FAQ
The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
constraints via VB.
I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
practice?

Regards

Craig Healey

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  • Joe Testa at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:16 pm
    Craig, i dont know jack about VB but M$ Access wont let you do
    updates(according to my sources) unless there is PK or Unique index on
    the tables.

    joe

    Craig Healey wrote:
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **********************************************************************************

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    Author: Joe Testa
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  • Dgoulet_at_vicr.com at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:24 pm
    Craig,

    Your right, Oracle is just being used as an expensive file system. Get them
    to use MySql instead, it's far cheaper.

    Now from a practical point of view, who are these duhvelopers that they
    dictate setting up the database? If they were in our shop they would not have
    gotten onto first base. Setting up a database is the DBA's job and using
    primary and foreign keys is something that the database should do, not VB
    especially NOT VB.

    Dick Goulet

    ____________________Reply Separator____________________
    Author: "Craig Healey"
    Date: 10/23/2002 9:45 AM

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    **

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  • Rodd Holman at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:24 pm
    Craig,
    Unfortuneatly this happens alot. Many developers have an over inflated
    view of their abilities and think they can write their code good enough
    to handle this. Every time I have seen this in place I have seen data
    integrity problems. Some major application vendors do this to provide
    the ability to work with any database. All they need then are tables
    and indexes.

    If at all possible get them off of this track and use the database for
    integrity handling. That's why it has those features.

    HTH

    Rodd

    On Wed, 2002-10-23 at 12:45, Craig Healey wrote:

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?


    Regards


    Craig Healey





    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely
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  • Mercadante, Thomas F at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:24 pm
    Craig,

    No, this is not normal. They have purchased a Caddy so they can push their
    grandma to the beauty parlor to get her blue-hair done - they will never
    start the car.

    Why in the hell did they purchase Oracle in the first place? Talk about a
    waste of money!

    If you cannot stop them now, then run as far away from this project as you
    can. Over the long term, it will perform not-so-good. Be sure and give
    them to keys to the car!

    Tom Mercadante
    Oracle Certified Professional

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
    dissemination
    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information
    by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the
    company.


    If you have received this email in error please notify
    system.administrator_at_hhsuk.com


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    Author: Craig Healey
    INET: C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com

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    Author: Mercadante, Thomas F
    INET: NDATFM_at_labor.state.ny.us

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  • Rachel Carmichael at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:39 pm
    it's not common and you should insist on primary and foreign key
    constraints.

    all you need is ONE user to hack into the database outside the app and
    insert/delete/update rows that violate the integrity constraints and
    your app stops working.

    Craig Healey wrote:
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all
    the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says
    this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than
    an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
    intended solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed
    and may contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
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    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this
    information by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the
    company.

    If you have received this email in error please notify
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    Y! Web Hosting - Let the expert host your web site
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  • Jay Hostetter at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:39 pm
    ��When code is developed to be "database generic", developers will steer away from code for a specific database. However, foreign key and check constraints hardly fall into this category. I don't use Sqlserver or DB2, but I would guess that they implement FKs and constraints. Your developers are wasting a lot of time coding something that the database will do for them. The more logic you can put into the database, the better off you are. They'll have to code the constraints all over again when they want to develop a web front-end. You'll probably see some bad data into your tables due to coding bugs. Oracle isn't bug free, but they've got the constraints nailed down pretty well.

    Jay
    C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com 10/23/02 01:45PM >>>
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

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  • Mirsky, Greg at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:39 pm
    Wow, Life is stranger than fiction!

    First of all buy stock in your hardware vendors since every query will
    result in a table scan of every table and if you get more than an
    intermittant workload on the system, it may very well come down onto its
    knee's. indeed they are making it a very expensive file system -- and
    inefficient!

    Second, how are they going to prevent duplication? VIA the front-end only?
    Keep laughing at them until you turn blue. Wait till they get a user who
    figures out they can do what they want through any ODBC product and create
    havoc with duplicate records, etc. etc.

    Third, work on your resume or ask for a transfer. This application sound
    like a real "Cluster-F@#$"

    My apologies for being bluntly honest, but I speak from experience from my
    very early days with RDBMS applications.

    Greg

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
    dissemination
    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information
    by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the
    company.


    If you have received this email in error please notify
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  • STEVE OLLIG at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:46 pm
    Craig - I've seen large/busy databases run with RI handled outside the db.
    Most common with package apps like Peoplesoft. They do that because they
    want to run on many DBMSs and each handles RI differently. To reduce
    development cost, they code once to the least common denominator. Thus no
    RI in the db. Also opens the door to lots of problems that would be avoided
    with RI in the db.

    Not sure why you would elect to do such a thing with a homegrown app.
    Wouldn't be my first choice.

