2013-04-04

OCI binding

If you are a professional programmer, then you can't avoid Oracle (or you need to be really lucky). I'm also one of them.

I was using either GUI (mostly Quantam DB) or Sagittarius ODBC binding. Both have some problems but by now it worked pretty fine for me. The reason I've decided to write it was it's getting annoying to use some thing not supporting to dump BLOB data thoroughly or requiring to configure connection setting somewhere difficult to find.

As you already knew, there is the API to use Oracle directly called OCI (Oracle Calling Interface). Well, since I have FFI then why not write a binding for it? It would make my life much easier than now. I was really hoping like that. If everything would have gone well, I wouldn't have written this article. Yes, I've met THE problem.

If you have an experience using ODBC, then you might have thought like this: 'this API requires cast no matter what'. OCI also has this and I call it problem. When this become a problem is actually certain situations such as binding parameters. Sagittarius converts input Scheme object to relevant C object. However it doesn't support casting. So at this point, my motivation had disappeared.

Then it revived like phoenix. My FFI doesn't support cast however most of the values can be converted to bytevector (it can be done by R6RS). Now I have got some lights to go through this crappy API jungle (it's well designed actually).

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