Sometimes you have to rant…

2 minute read

I can’t believe I actually sent this, but I did. My wife thought that I went a bit overboard, but she wasn’t the one who lost the data. What do you think?


Sorry to rant, but our Oracle Expense application is undoubtedly the worst piece of software I have ever had to use in the last 30 years. Seriously, I used mainframe expense applications in the early 1980′s that were more robust and easier to use that this execrable hunk of garbage, this stinking pile of unreliable, unusable, unwanted, unloved, unmaintained, dysfunctional piece code that is so bad that it would not merit a passing grade if it was turned in as a CS 101 assignment in a third rate university in a third world country by a student with special needs to an incredibly sympathetic teacher.

It is slow, it loses data, and it is an incredible drain on my productivity. I have to travel a lot (sometimes 3 to 5 times per month), and entering (and then re-entering) my information into this silly web page takes way too long.

I just spent nearly 90 minutes entering 20 lines of data representing a 5 day trip to 3 cities, only to have it all lost through no fault of my own. I put it all in, fixed all of the little issues, then hit Validate one last time so that I could go home to my family. The validation popup came up with OK and Print buttons but no validation messages. I tried to close and reopen it several times and the behavior never changed.

Fearing the worst (rightfully so given the experience that I have had with this turkey over the last 3 years), I took some screen shots (to preserve my data) and then hit the so-called “Save” button. Save apparently means “Delete and Logout” in the 30 cent per hour sweatshop where they wrote this application, because it deleted my expense report and then logged me out.

Somewhere in Redwood City, some Oracle sales guy is laughing at us, because he knows just how much of a joke this thing is, only someone took it seriously and actually spent real money to buy it. I’ll bet there’s a big picture of our building, with “sucker” written underneath it hanging in his cubicle. Honestly, I am pretty sure that we bought some kind of “marketing prototype” dreamed up by one of Larry Ellison’s minions in a drug-induced stupor and coded by some lab rats that couldn’t find their way out of a maze if there was a 100 pound wheel of cheese at the other end.

Could we switch to something simple, obvious, and productive like carving the detail items into stone tablets? It worked in ancient Egypt, and it will work here as well. Please supply me with the stone and the chisel, and I will do the rest. Quite honestly, I’d rather clean up dog vomit than use Oracle Expense.

I’m serious, this thing really sucks. I know it cost us just $DELETED, but how much money have we wasted trying to make it work, how much productivity has been lost, how many curses uttered in vain, and how many monitors have been kicked? Way too many, I am afraid.


End of rant.


PS – These are my personal opinions, and don’t represent the views of my employer.