    Even so, I'd say yes - the db is still more than an expensive filesystem.
    You still benefit from indexes and a query optimizer for performance;
    concurrent access to data; backup/recovery; etc...

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 12:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
    dissemination
    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information
    by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the
    company.


    If you have received this email in error please notify
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    Author: Craig Healey
    INET: C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com

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    Author: STEVE OLLIG
    INET: sollig_at_lifetouch.com

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  • Yechiel Adar at Oct 23, 2002 at 6:54 pm
    This is VERY wrong.

    I know they are perfect, but one bug in the code will cause data loss,
    order entries without a correct customer code etc.

    Lets say that a year from now one customer complain.
    They print a report and see that two entries are missing.
    You check for orders with incorrect customer number and find that
    you have 15 orders in the amount of 100,000$ without the
    correct customer number.
    Now you have 100,000$ in lost revenues.

    For a system like this insist on all the constraint that you can put
    into the database. They can still do the checks in the application
    so they will not get ORA-NNNNN but will give nice error messages
    to the users, but put checks into the database.

    Yechiel Adar
    Mehish
    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 7:45 PM

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
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    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information
    by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
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  • Karniotis, Stephen at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:06 pm
    OK. For everyone's benefit, this is commonly known as the "Developer's
    Paradox". Essentially, it means that developers write more code so they are
    brought back to maintain the stuff.

    Your developers have tragically forced you into this. Instruct them on
    proper database/application/system design and then send them back to
    kindergarten.

    PK & FK constraints are STANDARD in all relational databases and indexes are
    generally mandatory for PKs and sometimes optional for FKs. For
    performance, make them standard. The list is endless, however, Tim or Cary
    can Really add ammunition.

    OK gentlemen, I have left the door WIDE open.

    Thank You

    Stephen P. Karniotis
    Product Architect
    Compuware Corporation

    Direct: (248) 865-4350
    Mobile: (248) 408-2918
    Email: Stephen.Karniotis_at_Compuware.com
    Web: www.compuware.com

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:39 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Re: Theory v Practice

    When code is developed to be "database generic", developers will steer
    away from code for a specific database. However, foreign key and check
    constraints hardly fall into this category. I don't use Sqlserver or DB2,
    but I would guess that they implement FKs and constraints. Your developers
    are wasting a lot of time coding something that the database will do for
    them. The more logic you can put into the database, the better off you are.
    They'll have to code the constraints all over again when they want to
    develop a web front-end. You'll probably see some bad data into your tables
    due to coding bugs. Oracle isn't bug free, but they've got the constraints
    nailed down pretty well.

    Jay
    C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com 10/23/02 01:45PM >>>
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

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  • Karniotis, Stephen at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:06 pm
    Oops, for got Ladies on my last email. Rachel definitely has some good
    opinions on this.

    Thank You

    Stephen P. Karniotis
    Product Architect
    Compuware Corporation

    Direct: (248) 865-4350
    Mobile: (248) 408-2918
    Email: Stephen.Karniotis_at_Compuware.com
    Web: www.compuware.com

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:39 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Re: Theory v Practice

    it's not common and you should insist on primary and foreign key
    constraints.

    all you need is ONE user to hack into the database outside the app and
    insert/delete/update rows that violate the integrity constraints and
    your app stops working.

    Craig Healey wrote:
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all
    the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says
    this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than
    an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


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  • Mandar A. Ghosalkar at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:33 pm
    3 yrs after ur developers code the VB app, the original team vanishes(they start working on .net .. or maybe java)
    The new team even after going through the docs and vb application libraries, forget the right joins and insert invalid data/update rows in the master without taking care of the details/ delete some master records, etc.

    What next happens at the call center of ur company .... ?

    Believe me there would always be a legitimate need (not hack) to correct some data using sql*plus like tools. At that point you would need to depend on RI.

    -Mandar
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 10:45 AM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **************************************************************
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  • Gogala, Mladen at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:33 pm
    Can you send them to oracle training in Bethesda, MD or
    Reston, VA? Benefits could be multiple, especially for you.
    Make sure that they wear clothing in bright colors.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


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    ********************

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  • Rachel Carmichael at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:44 pm
    here's my standard answer to developers who try to tell me how the
    database should be designed:

    which part of the word "No" don't you understand?

    The DBA should know best how to use the abilities of the database. I
    can understand that with 3rd party applications, which have been coded
    to be database "neutral", you might have to bend some of the rules. For
    home-grown apps, you can and should enforce the database specific
    options.

    Rachel

    "Karniotis, Stephen" wrote:
    Oops, for got Ladies on my last email. Rachel definitely has some
    good
    opinions on this.

