The Data Warrior

Changing the world, one data model at a time. How can I help you?

Archive for the tag “#rmoug”

Happy 2013! What will you do this year?

Happy New Year! Welcome to year #2 of the Oracle Data Warrior.

I hope everyone is looking forward to a bright, happy, and successful year (however you measure it).

For me it will be a year of figuring out my long term business model (maybe?), writing a few more short ebooks (stay tuned), doing my Oracle ACE Director thing, continuing to work as a Data Vault and Data Warehouse advisor and consultant,  presenting at RMOUG, KScope13, and hopefully a few other choice events, and of course writing on this blog (and practicing my martial arts).

That ought to do it, don’t you think?

But you never know what life may throw your way, so I am not tied to any of that really, but that is where my wave seems to be heading today.

One thing I have already done was to take advantage of Vizify to build a visual story about myself. I really like the look and feel of the app and the way it presents my information. Check out the animation on the location page and then the timeline on the career page (which is not quite complete yet). Very cool.

How about you? What is on your horizon for 2013?



P.S. See this cool 2012 report WordPress generated automatically. It covers the stats I put in my last post but much nicer presentation. 😉

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 23,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

2012: Year in the Life of an Oracle Data Warrior

Hard to believe it is nearly the end of the year. But…it is here.

I will be taking time until the end of the year so I am doing my “year-end” post now.

It was a significant year for me with many new things, events, conferences, and clients. Here is a list, by month of a few of them:


I launched this blog – Oracle Data Warrior! At the stroke of midnight on January 1, I hit publish for this posting. So far I have had over 22,000 views on the site with the best/biggest day drawing 294 views on September 24th. People came to check out a free promotion for my new Kindle book.

So far 78 of you have subscribed to this blog and hence get notification whenever I post something new.

Thanks for your support! (For the rest – subscribed now so you don’t miss anything in 2013).

In January I also launched the Year of the Data Vault by going to Dan Linstedt’s Data Vault certification class in Montreal. It was a great class. Check the January archive for my posts about the class.


I posted what has turned out to be THE most popular article so far: The best FREE data modeling tool ever. So far it has had 8,213 views! Wow! (of course since a bunch of you just clicked the link that number has gone up again)

Also big in February (every year) is the RMOUG Training Days in Denver, Colorado. This year I did the first ever remote presentation via skype as part of their pre-conference seminar on data warehousing. My presentation was, of course, on Data Vault. There were a few technical issues but with the help of my good friend Jerry Ireland we got through it fine.

(Note: For RMOUG 2013, I will actually be presenting in person).


Two really big things this month:

  1. I filed with the state of Texas and formed Data Warrior LLC, signed my very first 1099 (independent) contract and became an official business.
  2. The Data Vault Training Portal was launched. You can read my post about that here.


Business wise, I started the 1099 contract work at MD Anderson Cancer Center and got to work building a data vault for one of their internal projects.

On the blog, I made some modification to the layout and added a War Chest page with links to some resources that cost a little money (as opposed to my White Paper page which has Free stuff).


After one month of being an independent contractor I bought my first smartphone – an LG Nitro. I am not really a huge gadget guy so I had put this off for sometime but finally gave in so I could tweet at the upcoming ODTUG conference in San Antonio.

Of course this means I signed up for Twitter. You can find me there at


June was  HUGE month.

  1. The Data Vault modeling book, hit #1 on Kindle.
  2. I got “promoted” to Oracle ACE Director (and found out via a Facebook post!).
  3. And of course there was KScope12 in San Antonio, Texas. I taught Chi Gung every morning at 7 AM and blogged about the event every night (at about midnight). Just check my June archives for all the posts and plenty of pictures.


Slowed down a bit here. Recovered from KScope12 (started planning for KScope13). Wrote a bit about work/life balance and posted this cool InfoGraphic.


Another first for me in August was I published my first eBook on Kindle about data model design reviews.

Then we had an excellent family vacation with my father back east. We drove through the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and then to the Green Mountains of Vermont where we stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge. It gets my highest recommendation for a family friendly, environmentally aware, upscale, outdoor vacation resort. Pay the money and go – you only live once!

While on the trip, my nine year old son came up with a great idea for a blog post: How to make data modeling fun. When we got back, I wrote and posted it here. (Soon it will be a presentation at a conference near you)


This was another big and fun month – all about Oracle Open World 2012 and getting to attend my first Oracle ACE Director meeting at Oracle HQ. Like at KScope, I blogged every night in the wee hours to capture what I saw and learned that day. The smart phone got a lot of use taking pictures in session and around San Francisco. It is all logged in the September archives.


