Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bug in Export File Browser (date format for Croatian NLS)

One of the many coolest feature in Dell's Toad for Oracle is Export File Browser (accessible via menu Database|Export|Export File Browser). With this tool user can open any export file dump (exp) and see it's data in it, tables, views as well as packages, functions and procedures. Who was working with original Oracle exp/imp tool will know it's biggest limitations and would appreciate this "quick view" feature in Toad. And this is not all ... any data can be filtered and exported in a way like it is presented in normal Toad grid. Cool indeed!
First let me show mine default session NLS settings from sqlplus:
SQL> select sysdate from dual;


As you can see 'DD.MM.RR' is NLS session date format setting. This NLS session setting is proven looking from specialized Toad three views (menu Database|Administer|NLS Parameters):
Let me show original EXP_FILE_BROWSER_DATE_BUG table data, how they look in Toad grid:
Just to remind you that grid's date format is defined differently from any NLS! The matter of fact it is inherited from Toad's Option|Data Grids|Data ... Display ... "Date format", which is in mine case defined as 'dd.mm.yyyy'.

The problem

In this Toad version (, latest in this moment and probably last one in 11.x version) I found a pretty nasty bug, which rely on wrong NLS conversion, for Croatian ... and probably others non English languages.
Let me say that Croatian name for month February is Veljańća, represented by Oracle NLS as "vel". Here is correct result from SQLPlus:
SQL> select to_char(to_date('28.02.2013','dd.mm.yyyy'),'dd-mon-yyyy hh24:mi:ss') correct_date from dual;

28-vel-2013 00:00:00

And when you open an exp dump of mentioned EXP_FILE_BROWSER_DATE_BUG table, you have a situation:
First of all, this grid is not following Toad Option date format definition. The matter of fact seems that date format is hardcoded with definition "dd-mon-yyyy hh24:mi:ss" regardless date definition is active!
Then, you might see Toad's programmers thought February month value in Croatian NLS is vlj what is wrong. "lj" is one Croatian letter with two signs-and that obviously confused them. This is why Oracle defined that value as "vel"... So if you export data from grid (to sqlplus or sqlldr) your import will fail.
Workaround is to edit exported file content and replace "vlj" values with "vel".

The End

Because this feature is purely Toad work, their programmers had to implement own NLS support and this is sometimes not so easy to do ... in a light of many different countries and values that might happened. Always keep in mind that whenever any Toad feature is only an interface for any Oracle feature this might be pretty bug less option. In other case (like in this one) many bugs might happened because of lack of testing resources Dell might have. So test them more carefully before production use!
I think it is easy to fix it in next release, especially I have reported this bug to Dell support.
Hope this will helps someone.


1 comment :

  1. Toad 12.1 adds really cool automatic deadlock detection and focus to trace file browser - read this blog: http://www.toadworld.com/products/toad-for-oracle/b/weblog/archive/2013/08/14/toad-12-1-offers-automatic-trace-file-deadlock-detection.aspx


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