    Thank You

    Stephen P. Karniotis
    Product Architect
    Compuware Corporation
    Direct: (248) 865-4350
    Mobile: (248) 408-2918
    Email: Stephen.Karniotis_at_Compuware.com
    Web: www.compuware.com

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:39 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Re: Theory v Practice

    it's not common and you should insist on primary and foreign key
    constraints.

    all you need is ONE user to hack into the database outside the app
    and
    insert/delete/update rows that violate the integrity constraints and
    your app stops working.


    --- Craig Healey wrote:
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all
    the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says
    this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than
    an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    ******
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  • Kevin Lange at Oct 23, 2002 at 7:58 pm
    --> Make sure that they wear clothing in bright colors.

    Not exactly a nice comment Gogala.... I have friends in that area who are
    dealing with the sniper every day .... I am sure there are others as well.

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:33 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

    Can you send them to oracle training in Bethesda, MD or
    Reston, VA? Benefits could be multiple, especially for you.
    Make sure that they wear clothing in bright colors.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **************************************************************
    ********************

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential
    and intended solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
    addressed and may contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review,
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    this information by
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    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those
    of the company.

    If you have received this email in error please notify
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    This footnote also confirms that this email message has been
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    Author: Craig Healey
    INET: C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com

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  • Mercadante, Thomas F at Oct 23, 2002 at 8:09 pm
    LMAO!

    You are too cruel, Cruella DeGogala!

    -----Original Message-----
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 3:33 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

    Can you send them to oracle training in Bethesda, MD or
    Reston, VA? Benefits could be multiple, especially for you.
    Make sure that they wear clothing in bright colors.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **************************************************************
    ********************

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  • Alex at Oct 23, 2002 at 8:28 pm

    On Wed, 23 Oct 2002, Mandar A. Ghosalkar wrote:

    3 yrs after ur developers code the VB app, the original team vanishes(they start working on .net .. or maybe java)
    The new team even after going through the docs and vb application libraries, forget the right joins and insert invalid data/update rows in the master without taking care of the details/ delete some master records, etc.

    What next happens at the call center of ur company .... ?

    Believe me there would always be a legitimate need (not hack) to correct some data using sql*plus like tools. At that point you would need to depend on RI.

    -Mandar
    Great, jobs for everybody.

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    Author: Alex
    INET: axs_at_m-net.arbornet.org

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  • Greg Moore at Oct 23, 2002 at 10:53 pm
    These developers are wrong, and the problem is far worse than primary /
    foreign keys. The fact that your developers would say this indicates they
    have no knowledge of even the most basic Oracle fundamentals, so they will
    be making other serious mistakes too. If you have even an ounce of personal
    integrity you will print out your email and all the responses from this
    list, and deliver them to your manager, because he/she is currently in
    charge of a run-away train that's fast heading for Failure City.

    There is a single key thing your manager must do. Buy a copy of the book
    that Tom Kyte and several other authors put together, that describes the
    fundamentals of how Oracle works. Not the "Expert" book Tom wrote by
    himself ... the other one on fundamentals he wrote with a few others. The
    manager should buy one copy of that book for *each* developer and tell
    them to take it home, read it, and not come back to work until they've
    finished.

    Sound crazy? Think I'm making a joke? Think again. This is, by far, the
    smartest thing your manager could do, because right now this project is on
    the fast track to failure, and this single move will pretty much fix the
    problem.

    Meanwhile, you need to get that book too, plus Tom's other book, plus
    Jonathan Lewis's book ... and inhale them.

    Of course this need not be done. If so, there's a 60% chance the project
    will be just fine until the day it goes into production, when it suddenly
    become apparent that it's a total failure. There's a 35% chance it will
    roll out just fine, and from then on be a nightmare in terms of maintenance
    and performance. And there's a 5% chance things will work out just fine.
    If you like these odds, just keep going and let these developers do whatever
    they like.

    Original Message -----
    To: "Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L"
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 10:45 AM

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission,
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    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information
    by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.
    Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the
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    If you have received this email in error please notify
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    --
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    Author: Craig Healey
    INET: C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com

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  • Tim Gorman at Oct 23, 2002 at 11:29 pm
    ...especially if the clothing comes from Target...

    Original Message -----
    To: "Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L"
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:33 PM
    Can you send them to oracle training in Bethesda, MD or
    Reston, VA? Benefits could be multiple, especially for you.
    Make sure that they wear clothing in bright colors.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 1:45 PM
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **************************************************************
    ********************

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential
    and intended solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are
    addressed and may contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review,
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    this information by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is
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    Author: Tim Gorman
    INET: Tim_at_SageLogix.com

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  • Mark Richard at Oct 24, 2002 at 12:13 am
    Craig,

    Wow - You stirred up some emotions with this question. I'm going to play
    devil's advocate and say that I have seen instances where RI is not in the
    database layer. It's probably more common in warehousing because you have
    to load data even if some constraints are violated and then deal with them
    later.

