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Archive for April, 2014

Toad Freeware Page

without comments

While I posted how to install Toad for MySQL Freeware five years ago, I’m always surprised how few people know about it there and consistently updated and improved. You can download Toad for MySQL Freeware or Toad Freeware for Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase, or IBM DB2 at this web site.

MySQLToadHome

You can also download Toad Data Modeler Freeware Edition. Just two notes, while Toad for Oracle Freeware is an MSI file, Toad for MySQL Freeware is a zip file and limited to only a Windows install.

Written by maclochlainn

April 30th, 2014 at 1:46 am

A/UX, NeXTSTEP, & OS X

with 5 comments

One thing that gets tedious in the IT community and Oracle community is the penchant for Windows only solutions. While Microsoft does an excellent job in certain domains, I remain a loyal Apple customer. By the way, you can install Oracle Client software on Mac OS X and run SQL Developer against any Oracle Database server. You can even run MySQL Workbench and MySQL server natively on the Mac OS X platform, which creates a robust development platform and gives you more testing options with the MySQL monitor (the client software).

Notwithstanding, some Windows users appear to malign Apple and the Mac OS X on compatibility, but they don’t understand that it’s a derivative of the Research Unix, through BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). This Unix lineage chart illustrates it well:

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 3.49.39 PM

I’m probably loyal to Apple because in the early 1990’s I worked on Mac OS 6, Mac OS 7, A/UX, NeXTSTEP, and AIX/6000 (Version 3) while working at APL (American President Lines) in Oakland, California. Back then, my desktop was a pricey Macintosh Quadra 950 and today I work on a pricey Mac Pro desktop. The Mac Pro lets me use VMware virtualize development environments for Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and as you might guess Windows 7/8. My question to those dyed in the wool Microsoft users is simple, why would you choose a single user OS like Windows over a multi-user OS like Mac OS X?

Written by maclochlainn

April 18th, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Best UTL_FILE Practice

with 4 comments

In a post a couple days ago, I promised to provide a best practice approach to reading external files with the UTL_FILE package. My first assumption is that you’re reading unstructured data because structured data is best read by external tables because external tables can read data much faster with the PARALLEL option.

My second assumption is that you’re you don’t know how to use or choose not to use the DBMS_LOB package; specifically, the loadclobfromfile and loadblobfromfile procedures. By the way, Chapter 10 of the Oracle Database 12c PL/SQL Programming has several complete examples using the DBMS_LOB package. My third assumption is that you’d like the external file packaged as a whole, which means you want it returned as a CLOB or BLOB data type.

Here’s a generic function that achieves that and avoids the nonsense with closing the file in the exception handler, or worse yet, wrapping it in another PL/SQL schema-level function:

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CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION read_file_to_clob
( pv_location   VARCHAR2
, pv_file_name  VARCHAR2 ) RETURN CLOB IS 
 
  /* Declare local input variables. */
  lv_location      VARCHAR2(60);
  lv_file_name     VARCHAR2(40);
 
  /* Declare a file reference pointer and buffer. */
  lv_file    UTL_FILE.FILE_TYPE;  -- File reference
  lv_line    VARCHAR2(32767);     -- Reading buffer
 
  /* Declare local sizing variables. */
  lv_file_size  NUMBER;
  lv_line_size  NUMBER;
  lv_read_size  NUMBER :=0;
 
    /* Declare local file attribute data. */
  lv_file_exists  BOOLEAN := FALSE;
  lv_block_size   BINARY_INTEGER;
 
  /* Declare a control variable and return CLOB variable. */
  lv_enable  BOOLEAN := FALSE;
  lv_return  CLOB;
BEGIN
  /* Declare local input variables. */
  lv_location  := pv_location;
  lv_file_name := pv_file_name;
 
  /* Check for open file and close when open. */
  IF UTL_FILE.is_open(lv_file) THEN
    UTL_FILE.fclose(lv_file);
  END IF;
 
  /* Read the file attributes to get the physical size. */
  UTL_FILE.fgetattr( location    => lv_location
                   , filename    => lv_file_name
                   , fexists     => lv_file_exists
                   , file_length => lv_file_size
                   , block_size  => lv_block_size ); 
 
  /* Open only files that exist. */
  IF lv_file_exists THEN
 
    /* Create a temporary CLOB in memory. */
    DBMS_LOB.createtemporary(lv_return, FALSE, DBMS_LOB.CALL);
 
    /* Open the file for read-only of 32,767 byte lines. */
    lv_file := UTL_FILE.fopen( location     => lv_location
                             , filename     => lv_file_name
                             , open_mode    => 'R'
                             , max_linesize => 32767);
 
