Blog

October 2009 - Volano Solutions

Tip for Linking to Oracle

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One of the requirements for a project I’ve been working on is to connect to Oracle and retrieve some data related to data in MS SQL Server. After successfully setting up the Oracle server as a linked server, I ran into trouble.

Oracle’s data types aren’t quite the same as SQL Server’s data types. In particular, the timestamp type on the Oracle side would not translate to anything on the SQL Server side. After extensive research, I was considering switching to a .Net solution instead, like maybe I could query SQL Server and Oracle separately and then combine the data within the app. Surely not very efficient, but what else could I do?

Fortunately, I had lunch with my brother during the project and his Oracle experience is much greater than mine. After discussing the problem with him, I ended up using a view to get around the issue. For my project, I only needed the year out of the timestamp. Using the TO_CHAR function, I created a view that allowed me to select the year from the Oracle data as a char(4). Perfect!

Developer Wanted

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We’re looking for another developer to join our team. I wish there was a less corny phrase for “work hard, play hard” because that is the best way to describe our company. We have a lot of work to do and we take our work and our dedication seriously – but we like to counter that with darts, drinks and good humor (or what we think is good humor). Someone who will thrive in our environment has to be very good at what they do. We don’t necessarily care that you’ve been working with .NET since version 1.0 beta or SQL Server 6.5. We firmly believe in APTITUDE and ATTITUDE. These are paramount to our environment. If those traits are tied for first, the second most important is COMMUNICATIVE. We pride ourselves in our ability to be communicative with our clients, actually, over-communicate with our clients. Most problems in technology and specifically custom software consulting, center around a lack of communication. Having people in our company with those three attributes is what gives us our competitive advantage and is why our customers love us.

Once we know you are sharp, have a good attitude and can speak well, we want to make sure that you will enjoy our collaborative environment. It’s not for everyone and we understand that – but for those who enjoy our level of fun-loving and orneriness, I think it’s the best place you’ll work. We have a Sonos jukebox and play a variety of music over the office speakers. We also have the company surfboard available to employees if it isn’t already reserved.

It takes a quite a while for us to find this right-fit and when we do, we want to make sure we can provide the perks that will make you happy. We provide 3 weeks of PTO and want you to take it – there’s nothing that will kill a good attitude quicker than getting burned out. We have a group health insurance plan through Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Standard issue hardware for new employee’s is a new laptop of your choice – really. In fact, half of the team use Macs. One year anniversaries are celebrated by ordering a new Areon chair. Growing socially and professionally is encouraged through networking and participating in user groups. These are considered as part of every employee review. We like to have pop in the fridge and good coffee available. We typically go on a team lunch once a week. Unless there’s a customer request to take care of, on Fridays at 4:00, we turn off the code and turn up the music to play darts, drink libations and have a laugh.

If this has piqued your interest or know someone that sounds like a good fit, let us know.