Connect Dockerised Instant Client to Autonomous Data Warehouse

With all the recent exciting releases of Oracle Autonomous PaaS Services, I wanted to explore some of the client connectivity options to work against the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW).
In my cloud subscription I provisioned an instance of ADW which took less than two minutes from start to finish – terrific, now I am ready to leverage the functionality. If you want to know the steps to provision an ADW instance check out this blog post – https://redthunder.blog/2018/07/02/teaching-how-to-get-started-with-oracle-autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud-service/

Obviously an empty data warehouse isn’t particularly useful so one of the first things I wanted to do was to connect a SQL client to the ADW instance so that I can load some data. Initially I used Oracle SQLDeveloper to load data into my ADW instance. I had staged my Excel data files into an Oracle Cloud Object Storage container and then referenced them in my SQL code as External Tables. Carlos has already blogged the steps required for this in https://redthunder.blog/2018/07/02/teaching-how-to-get-started-with-oracle-autonomous-data-warehouse-cloud-service/ . If you follow the steps you will quickly get your ADW instance populated with your data. In fact for the demo scenario my ADW instance was now populated with some data (approx. 1 Million rows of Sales data and associated related dimensions (Product, Customers etc).

My next step (and the subject of this blog post) was to use the Oracle Instant Client in order to query the loaded data. Of course I could easily have viewed the data inside SQLDeveloper but I wanted to try some other approaches. Often in Proof of Concepts there is a need to quickly spin up a tool to create, retrieve, update and delete data. Anyone who has used the Oracle Database would be familiar with the SQL*Plus client which is included as part of the Oracle Instant Client. For those who are not familiar with Oracle Instant client, the Oracle website describes it as follows,

“Free, light-weight, and easily installed Oracle Database tools, libraries and SDKs for building and connecting applications to an Oracle Database instance. Oracle Instant Client enables applications to connect to a local or remote Oracle Database for development and production deployment. The Instant Client libraries provide the necessary network connectivity, as well as basic and high end data features, to make full use of Oracle Database. It underlies the Oracle APIs of popular languages and environments including Node.js, Python and PHP, as well as providing access for OCI, OCCI, JDBC, ODBC and Pro*C applications. Tools included in Instant Client, such as SQL*Plus and Oracle Data Pump, provide quick and convenient data access.”

I used a Vagrant-Box / VirtualBox to avoid having to install development tools such as the Oracle Instant Client directly on my laptop operating system. I found an existing vagrant box that provided me with an Oracle Linux base that also included Docker. This vagrant-box image allowed me to quickly spin up a base environment which in turn allowed me to focus on steps to run the Oracle Instant Client inside a Docker container inside the Virtual Box environment (sounds like a cheesecake recipe – lots of layers). The Dockerfile I used was based on the Oracle Instant Client forked from the official Oracle DockerImages project with some modifications for specifics around connecting to an Oracle Data Warehouse Instance. Continue reading “Connect Dockerised Instant Client to Autonomous Data Warehouse”