Announcing: OCI*ML

A few months ago I expressed my frustration at the lack of actively-maintained Oracle bindings for OCaml. That didn’t stop me from using it, as this blog shows, but it was clearly not a sustainable situation, therefore I have been working on my own, over on GitHub. The higher level API is closely modeled on OraTcl, the first language I used for serious Oracle development† and the lower level is native OCI. It builds and runs on both Oracle 10g and 11g (and ought to on 9i as well). While it is still quite basic, it is certainly capable of being used for “real work”, and in fact I have been doing so!

Some example code, it is pretty much just OraTcl code with type safety:

open Ociml
open Unix
open Printf
open Report (* a separate module for formatting tabular data *)

let () =
    (* set library debugging off - the default anyway - will go to stderr if enabled *)
    oradebug false;

    (* set the preferred value of NULL to something, defaults to 0 *)
    oranullval (Varchar "*NULL*");

    (* connect to the database *)
    let lda = oralogon Sys.argv.(1) in

    (* open a new cursor/statement handle *)
    let sth = oraopen lda in

    (* execute one SQL statement - note all these functions can easily be 
       curried e.g let do_sql = (orasql sth) in do_sql "..." 
    orasql sth "delete from ociml_test";

    (* parse a SQL statement with bind variables *)
    oraparse sth "insert into ociml_test values (:myint, :mydate, :mystring, :myfloat)";

    (* set values for these variables by position *)
    orabind sth (Pos 1) (Integer 1);                      (* OCaml type int *)
    orabind sth (Pos 2) (Datetime (localtime (time ()))); (* OCaml type - down to seconds only, not millis *)
    orabind sth (Pos 3) (Varchar "PI");                   (* OCaml type string *)
    orabind sth (Pos 4) (Number 3.142);                   (* OCaml type float *)

    (* execute that transaction *)
    oraexec sth;

    (* commit that transaction *)
    oracommit lda;

    (* now set autocommit mode on *)
    oraautocom lda true;

    (* set values for these variables by name - note colon added automagically if missing *)
    orabind sth (Name "myint")    (Integer 2);
    orabind sth (Name ":mydate")  (Datetime (localtime 0.0));
    orabind sth (Name "mystring") (Varchar "e");
    orabind sth (Name ":myfloat") (Number 2.718);
    oraexec sth;
    (* Bind an array of values and execute - still in autocommit mode *)
    let my_constants = [
      [|(Integer 3); (Datetime (localtime (time ()))); (Varchar "Square root 2"); (Number 1.41)|];
      [|(Integer 4); (Datetime (localtime (time ()))); (Varchar "Speed of light"); (Number 300000000.)|];
      [|(Integer 5); (Datetime (localtime (time ()))); (Varchar "Acceleration of gravity"); (Number 9.8)|]
    ] in 
    List.iter (orabindexec sth) my_constants; 

    printf "Inserted 5 rows of data into the following table structure:\n\n";

    (* describe the table - comes as array of name and type tuples - using my generic report formatter *)
    let decode_bool x = 
      match x with
	|true  -> "YES"
	|false -> "NO" in
    let tabname = "ociml_test" in 
    let cols = oradesc lda tabname in
    let r = new report [|"Column name"; "Data type"; "Size"; "Is integer"; "NULL allowed"|] in
    Array.iter (fun (col_name, col_type, col_size, is_integer, is_nullable) -> 
    r#add_row [|col_name; 
		(decode_col_type col_type); 
		(string_of_int col_size); 
		(decode_bool is_integer); 
		(decode_bool is_nullable)|]) cols;
    r#print_report ();

    (* now run an actual query on the data *)
    oraparse sth "select * from ociml_test where constant_id=:1 or constant_id=:p2";
    orabind sth (Pos 1)     (Integer 1);
    orabind sth (Name "p2") (Integer 2);
    oraexec sth;

    printf "\nA query on that data:\n\n";

    let r = new report [|"Identity"; "Date entered"; "Description"; "Value"|]  in
      while true do
	(* orastring converts any datatype to a string for display *)
	let row = orastring (orafetch sth) in
	r#add_row row;
      (* The exception is Not_found when reaching the end of the result set (like %NOTFOUND in PL/SQL) *)
      |Not_found -> ();
    r#print_report ();

    (* close the cursor *)
    oraclose sth;

    (* disconnect from the server *)
    oralogoff lda;

      (* Errors emitted by the underling OCI library - e_code will be set to familiar ORA numbers *)
      Oci_exception (e_code, e_desc) -> prerr_endline (sprintf "ociml_sample: %s " e_desc)

There is still a fair amount of work to do before I am feature-complete even compared to OraTcl (tho’ there are features that I will never implement, such as support for LONG, which is obsolete) let alone the mighty cx_Oracle, and a lot of testing before a 1.0 release, but this is definitely a step forward, a great way to extend my – perhaps everyone’s – use of OCaml, and a strangely liberating experience; the whole world of anything there’s a C API for has opened up to me…

† That project eventually became Guardian Unlimited, tho’ I would be surprised if any of the old StoryServer code was still in Production… Then again maybe not!

About Gaius

Jus' a good ol' boy, never meanin' no harm
This entry was posted in Ocaml, OCIML, Oracle. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Announcing: OCI*ML

  1. Mike says:

    Good stuff Gaius. I’ve been looking for an Oracle Ocaml lib over the years and sounds like you have too. I was wondering how your OCI*ML is going? Any updates? Possible to try it out?
    — Mike

    • Gaius says:

      Hi Mike,

      You can grab the code from GitHub and build it with Make as per the README – I am very interested to hear any feedback. I have been using it for “real work” myself and it is stable with the features that I require day-to-day, the next feature I add will probably be BLOB/CLOB support.

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