Visulate for Oracle quickstart

This page shows you how to create a Visulate for Oracle instance on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and connect it to an Oracle database.

Allow around 60 minutes to complete this tutorial.

Before you begin

  1. Identify or create a Kubernetes cluster in GCP running GKE 1.16 or later
  2. Identify an Oracle database that you want to document. Note: you’ll need the ability to create an account in this database
  3. Configure your network to allow connections from the GKE cluster to your database
  4. Open the Visulate for Oracle Console

Go to Console

Configure an instance

Review the terms of service and click the Purchase Plan button followed by the Configure button.

Complete the deploy screen

Deploy Screen

  • Select or create a namespace
  • Change the default instance name to visulate-01 (see note below)
  • Accept the defaults for the remaining fields and press the Deploy button

The combined length of the namespace and instance names should not exceed 32 characters. This avoids the potential for orphaned network resources when the instance is deleted. See GCP Marketplace Tools issue 495

Wait for instance to reach ready state

It may take over 15 minutes for the instance to deploy. Most of this time is spent creating network resources to support the ingress component.

Components Pending

You can monitor the progress of this from the ingress screen

Ingress Unknown State

The instance is ready when the Backend services reach a health state.

Ingress Green

Verify the instance

Click on the Load balancer IP address to open the Visulate for Oracle UI. Ingress rules should rewrite the url appending “/database” to the ip address as shown in the screenshot below.

UI Homepage

Edit the url changing “/database” to “/api/”. This should make a call to the API server. Tip: make sure you include the trailing slash “/” in “/api/”

Empty API Response

Change “/api/” to “/api-docs/” to review the API documentation.

Swagger UI

At this point you have a Visulate for Oracle instance running. Now we need to connect it to an Oracle database.

Create a database user in the database you want to document

Login to SQL*Plus as SYSTEM, create a database user called “VISULATE” and grant CREATE SESSION, SELECT_CATALOG_ROLE and SELECT ANY DICTIONARY privileges to it:

create user visulate identified by &password;
alter user visulate account unlock;
grant create session to visulate;
grant select any dictionary to visulate;
grant select_catalog_role to visulate;

Note: the API server runs a query on startup to verify account privileges. It drops the connection if the account does not have the required grants or if the account has more privileges than it needs. See the database setup guide for additional details.

Register your database connection

A kubernetes secret is used to pass database connection details to the instance. Open a text editor and create a file called db-connections.js. With the following content:

const endpoints = [
{ namespace: 'vis13',
  description: 'Test instance',
  connect: { poolAlias: 'vis13',
            user: 'visulate',
            password: 'jkafDD!@997',
            connectString: '',
            poolMin: 4,
            poolMax: 4,
            poolIncrement: 0
module.exports.endpoints = endpoints;

Edit the password and connectString values to match the ones for your database instance.

Create a Kubernetes secret called oracle-database-connections with database.js as a key the registration file contents as its value:

kubectl create secret generic oracle-database-connections --from-file=database.js=./db-connections.js

Note: the secret’s name is not important but it’s key must be database.js

Open the API deployment screen (from GCP -> Kubernetes Engine -> Workloads) and press the Edit button

API Deployment Screen

Find the “config-database-volume” entry and change the secretName value to “oracle-database-connections”

Edit API Deployment

The edited value should look like this:

      - name: config-database-volume
      - secret:
          defaultMode: 420
          secretName: oracle-database-connections

Press the Save button and wait for a new pod to deploy replacing the previous revision.

Note: See the database registration guide for additional details on this step.

Review your database and its data model

Open the Visulate for Oracle UI (using the load balancer IP address assigned by the Ingress). Click on the Database dropdown list. You should see an entry called “vis13”. Select the value and wait for database report to run (may take a couple of seconds). The results will appear below the selection form. Scroll down the page to review.

Visulate Opening Screen

Select a database user from the Schema drop down. Notice the database report is replaced by a schema one. Now select “TABLE” from the Object Type field to see a list of tables in the schema.

List of tables

Click on one of the tables to open the table report. This report shows table details like its tablespace, number of rows, indexes, constraints, foreign keys and columns. A Download DDL link at the top of the page can be used to generate the data definition language SQL for the table.

Table details

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see a list of object (e.g. packages, package bodies and views) that reference the table.


Clicking on an object name in the dependency list will take you to a report showing its definition. For example, selecting a package body will open a report that shows the source code for the package body and a list of the SQL statement it contains.

SQL Statements

Open the hamburger menu at the top (left) of the page. This provides a quick way to access other objects of the same type in the schema.

Hamburger menu

Click on the search icon at the top (right) of the page to access the search form. Enter dba_objects in the search box and press return. This queries every registered database to find objects with a matching object_name (in our case we only have one registered database).


Click on one of the results to see its definition report.

Search result

Click on the “Visulate for Oracle” title at the top (center) of the screen to return to the homepage. Notice the Object Filter field has been populated with DBA_OBJECTS (the last search condition). Change this value to DBA_* and then select a database and schema. Notice the navigation lists are now filtered using this wildcard.

Filter condition

SQL Query Engine Configuration

The SQL Query Engine exposes a REST API to generate CSV files from user supplied SQL. Access to this feature is controlled by a configuration file. This allows a DBA to limit the list of database environments that allow SQL access. For example, they may wish to allow access for development databases but not production.

Use the /endpoints API to generate a configuration file for your database:

curl http://load-balancer-ip/endpoints/ > endpoints.json

Generate a kubernetes secret from the file with a key of endpoints.json:

kubectl create secret generic sql-endpoints --from-file=endpoints.json=./endpoints.json

Edit the config-endpoints-volume entry in the deployment manifest for the SQL query engine deployment (-sql suffix):

      - name: config-endpoints-volume
          defaultMode: 420
          secretName: sql-endpoints

Follow the steps outlined in the database registration process above or review the Query engine configuration guide for detailed instructions.

Generate a CSV file

Open the Visulate for Oracle UI and navigate to a database table. A query editor region is included at the top of the page. It contains an HTML form with username, password, sql query, bind variables and query option fields. Most of the fields are populated with default values.

Query screen

Enter the database password for the schema where the table resides to enable the Run Query button. Note: database credentials are passed to the SQL Query Engine using a basic auth header. Make sure you are using a secure (https) connection before submitting the query (you may need to accept some browser warnings). Run the query and review the results.

A curl command appears below the results. Cut an paste this into a console window to execute the REST API call outside of the UI. Note you may need to pass -k or --insecure option if you haven’t setup a TLS certificate

Clean up

  • Use the Kubernetes Engine -> Applications screen to delete the instance. Select the check box next to the application name then press the Delete button at the top of the screen

Delete Visulate for Oracle

  • Delete the GKE Cluster if it is no longer required.
  • Drop the visulate user from the database. Login to SQL*Plus as SYSTEM and run drop user visulate cascade;
  • Verify the Load balancer that was created to support the Ingress resource has been removed (see the troubleshooting guide for details).