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Installing PostGIS with built-in Postgresql in Mac OS X Lion Server 10.7.3

We recently upgraded our Snow Leopard Mac OS X server to OS X Lion Server, 10.7.3 and were pleased to find that it comes with a version of PostgreSQL (9.0.5) built-in. We're all for having good stuff built-in so we now just had the task of adding PostGIS to it and we'd be set. However this isn't quite as simple as it could be, but luckily isn't too hard and doesn't require any tinkering with Apple or PG 'makefiles' or other scripts, just the judicious use of a few compiler parameters.

Oracle ‘isnumeric’ function

A possible implementation is to simply try to assign the string to a number and catch any exceptions. If something goes wrong then it's not a number!

Returning Oracle SQL data as XML

An earlier post illustrated how to extract information from XML inside PL/SQL. This post is an example of the reverse of this, in that it shows how to create an XML document from a SQL statement. These examples are based on creating an XML document providing details of the tables in the SCOTT schema but could easily be adapted to suit your needs.

Returning an SQL result to a Shell script

Often it can be useful to return the result of a simple SQL*Plus query to a shell script variable, for example to check for a value before deciding wether or not to proceed. The syntax is actually pretty simple :

Updating Oracle tables using a join

Doing a 'join update' in Oracle can sometime cause a few headaches. By 'join update' I mean the situation where we have two tables and want to update some of the rows in the first table based on values that exist in the second table.

Things we like about the Mac

As you may have gleaned from other posts we do a lot of development using Macs, specifically MacBooks and iMacs. We might develop products that run on Linux, Windows or Solaris but that doesn't stop us using our Macs to actually do the work!

Extracting XML information using PL/SQL

Since version 9, Oracle has had support for XML data built into the heart of the database. Sometimes however, it is not immediately obvious how to get data from an XML string, particularly if, like me, it's not something you do that often!

Using the & (ampersand) character in Oracle SQL*Plus scripts

It can be very frustrating when using Oracle SQL*PLus (sqlplus) to run a SQL script that contains an ampersand (&) character only to have the script stop mid-way through and ask you for a value :

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