I got a call for help from a member of another team on our project. He was a newer guy assigned to research a trouble ticket. He found some code that was supposedly not working correctly. I asked him what his concerns were. He told me he could not compile the code. Oh oh.
Now this code is an Oracle PL/SQL pacakge. It is a bit tricky. The code is written against a bunch of synonyms. The synonyms normally point to tables created by the loading application. The tables go away when the code is done. So I guess I could see why this might be a problem to compile. But if you can't compile, you can get anywhere with the problem.
I pointed the new developer to another script which creates a bunch of dummy tables with the correct structure. The script also generates the synonyms and points them to the dummy tables. That way you can at least compile the PL/SQL package. Then I get a call from this guy's boss. Apparently they spent a few days on the problem and were getting nowhere.
I eventually looked over their data and identified a problem with the record definition and SQL population. That's a story for another blog though.
The Reflecting Key - Some dude who goes by the handle Josh invented a key called the reflecting key. It was a simple but effective hack. This is also called the smart key. The...