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 188.8.131.52 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 184.108.40.206 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 220.127.116.11 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 18.104.22.168 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.