Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oracle on Windows - the most painful application ever


I'd been putting it off for as long as possible but I finally decided it was time for me to get the FreeFlow Administrator supporting Oracle as well SQL Server. Why did I put it off for so long? Because Oracle on Windows is horrible. I've never used it on Unix but I  assume it must be better than the Windows version, or how have Oracle survived so long? 

SQL Server just works, install it and you've got the database, management tools and drivers installed no problem. Try the same with Oracle and the first problem you've got is that the installer is some weird proprietary Java thing that doesn't behave like a normal Windows installer. Then you have to try and install ODBC and OLE DB drivers. My first installation attempt managed to destroy my database, the second time, after many Google searches, actually worked.

Another nice feature of the Oracle drivers for Windows is they seem to provide new versions every week that fix some bugs and introduce some other bugs, which all adds to the excitement. And how about this, an OLE DB driver is a 200MB download, WTF?

To be fair, some things have improved since my last foray into Oracle development. They now have a free version of their database, Oracle XE, which actually uses a proper MSI installer.  They have a new admin tool, SQL Developer, which does make life easier. Of course it's Java based so the UI is dreadful and there doesn't seem to be a way to create a table space which seems like the first thing you'd want to do but it is a step in the right direction.

So what's the point of this post? None really, except I finally got it all working and I'm feeling quite pleased with myself. Perhaps that's why people use Oracle, because they feel like they've actually achieved something after just installing the damn thing.


Anonymous said...


drop me an email (, I try to help you.

We use Oracle on Windows for small, medium and large applications and are msot of the time happy with it. One thing that is good with Oracle on Windows, is that you do NOT need rebooting after installation or patching. It can not be said of lot of Windows applications :).

Regards, Tamas

Doogal Bell said...

Cheers Tamas, I'll be sure to contact you if I have any further problems