Friday, July 26, 2013

Thoth Gateway version 1.3.7 available, including source code

There is a new version of the Thoth Gateway, a mod_plsql replacement for IIS, available for download. The latest version is 1.3.7.

This version also includes the source code for the gateway. The project has been "open source" (under a BSD license) since day 1, but I never got around to actually publishing the source code, until now that is! :-)

This version fixes an issue with page rendering that was only impacting Apex 4.2 installations. Thanks to Patrick and Christian on the Apex developer team who responded quickly to my inquiries about the underlying changes in Apex that caused this problem to appear (the problem was caused by improper CGI setup in IIS/Thoth, not a problem with Apex itself).

Note also that this version removes support for OWA basic authentication (see the release notes in the downloaded archive for details). This should not have any impact on Apex applications at all (but may impact older, "pure OWA" applications).

Upgrades: For existing installations, simply overwrite the existing PLSQLGatewayModule.dll file in the "bin" folder with the latest version from the downloaded archive.

Roadmap for the Thoth Gateway

The goal for the next release of the gateway (tentatively called version 1.4.0) is to change the Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET) from the "Unmanaged" to the "Managed" driver. By using the Managed (pure .NET) driver, the installation of the Thoth Gateway becomes even simpler, because it removes the need to have the full Oracle client (or even the Instant Client) on the system. Note that this will change the minimum system requirements from .NET Framework 3.5 to 4.0 (the version that the managed driver requires).

For Thoth Gateway version 2.0, it might be fun to implement RESTful Web Services, to catch up feature-wise with the Apex Listener. (The Thoth Gateway already has automatic SOAP Web Services built-in, though.) By the way, now that the source code is available, anyone can pick up the challenge and contribute new features to the gateway!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

First mentions of Oracle 12c XE (Express Edition)

Oracle released an Express Edition (XE) of its 10g database back in 2005 or thereabouts, and this was later followed up by an Oracle 11g Express Edition database.

Oracle XE is great because it is lightweight and "free to develop, deploy and distribute". Dietmar Aust has posted a thorough clarification on XE licensing, where representatives from Oracle have confirmed that XE is indeed free. (The post also includes some good security advice in the comments.) Oracle XE has its limitations, but I've previously posted some performance benchmarks for Oracle XE, which shows that it is more than good enough for many use cases.

Back to the topic of this post... during the Q&A part of the "Oracle Database 12c Launch Webcast" there were several questions about a 12c version of XE:

Will there be an Oracle 12c Express Edition? It is planned, but there are no dates yet.

Is there an Express edition of 12c available? Planned, but no dates yet.

Will 12c be available for Express Edition? If so, schedule? Planned but no dates yet.

So basically, we now know that there will be an Oracle 12c Express Edition coming out, but we have no idea when. Hopefully it won't take 5-6 years, like the wait between 10g and 11g... (and when it arrives it will probably be for 64-bit Windows, which was promised for XE 11g, but which never materialized UPDATE: Oracle XE 11g for 64-bit Windows was released in June 2014).

But hey, it's free, and it's a great product, so it will be worth the wait! :-)