Why Oracle Should “Open Source” the information in MetaLink

I started this post as a technical article about resolving an issue I had with installing Oracle. It morphed into an argument why Oracle should provide the information that’s stored within MetaLink to the rest of the world.

If Oracle is serious about competing with “new school” competitors like MySQL they need to make it easier for developers to find information on how to resolve issues. Making the MetaLink knowledge base open to the public would do just that. Read on for how I came to this conclusion.

Original Title: Problems Installing Oracle 10g Database on Windows XP

During a recent late night session installing Oracle Enterprise Database 10.2.0 I ran into a strange issue. The database installed correctly but Enterprise Manager would not install.

I got an error during installation “Error updating U:\usr\app\oracle\prodcut\10.2.0\db_1\sysman\emd\targets.xml”. The message provided further instruction to try reinstalling this component using the “bin\emca” script.

Digging further into the installation logs I found an error related to “sysman\emd\targets.xml :: Malformed \uxxxx encoding”.

Although I have worked extensively with Oracle and am a certified Oracle DBA Associate my background is with Java and LAMP technologies, like MySQL and PHP. When errors are encountered developing with those technologies Google is the best place to find the solution. My typical process is to first search the web with Google. If I don’t see applicable results I click on the “Groups�? tab. 99% of the time this technique works perfectly.

With Oracle it’s hardly ever that straight forward. I spent a couple of hours searching for the key error strings with the problem I encountered installing Enterprise Manager. The best information I got was related to the \uxxxx encoding and UTF8 character sets in addition to improperly escaped “\” in properties files.

After battling with this for a couple of hours I found that by replacing the “\” in the properties files used by the “emca” script allowed me to get Enterprise Manager installed. I started a blog entry to outline exactly what I did to fix this.

Oh, did I mention that I was having trouble with my Oracle MetaLink account so I couldn’t search for my problem in there? Well, I got my account issues resolved the next day and did a quick search in MetaLink for “\uxxxx encoding”. There it was; one result that detailed my exact issue.

Come to find out there is a bug which causes errors when installing certain components in folders with the root letter starting with “u” on windows systems. I was trying to install this on “U:\usr\…”

I really wish this information would have been publicly available and indexed on Google instead of having to rely on MetaLink. Although Oracle has provided a free version of their database to serve the entry level customer I think that this type of barrier will cause a slow adoption. Oracle has slowly been opening up their products and making more of their initiatives either free or open source. I think they should do the same with the information generated within MetaLink.

Welcome to My Blog

Hello Blogosphere,

Thank for taking the time to stop by… I’m starting this blog to share some of my thoughts and experiences with technology, business and adventure.

I intend to post information about technical issues I’ve encountered developing software for the web using a variety of technologies. Most of what I will have to add are in the areas of Java, Oracle, ColdFusion, PHP and MySQL.

I’ve also been involved with a few entrepreneurial business ventures and am working towards my MBA at the Instituto de Empresa. I’ll try to add some thoughts about what I’ve learned along the way in addition to developing some things I’d like to do in the future.

I’m an avid athlete and love a great adventure. I’m currently training for the Ironman Lanzarote on May 20th. It will be my first Ironman distance triathlon so I’m excited to see what it’s like. I did a solo 200km (124mile) ride last weekend, which felt really good, so I’m feeling positive about finishing. I also love ocean and mountain sports like surfing, kite surfing, climbing rock and ice… The list goes on and on. I have some pretty well developed philosophies about these that I’ll try to share.

Most of all I’m excited to get feedback on all of these topics as I further develop my own thoughts. So please feel free to comment on my posts; I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Let’s get this thing started.