Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Access to Oracle Migration

Migrating from Access to Oracle is tough enough as it is, these are a few of my favorite things to make that go as smoothly as possible. Hopefully you will find this usefull in moving those databases, because I wish I had it when I started!

My assumption is of course that i’m the last one to be moving away from MS Access who has been using ColdFusion for a while. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else is moving away from it, and what to.

Tools I used:

mdbtools will allow you to dump the data in your access database. I had a problem with the rpm version, and needed to get the most recent revision from cvs to solve a few bugs in the app. http://mdbtools.sourceforge.net/

pl/sql developer A good sql program for creating tables and such, but version 6.0 really shines with it’s text importer component. http://www.allroundautomations.nl/plsqldev.html

Step by StepOn a linux box get your .mdb files together in a single folder
Create your oracle schemeas from the .mdb database (this shell statement just runs mdb-schema on each .mdb file in the working directory)

for i in *.mdb;do mdb-schema $i oracle > $i.schema.sql;done

Dump your data as csv (this shell statement just exports each table in each .mdb file in the working directory)

for i in *.mdb;do for j in `mdb-tables $i`;do mdb-export $i $j>$i.$j.csv;done;done

Customize any field changes

Field and table changes are done In the .sql file generated from the access database structure. Remember to save your changes there! Things to watch out for:

I like to make sure each table has an ID column
memo fields in access export as clob(255). Normally these can end up as varchar2(4000) or smaller. 4000 was the size limit for varchar2 on my oracle server, i’m not sure if that is standard though. Obviously if you need more than 4k in size use a CLOB.
Copy the .csv and .sql files to your windows box which has pl/sql developer.

Fire up pl/sql developer (6.0+)
Create tables in oracle using the .sql file mdbtools generated
Create sequences for each ID column. Set the cache number to 0 for the sequence.
Import the .csv data to oracle
Tools->text importer
Hit the icon in the top left to select the .csv file
Under ‘data to oracle’ tab select the owner, and table name
For any column names which were modified manually select that database field name
For each date column select date for original data format, and then click ‘create sql’ to create the todate function in the import process. Modify the function depending on the data format.
For fields names that end in ‘date’ change the datatype to ’string’ and remove the todate function
The text importer picks ups some fields as number type when they should be string
Click import at bottom left
Update all your application sql code.
References and Resourcesan article by oracle.

Other ThoughtsAfter this methodology was figured out, I heard word that you can export directly from microsoft access to oracle if you have an odbc connection setup to Oracle on your client computer (where you have access open). I have yet to verify this, but I sure I wish I had known this months ago. Either way you would still need to make any table changes and setup sequences to replace those autonumber fields.

As they say, the devil is in the details; so go root him out!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

To you...

Where are you now going?
Are you leaving me again?
Of course I wish you would stay,
even for the night,
Have you not yet understood?
You are a ray of light in my darkness
which dispels my nightmare
as I awaken from my restless sleep
in my lonely erratic world,
You are my calm.
You are the structure to my wild imagination,
which does not know where the nightmare ends
and reality begins,
You are my right mind.
You are a gentle artist
who with a firm hand
knows how to put together the fragments of my ravaged soul
without breaking them again
In your hands they come together.
And I am a boy in love,
for whom you are the sunrise and sunset
the lunar light, the Sol in Solar System…
What more could I ask of life
than that I might be by your side
night and day?

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What's meant to be...

Regardless of what you believe, everyone has to have something to hold on to. A hope, a dream, a person, a place... something. Many of us are lucky enough to have a lot of these somethings to hold on to throughout our lives. No one should ever be without any... I think you feel like you're all alone sometimes, even when that's not really true, because for some people there is a point where you just decide you are on some other level, for better or for worse, and for a time there is nothing that can be done about it. I like to think that I affect the world in some way, affect the people I call my friends, and even those who I don't but still deal with from day to day. Making a difference shouldn't have to matter so much to any single person, but everyone likes to feel like they're needed... like they're wanted, once in awhile. I've never completely lost a friend. I know I've come close... closer than I'd ever have liked to, but something always allows me (or them) to hold on. It's almost like the people you meet, the ones you bother to associate with past your first meeting, those people you have some kind of connection with... you can feel it. It doesn't matter how you met them or how long you've know them, it's about what you've shared and how you relate to them... it's about what they mean to you and what you mean to them. It's those people you want to be important to... those people you want to make a difference for in their lives for the better. If you're like me you let almost your whole life ride on that line whether you should or not. I trust my friends deeply and try to always ask little in return. Unfortunately some people will take this for granted if you let them. You ask for little back and that's exactly what you get. But in my case I'd say I've been pretty lucky. Sure I've been betrayed, been hurt, but I've grown every time and learned a little more. Most people I found my way back to and this is where I'm left to wonder what I believe anymore.

