As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2007

At Oracle: OTN Bulletin

Ruby Rides the Wave

By Justin Kestelyn

Together, Ruby on Rails and Oracle Database 10g Express Edition deliver peak performance.

Ruby, the open source, object-oriented scripting language created by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto in Japan well over a decade ago, is cresting with a vengeance—thanks to its role as the basis of the Ruby on Rails (Rails, for short) Web application development framework.

Rails, as you may know, serves as an increasingly popular stack for programmers who want to rapidly develop database-driven Web applications. For that reason, it has been characterized as an alternative to Java, and in some cases, even to PHP. (Are these characterizations accurate? It depends on whom you believe; the debates on this subject have been raging for some time now.) Ruby itself can be thought of as the "heir" to Perl—which in many ways served as a model for Ruby—by virtue of its clean, relatively expressive syntax, which makes it equally suitable for tactical scripting tasks as well as larger, more-complex projects.

With the availability of the free Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), Oracle Database is now a very attractive option for persistent data storage in Rails applications. For that reason, Oracle Technology Network (OTN) has published several technical articles designed to introduce Ruby and Rails to Oracle database application developers, as well as introducing Oracle to Ruby and Rails aficionados who are relatively new to Oracle Database. 

  • "The Ruby on Rails with Oracle FAQ." Authored by veteran OTN author Casimir Saternos, this FAQ (which OTN will maintain as a living document) offers basic information about connecting to Oracle and installing and creating Oracle Database XE + Rails applications. 

  • "HR Schema on Rails." Learn how to build a simple Rails application based on the standard HR schema that ships with Oracle Database XE. 

  • "Ruby on Rails Active Record 101." Bruce Tate offers an overview of the Rails Active Record persistence engine, a key tool in the development of database-driven applications. 

  • "Accessorize Oracle with Ruby." Of particular interest to DBAs, this Dustin Marx article reveals how Ruby enables simple Oracle Database-related scripting and demonstrates some of the language's simple yet powerful features.


Learn more at

Return of the Oracle DBA Toolbar

Since its release in November 2006, the Oracle DBA Toolbar has proved to be one of the most popular downloads from the OTN Web site—more popular, in fact, than more than a few product downloads.

OTN Locator

 OTN home
OTN headlines
Free software downloads
Technology Centers
Technical articles
Discussion forums

Currently available for Microsoft Internet Explorer—a version available as a Mozilla extension is imminent—the toolbar contains the requisite baked-in shortcuts to favorites such as downloads, documentation, and MetaLink (as well as your SQL*Plus install, if in the default location). But more interesting is the fact that it also contains an integrated RSS manager that serves, in essence, as a newsreader client. When used in its default configuration, the manager can help ensure that you receive real-time notifications about new downloads, OTN technical articles, and OTN headlines as they appear.

Although there have been only a few reports of problems from the community, it is possible that your local configuration will adversely affect the Oracle DBA Toolbar install process or runtime. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

More Oracle Database Books Than Ever

Launched in 2003, the Oracle 10g Books program is Oracle's most successful book program ever; more than 50 books are now available on subjects ranging from database administration and tuning to application development, Java and frameworks, and even Oracle Database XE and PHP—from luminaries such as Tom Kyte, Steve Bobrowski, Steven Feuerstein, and the late Lex de Haan.

Previously, you could purchase these books via a static online bookshelf. Now you'll find a dynamic Amazon storefront that includes an integrated shopping cart. It will make your book browsing experience much more pleasurable.

Browse the new Oracle 10g Books storefront at

Justin Kestelyn ( is the editor in chief of Oracle Technology Network.

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