Oracle Lite Part 2, how to get started (continued)


Yesterday I had a few mind boggling experiences with Oracle Lite. Together with our customer and my colleague Arjaan, I tried to install Oracle Lite. This is a very important project with 300 Oracle Lite snapshots in the future.

Again I experienced what I wrote in my previous post. It’s a nice product with a lot of potential, but the documentation is very poor. The installer is awkward and the packaging tool (wtgpack) is far from production ready. The Oracle Lite database itself is very good both in performance and in its SQL support.
This is what we experienced:....

  • The installer asks you for the repository database information very early in the installation process. At the end you are prompted for the system password in order to log onto that database. You cannot change the database information at that time so you cannot correct typing errors. This leaves you with a broken installation. It’s my experience that it’s best to remove the installation and start all over again.
  • We had the idea to install the Oracle Lite repository in another database than the database that we wanted to create snapshots of. At first you think this should work, since the packaging tool asks you for a database when you import tables in the application.
    Deployment of the application however stops with a WTG-20502 error. This is an error you always get when deployment fails. The tool doesn’t give any clue about what really went wrong. At the end we installed the repository in the same database as the main database that should be synchronized to Oracle Lite. All works well in that setup, no problems there. But this is still a big disappointment since we wanted to separate the two in order to keep the performance as good as possible. We could use the new development tool that Oracle is providing with release two of the product, but we ran into the next problem.
  • So we had to install the repository in the same database. That is an database running on VMS; according to the documentation this should work. We tried the new release of Oracle Lite 10gR2. This version doesn’t install on an database, since it is not able to logon as SYSTEM. This is needed so that the installer can create a repository user.
    We finally (to our luck) tried the previous release 1 version of Oracle Lite 10g. I have installed this version several times now with success on different systems including an 8.1.7 database running on Windows. We were still not able to install the software. The installer says it is running through the different steps of installing the repository (creating objects, populating tables). But that information is wrong since the installer didn’t create the repository user. That’s strange; it did this on every other installation I tried. In the end we created a repository user ourselves. This also generated an error during installation. We then created a repository user and granted the DBA role to it. That fixed our problem. We are now able to create an Oracle Lite 10gR1 repository in an database running on VMS. We are still not able to install release 2 of Oracle lite, but we can at least continue development.

I truly hope that Oracle will enhance the level of documentation. The error messages of the packaging tool should be much more intuitive.

In the very near future we will migrate the database to Oracle 10gR2. We will then also migrate Oracle Lite to 10gR2. We will then also be able to get rid of the wtgpack application since we can use the new Oracle Lite workbench. Hopefully that will give us a more stable development environment.

I still believe in the product; at least in the Oracle Lite database itself. Oracle even provides this database with their BPEL product and I have never had database problems while using BPEL. Once you have a successful deployment of your application you will have a very nice workable environment to create powerful offline database applications on laptops, PDA’s and smart phones.


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  1. We had the same issue with 10g2 and the Oracle SYSTEM user. Our DBA created a ticket with Oracle support and received a patch that resolved the issue (not sure if the patch was was Oracle or for Oracle Lite 10g2). She confirmed she was able to successfully install Oracle Lite 10g2 (v10.2.0.2) after the patch was applied.

  2. I also ran on problems with OLite 10g R2, but with nothing mentioned in this article – in Consolidator Java API. I developed simple tool for populating repository, which run without problems on, but I can’t get it working on the R2 – I get some strange NullPointerException exceptions and so on… I described it exactly in this post:

    so, for now until this gets solved, I have to switch back to the first version :(

  3. The article is an excellent guide to oracle lite developers. Can you please elaborate the (for synchronization, use java api to partition the out queue with a good example) ? or give us an article about it?


  4. Regarding point 3.

    It could be that 10gR2 is really a 10g database/software regarding SQL*Net and 10gR1 was still based on SQL*Net 9 technology. SQL*Net 10g is not complying with SQL*Net version 8. If you should try to connect to a database version 8 with a 10g client, it’s refused with the remark that the 8 version is not supported.