Installing Scala and Apache Spark on a Mac

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The following outlines the steps I’ve followed to get get Scala and Apache Spark installed on my Mac. This allows me to play with Apache Spark on my laptop (single node) before deploying my code to a multi-node cluster.

1. Install Homebrew

Homebrew seems to be the standard for installing anything on a Mac. To install Homebrew run

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"


When prompted enter your system/OS password to allow the install to proceed.



2. Install xcode-select (if needed)

You may have xcode-select already installed. This tool allows you to install the languages using command line.

xcode-select --install

If it already installed then nothing will happen and you will get the following message.

xcode-select: error: command line tools are already installed, use "Software Update" to install updates

3. Install Scala

[If you haven’t installed Java then you need to also do this.]

Use Homebrew to install scala.

brew install scala


4. Install Apache Spark

Now to install Apache Spark.

brew install apache-spark


5. Start Spark

Now you can start the Apache Spark shell.



6. Hello-World and Reading a file

The traditional Hello-World example.

scala> val helloWorld = "Hello-World"
helloWorld: String = Hello-World


scala> println("Hello World")
Hello World

What is my current working directory.

scala> val whereami = System.getProperty("user.dir")
whereami: String = /Users/brendan.tierney

Read and process a file.

scala> val lines = sc.textFile("docker_ora_db.txt")
lines: org.apache.spark.rdd.RDD[String] = docker_ora_db.txt MapPartitionsRDD[3] at textFile at :24

scala> lines.count()
res6: Long = 36

scala> lines.foreach(println)
## Specify the basic DB parameters
## Copyright(c) Oracle Corporation 1998,2016. All rights reserved.##
##                                                                ##
##                   Docker OL7 db12c dat file                    ##

##                                                                ##
## db sid (name)
## default : ORCL

## cannot be longer than 8 characters


There will be a lot more on how to use Spark and how to use Spark with Oracle (all their big data stuff) over the coming months.

[I’ve been busy for the past few months working on this stuff, EU GDPR issues relating to machine learning, and other things. I’ll be sharing some what I’ve been working on and learning in blog posts over the coming weeks]

Slides from the Ireland OUG Meetup May 2017

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Here are some of the slides from our meetup on 11th May 2017.

The remaining slides will be added when they are available.

2016: A review of the year

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As 2016 draws to a close I like to look back at what I have achieved over the year. Most of the following achievements are based on my work with the Oracle User Group community. I have some other achievements are are related to the day jobs (Yes I have multiple day jobs), but I won’t go into those here.

As you can see from the following 2016 was another busy year. There was lots of writing, which I really enjoy and I’ll be continuing with in 2017. As they say, watch this space for writing news in 2017.


Yes 2016 was a busy year for writing and most of the later half of 2015 and the first half of 2016 was taken up writing two books. Yes two books. One of the books was on Oracle R Enterprise and this book compliments my previous published book on Oracle Data Mining. I now have the books that cover both components of the Oracle Advanced Analytics Option.

I also co-wrote a book with legends of Oracle community. These were Arup Nada, Martin Widlake, Heli Helskyaho and Alex Nuijten.


More news coming in 2017.

Blog Posts

One of the things I really enjoy doing is playing with various features of Oracle and then writing some blog posts about them. When writing the books I had to cut back on writing blog posts. I was luck to be part of the 12.2 Database beta this year and over the past few weeks I’ve been playing with 12.2 in the cloud. I’ve already written a blog post or two already on this and I also have an OTN article on this coming out soon. There will be more 12.2 analytics related blog posts in 2017.

In 2016 I have written 55 blog posts (including this one). This number is a little bit less when compared with previous years. I’ll blame the book writing for this. But more posts are in the works for 2017.


In 2016 I’ve written articles for OTN and for Toad World. These included:


  1. Oracle Advanced Analytics : Kicking the Tires/Tyres
  2. Kicking the Tyres of Oracle Advanced Analytics Option – Using SQL and PL/SQL to Build an Oracle Data Mining Classification Model
  3. Kicking the Tyres of Oracle Advanced Analytics Option – Overview of Oracle Data Miner and Build your First Workflow
  4. Kicking the Tyres of Oracle Advanced Analytics Option – Using SQL to score/label new data using Oracle Data Mining Models
  5. Setting up and configuring RStudio on the Oracle 12.2 Database Cloud Service


  1. Introduction to Oracle R Enterprise
  2. ORE 1.5 – User Defined R Scripts


  1. January – Yes SQL Summit, NoCOUG Winter Conference, Redwood City, CA, USA **
  2. January – BIWA Summit, Oracle HQ, Redwood City, CA, USA **
  3. March – OUG Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  4. June – KScope, Chicago, USA (3 presentations)
  5. September – Oracle Open World (part of EMEA ACEs session) **
  6. December – UKOUG Tech16 & APPs16

** for these conferences the Oracle ACE Director programme funded the flights and hotels. All other expenses and other conferences I paid for out of my own pocket.

