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Oracle date issue

Posted on 2015-01-30
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Last Modified: 2015-03-10
I have Business Objects Enterprise v4.1 installed in a virtual machine.  It is using a SQL Server database to collect the audit data.

I installed Oracle Express (11g) and pointed the BO Audits to it.  The system is recording the data in Oracle now.  I built a universe against the Oracle database.  I am having issues with one date field

When I open the Oracle Express app (SQL Workshop/Object Browser) and look at the data in the table it looks good
Start_Time has data like 28-JAN-15 04.15.33.000000 PM

When I try to display the data in the universe designer I get #Format for the data.  The universe is just selecting the field (no formatting change).  I also have objects in the universe to get the YEAR, MONTH, HOUR etc.  These all work and display the correct values in the universe and the reports.

When I try to use a query that filters on the date I get an error.  If I eliminate the filter the report runs and shows the dates correctly

Query the report uses
SELECT DISTINCT
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_NAME,
  to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME),
  cast(to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME, 'HH24') as number),
  ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.APPLICATION_TYPE_NAME,
  count(distinct ADS_EVENT.EVENT_ID),
  ADS_EVENT.START_TIME,
  ADS_EVENT.USER_NAME,
  ADS_EVENT.OBJECT_NAME
FROM
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR INNER JOIN ADS_EVENT_TYPE ON (ADS_EVENT_TYPE.EVENT_TYPE_ID=ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_ID  AND  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.LANGUAGE = @Prompt(Select language))
   INNER JOIN ADS_EVENT ON (ADS_EVENT.EVENT_TYPE_ID=ADS_EVENT_TYPE.EVENT_TYPE_ID)
   INNER JOIN ( 
  SELECT
	ADS_EVENT_DETAIL."EVENT_ID",
	ADS_EVENT_DETAIL."EVENT_DETAIL_ID",
	ADS_EVENT_DETAIL."EVENT_DETAIL_TYPE_ID",
	ADS_EVENT_DETAIL."BUNCH",
	CAST("ADS_EVENT_DETAIL".Event_Detail_Value AS VARCHAR(256)) AS Event_Detail_Value2
FROM ADS_EVENT_DETAIL
  )  ADS_EVENT_DETAIL_V2 ON (ADS_EVENT.EVENT_ID=ADS_EVENT_DETAIL_V2.EVENT_ID)
   INNER JOIN ( 
  SELECT * 
FROM "ADS_APPLICATION_TYPE_STR"
  )  ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR ON (ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.APPLICATION_TYPE_ID=ADS_EVENT.CLIENT_TYPE_ID  AND  ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.LANGUAGE = @Prompt(Select language))
  
WHERE
  (
   ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  @Prompt('Enter value for Event StartTime (Start):','DT',,Mono,Free,Persistent,,User:0)  AND  @Prompt('Enter value for Event StartTime (End):','DT',,Mono,Free,Persistent,,User:1)
   AND
   ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_ID  IN  ( 1002,1003,1004,1005,1006,1007,1008,1009,1010,1011,1012,1013,1014,1015  )
   AND
   ADS_EVENT.USER_NAME  NOT IN  ( 'SYSTEM ACCOUNT','BI41DEMO.AdaptiveProcessingServer','BI41DEMO.WebApplicationContainerServer'  )
   AND
   ADS_EVENT_DETAIL_V2.EVENT_DETAIL_ID  =  1
   AND
   ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.APPLICATION_TYPE_NAME  Is Not Null  
  )
GROUP BY
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_NAME, 
  to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME), 
  cast(to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME, 'HH24') as number), 
  ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.APPLICATION_TYPE_NAME, 
  ADS_EVENT.START_TIME, 
  ADS_EVENT.USER_NAME, 
  ADS_EVENT.OBJECT_NAME

Open in new window


I provided the report and the universe to a client.  The reports ran correctly and accepted the date ranges as filters.  

Is there some setting I need to change in Oracle to change how the dates are stored or the default format that is used?

mlmcc
OracleTable.JPG
OracleRangeError.JPG
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Question by:mlmcc
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 167 total points
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Dates in Oracle are stored in an internal format and really does not have a user readable 'format mask'.

Only when it is displayed does it get converted into a readable format.  The 'default' mask is DD-MON-YY.  This can be changed by a session variable: NLS_DATE_FORMAT.

Other than that, you need to manually convert everything with TO_DATE and TO_CHAR depending on what direction you are going.

I know NOTHING about BO but if you hard-code this it will work.  Hopefully you can take the hard-coded values and BO it all up!

ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  to_date('01/01/2001','MM/DD/YYYY')  AND  to_date('01/01/2015','MM/DD/YYYY')

Available format masks are pretty much infinite and are in the docs:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e41084/sql_elements004.htm#SQLRF00212
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by:sdstuber
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what does your universe think the start_time is?

does it think it's a timestamp, a date, a time, as string?  etc?
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by:mlmcc
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When I just drag it into the business layer as an object it sets it as a datetime.

Does the DATE type in Oracle include the time when an application uses it?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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The DATE data type always has TIME.  It may be zeros if the app doesn't set it but it is always there.
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by:mlmcc
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I had another date field that the database shows as DATE.  I changed the filter to use that and it gives the same error.

mlmcc
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by:johnsone
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According to the table layout that was posted in the original post, the field is a TIMESTAMP(6) in the database and not a DATE.  Not a whole lot of difference there, but a difference.  The default would be NLS_TIMESTAMP_FORMAT, not NLS_DATE_FORMAT.

I see that in your select you are putting a TO_CHAR with no format to it.  That would make the field a string as far as the Business Objects would be concerned.  I don't know Business Objects, but maybe it has a problem with TIMESTAMPs.  Maybe a cast as DATE would be in order for the field so it is a known format.  That would truncate the subseconds, which you may not need.

In your where clause, I don't know what format would be coming out of that prompt, but you would need to cast that as a timestamp (or date) with a to_timestamp (or to_date) call.  The call to convert would require the correct format for the data supplied.
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by:sdstuber
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to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME),


that's the problem

you're returning text but you are filtering by datetime values

remove the to_char
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by:mlmcc
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Where do you see the to_char?

The filter (WHERE clause) isn't using it
ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  @Prompt('Enter value for Event StartTime 
(Start):','DT',,Mono,Free,Persistent,,User:0)  AND  @Prompt('Enter value for Event StartTime
 (End):','DT',,Mono,Free,Persistent,,User:1

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It prompts with a calendar so it should be passing a datetime to the prompt

mlmcc
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by:sdstuber
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SELECT DISTINCT
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_NAME,
 to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME),    
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by:johnsone
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The calendar is passing a datetime, but in what format?
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by:mlmcc
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That one is on purpose.  The universe also has a datestring object to just get the date.

Further in the SQL is the field I am using

SELECT DISTINCT
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_NAME,
  to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME),
  cast(to_char(ADS_EVENT.START_TIME, 'HH24') as number),
  ADS_CLIENT_TYPE_STR.APPLICATION_TYPE_NAME,
  count(distinct ADS_EVENT.EVENT_ID),
  ADS_EVENT.START_TIME,
  ADS_EVENT.USER_NAME,
  ADS_EVENT.OBJECT_NAME
FROM

I just created a new report using just a couple of field
The SQL for that report is
SELECT
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_NAME,
  ADS_EVENT.START_TIME,
  ADS_EVENT.USER_NAME
FROM
  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR INNER JOIN ADS_EVENT_TYPE ON (ADS_EVENT_TYPE.EVENT_TYPE_ID=ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.EVENT_TYPE_ID  AND  ADS_EVENT_TYPE_STR.LANGUAGE = @Prompt(Select language))
   INNER JOIN ADS_EVENT ON (ADS_EVENT.EVENT_TYPE_ID=ADS_EVENT_TYPE.EVENT_TYPE_ID)
  
WHERE
  ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  {d '2015-01-01 00:00:00'}  AND  {d '2015-01-31 00:00:00'}

Open in new window


If I run without the filter it returns all the data and everything looks good.
With the filter it gives the same error.

mlmcc
SmallReport-Showing-Good-Dates.JPG
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by:mlmcc
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johnsone - I don't know.

Since the query with fixed dates set using the calendar also fails I don't think it is related to that.
Here is what it produces when I use a fixed date which is selected from the same calendar.

    ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  {d '2015-01-01 00:00:00'}  AND  {d '2015-01-31 00:00:00'}

mlmcc
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by:johnsone
johnsone earned 167 total points
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Then I would wrap that in a to_timestamp.  I'm pretty sure that isn't your default format.  And where do the {} come from?  As far as I know that isn't an Oracle syntax.

Ideally, what you need is this:

ADS_EVENT.START_TIME  BETWEEN  to_timestamp( '2015-01-01 00:00:00', 'yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss')  AND  to_timestamp( '2015-01-31 00:00:00', 'yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss')

I don't know how to get Business Objects to force that though.
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by:mlmcc
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I can probably do that but why does the above syntax work in a full Oracle 11g installation but not in the Express version?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>> above syntax work in a full Oracle 11g installation but not in the Express version?

Check NLS parameters between the two systems.
select name,value from v$parameter where name like 'nls%format';

Check the OS regions between the two systems.
Check the environment variables between the two systems.
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by:mlmcc
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I get an error that the table is not found.

