Here is the program!

You will find here all the news about the PL/SQL frameworks and libraries that you can find on internet. We will also discuss about the tools needed in each development phase (development, production, maintenance), the error management and so on.
And then, whether frameworks and libraries are commercial or open source, I will try to test them all.
I will compare their features to the needs that I know and that you expressed.
Oracle guys, you are welcome on that blog!
We also have a lot to learn from you for a better use of Oracle features.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why do we need PL/SQL frameworks and libraries ?

As a PL/SQL developer in various IT services companies, I felt many times the need of more libraries to help me ; I had a few time (the project was late, what a surprise !), not a lot of tools to help me (most of the time older versions of Toad without any options) and all to invent because the organization had no written standard for PL/SQL.
But it was difficult to find some libraries that you can use in 5 minutes and add the features you need : basically, logging and error handling. And you also need to be sure it's working well. You have enough with your bugs, you don't need the bugs from other people...
And after logging, like a lot of people, the file management : UTL_FILE is good but anyone has a procedure to write Excel files or others formats ?
And so on.

I think that a lot of PL/SQL developers love that language but need more support to have the benefits of reliable code that save their time and make development more pleasant.

Probably sometimes we don't have all the knowing of the Oracle's features and the standard features are not the same in the different versions or Oracle ; but in fact, most of the time the features available in the standard packages does not meet all the needs or are not convenient.
And that's why we need frameworks and libraries.
It is not an universal answer to the PL/SQL developers needs but it is a good help.
That's why I decided to compile all the code I wrote during several year in The Log & DBug library.

But to go further, I think it's interesting to examine all the libraries and frameworks available on the net to see what part of each can be usable for us. I will do these tests it in the next months and share the results with you.
And on my part, I will do my best to integrated your feedback and needs to assure the evolution of my library.

In my next post, I will use the result of a very interesting discussion we have on a the Oracle Pro group on LinkedIn to try to distinguish what are the tools needed according to the development phase the context and the organization.