OUG Activities

I’m involved in many different roles in the user group. The UKOUG also covers Ireland (incorporating OUG Ireland), and my activities within the UKOUG included the following during 2016:

  • Editor of Oracle Scene: We produced 4 editions in 2016. Thank you to all who contributed and wrote articles.
  • Created the OUG Ireland Meetup. We had our first meeting in October. Our next meetup will be in January.
  • OUG Ireland Committee member of TECH SIG and BI & BA SIG.
  • Committee member of the OUG Ireland 2 day Conference 2016.
  • Committee member of the OUG Ireland conference 2017.
  • KScope17 committee member for the Data Visualization & Advanced Analytics track.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things, I usually do. But it gives you a taste of some of what I got up to in 2016.

My 2nd Book: is now available: Real World SQL and PL/SQL

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It has been a busy 12 month. In addition to the day jobs, I’ve also been busy writing. (More news on this in a couple of weeks!)

Today is a major milestone as my second book is officially released and available in print and ebook formats.

The tile of the book is ‘Real Word SQL and PL/SQL: Advice from the Experts’. Check it out on Amazon.

Now that sounds like a very fancy title, but it isn’t meant to be. This book is written by 5 people (including me), who are all Oracle ACE Directors, who all have 20+ years of experience, each, of working with the Oracle Database, and we all love sharing our knowledge. My co-authors are Arup Nanda, Heli Helskyaho, Martin Widlake and Alex Nuitjen. It was a pleasure working with you.

I haven’t seen a physical copy of the book yet !!! Yes the book is released and I haven’t held it in my hands. Although I have seen pictures of it that other people have taken. There was a delay in sending out the author copies of the book, but as of this morning my books are sitting in Stansted Airport and should be making their way to Ireland today. So fingers crossed I’ll have them tomorrow. I’ll update this blog post with a picture when I have them. UPDATE: They finally arrived at 13:25 on the 22nd August.


In addition to the 5 authors we also had Chet Justice (Oraclenerd), and Oracle ACE Director, as the technical editor. We also had Tim Hall, Oracle ACE Director, wrote a foreword for us.



To give you some background to the book and why we wrote it, here is an extract from the start of the book, where I describe how the idea for this book came about and the aim of the book.

“While attempting to give you an idea into our original thinking behind the need for this book and why we wanted to write it, . the words of Rod Stewart’s song ‘Sailing’ keeps popping into my mind. These are ‘We are sailing, we are sailing, home again ‘cross the sea’. This is because the idea for this book was born on a boat. Some call it a ship. Some call it a cruise ship. Whatever you want to call it, this book was born at the OUG Norway conference in March 2015. What makes the OUG Norway conference special is that it is held on a cruise ship that goes between Oslo in Norway to Kiel in Germany and back again. This means as a speaker and conference attendee you are ‘trapped’ on the cruise ship for 2 days filled with presentations, workshops, discussions and idea sharing for the Oracle community.

It was during this conference that Heli and Brendan got talking about their books. Heli had just published her Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler book and Brendan had published his book on Oracle Data Miner the previous year. Whilst they were discussing their experiences of writing and sharing their knowledge and how much they enjoyed this,they both recognized that there are a lot of books for the people starting out in their Oracle career and then there are lots of books on specialized topics. What was missing were books that covered the middle group. A question they kept on asking but struggled to answer was, ‘after reading the introductory books, what book would they read next before getting onto the specialized books?’ This was particularly true of SQL and PL/SQL.

They also felt that something that was missing from many books, especially introductory ones, was the “Why and How” of doing things in certain ways that comes from experience. It is all well and good knowing the syntax of commands and the options, but what takes people from understanding a language to being productive in using it is that real-world derived knowledge that comes from using it for real tasks. It would be great to share some of that experience.

Then over breakfast on the final day of the OUG Norway conference, as the cruise ship was sailing through the fjorrd and around the islands that lead back to Oslo, Heli and Brendan finally agreed that this book should happen. They then listed the type of content they thought would be in such a book and who are the recognized experts (or super heroes) for these topics. This list of experts was very easy to come up with and the writing team of Oracle ACE Directors was formed, consisting of Arup Nanda, Martin Widlake and Alex Nuijten, along with Heli Helskyaho and Brendan Tierney. The author team then got to work defining the chapters and their contents. Using their combined 120+ years of SQL and PL/SQL experience they finally came up with scope and content for the book at Oracle Open World.


As you can see, this book was 17 months in the making. This consisted of 4 months of proposal writing, research and refinement, 8 months of writing, 3 months of editing and 2 months for production of book.