Where are the environment variables?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>I get an error that the table is not found.

You need a privileged account to query v$parameter.  SYS, SYSTEM or an account that has been granted access.

from sqlplus:
conn / as sysdba

>>Where are the environment variables?

Assuming Windows (not sure if BO runs in a *nix world or not):
Registry under //HKLM/SOFTWARE/ORACLE
and/or
(This is for XP... should be similar for whatever you are using):
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310519
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by:johnsone
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From a non-privileged account, you can see the parameters that are set in your session (which is probably closer to what you want) with this query:

select * from nls_session_parameters;

V$PARAMETER would show database default parameters.  These can be overridden with environment variables, registry settings, ALTER SESSION statements, etc.
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by:mlmcc
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In Oracle Express I login in as sys but then login into Application Express to see the tables

How do I give privileges to the Application Express login?

What parameter/environment variables should I look for?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>How do I give privileges to the Application Express login?

I forgot about nls_session_parameters.  Use that one instead.

>>What parameter/environment variables should I look for?

Anything that looks like it might mess with regions, date formats, etc...
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by:mlmcc
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The ndls date format is set mm/dd/yyyy

How do I change that?
How can I change that for all users?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>How do I change that?

You might want to doublecheck the value from v$parameter.  This will tell you if something in the environment is changing it from the database value.

To change at the database layer:
alter system set nls_date_format='<format>' scope=spfile;

where <format> is whatever format you want.

Then bounce the database

>>How can I change that for all users?

That should do it unless something in the users environment is changing it.

>>In Oracle Express I login in as sys but then login into Application Express to see the tables

Forget APEX.  use sqlplus.
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by:mlmcc
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Where do I get SQLPlus?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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Should have been installed with Express Edition.

On Windows?
Go to a CMD prompt and type: sqlplus

Look in the Start menu under the Oracle menu.  I think it is under applications.
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by:mlmcc
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That works but I get an error when I log in
ERROR:
ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve the connect identifier specified

Here is the TNSNames.ora file

XE =
  (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = BI41demo)(PORT = 1521))
    (CONNECT_DATA =
      (SERVER = DEDICATED)
      (SERVICE_NAME = XE)
    )
  )

EXTPROC_CONNECTION_DATA =
  (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS_LIST =
      (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = IPC)(KEY = EXTPROC1))
    )
    (CONNECT_DATA =
      (SID = PLSExtProc)
      (PRESENTATION = RO)
    )
  )

ORACLR_CONNECTION_DATA = 
  (DESCRIPTION = 
    (ADDRESS_LIST = 
      (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = IPC)(KEY = EXTPROC1)) 
    ) 
    (CONNECT_DATA = 
      (SID = CLRExtProc) 
      (PRESENTATION = RO) 
    ) 
  ) 

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mlmcc
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As a shortcut to get the answer we'll hold off troubleshooting Oracle networking for another Q.

When prompted for username enter: / as sysdba
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Here is what the query shows

select * from nls_session_parameters;

nls_date_format
DD-MON-RR

nls_time_format
HH.MI.SSXFF AM

nls_timestamp_format
DD-MON-RR HH.MI.SSXFF AM

WHen I do the alter
alter system set nls_date_format='yyyy/mm/dd' scope=spfile;
Result is system altered but there is no change when I check again.

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>Result is system altered but there is no change when I check again

Did you bounce the database?

Oracle stores parameters in a file called spfile.  The scope=spfile says to change it in the file.  Bouncing the database causes it to be started with the parameters in the spfile.

FYI: Some parameters can be changed in memory on the fly.  This isn't one of them.
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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Just re-read this:
>>select * from nls_session_parameters;
>>nls_date_format  DD-MON-RR


Above you mentioned:  The ndls date format is set mm/dd/yyyy


I'm confused.
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by:mlmcc
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How do I bounce the database?

WHen I open the VM I don't do anything to start it and when I close the VM I don't do anything to stop it.

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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Stop and start (or restart) the service OracleServiceXE.
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by:mlmcc
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I assume I can do that through Task Manager or is there a better way?

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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However you get to Services to stop/start them.

'better' is relative.

You can shutdown/startup the database using sqlplus but at times things get weird in Windows when it comes to the Service.

sqlplus / as sysdba
shutdown immediate;
startup;
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Thanks

Did the alter, shutdown, and restart

SQL> alter system set nls_date_format='yyyy/mm/dd' scope=spfile;

System altered.

SQL> shutdown immediate;
Database closed.
Database dismounted.
ORACLE instance shut down.
SQL> startup;
ORACLE instance started.

