the mystery surrounding Oracle technology and to describe ways to integrate that technology in various projects and business areas. Some days I will write an executive overview of a technology, i.e. Warehouse Design or RAC. Other days it will be an in depth treatment of a technical topic such as AQ or replication. I will also write about incorporating Oracle development and administration into your business practices, like SCM and CMM and what, in my opinion, constitutes a solid Oracle development team.

I want to give you a place to go for straightforward information. I want to be more in depth than a concepts manual but not require you to wade through pages of uninteresting and uninformative technical jargon and minutia. I hope to become your Oracle Encyclopedia. Please send me any topics that you feel are important or that is generally lacking in coverage.

Near term topics will include issues with Very Large Databases (VLDB), a discussion of replication, and an overview of Star Schemas and Dimensional Modeling. My very next blog will be about a day with Ralph Kimball in Tampa. That was a seminar put on by Informatica that I found thoroughly enjoyable and very informative.

For the curious, I started working with Oracle databases in 1993. At the time I considered myself a Clipper (xBase) wizard. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of Oracle and GUI development with beta versions of Oracle 7.0 and Oracle Forms 4.0. I hated the GUI. All I wanted was an editor and a command prompt. And the entire concept of a mouse was heinous! I remember one of my first thoughts when creating an Oracle database was how backwards it was. I had to declare how much space I was going to use up front. Not even dBase III was that backwards. And don’t even get me started on including all of the tables in a single file.

Needless to say, my attitude changed. When I learned to really use the environment, SQL, PL/SQL, etc and I learned about the scalability and reliability of Oracle I decided to dig in and find my new command prompt. I have to say that when I got started, sql*plus seemed very familiar. Hasn’t changed much since. Heh

In the years since then, I have worked as an Oracle developer (with forms, backend pl/sql, reports, etc), a java developer with oracle on the backend, an architect, a dba, a data modeler, an ETL developer, an Oracle HRMS/Payroll functional and technical implementer and most currently as a designer/developer (with the title Sr DBA). I have also done time as project manager and supervisor. The jobs that I’ve enjoyed the most are the ones that have a little bit of each of those.

I also spent a lot of time as a consultant so I have tasted just about every flavor of Unix; and every possible configuration of Oracle. I have worked in the higher education, finance, military, software and energy industries.

I hope this blog something that interests you and that you will come back often. I am always interested in hearing your viewpoint and/or criticism of my viewpoint.

Thanks,

Lewis

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