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10 Articles

Making Oracle Forms Use JRE instead of Jinitiator

By default, Oracle Forms Application Server serves Oracle Forms applications using the built-in Jinitiator JVM. While JVM works swell with cutting edge browsers1 it pretty much crashes most of the other browsers2 and doesn’t work at all in Chrome. There are workarounds but the workarounds do not play well while working with multiple tabs.

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  1. IE6 []
  2. Firefox, IE7+ []

Swap Table Names Between Inserts And Selects on the Same Line using Regular Expressions

Background: For the past few days weeks, I have been working on a way to export selective data from one schema to import into another. Now the problem is that “selective” data refers to the data as stored across various tables in the custom application that I’ve been working on, with elaborate relational links between the tables ( if you’re curious, the table count on the related data was about 65) – so it was not just couple of tables that I had to export.
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Download Toad for Oracle for Free

Toad (acronym for Tool for Oracle Application Developers) is arguably one of the most popular and best known tools used by most people dabbling in Oracle databases ( or for that matter, most relational databases anyway). Toad’s reputation is so good, I’ve known few people swear by it and don’t even bother looking at other software, no matter how good.

Toad’s got more features than your average SQL/ PL/SQL developer would use,and hence got a bit of a steep learning curve. Not to mention an even steeper price tag ( the base edition starts at $957, and goes all the way upto $4709 if you include the Code Tester and DB Admin module). Given these prices, Toad is pretty heavily pirated.

However, most people are unaware that Toad also comes in a freeware edition, and until recently was severely crippled. Few days ago, there was an update to Toad freeware – and the updates are pretty good. The freeware edition is now based on 10.5 codebase, rather than previous 8.5 codebase. Now before you start jumping up and down, the restrictions on the freeware edition are still in place, but noticeably lesser than the previous update. Some of the restrictions include you being limited to only one concurrent database connection (which btw – would severely hamper me, I generally maintain 2-3 connections). Another major irritation is that the freeware edition will expire every 90 days, and you will need to uninstall, re-download and reinstall it. Ugh.

Here’s comparison chart between the commercial edition and freeware.

If you’re OK with the restrictions imposed by freeware edition or a Toad fan, then you can go ahead with getting it. If you ask me, Oracle’s SQL Developer is a perfectly acceptable alternative tool.

(In case you’re wondering my preferred tool, its Allround Automations’ PL/SQL Developer. Yes, yes, I know, the UI is butt ugly – I didn’t want to touch it at all just because of the UI – but believe me, once you get over the UI, you’ll love it – its fantastically fast, consumes very little memory and got boat load of features for the price its available at. I’ll probably do a review of the tool soon.)

Do let me know if you have a preferred /alternative tool that I could look at.

Download Links:

1. Toad Freeware edition

2. Oracle SQL Developer

3. Allround Automations PL/SQL Developer

Brush up your PL/SQL knowledge with PL/SQL Challenge

If you’re looking to brush up on your PL/SQL knowledge, PL/SQL challenge is pretty nice. It’s a daily challenge quiz, where you are presented with  multiple choice or true/false questions. It’s an initiative by Steven Feuerstein , who’s pretty well known. I just joined in, first few questions were not too tough 🙂 Join in, there’s some great prizes to be won .

If you know of any more such websites, do drop in a comment and let me know.

(PS: If you’re wondering what’s with the weird URL structure, well its built on Oracle Apex. Long, clumsy URLs are a pain, and Apex does nothing to banish them).

Fixing Internet Explorer Crash on Launching Oracle Forms Application with jInitiator

I’ve been facing this really annoying problem for quite some time now. My job revolves around developing apps using Oracle Forms Builder. Oracle Forms applications, uses Java applets to run inside any browser, on most platforms. Here’s the kink – Oracle Forms applications by default uses Oracle’s jInitiator which is a JVM made by Oracle and allows a web enabled Oracle Forms client application to be run inside a web browser.

As much as I hate using Internet Explorer – I have to depend on it as the my app depends on other components which are designed on run on Internet Explorer only 😐 

Till now I’ve been using Mozilla Firefox, but now the situation demands that I needed to use Internet Explorer. And when I launched Internet Explorer – Ka boom! Internet Explorer crashes. Did few things, such as disabling all addons, getting rid of Sun’s JVM et al, but made no difference.

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Finally, I came across a solution(or rather a workaround) – replace the jvm.dll in jinitiator directory with that present in Sun’s JRE 1.6. If you don’t want to install the whole bundle – just click here(jvm.dll, 2.2 MB), I’ve uploaded just the jvm.dll file, rename the original jvm.dll (present in jinitiator/bin/hotspot directory) to, say jvm.dll.old, and replace it with the one given in the above link. Restart the browser, IE shouldn’t crash anymore.

Exporting and Importing An Oracle database from one schema/user to Another schema/user easily

Couple of days ago at work I was asked to create a new environment(schema, user) for specific application testing conditions. While that was no big deal, I was also asked to import all the data from existing production environment into a new environment – and I was in a bit of bother here – generally the whole importing/exporting is done by DBA’s not developers. While I knew the usage of exp and imp commands, creating schema would require stuff like tablespace creating, adding data files and more importantly – grants which I had NO clue on. So after a bit of experimenting and consulting with my fellow colleague Rupam, I finally managed to export and import the data. This post is on how-to go about doing it.

If you want to skip all the commands and all just get the import / export done in 1-click try Easy Dump Oracle 1.1 – a tool which I found on the database server after all the headbanging 😐

Anyways here’s a step by step  process on how you export and import the data – do note that Easy Dump Oracle can import data ONLY if required grants are given to the user and tablespace has been allocated. For that you need to follow the below mentioned steps.

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