Playing with IDOUtils, libdbi & Oracle

by | Jul 14, 2009

First of all, since I became one of the maintainers for NDOUtils Oracle I’ve been looking forward to commit this project back to the upstream. It is a bit tricky because current code has been merged from NDOUtils 1.4.b8 (partly) and it is using a self written Library for OCI (Oracle Call Interface, liboci). Even though SQL-Queries and the DB layout are slightly modified to fit to Oracle.
Focusing resources on Icinga and IDOUtils with the best source base so far includes using the libdbi as a database abstraction layer.
So far, libdbi is written in C and consists of two modules:

  • libdbi (API which is called from inside IDOUtils)
  • libdbi-drivers (driver modules for each RDBM desired, loaded by libdbi)

Currently, the libdbi contains stable drivers for

Not completed drivers are

Testing the Oracle driver
As a matter of fact, I wanted to test the Oracle driver and it turned out to be really “not completed”. What I did (a complete description can be found here):
First step was to download and install the Oracle Instantclient and the SDK (remote Oracle DB). Next step: Install the libdbi.  The libdbi needs to be installed first – if you try the drivers first, configure will fail because of missing dbi.h!
And the biggest part: The libdbi driver for Oracle. While the source in the tar-ball contains a typo in dbd_oracle.c the CVS snapshot had problems with automake on RHEL x64. Nice isn’t it? After having that fixed configure needs to be pointed to the Oracle lib and inc dir from Instant Client. Then I slightly modified the DB scheme (kicked the table prefix, renamed one table and all primary keys to fit the maximum of 30 characters (Oracle!)). Also hacked some C-Code into IDOUtils to be ready for the first test (only a “Hello World”-SQL-Query).
Starting IDOUtils with Oracle config, getting nice error messages and not that good memory address exceptions on the Oracle server. Meaning, the libdbi driver for Oracle doesn’t even work with one single test query 🙁
Future Outlook
For that reason I have been looking forward towards another solution. Reading the libdbi mailinglists there has been a discussion about rewriting the Oracle driver with ocilib. Concerning the fact that libdbi API doesn’t even support parameter bindings (which are essential for performance) it would be very tricky to get a working solution as soon as possible.
ocilib looks very nice and is a very mature and stable project which is why we are planning to build IDOUtils with Oracle support on that base. This will be less work than a libdbi driver but also enough to implement, test, debug and hopefully release soon.
Meanwhile our focus will relay on implementing IDOUtils support for the stable libdbi drivers just as Postgres or SQLite.
If anyone reading this and having knowledge of normalizing the SQL queries feel free to contact us! It will be very much appreciated getting more DB knowledge into this project! 🙂

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