Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I don't like Black Friday, but AOP is doing it anyway!

Most people love Black Friday, but I don't. Many companies give  huge discounts the day after Thanksgiving, but I always feel stupid and have a bad taste whenever I see discounts. I just bought those nice pants and the week after they are on sale for 40%. Really? I typically buy things when I need them, so I don't really pay attention to time. It's happened more than once that I've bought something and in the next few days, the same item was on sale for a discount. I always feel so stupid then and feel like I paid too much.

I guess for certain articles that are seasonal, I can understand people want to get rid of the stock, so they give discounts. For B2C it might make sense, but for B2B I don't get it. Why would a service be worth less when you buy on a specific day? Most businesses in the US are closed on Black Friday, so not sure how they would buy something?

Anyway, the AOP Team had a discussion in the office if we should do a deal for Black Friday. Here's what they said: "YES, please let us make a deal and play with the other Black Friday children 😃 It’s just like getting a costume and going out and Trick-orTreating with the other kids on Halloween 😎"

Although I don't get it, I will put my pride aside and follow the team this year.

For one day, APEX Office Print will give a discount on the Cloud Silver and On-Premises Silver and Gold packages. Click this link to see the offer.


As I want it to be extra special and not just give a discount, we will also donate 50 USD per sale for any sale that is done on Black Friday to Make-A-Wish.

Happy Black Friday!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Free Oracle Cloud: 15. The request could not be mapped to any database

This post is the last post of a series of blog posts on the Best and Cheapest Oracle APEX hosting: Free Oracle Cloud.

At some point you might face the following message: "The request could not be mapped to any database":


Oracle is monitoring usage on your Always Free Account and whenever it finds there's no activity for 7 days, it will stop your database automatically. It will preserve the data in the database, but it won't be accessible anymore.

To fix the issue, log in to your Oracle Cloud Account and go to your Autonomous Database:


You will see the database is in a stopped state. Click the Start button:


The state will change to Starting...


And after a minute it becomes available again:


The above behavior is written in the end-user documentation:
Inactivity Monitoring and Database Stoppage
Persistently inactive Always Free Autonomous Databases are detected and handled as follows:
  • After being inactive for 7 days, the database will be stopped automatically, preserving its stored data. Inactivity measurements leading up to 7 days are based on database connections. Successfully making a SQL*Net or HTTPS connection resets these measurements to zero.
  • A database that is automatically or manually stopped and stays inactive for 90 days, cumulative, may be reclaimed and permanently deleted. Inactivity measurements leading up to 90 days are based on the database being inactive or in the stopped state. Starting a stopped database resets these measurements to zero.
    Start an Always Free Autonomous Database by clicking the Start button on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure console. Start a stopped Always Free Autonomous Database before 90 days to avoid losing access to its data.

But this week there were some people complaining that although they had activity, their database was stopped anyway. I witnessed the same behavior in my account, so I reached out to Oracle and they confirmed their code to identify inactivity, is not properly accounting for APEX/ORDS usage. They are already working on a fix, which they hope to apply very soon. I will update this post when I get confirmation the fix is in the data centers.

Update December 10th: Oracle rolled out a fix end of November to take ORDS and APEX activity in the usage data into account. So whenever you have a REST call or APEX page load, your service should not expire. So far this fixed helped the issue I had in my environment and my instance has not been stopped anymore.