 
    /* Read all lines of a text file. */
    WHILE (lv_read_size < lv_file_size) LOOP
      /* Read a line of text until the eof marker. */
      UTL_FILE.get_line( file   => lv_file
                       , buffer => lv_line );
 
      /* Add the line terminator or 2 bytes to its length. */
      lv_line := NVL(lv_line,'')||CHR(10);
      lv_read_size := lv_read_size
                    + LENGTH(NVL(lv_line,CHR(10))) + 2;
 
      /* Write to an empty CLOB or append to an existing CLOB. */
      IF NOT lv_enable THEN
        /* Write to the temporary CLOB variable. */
        DBMS_LOB.WRITE( lv_return, LENGTH(lv_line), 1, lv_line);
 
        /* Set the control variable. */
        lv_enable := TRUE;
      ELSE
        /* Append to the temporary CLOB variable. */
        DBMS_LOB.writeappend( lv_return, LENGTH(lv_line),lv_line);
      END IF;
    END LOOP;
 
    /* Close the file. */
    UTL_FILE.fclose(lv_file);
  END IF;
 
  /* This line is never reached. */
  RETURN lv_return;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    UTL_FILE.fclose(lv_file);
    RAISE NO_DATA_FOUND;
END;
/

You can test the function with the following:

SET LONG 100000
SET PAGESIZE 999
 
SELECT read_file_to_clob('SomeVirtualDirectory','TextFile.txt') AS "Output"
FROM   dual;

If anybody has suggestions for improvements, please pass them along. As always, I hope this helps other developers.

Written by maclochlainn

April 16th, 2014 at 3:07 am

Using UTL_FILE Package

with 5 comments

Sometimes I’m surprised. Today, the surprise came when somebody pointed to a potential error in another author’s book. The person who asked the question had to send me a screen shot before I believed it.

The author’s code encounters the following error because the code was designed to loop through a multiple line file, and the code called the UTL_FILE.FOPEN procedure with three instead of four parameters. While it works with only three parameters when the strings are less than or equal to 1,024 (thanks Gary), it throws read errors when a string exceeds the default. You use the fourth parameter when your string exceeds the default length of 1,024.

DECLARE
*
ERROR AT line 1:
ORA-29284: FILE read error
ORA-06512: AT "SYS.UTL_FILE", line 106
ORA-06512: AT "SYS.UTL_FILE", line 746
ORA-06512: AT line 26

As mentioned, you fix the problem by using the fourth parameter like the call on lines 15 through 18 below:

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DECLARE
  /* Declare local input variables. */
  lv_location      VARCHAR2(60) := 'C:\Data\Direct';
  lv_file_name     VARCHAR2(40) := 'TextFile.txt';
 
  /* Declare a file reference pointer and buffer. */
  lv_file     UTL_FILE.FILE_TYPE;  -- File reference
  lv_line     VARCHAR2(32767);     -- Reading buffer
 
BEGIN
 
  /* Check for open file and close when open. */
  IF UTL_FILE.is_open(lv_file) THEN
    UTL_FILE.fclose(lv_file);
  END IF;
 
  /* Open the file for read-only of 32,767 lines of text.
     The fourth parameter is required when you want to use
     the GET_LINE procedure to read a file line-by-line. */
  lv_file := UTL_FILE.fopen( location     => lv_location
                           , filename     => lv_file_name
                           , open_mode    => 'R'
                           , max_linesize => 32767);
 
  /* Read all lines of a text file. */
  LOOP
    /* Read a line of text, when the eof marker is found 
       the get_line procedure raises a NO_DATA_FOUND 
       error, which is why there's no explicit loop. */
    UTL_FILE.get_line( file   => lv_file
                     , buffer => lv_line );
 
    /* Print the line of text or a line return because
       UTL_FILE doesn't read line returns. */
    DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line(NVL(lv_line,CHR(10)));
 
  END LOOP;
 
EXCEPTION
  WHEN NO_DATA_FOUND THEN
    UTL_FILE.fclose(lv_file);
END;
/

While the foregoing is traditional and uses a physical directory path from the local server’s operating system, you can use a virtual directory from Oracle Database 10g forward. This physical directory is also defined in the utl_file_dir parameter of the database server. A virtual directory hides the physical directory from the application software, which simplifies physical file maintenance when you need to move the files.

3
  lv_location      VARCHAR2(60) := 'DirectVirtualDirectory';

The preceding example works, and I’ll put one out converting the external to CLOB later in the week.

Written by maclochlainn

April 13th, 2014 at 11:46 pm