Passionate about data

Data and its implications on software design and development.

Schema Design in a Document Database

We are using MongoDB on our project, since mongo is document store, schema design is somewhat different, when you are using traditional RDBMS data stores, one thinks about tables and rows, while using a document database you have to think about the schema in a some what different way. Lets say, we want to save a customer object, when using a RDBMS we would come up with Customer, Address, Phone, Email. They are related to each other as shown below.

My Experience With MongoDB

The current project I’m on is using MongoDB. MongoDB is a document based database, it stores JSON objects as BSON (Binary JSON objects). MongoDB provides a middle ground between the traditional RDBMS and the NOSql databases out there, it provides for indexes, dynamic queries, replication, map reduce and auto sharding, its open source and can be downloaded here, starting up mongodb is pretty easy.

./mongod --dbpath=/user/data/db

Testing in Data Conversion Projects

When working on projects involving Conversion of data or Migration/Moving of data from a legacy database. The testing effort is enormous and testing takes a lot of time, some test automation can help this effort.

Since data is moved/changed from a source database to destination database, we can write sql which should provide results for the types of tests you want to perform, for example: write a sql to give us number of customers, write a sql to give us account balance for a specific account.

Ruby OCI 2.0 Array Binding

We have been doing some data moving lately using Ruby and Ruby-OCI. We started with Ruby OCI 1.0 and did use prepared statements with bind variables (since we are using oracle database and pulling data from an oracle database and pushing data to an oracle database). Later we found this really cool feature in Ruby-OCI8 2.0 where you can bind a whole array and just make one database trip for many database operations.

Materialized Views and Database Links in Oracle.

Recently one of my colleague Jeff Norris had a weird error. He was trying to build a materialized view over some tables in his local database and some tables in his remote database using database links the sql to create the view ran fine and provided the results as expected, but when put inside a materialized view statement complained with ORA-00942 errors.

Explicitly Rollback When You Encounter a Deadlock.

Dead lock is caused in the database when you have resources (connections) waiting for other connections to release locks on the rows that are needed by the session, resulting in all session being blocked. Oracle automatically detects deadlocks are resolves the deadlock by rolling back the statement in the transaction that detected the deadlock. Thing to remember is that last statement is rolled back and not the whole transaction, which means that if you had other modifications, those rows are still locked and the application should make sure that it does a explicit rollback on the connection.

Oracle for the Mac

Ever since I moved to the Mac, I had to run some other OS inside a VM so that I could run Oracle and use it, since Oracle was not available for the the Mac. Now that is no longer the case. Oracle 10gR2 ( is now available for Mac here

This is especially nice since the Oracle for Mac was the most voted requirement on