Do I believe in meant to be? For awhile now I have usually leaned towards yes... in a way. I believe that people have and make connections in their lives, people bond to each other out of a number of reasons: attraction, mentality, location, convenience, etc.... just to name a few.... but I also believe there are those special connections you make with certain people, usually unplanned and unknown until they've happened. It is those connections that I find to be the most important and the ones that you should hold on to at all costs. Just because you feel it doesn't mean the other person does, at least not to the same degree, but sometimes in life that doesn't matter either. It sounds like I'm talking about feelings... the matters of liking and love... well I am only partly. I'm actually talking about something on a different level, at least I think I am, and pardon this rant at such a time... with Vday on its way and me in a very confusing place right now. I have questioned so much in past months and rethought EVERYTHING in the last few days. I've come to some conclusions but not all. There is still much left up in the air, many things still going unsaid. Tonight something changed again just like something changed not too long ago. I keep changing too. I think I know what I want, who I want, but I don't really know anymore if I'm headed in the right place or not. Sure I always think I am at the time, but it's only after the dust from the road traveled clears that you can really see for sure or not. I'm typing with my eyes closed right now. I guess that says something about me... (that I'm on my computer too much and for too many years?) Wow I don't even have to look for special characters. What a talent... but back to my point and yes that was half relevant. Loving someone... which I never thought I'd think myself such an authority on, it not about lust, it's not even about being lonely, though those are both aspects of it I suppose. It's about a lot of things, namely trust, want, and connection. Yes back to this connection stuff I have already been talking about. It's like typing with your eyes closed. You aren't quite sure you are hitting all the right keys, but you've been invested in it for awhile, so you think you have a pretty good chance of being close. I open my eyes. I'm still not looking at the keyboard, but I have assurance somewhat that what I am typing is right because I can see it with my own eyes. But before while I couldn't be as certain about it, I was still pretty confident because I had the FEELING that it was right. Does all that make any sense? I still hit keys incorrectly sometimes, looking or not, there will always be mistakes and things can't always work out the way you expect them to. But you decide what you believe. You know how you feel. And you have to trust yourself and where your heart leads you. This isn't just about another person, this is about life. And maybe I should try letting up on the philosophy at 3 in the morning but sometimes I just can't avoid it. Yes, I believe in meant to be, but I also believe that fate guides everybody just a little. It's what gives you that "six sense" sometimes about something, it's what makes you take that extra moment to look at something, it's what makes you late so you run into that person you would have never met otherwise... it's the only thing I've ever really had faith in completely... that fate will take a certain amount of control over your life and it will guide you to some degree, whether you like it or not, and you will be totally effected by chance and there is just nothing you can do about it. You go with what happens day to day as long as you can make it because really you have no other choice, at least very little option. And what I was saying before about connections with other people and wanting to be important in certain peoples lives... well you have to accept a certain give and take. But what I've realized in this past year of my life is this... you can't hold on to something forever anymore than you can let it go completely. There will always be a part of you that wants and needs to hold on... to that something or someone. You won't always get what you put out in return and sometimes it might come back at you in a way you don't expect... that is just part of life. You are going to know a lot of people in life's course, you might as well accept it now that they won't all be to your "standards" and only a few will truly connect with you because only a few probably truly can. Hold on to this if you are lucky enough to find it. Believe me it's not always easy... but in the end, you have to believe it's worth it. That is where faith comes in again. Because even if things aren't always going your way, even if you think you are losing the ones you love... not the ones you want for other reasons, I mean the ones you want happiness for, the ones you sacrifice for, the ones you give up for, those are the ones you truly love... and it's not about liking them and all that stuff... it's about something on a totally different level, not of just friendship or relationship or anything else that's single... it's something else all together and something I think very few people ever truly understand. And hey, I'm not trying to claim that I really understand it all either... but I want to believe in it. I want to believe there is someone out there for everyone, that two people can share a connection, and that someone lost is never lost forever, just finding their own way back. I have to close my eyes again and remind myself that I cannot be a complete fool for all the trust I give. There must be a reason behind it and a way for it to all work out in the end. Maybe a smile is enough sometimes, maybe that is all it takes to forgive a misunderstanding or a lack of courage, maybe it is all it takes to tell you deep down that you don't exist for nothing and that you are wanted too.... it's just the world isn't ready for that time yet... and so maybe you aren't either. And once you accept that, maybe it's then that you really are able to start moving ahead to exactly where and with exactly who you are meant to be with afterall...

