If you administrate Oracle databases on Windows or even just have a few installations of Oracle on your desktop (I personally have 4) then you probably have noticed that changing Oracle Homes in Windows isn’t necessarily as easy as it should be.

There used to be a tool called Oracle Home Selector but it seems to have gone the way of the buffalo. Enter Oracle Locator Express.

Oracle Locator Express

This little application runs as a normal exe and puts an icon into the notification area of your Windows taskbar. A click will show the current Oracle home location (very handy) and a right click will let you select from installed Oracle homes.

The OLE application is less than 200kb and the best part is it’s free! DbMotive has some other tools which might be worth looking at while you’re at their site, but I can tell you right now that Oracle Locator Express is well worth having!

oracle, dba, database, database administrator

Here’s a nice surprise that came up last month (and unfortunately I’ve been too busy to write about it until this month,) I’ve been presented with an Oracle ACE award! What is it? In the Oracle ACE Program FAQ it’s described like this:

The Oracle ACE Program is designed to recognize and reward members of the Oracle Technology and Applications communities for their contributions to those communities. These individuals are technically proficient (when applicable) and willingly share their knowledge and experiences.

The program comprises two levels: Oracle ACE and Oracle ACE Director. The former designation is Oracle’s way of saying “thank you” to community contributors for their efforts; we (and the community) appreciate their enthusiasm. The latter designation is for community enthusiasts who not only share their knowledge (usually in extraordinary ways), but also want to increase their community advocacy and work more proactively with Oracle to find opportunities for the same. In this sense, Oracle ACE is “backward looking” and Oracle ACE Director is “forward looking.”

The ACE award seems like a great way to recognize and encourage people to contribute to the Oracle community as a whole. ACE directors additionally commit to being involved in their local Oracle community, posting to the Oracle forums and a handful of other community-centric activities.

There are currently 159 people in the Oracle ACE program and if you frequently surf for Oracle information you’ll recognize many of the names (e.g. Doug Burns, Steve Karam and Tom Kyte, just to name a few.) I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the program and plan to keep contributing where I can!

oracle, oracle ACE, database, database administration, dba

Last week my book, Oracle Shell Scripting: Linux and UNIX Programming for Oracle got its first review on Amazon.com:

Here’s Mike Bennett’s complete review from Amazon:

I’m a veteran Oracle Database Administrator and most of my work is on Unix systems so I wasn’t sure how much information in this book would be useful to me. I was pleasantly surprised to find what a wide range of scripting tips and techniques this manual provides. I was impressed by the fact that the author didn’t just describe HOW to do something, but also explained WHY a particular approach was taken. I also like the fact that the scripts given aren’t just contrived samples, but are practical and useful as given. This information will definitely help simplify some of my routine tasks and provide me with timely information about the environments and systems I work with. The author also pointed out how to go beyond what was provided in the book by suggesting ways the examples might be modified. I’ve already taken advantage of that with a script I helped one of my clients develop.

Thanks to Mike for the great review! I’m glad he found the book useful and I hope others do as well. If you have my book I welcome your feedback and encourage you to post your own review on Amazon!

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


With my new book “Oracle Shell Scripting” now on shelves you may be wondering what shell scripting can do for you. Below is an excerpt from the book that touches on when you may want to think about scripting. While the book is geared toward Oracle users much of the content would apply to shell scripting regardless of the use.

When to script

A shell script can be written to do anything you would do at the command line. So when do you want to write a shell script? When is it a bad idea? Well, here are a few guidelines I use.

Shell scripts can yield the biggest return on regular tasks that are performed more-or-less the same way each time. If every day you log into a system and remove some files out of a directory, backup a database or check a log file for a specific string of characters you should automate these tasks. Chances are you can make them run automatically and save yourself the hassle all together.

Shell scripts aren’t just for automation though. In some cases a script saves us time in a different way by allowing us to run a simple command instead of a very complicated one.

One of the most powerful features of the shell and shell scripting is the ability to affect several files and even multiple servers with a single script. Loops and commands like find make shell scripting ideal for managing large numbers of files in a single step.

In general there is little point in writing a shell script to do something once. The exception to this is occasionally something needs to be run at a time when you would rather not have to be around to run it yourself. In this case you may decide to bundle those commands into a shell script and schedule it to run without you involved. Be careful with this type of script and always be thinking “what if something goes wrong?” because sooner or later it will and if you’re not around to fix it you could get in some hot water.

Oracle Shell ScriptingFor more information like this check out my book Oracle Shell Scripting, only $34.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!


shell script, unix, linux, oracle, bash, scripting

Oracle Shell ScriptingMy book Oracle Shell Scripting: Linux and UNIX Programming for Oracle has just become available on Amazon.com!

The book has been out for just a couple weeks and should be in book stores soon, but it can be had online right now! The best price on the book right now can be found at Rampant TechPress who is currently selling the book for $34.95. Amazon is currently selling the book at the cover price of $49.95.


unix, oracle, shell scripting, linux, book, database tuning, database administration, database security

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