I try to minimize the use of database specific programming languages like PL/SQL. It is just annoying to work with a language that is just badly designed and has hardly any serious tool support. It (and the IDEs around it) is lacking in so many ways. All the things I would expect from the most basic development environment are missing.

Yet sometimes we can’t help it and just have to use PL/SQL for performance or political reasons, but it really hurts.
And the frustrating part: Nobody seems to care.

Nobody? There are a few guys working on these things. I wrote about Tim High before. Yesterday he left a comment on the post to inform me that he wrote another article that might interest me. Completely superfluous. I already picked it up on DZone and marked it for future reference in my blog. So here it is:

Test Coverage Reporting on Oracle 10g

Tim uses the data from the profiler to gather line coverage data and even puts it in a very nice report.
Image of a code coverage report for a oracle package

While beautiful in the result it is a tough way to get there with many scripts and some requirements on the code style. But its “better than nothing” as the saying goes in northern westfalia. So my next project which requires more than trivial PL/SQL code will get code coverag. Isn't that great?

Apparently Tim worked together with Oracle on this so there is the very slight chance that Oracle or Toad or their competition will realize that there is a difference between a GUI for easy SQL hacking and a IDE that allows controlled software development.