[Zope-DB] Interested in continued Oracle support in Zope?

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Thu Sep 2 04:59:14 EDT 2004

Chris Withers wrote:
> M.-A. Lemburg wrote:
>>  From what I've heard, the "thin layer" is exactly where the problem
>> lies with the Oracle interface: Oracle has a tendency to change their
>> APIs rather often, adding new features, data types, etc. as they
>> go along.
>> As a result, you have to update the "thin layer" following
>> their release scheme and maintain it for at least 3 or more
>> different Oracle releases if you really want to provide a
>> rock solid interface.
>> Now multiply that with the need for 32-bit and 64-bit versions,
>> support for 5 or 6 different Un*x platforms and the word "thin"
>> gets a whole new meaning ;-)
> Nice :-(
>> I still don't quite understand the problems people have with
>> investing a few grand for database connectivity in the light of
>> average Oracle database server costs.
> Because the Oracle server costs rarely come out of their budget ;-)
> Oracle sells at the corporate level, so it's already there and "free" as 
> far as many people who are using Zope or Python with it are concerned.

That's an interesting reading :-)

>> I can only say from my own experience that the combination
>> EasySoft Oracle ODBC driver + mxODBC works very well and
>> let's you focus on more important things, like e.g. designing
>> your database schema with consistency and query performance
>> in mind.
> ...but doesn't that prevent you taking advantage of some/lots of 
> Oracle's "cool" features that made people pick it in the first place?

Not really: Oracle is often chosen for its good performance
figures, reliability and scalability. At the interface level
you rarely need direct access to non-standard features that
a database may offer.

The only non-standard feature that I've come across in our
consulting projects is that of being able to integrate with a
transaction manager (e.g. the XA-compatible MQSeries TM). ODBC
supports this as well, but the ODBC drivers often don't implement
it. EasySoft's driver is a notable exception (ok, we made them
add it ;-).

Another feature that's requested more recently is that of
Unicode support. Again, ODBC has support for this as well,
but it's the drivers that have to provide the functionality.
More and more drivers are catching on in this area as well,
e.g. the MS ones for Access and SQL Server, EasySoft's Oracle
driver and many more.

I'd suggest to be pragmatic and simply try out the mxODBC Zope DA
approach to Oracle connectivity.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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