Oracle 12c includes a really neat feature I first mentioned after Oracle OpenWorld 2012. You can now access your DBFS file systems over HTTP/HTTPS, FTP or WebDAV. I’ve been having a play with it over the last couple of days, so I thought I would write it up here.
This should be quite a welcome addition for those people on platforms other than Linux, who don’t get to use FUSE.
As mentioned in the article, WebDAV support under Windows 7 broken. Even the Oracle manual has a screen shot from Windows XP. I can’t believe Windows 7 has been out all this time and Microsoft have not bothered to fix it…
On a yoga course a teacher said to the group, “Don’t try to remember everything I say. Some things will come back to haunt you later.”
So I was reviewing a couple of chapters of Marcelle Kratochvil‘s multimedia book and she mentioned DBFS. That jogged a memory of the DBFS demo stand at OOW12, where the guy told me that 12c will (probably) have WebDAV support for DBFS.
DBFS is a neat feature, but it’s a little frustrating if you are using any OS other than Linux because you are forced to use a client utility with limited functionality, rather than accessing it like a regular file system as you can on Linux using the FUSE project. If this WebDAV functionality does get released in 12c it will make it accessible from pretty much any OS or browser.
Not surprisingly, it uses the XML DB infrastructure, which has supported WebDAV since its introduction on Oracle 9i (here). I seem to remember hearing XML DB is a mandatory feature from Oracle 12c onward, which means you will be able to use DBFS on any database running 12c or above.
Remember, all this was prefixed with a Safe Harbor slide, so there are no guarantees this will make it to the production release…
My previous article discussed the DBFS. This article gives an overview of the PL/SQL APIs for managing and interacting with the DBFS.
There’s a lot in there, so this is just skimming the surface.
I’ve been having a play with the DBFS functionality in 11gR2.
For the most part it is extremely simple. If you are working on Linux then it’s a really neat solution. On any other platform you are limited to using the dbfs_client tool, which is currently lacking a lot of functionality. Even so, it’s a good first step.
I am having a bit of trouble with the “/etc/fstab” mounting. I’ve included it in the article, with a warning that it isn’t working for me. If anyone has got it to work I would really appreciate some input on what I’ve got wrong. The documentation is a little sparse on this subject even with some digging around it’s proving difficult.
I’ll probably be witing another article on a different aspect of DBFS soon.