Product Reviews

DevPartner Debugger for Oracle Visual Studio Edition

Smoothing the lines between Visual Studio and Oracle.

If you've worked with Visual Studio .NET and SQL Server, you've probably come to enjoy their tight integration. One big win with this combination is the ability to debug right down into stored procedures when your application is running. But what do you do if you're not using SQL Server for your database?

Well, if the database is Oracle, one answer is to install DevPartner DB for Oracle Visual Studio Edition. After installing the product, you'll have one additional project, the PLSQL Project. Add one of these to your solution, and any stored procedure executed against an Oracle server will immediately break into the debugger. (You can disable debugging for a session with a checkbox, but you can't choose individual procedures to debug).

As you might expect, there are some limitations—after all, Oracle and VS .NET weren't really designed to work with one another. You must have the Oracle 8i client installed, even if you're working against an Oracle 9i server. Applications with Oracle debugging enabled will run more slowly. And you must recompile your stored procedures in debug mode if you want access to variable values.

Still, even with those limitations, this seems to be a useful tool for Oracle shops. The installation was easy, as was setting up to debug. The functionality here is a subset of what you get with their full Debugger for Oracle product, which also includes a SQL Turner, a lock monitor, a database browser, and various other utilities in a standalone package. But for frontline use directly in VS .NET, this may turn out to be enough. If you'd like to find out, you can request a 14-day evaluation copy at the Compuware Web site.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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