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Thursday, December 1, 2005

James Dean Quotes

The following are quotes by Dean himself.

"You can't do the things I'm doing. I can flirt with death and come through"

"To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that's all you have. Being a good actor isn't easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I'm done."

"Racing is the only time I feel whole"

" Change is the nature of genius."

"Studying cows, pigs and chickens can help an actor develop his character. There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me. I also became close to nature, and am now able to appreciate the beauty with which this world is endowed."

"Whatever's inside making me what I am it's like film. Film only works in the dark. Tear it all open and let in the light and you kill it."

"Since I'm only 24 years old, guess I have as good an insight into this rising generation as any other young man my age. And I've discovered that most young men do not stand like ramrods or talk like Demosthenes. Therefore, when I do play a youth, such as in Warner Bros. Rebel Without A Cause, I try to imitate life. The picture deals with the problems of modern youth. It is the romanticized conception of the juvenile that causes much of our trouble with misguided youth nowadays. I think the one thing this picture shows that's new is the psychological disproportion of the kids' demands on the parents. Parents are often at fault, but the kids have some work to do, too. But you can't show some far off idyllic conception of behavior if you want the kids to come and see the picture. You've got to show what it's really like, and try to reach them on their own grounds. You know, a lot of times an older boy, one of the fellows the young ones idolize, can go back to the high school kids and tell them, "Look what happened to me! Why be a punk and get in trouble with the law?Why do these senseless things just for a thrill?" I hope "Rebel Without A Cause" will do something like that. I hope it will remind them that other people have feelings. Perhaps they will say, "What do we need all that for?"If a picture is psychologically motivated, if there is truth in the relationship in it, then I think that picture will do good. I firmly believe Rebel Without A Cause is such a picture."

"Old Hemingway squeezed the juice out of life... I'm not going to live past 30."

"When an actor plays a scene exactly the way a director orders, it isn’t acting. It’s following instructions. Anyone with the physical qualifications can do that. So the director’s task is just that – to direct, to point the way. Then the actor takes over. And he must be allowed the space, the freedom to express himself in the role. Without that space, an actor is no more than an unthinking robot with a chest-full of push-buttons."

The following are quotes about Dean.

"In Texas, one disgustingly hot night during the filming of Giant, he and I ate a full jar of peanut butter, a box of crackers and six Milky Ways, and drank twelve Coca-Cola's!" Mercedes McCambridge (Luz Benedict) from her autobiography, "The Quality of Mercy"

" Before James Dean you were either a baby or a man. There was nothing in-between..." Sal Mineo

"I think he didn't understand what he was all about. He was very frustrated because he felt there was something within himself that he didn't understand. He knew that he wanted to go some place and the place he wanted to go to - he didn't understand that either. And he was reaching for someone to help him find out whatever it was he wanted to reach." Eartha Kitt

"He wanted to do everything for us, buy us presents - just keep us. Any bills we had we would pay. We were young and had our own careers and our pride and we could't handle it. Jimmy had our love anyway - he didn't have to start buying it." Actress/girlfriend Elizabeth 'Dizzy' Sheridan

"He didn't comb his hair. He had a safety pin holding his pants together. He was introspective and very shy." Natalie Wood

' There was something suicidal in his nature. but I don't think it was a conscious thing." Carroll Baker

"Dean was never a friend of mine, but he had an idèe fixe about me. Whatever I did, he did. He was always trying to get close to me. He used to call up. I'd listen to him talking to the answering service, asking for me, leaving messages. But I never spoke up. I never called him back." Marlon Brando

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Before you think of saying an unkind word
Think of someone who can't speak

Before you complain about the taste of your food
Think of someone who has nothing to eat

Before you complain about your husband or wife
Think of someone who's crying out to God for a companion

Today before you complain about life
Think of someone who went too early to heaven

Before you complain about your children
Think of someone who desires children but they're barren

Before you argue about your dirty house; someone didn't clean or sweep
Think of the people who are living in the streets

Before whining about the distance you drive
Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet

And when you are tired and complain about your job
Think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another
Remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down
Put a smile on your face and thank God you're alive and still around.

Life is a gift of GOD.
LIVE it....
ENJOY it......
CELEBRATE it.........
AND FULFILL it...............

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