Latest Oracle Gripes

I’ve been saving up Oracle-related gripes for a little while now. I’ve organized these into categories and, while each category isn’t really enough to stand as a blog entry on its own, all the gripes collectively make for an entry of a decent length. So, here goes.

Oracle 10g Express Edition

A coworker of mine actually came across one of these issues. Specifically, she found out that XE by default does not include the grants necessary to allow the native UTL_FILE package to be used by PL/SQL routines. It would be nice if this was documented somewhere that didn’t require a significant amount of digging to find out.

I managed to come across another one, and apparently an obscure one at that. The development team can’t even figure out how to replicate this one. For no explicable reason, the Enter key stopped working within worksheet tabs. The fix is as simple as going to Accelerators in Preferences, explicitly selecting Default, and clicking OK. This was a really annoying bug to live with until I found out how to fix it.

Oracle Designer

This is the main laundry list of the post.

First off, if you perform a DDL export from a tab other than the DB Admin tab, grants are not included in the resulting deployment script. If you’re deploying a nontrivial number of entities, it makes it annoying to have to switch tabs and go through the deployment process again.

This leads to the next point: all entities have to be reselected each time you want to deploy them. It would be a lot less tedious and annoying to, say, allow for sets of related entities to be created that could be deployed collectively by just selecting the set.

Going back to DDL exports, changes cannot be generated against a database unless you have the privileges necessary to deploy them. I honestly don’t understand why this is, as read privileges are all that are necessary to read the data dictionary tables, which are all that should be required for the test. This limitation doesn’t make the program very conducive to workflow environments.

Again in DDL exports, exported entities are not intelligently ordered in the generated deployment script such that dependencies come before reverse dependencies, which necessitates manual modifications to those deployment scripts and ergo documentation describing these modifications so that the script can be regenerated at a later time and potentially by a different developer.

Can you tell I’m not overly happy with the DDL export?

PL/SQL

I only really have one gripe for this section, but it’s a big one: the first note in the Oracle Application Server mod_plsql User’s Guide, section 3.6 Parameter Passing lies! It may be technically correct, but what it doesn’t mention is that there is a way to return a default expression as opposed to a default value. It’s a bit of a workaround, and it showcases how difficult it can be to work with aggregate data structures in PL/SQL, but it works. Documentation being this lacking is just completely substandard.

Conclusion

I think that about wraps it up. I don’t do straight-up rants that often, but in these cases I felt it was necessary. It’s entirely possible no one at Oracle will ever read them, but at least I can say it wasn’t because they weren’t stated somewhere.

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