Yes it takes a lot of time and commitment. We all finished our last tasks and final edits on the book back in early June. Since then the book has been sent for printing, converted into an ebook, books shipped to Oracle Press warehouse, then shipped to Amazon and other book sellers. Today it is finally available officially.

(when I say officially, it seems that Amazon has shipped some pre-ordered books a week ago)

If you are at Oracle Open World (OOW) in September make sure to check out the book in the Oracle Book Store, and if you buy a copy try to track us down to get us to sign it. The best way to do this is to contact us on Twitter, leave a message at the Oracle Press stand, or you will find us hanging out at the OTN Lounge.

Oracle Data Visualisation Desktop : Enabling Advanced Analytics (R)

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Oracle Data Visualization comes with all the typical features you have with Visual Analyzer that is part of BICS, DVCS and OBIEE.

An additional install you may want to do is to install the R language for Oracle Data Visualization Desktop. This is required to enable the Advanced Analytics feature of the tool.


After installing Data Visualisation Desktop when you open the Advanced Analytics section and try to add one of the Advanced Analytics graphing option you will get an errors message as, shown below.


In Windows, click on the Start button, then go to Programs and then Oracle. In there you will see a menu item called install Advanced Analytics i.e. install Oracle R Distribution on your machine.


When you click on this menu option a new command line window will open and will proceed with the installation of Oracle R Distribution (in this case version 3.1.1, which is not the current version of Oracle R Distribution).


By accepting the defaults and clicking next, Oracle R Distribution will be installed. The following images will step you through the installation.






The final part of the installation is download and install lots and lots of supporting R packages.


When these supporting R packages have been installed, you can now use the Advanced Analytics features of Oracle Data Visualisation Desktop.

If you had the tool open during this installation you will need to close/shutdown the tool and restart it.

Oracle Data Visualisation : Setting up a Connection to your DB

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Using Oracle Data Visualisation is just the same or very similar as to using the Cloud version of the tool.

In this blog post I will walk you through the steps you need to perform the first time you use the Oracle Data Visualization client tool and to quickly create some visualizations.

Step 1 – Create a Connection to your Oracle DB and Schema

After opening Oracle Data Visualisation client tool client on the Data Sources icon that is displayed along the top of the screen.


Then click on the ‘Connection’ button. You need to create a connection to your schema in the Oracle Database. Other options exist to create a connection to files etc. But for this example click on ‘From Database.


Enter you connections details for your schema in your Oracle Database. This is exactly the same kind of information that you would enter for creating a SQL Developer connection. Then click the Save button.


Step 2 – Defining the data source for your analytics

You need to select the tables or views that you are going to use to build up your data visualizations. In the Data Sources section of the tool (see the first image above) click on the ‘Create Data New Data Source’ button and then select ‘From Database’. The following window (or one like it) will be displayed. This will contain all the schemas in the DB that you have some privileges for. You may just see your schema or others.

Select your schema from the list. The window will be updated to display the tables and views in the schema. You can change the layout from icon based to being a list. You can also define a query that contains the data you want to analyse using the SQL tab.


When you have select the table or view to use or have defined the SQL for the data set, a window will be displayed showing you a sample of the data. You can use this window to quickly perform a visual inspection of the data to make sure it is the data you want to use.


The data source you have defined will now be listed data sources part of the tool. You can click on the option icon (3 vertical dots) on the right hand side of the data source and then select Create VA Project from the pop up menu.


Step 3 – Create your Oracle Data Visualization project

When the Visual Analyser part of the tool opens, you can click and drag the columns from your data set on to the workspace. The data will be automatically formatted and displayed on the screen. You can also quickly generate lots of graphics and again click and drag the columns on the graphics to define various element.


DAMA Ireland: Data Protection Event 5th May

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We have our next DAMA Ireland event/meeting coming up on the 5th May, and will be in our usual venue of Bank of Ireland, 1 Grand Canal Dock.

Our meeting will cover two topics. The main topic for the evening will be on Data Protection. We have Daragh O’Brien (MD of Castlebridge Associate) presenting on this. Daragh is also the Global Data Privacy Officer for DAMA International. He has also been invoked in contributing to the next version of the DMBOK, that is coming out very soon.


We also have Katherine O’Keefe who will be talking the DAMA Certified Data Management Practitioners (CDMP) certification. Katherine has been working with DAMA International on updates to the new CDMP certification.

To check out more details of the event/meeting, click on the Eventbrite image below. This will take you to the event/meeting details and where you can also register for the meeting.


Cost : FREE

When : 5th May

Where : Bank of Ireland, 1 Grand Canal Dock

PS: Please register in advance of the meeting, as we would like to know who and how many are coming, to allow us to make any necessary arrangements.