Monday, 1 July 2013

12 new 12c features for developers

I haven't installed 12c yet because
a) I haven't had the time
b) my Linux skills aren't the best

What I have done though is read through some of the documentation in the New Features manual.

The APEX features are just regurgitating what's in 4.2, since that's what's shipped out of the box with 12c - but I always like to look through what's improved with SQL and PL/SQL.

No doubt many of you may have seen or read presentations on what's coming up as early as last year, but for those who haven't - here are some I've spotted that made the cut for 12c and I look foward to tinkering with
  1. PL/SQL function in the WITH clause. I think this may sometimes come in handy, and other times it will be abused and lead to some real ugly code. Performance will be interesting.
  2. Increased size limit for VARCHAR2 etc - no doubt people have been asking for this since at least 8i...
  3. dbms_utility.expand_sql_text - Recursively replace any view references with relevant tables. This would have been brilliant in a project I often visit where there are views upon views upon views.
  4. utl_call_stack - returns structured information about an exception stack. Tom Kyte has already blogged about this one, I'd suggest he's been pushing for something like this for a while.
  5. Sequences can be used as column DEFAULT. Yes. So very yes. Though again I will be interested in performance, since 11g's :new.id := my_seq.nextval was the same as selecting from dual.
  6. Default value on explicit null insertion - for those times where you really must have a default value in the column!
  7. Identity columns - full examples are scant, but looks interesting.
  8. row_limiting_clause - for top-N reporting, apparently an ANSI standard. This definitely needs exploring.
  9. Row pattern matching. Um, wow. Big data influences?
  10. Cross apply; Lateral clauses. From what I think is going on here, this could be mighty handy.
  11. SYS_CONTEXT sys_session_roles - role interrogation for current session - cool, and will be very handy. A little late for many Forms applications, though.
  12. TRUNCATE TABLE CASCADE - where is that sledgehammer?
I listened to an Oracle Magazine podcast recently talking about MySQL - I wonder if the collaboration going on here has influenced 12c features, because it sounds like the quality of MySQL is enhanced with Oracle IP.

Of course, if you're in Australia or would like to visit, the Insync13 national conference series already has a bunch of 12c presentations that span JDeveloper, Optimizer, Coherence, Weblogic and general features.
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