Total System Global Area 1068937216 bytes
Fixed Size                  2260048 bytes
Variable Size             717226928 bytes
Database Buffers          343932928 bytes
Redo Buffers                5517312 bytes
Database mounted.
Database opened.
SQL> select * from nls_session_parameters;


No change in the parameters

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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As mentioned above:  nls_session_parameters is what is set for the current session (connection).

Verify the database parameters have changed with the query from v$parameter.  If they have then something in the environment is over-riding the database settings (but this usually requires reconnecting).
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From SQL Plus they show the same thing

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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You're saying that v$parameter doesn't show 'yyyy/mm/dd'  for nls_date_format?


Sorry but I have to ask...
If not:  Are you sure you were connected to the same database when you issued the alter system?
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by:mlmcc
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I only have 1 database.

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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This is weird...

From the sqlplus prompt:
show parameter spfile

I don't care what it is set to, just that it is set.

DO NOT MANUALLY EDIT IT !!!:
open the spfile in notepad (DO NOT SAVE!!!) or type it to the screen.

Look for the nls_date_format parameter.  Verify if is what you set it to.

If so: Something while connecting is changing it for you.

Did you not see anything in the registry or environment variables relating to NLS_DATE_FORMAT?

From a CMD prompt:
set

This should list all the current environment variables for that window.
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by:mlmcc
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SPFile


SQL> show parameter spfile

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
spfile                               string      C:\ORACLEXE\APP\ORACLE\PRODUCT\11.2.0\SERVER\DBS\SPFILEXE.ORA

That is the issue

Reran with spfilexe.

Looked in spfilexe and it shows the correct value.

Stopped and started Oracle.  Reran the query and it still shows the wrong date format

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>That is the issue

What is the issue?  You don't need to specify which spfile in the alter system.  It will use the one the instance was started with.

>> Reran the query and it still shows the wrong date format

Check the environment (registry and system environment variables).

I've not done a lot with Globalization but this question had me thinking:  What is your NLS_TERRITORY set to?

This 'can' affect date formats but I would HOPE that explicitly setting nls_date_format would take precedence.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E18283_01/appdev.112/e10766/tdddg_globalization.htm#CACJBHAH
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by:mlmcc
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It is set to America

Attached results of the query to select all parameters

mlmcc
oracle-parameters.txt
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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Just did some playing:
If you alter your session (not permanent) querying v$parameter will have the session value.  Never knew that one!

Have you confirmed environment and registry values aren't changing things?
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by:mlmcc
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I don't find anything in the registry that seems date related.

Here are the parameters before the alter and after
Note the addition of the nls_date_format

mlmcc
OracleParametersbeforealter.JPG
OracleParametersAfteralter.JPG
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>>Here are the parameters before the alter and after

I'm confused.  This shows the alter worked.  You mentioned before there was no change.  What did I miss?
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by:mlmcc
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slightwv - Had to change the alter.  I used the one you provided but my Oracle was using a different file.  Once I changed spfile.ora to spfilexe.ora, the alter worked but I still have the same issue.

mlmcc
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by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
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>> the alter worked but I still have the same issue.

What are the nls date and timestamp values from the database where BO is not causing the error?

Set yours to that and see if BO still generates the error.
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by:sdstuber
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since this is windows,  check the registry and environment variables.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORACLE\KEY_your_oracle_home

NLS_DATE_FORMAT can be set here,  if it is, then it will override what it in the spfile

similarly, if you have an environment variable NLS_DATE_FORMAT set when you start the database, that will override both the spfile and the registry setting
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by:sdstuber
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also note, and this is most important -  NLS settings are SESSION parameters, so even if you get the system set how you want,  the next session that connects can change them.


To correct that, you can try a logon trigger that will alter the user's session as soon as they connect.
Of course, they can always override it again, but doing this will at least correct any issues created by the client's configuration.

The best, most robust solution is to simply NOT use defaults.
If you want date-string conversions to happen with a particular format, then simply include that format in the SQL statement


if you do want to try the logon trigger method that might look something like this..

CREATE OR REPLACE TRIGGER trg_logon_set_format
AFTER LOGON
ON DATABASE
BEGIN
      execute immediate q'[alter session set nls_date_format='yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss']';
END;

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by:johnsone
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Personally, we never depend on NLS settings.  Too risky.  Too easy for a user to change.

Always do explicit conversions.  That way you never have these types of problems.
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by:mlmcc
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Project got put on a backburner.

Universe works at the clients with full Oracle installs.  Fixed our issues by changing the date filters to optional prompts and not using them

Would like to get a final solution so the date parameters work but other issues are too pressing.

When I get time I will ask the question again.

mlmcc
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by:mlmcc
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Thanks for all the guidance and help.  It is too bad we couldn't resolve the issues fully.

mlmcc
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