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Upgrade tolerant way of setting the path to Oracle SQLcl with Homebrew

With two lines in your zsh config file, Oracle SQLcl will still work after an upgrade with Homebrew.

Homebrew is one of the first things I install on a new macOS machine. It is a package manager like you know them from Linux distros where can easily install software packages with a simple command. The best thing is you can also update all your packages with a single command.

I use Oracle’s SQLcl fairly often to quickly connect to a database to execute some queries or run some scripts. It also has super cool DevOps commands that let you for example export APEX Apps. It is so cool I replaced SQL*plus with SQLcl!

To install SQLcl with Homebrew (thanks Oracle for maintaining it there), you need to execute the following command:

1brew install --cask sqlcl

But unfortunately typing sql in your terminal won’t work yet because you have to add the binary to your path. This part is actually a little bit tricky.

The binary is stored in {your_brew_location}/Caskroom/sqlcl/{version_number}/bin. If you add the hardcoded path to your PATH variable, it will be invalid after you upgrade SQLcl, because the directory name will change to the newer version.

We can easily fix this by dynamically storing the directory name of the folder with the version number in a variable. Just add the following two lines to your zsh config file:

1SQLCLPATH=$(ls -t $(brew --prefix)/Caskroom/sqlcl | head -1)
2PATH=$(brew --prefix)/Caskroom/sqlcl/$SQLCLPATH/sqlcl/bin:$PATH

(By the way, the zsh config file is stored in ~/.zshrc, you can edit it with Vim, Nano, VS Code, or any other text editor you prefer.)

The first line will store the name of the newest version of SQLcl in a variable. Even though Homebrew should only manage to have one version installed at a time, the -t argument will sort the results by time, and piping it to head will cut all results beside the first one. The second line will add the full path including the stored folder name of the newest version of SQLcl to the PATH variable.

Now you can use SQLcl by just typing sql in your terminal and it will still work after an upgrade.