If there's one thing that's guaranteed to make people distrust a particular piece of software, it's when it trashes their data. I've often heard users complain of losing data whilst using Microsoft Office. I can't recall ever having had that particular pleasure, but today I did lose an afternoon's work because of using Oracle software. To be specific, their 9i SCM source control system.
Fortunately, I only lost some easily re-creatable prototype code built around the Display Tag library I raved about last time. I'd definitely added the code to the repository using JDeveloper (I remember typing the check-in comments and clicking OK), but when I looked for the files later on using the Repository Object Navigator administration tool, they weren't there! Unfortunately, in the meantime I'd deleted the local copies of the files so that I could get clean versions from the repository.
We have lost so much time at work because of this flaky tool, that frankly I'm relieved that it looks likely that we'll finally be getting rid of it and using something else. I normally try to touch on my experiences in my day job in a more oblique fashion, and I feel guilty writing this because I know that Oracle employee Brian Duff reads this blog and vice-versa. This afternoon was the final straw though and I need to let off steam and this is my outlet for doing that.
I can only go by my personal experiences and they've not been good. My impression of Oracle SCM is that it's not a first class citizen in the Oracle software line-up. It needs dropping or investing in, because as things stand, the Oracle 9i database may be unbreakable—to quote their marketing—but some of the software built on top of it definitely isn't.
Maginot Line Security
I booked some train tickets earlier this week using the corporate interface to TheTrainLine. They sent me an e-mail which explained how I should have total confidence in the security of their site and any transactions carried out using it. Then the e-mail quoted my user name and password. Oh, the irony! When will these companies learn that e-mail is not a secure medium?