Actually OOW 2012 bled over into October so there are even more posts and pictures in the October Archive folder.

The other biggie in October was that I finished out my contract at MD Anderson Cancer Center and started a new gig at McKesson Specialty Health (US Oncology). This has turned out to be a great project with a good team (like I had at MD Anderson), but with the added benefit of only being 9 miles from my house. This is the shortest commute I have had since college! Saves me 2.5 hours a day in driving.

Needless to say, that is a very nice aspect of the job.


This month was less about data (and my normal work) and more about fitness, a new habit, and being a warrior. (Though I did get accepted to present at the RMOUG Training Days in Denver.)

The highlight of the month was attending the 20th Anniversary celebration for the International Combat Hapkido Federation. I have been attending their workshops and seminars for over 15 of those years and have had the privilege to train with several of their master as well as their founder and grand master John Pellegrini. Combat Hapkido is a very practical martial art for self-defense and a lot of fun to learn and practice.

It was a great event with back to back workshops (i.e., work outs!) with many masters and grand masters. We got training in Tai Chi, stretching, conditioning, kicking, Filipino Escrima, ground survival, and pressure points. There were actual martial arts celebs in attendance including Bill “Superfoot” Wallace, Cynthia Rothrock, and Stephen Hayes.

Since my main art is Tae Kwon Do, I was very privileged to meet and train with Grandmaster Bill Wallace (who actually has signed my last two black belt certificates along with GM Pellegrini). GM Wallace’s session was challenging and fun. He is quite entertaining.

Me (right) with GM Superfoot Wallace (center)  and Master Ramon Voils

Me (right) with GM Superfoot Wallace (center) and Master Ramon Voils

At 67 years old, GM Wallace can kick faster and higher than pretty much everyone I have every trained with. I can only hope to be doing so well when I reach that age.

This why he is called "Superfoot"

This is why he is called “Superfoot”

For more pictures from the event, you can subscribe to my newsfeed on Facebook or like my page. You might even find a picture of me in a suit!


And now we are up to this final month of 2012. I have been very busy with my work at McKesson so have only got one post out about the newest release of SQL Developer Data Modeler (which I use nearly every day!).

I did however recently get notification that I had several papers accepted for presentation at the ODTUG  KScope13 conference in New Orleans next June. Be sure to register for that event too!

Yes it was quite the busy year…

Stay tuned for 2013 and see what happens.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


The Oracle Data Warrior

Have you lost your keys?

Has this ever happened to you:

You are starting a new project working on an existing database or data warehouse.

Being the great data architect that you are, you of course ask to see the data model.

The response: Data model? What data model?

Or maybe: Why do you need to see that?


So you fight your way through getting access to a copy of the database, get connected, then reverse engineer the database (see here for a presentation on doing that with SQL Developer Data Modeler).

And voila!

A useless diagram of tables with no foreign keys!


So what gives? How can there be no keys in an Oracle database?

You ask, and get the usual answer – “it’s all in the code.”

Great. Like you want to read all the <enter language du jour here> code that some programmers wrote years ago.

So what’s a data architect to do?

Simple – if you are using  SQL developer Data Modeler, that is.

Early on in version 3.x, our friends at Oracle added this really cool utility – Discover Foreign Keys, to help is just this circumstance.

To find this tool you need to right mouse of the name of a relational model in the Browser tab.

Discover FKs

Discover FKs

Once you select the option, it just runs and adds in any foreign keys it can find. Now when you look at your diagram it will show you new FK lines where there weren’t any before.

I finally got a chance to try this out recently and it worked great,

The model I was looking into had no FKs at all, but did have Primary Keys defined on most of the tables. (The story is that the FKs were not used because it would slow down loading the data).

And apparently, all the FK columns were named the same as the PK columns. Nice.

Not sure how it works in other scenarios, but in this case it works as advertised.

Give it try next time you get one of “those” databases.

UPDATE 03-Dec-2012: I was thinking it would be good if you could tell after the fact that an FK was generated rather than actually in the database. I just found the property for that. If you double click on the FK line then look under Dynamic Properties you will see “createdByFKDiscoverer” set to “true”.  Not the most obvious place to look (I was thinking in the comment might be nice), but at least it is there somewhere. So you might want to build a custom report to find them in the future.



P.S. A lot has happened since my last post. This biggest thing is that I got two presentations accepted for the RMOUG 2013 Training Days in Denver next February. It is one of the best user group events in the country. Check it out now for early registration.

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