Upgrading to SQLDeveloper 3.0 on Ubuntu

My new year’s resolution that no alcohol will pass my lips is in no way connected to the fact that the only drink left in the house is half a bottle of cooking sherry that I’ve had for ages and really don’t like the look of right now.

As I’ve struggled through the hangover haze of a New Year’s Eve spent being corrupted by my better half, I’ve made a number of discoveries :

  • I now know why Belgian beer is only served in small glasses
  • the more you drink, the less it matters about the accuracy of your cocktail mixing skills
  • don’t try and install SQLDeveloper on Ubuntu if you’ve got a hangover

I installed SQLDeveloper 1.5.5 some time ago and I’ve now decided to take the plunge and have a go with SQLDeveloper 3.

Update – if you’ve stumbled across this looking for instructions on how to install SQLDeveloper4, then this may help.
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Getting output from Ref Cursors in PL/SQL

A colleague of mine (Martin, you know who you are), remarked the other week that he wasn’t overly interested in the contents of the blogosphere. He said that it usually put him in mind of the cartoon of the tag-cloud consisting solely of the word “me”. This got me to thinking, why do I do this ?
Let’s put my ego to one side for a moment ( pause to sounds of straining, followed by a dull thud). That was heavier than it looked.

One of the reasons for maintaining this blog is that I’ve got a quick reference to look at if I come across something I did a while ago and need a quick reminder of syntax etc. Also, my Mum likes to know what I’m up to.
The starting point for this entry was to attempt to drag together all the basic bits about Ref Cursors in PL/SQL – specifically, accessing them from within PL/SQL itself.

Whilst I was writing this, it was pointed out to me that SQLDeveloper doesn’t handle Ref Cursors quite as nicely as Toad. The specific issue was the difficulty in dumping the results into a grid, from whence it can be transferred to Open Office Spreadsheet ( or Excel).

For the most part, Ref Cursors are used to transfer data from the database to a web application. So, why would you need to start fiddling about with getting results back in PL/SQL ?
There are probably several answers to this question. However, for me, it’s mainly a case of having to trace problems raised in various support calls. Knowing what data results from each of the calls in a process usually helps a bit. Continue reading

Triggers on Views in SQLDeveloper

So, you’ve noticed that SQLDeveloper ( any version prior to 2.1.1) doesn’t show triggers on views. At the same time SQLDeveloper 2.1.1 doesn’t show package bodies unless you have a very highly privileged account.
If you’re determined to press-on with 2.1.1, you can see a workaround for the package body problem here.
If however, you’d prefer to wait until they’ve ironed out this particular kink before taking the plunge, but want a solution to the invisible triggers, read on … Continue reading

Unable to See Package Bodies in SQLDeveloper 2.1.1

After many happy months spent sauntering contentedly through the database, I recently came across a curious little bug in SQLDeveloper 1.5.4 where the Triggers on a View are not displayed in the appropriate Tab.
Not to worry, it’s about time I upgraded to 2.1.1 anyway. Or so I thought. I should have known – it’s the summer and bugs are everywhere.
Incidentally, if you need a workaround for the Views issue ( which seems to afflict all version up to 2.1.x, then a workaround is available here.

Fast forward then and I’m now sitting here front of SQLDeveloper on Windows Vista…and wondering what exactly it’s done to all of those package bodies that were there a moment ago.
What follows is a summary of my attempts to find out just what is going on and how to get around it. Continue reading

Solved – The Mystery of SQLDeveloper and the Missing ocijdbc11

This is a follow up to my earlier post about SQLDeveloper being moody and suddenly refusing to connect to a database via TNS.
Having had a bit of a dig around, it would seem that this problem is not platform specific and affects Windows in the same way.
At this point, I’d like to say a big “thank you” to Grzegorz Wilczura, who referred me to this article by Sue Harper.
If you’re hitting this problem on Windows, then you may want to follow the instructions there to set up a TNS_ADMIN environment variable.

Remember, this problem had two primary symptoms :-

  1. Empty Network Alias list when defining a TNS connection
  2. When testing an existing TNS connection you get :
    Status: Failure – Test failed : no ocijdbc11 in java.library.path

In Sue’s article, it states that SQLDeveloper looks for a tnsnames.ora in the following places in this order :

  • $HOME/.tnsnames.ora
  • $TNS_ADMIN/tnsnames.ora
  • /etc/tnsnames.ora
  • $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora

Only one of these places is has an absolute path. The rest all rely on environment variables being set. However, when I run SQLDeveloper from the Ubuntu desktop menu, I’m not starting a shell, so my .bashrc doesn’t get executed. Therefore, these variables are not set.
When I setup my first tns connection, I’d just installed sqldeveloper and ran it by executing the shell script ( sqldeveloper.sh) from a Terminal Window. Of course, the $ORACLE_HOME was set in this environment and SQLDeveloper could therefore see the tnsnames.ora in $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin.

All of this means that the cause of the problem is that SQLDeveloper cannot see, or can no longer see, the tnsnames.ora file.

Copying the tnsnames.ora to /etc will fix the problem. However, probably the best solution is to ensure that we’re only referencing one tnsnames.ora and don’t replicate it. That way, we only ever have to change it in one place, should the need arise.

So, the alternative I’ve chosen is to set the $ORACLE_HOME environment variable in sqldeveloper.sh – the script that gets called to start SQLDeveloper.
Start a terminal and go to the SQLDeveloper home directory ( in my case, I installed SQLDeveloper in /opt) :-

cd /opt/sqldeveloper
sudo gedit sqldeveloper.sh

Now amend the file so it looks something like this :

cd "`dirname $0`"/sqldeveloper/bin && bash sqldeveloper $*

Now re-start SQLDeveloper from the Ubuntu menu. Remember, this menu item is simply executing the shell script we’ve just changed.
If you have an existing tns connection defined then you can test doing the following :

  1. Right-click the connection and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  2. This will bring up the New/Select Database Connection window.
  3. Enter the password in the Password field
  4. Hit the test button.

The test should now succeed.

If you haven’t got a TNS connection defined currently, you should now be able to test by setting one up, with no problem.

SQLDeveloper doesn’t like Mondays – refusing to play with TNS defined connection

OK, so I didn’t find this until today ( Wednesday). Look it’s poetic license alright ? Give me a break here !
Anyway, it seems that SQLDeveloper has decided to stop playing nicely and when trying to connect to XE on my TNS defined connection.
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