sys_connect_by_path in 8i or the danger to use undocumented parameters…

I have been posting on metalink technical forum about a query that I run against all my test databases but did not work in production.

as it simpliest form

select sys_connect_by_path(dummy,’:’) from dual connect by 1=2;

well, there is nothing wrong with this query. I tried it on 8i, 9iR2, 10gR1 10gR2 and it worked fine. In production, it just refused to work on 8i.

Well, I have an other bitset of 8i on my test environment, and an other operating system version. So I supposed it must be related to the old production 64bits AIX4 os.

After reading the docs again, I discovered that SYS_CONNECT_BY_PATH is not documented in 8i. So why did this work on my test system then? Because I have _new_connect_by_enabled = true in my init.ora.

Ok, on the one hand, I found out an (unsupported) way to let my query run in 8i

alter session set “_new_connect_by_enabled”=TRUE;

On the other hand, I have been tricked by my own parameter file, setting one hidden parameter ages ago, forgetting about it, and the query “unhopefully succeeded” in my test environment… revealing the bug only once distributed !

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