Uncompiled Report

I went to visit the customer site the other day. One of the testers there said they were having a problem with a report not printing. I was on another high priority task. So I encouraged them to submit a trouble ticket. The ticket got assigned to me. At first I could not tell what was going on. There were no events logged to the database which would suggest foul play. I could not make the problem happen in a development environment. In the end, I wrote up a debug version of the Oracle Report that was involved, logging each line of code to the database.

When the problem was replicated by the customer, I found that the first report that gets called was generating an exception when trying to run a second worker report. There was an additional error in that the caller report was unable to log this activity to the database due to a coding error in the exception handler. At least one mystery was solved. However I still was unsure why the worker report was not working. I went into the customer environment, exported out the data that was used when the problem happened. Then I got back into developer. I tried to run the worker report using Oracle Reports Builder. The result was a REP-1247 “Report contains uncompiled code”.

At first I just recompiled the report using my database login. But then the report ran fine. So I started to concentrate on why the report got the REP-1247 in the first place. I reasoned that you only needed to compile the report once. After that you should be able to run the report without recompiling it. I traced the problem down to a line in the after parameter form of the report. It was doing a SELECT FROM DUAL. That seemed harmless. However it would just not work in Reports Builder unless I recompiled it. Our local reports expert told me to apply the latest patch to the old Reports 6i tool. That also did not solve my problem.

In the end, our reports guru said you just need to recompile the report every time you want to run it from Reports Developer. That did not seem too encouraging. It also did not feel right. This really feels like a bug. And I know the Oracle answer will be for me to upgrade to Oracle Reports 10g. However that requires some infrastructure upgrades like a back end report server. I don’t think my client is ready for all of that just yet. I can’t be the only one having this problem. Or maybe we are few, since I am mixing the old Reports 6i with a recent Oracle 10g database. Does anybody have any advice for me?