Montag, 6. Februar 2012

get your traces - yourself



I'd like to mention a small peace of software. It's called MrTrace and available in Version 2.0.0.43 right now. For me it's a tool to save time. So what is it doing at all?
MrTrace is a plugin for Oracles SQL Developer to access tracefiles via SQL Developer. It's previous version could only access the tracefile for the statement you just executed. But since version 2 you anyone with the right permissions access any tracefile in the trace directory.

For a DBA it does not sound spectacular to access tracefiles, but it can be quite annoying to get and distribute tracefiles for developers. In my current company there is no OS-access to databae servers for anyone except DBAs and OS-admins. this means someone must copy over the traces to make them accessible for others. It's not a complex task, but it's disturbing.
With MrTrace I can grant anyone who knows how to use SQL Developer permissions to access trace files. So it saves a lot of time, for me and the developer. At a price of less than us$50 it should amortize in no time, if you have a diligent developer.

A list of my very private findings:

PROs:

  • it's easy to install (on the client side) 
  • it's not OS-dependent - you can apply it on any client-OS where you can start SQL Developer
  • the installation script for the database user and objects is not wrapped. So you can review and even change this part of the software. (in my case, we have a PASSWORD_VERIFY_FUNCTION enforced in my company. I needed to edit the installation script to create the user MRTRACE.
  • The support of Method R is great! I had the joy to participate in their beta program for version 2 of MrTrace. We had some nice conversations.  

CONs:

  • You need SQL Developer for the client side. - No big deal for me, but in some companies that might be a problem.
  • MrTrace needs java to do some tasks. Unfortunately there is no method to list the content of a directory, so java is needed. 
  • OS-commands like ls,  find and xargs are used. There is nothing bad about these commands, but I don't see anything they do what cannot be done in java directly. So for me it increases complexity without a need. 

And no, I am not an employee of Method R, the only relation is the software license I bought myself. 
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