Oracle Express Edition: two strikes, the pitcher steps up to the plate...
The first problem was the install spinning when it was trying to create the XE services. CPU meter up to 100% for as long as you like. This turned out to be an artefact of having NLS_LANG set to UK English. All that was required was settting to
American_America.WE8ISO8859P1. Ooops! We might have thought that offshoring so much development and support work would have alerted Oracle to globalisation but apparently not.
Having got past that the second problem rears its ugly head. I now have an instance but no data files. Each time the scripts tried to connect to the database the failed with
ORA-12557: TNS:protocol adapter not loadable. This is a rara avis; the only note on Metalink relates to Grid controllers, which doesn't seem to fit the case here, and Google likewise draws a blank. Let's hope Mike Townsend comes up with something.
Before you Linuxen start smirking this is not particularly a Windows problem: I was able to install XE on my home laptop first time. My home machine is lower spec but same operating system so it's something about the specific configuration of my work machine that's giving me grief. I am only persevering with this because if I ever need XE, I will need it on my work machine.
Although I must admit I am starting to get very tired with the process: it requires several manual steps - editing the registry, renaming files, two reboots - to clear down XE prior to re-installing. However, I have just discovered that if I re-run the MSI against an untouched install it asks if I want to uninstall XE. I wish I known this earlier: the Installation guide talks about using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel but that option only appears once the installation has passed the Services point. Of course, the MSI uninstall option may also only be triggered if the prior install got to that point. I'm afraid I lack the strength to de- and re-install just to find out.
So what have I learnt so far? Not a lot. I've spent hours, literally hours, trying to install XE on my work machine with no success. I certainly haven't had time to build an app on my home machine. I do know two things. One is that the MSDE team is not yet quaking in their boots. The other is that I don't think this blog is likely to appear in the 10XE User Experiences any time soon.