    For example, if the General Ledger says $1,000 was transferred to Cost
    Centre 1000 and we thought Cost Centre 1000 was closed we still need to
    report the $1,000. Yes, it probably indicates a problem in the General
    Ledger, but I've work in places where you just have to deal with it. These
    problems tend to only occur in large organisations with hundreds of systems
    and an unlucky data warehouse that's meant to join all the data back
    together. Also from a performance point of view I have heard that it can
    be faster to check say 1,000,000 rows for RI after loading, as opposed to 1
    row at a time - someone with intimate knowledge or Oracle's RI
    implementation may shoot me down on that suggestion though.

    In your example though we're talking about a single OLTP system. Have I
    seen an OLTP without RI - Yes. The system was an OO app with Oracle
    implementing the persistent objects. Let's pretend it was for a City
    Council, and there was a Payment object. Two of the attributes of the
    Payment object are called PaymentIsForObject (describes an associated
    object by name) and PaymentIsForKey (contains the key value of another
    object). This other object though could be one of many things, perhaps
    ParkingFine or LandTax or GarbageCollection. Therefore the RI of
    PaymentIsForKey depends on the value of PaymentIsForObject. Again perhaps
    someone can confirm if Oracle can do conditional RI like this, however at
    the time I was lead to believe that it couldn't (I wasn't the DBA on this
    project).

    As others also mentioned - leaving RI out of the database still leaves a
    pile of functionality available - complex queries, indexing, partitioning,
    etc.

    I do agree with the others though - Leaving RI out of the database probably
    introduces a lot of risk but there may be a valid reason for doing so. On
    the other hand, is they don't have a good reason for leaving it out then
    put it in. Worst case, argue that it can be put in since their application
    will make it redundant anyway - then as soon as the Oracle RI rejects a
    record you can laugh in their face!

    Please don't yell at me anybody - I just felt that I had to balance the
    argument.

    "Craig Healey"

    k.com> cc:
    Sent by: Subject: Theory v Practice
    root_at_fatcity.c
    om

    24/10/2002
    03:45
    Please respond
    to ORACLE-L

    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey

    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended
    solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may
    contain
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  • Craig Healey at Oct 24, 2002 at 1:49 pm
    Thanks for all your comments (especially the ones that made me laugh).
    Now at least I have some input from experienced people to put before my
    boss.

    Craig
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Craig Healey
    Sent: 23 October 2002 18:45
    To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L
    Subject: Theory v Practice


    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will
    handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which
    says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything
    more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey
    This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely
    for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed and may contain
    confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination
    or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by
    persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. Statements
    and opinions expressed in this e-mail may not represent those of the company.


    If you have received this email in error please notify system.administrator_at_hhsuk.com


    This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by MIMEsweeper
    for the presence of computer viruses (www.mimesweeper.com)

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  • Maria Quinn at Oct 25, 2002 at 11:23 am
    Two examples from my own experience:

    A few years ago when I was starting out, I got involved on a database
    project where all the constraints were coded rather than declared at
    database level (it wasn't Oracle, but the principle remains the same). It
    was a relatively small project and the guy who had put most of the system
    together had done it pretty well. Looking back, I can't really fault his
    data modelling, or in general, his ability to implement the FK constraints
    in the code. However, the system took so long to develop that it was
    obsolete before it was finished, and was subsequently shelved. It was like
    we were re-inventing the wheel every day. Needless to say, if this project
    had involved a larger team, the problems would have been much worse.

    More recently, I'm having to support another system (Oracle this
    time) which is guilty of the same crime, only this time not so well
    designed, and not so well implemented. It is a total nightmare - it's so
    bad that I can't even begin to fix some of the issues. I've got "foreign
    keys" that don't have a parent row, tables related by one of a number of
    keys (take your pick - the choice of column is arbitrary), duplicate
    keys... the list goes on and on. The only sensible option would be to
    start from scratch.

    So, in conclusion, Craig, I can only add weight to the general consensus
    that your VB developers are badly misguided. Good luck in sorting this out.

    Maria
    At 09:45 23/10/02 -0800, you wrote:
    The developers working on our new VB app are also responsible for
    setting up the Oracle DB behind it. The app is for an order
    entry/despatch/warehouse system with >5 million customers and >1000
    orders per day. We have nearly 400 tables. They are not planning on
    using primary keys/secondary keys, as they say they will handle all the
    constraints via VB.
    I only have a theoretical knowledge of database design, which says this
    is very wrong. Is the Oracle system being used as anything more than an
    expensive file system? In real world scenarios, is this a common
    practice?

    Regards

    Craig Healey


    **********************************************************************************

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    ***********************************************************************************
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    Author: Craig Healey
    INET: C.Healey_at_hhsuk.com

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