Home > Articles > Data > Oracle

Oracle Developer and ODBC

  • Print
  • + Share This
According to author Matthew Bennett, it is difficult to imagine why someone would want to connect Oracle Developer to anything but an Oracle database. However, it is nice to know that it is possible. The following is a possible scenario for wanting to connect Oracle Developer to another ODBC-style database.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

The Oracle database is a powerful tool. It has evolved over several decades into what you see today. Oracle Developer is also a powerful tool, specifically designed to take advantage of the Oracle database power. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine why someone would want to connect Oracle Developer to anything but an Oracle database. However, there may be that need and it is nice to know it is possible.

The following is a possible scenario for wanting to connect Oracle Developer to another ODBC style database. Jim is an application developer recently assigned to a new enterprise-wide application for his company. He has just finished up a hugely successful development project, and is tired of everyone stopping by his office to congratulate him on a job well done. Unfortunately, his new project is about to begin, and he wants to get away from the office and do some preliminary design work. Jim decides to grab a laptop and head to his cabin in the mountains. He already has Oracle Developer loaded, but no Oracle database. He does have a copy of Microsoft Access, and wants to use that rather than spend the next several hours trying to load the Oracle database and risk running out of disk space.

There are a few problems with the previously mentioned scenario, such as the seemingly unending congratulations, but nonetheless somewhat believable. At the risk of sounding blasphemous, Microsoft Access is a great little single-user database. I would not run a company on it, but it is more than adequate to do some application prototyping.

Connecting to ODBC

Oracle Developer uses the Oracle Open Client Adapter (OCA) to connect to non-Oracle data sources. If you go into Forms Developer's online help system and look up ODBC, you will see information on "Accessing non-Oracle data sources." The version of Forms Developer that I used to write my book and create the example for this article includes specific instructions for the following data sources:

  • Personal Oracle Lite
  • Microsoft SQL Server (versions 4.2, 6.0, and 6.5)
  • Microsoft Access (version 2.0 or higher)
  • Oracle RDB (versions 5.0, 6.1, and 7.0)
  • Sybase SQL Server (version 4.9, system 10, and system 11)
  • Tandem NonStop SQL
  • Informix SE and Online (version 5.x, 6.x, and 7.x)

This is just a partial list because OCA will connect to a number of ODBC database. However, Oracle only tests and verifies the databases on the list.

Jim wants to use Microsoft Access 2000, which is a later release than 2.0, so he should be fine. The first thing he does is make sure that Access is properly installed on his system. He then checks it out by creating a table or two and populating them with test data. Next, he makes sure that the ODBC driver is properly configured.

Configuring ODBC

When Jim installed Access on his machine, it made sure to update the necessary ODBC drivers so that other applications could access any databases he created. When Jim created a test database with a couple of tables and some sample data, he performed the first steps necessary to be able to use Oracle Developer with Access. Jim needs to complete the setup by going into the ODBC configuration program and finish setting up the database. Jim does this by following these steps:

  1. Click on Start, Settings, Control Panel.

  2. Double-click on the ODBC Data Sources icon.

  3. Select MS Access Database from the list, and click the Configure button. If it does not exist, Jim needs to add one by clicking on the Add button, selecting Microsoft Access Database, and clicking on the Finish button.

  4. Assign a name to the database. Jim is using the name ODBCTest.

  5. Assign a description about the connection.

  6. Click on the Select button. A File dialog box appears, in which the test database file can be chosen. Jim chooses the name db3 because it seems like a good idea at the time. (You can choose something a little more descriptive.)

  7. Click on the Advanced button for the option of assigning a username and password. Doing this allows one to limit access to the database. More importantly, it allows one to create connections strings similar to Oracle's. Jim is using the combination of test for the username and test for the password. It is not original, but very easy to remember for this exercise.

  8. Click OK to close the Set Advanced Options dialog box.

  9. Click OK to close the ODBC Microsoft Access Setup dialog box.

  10. Click OK to close the ODBC Data Source Administrator dialog box.

You are now ready to connect Oracle developer to your Access database.

Configuring Oracle Developer

Jim is ready and excited to connect Oracle Developer to his Access database. He starts everything up, and he enters the correct connection string—as specified in the directions. Anxiously, he waits only to receive a nice error message. When Jim installed Oracle Developer, he didn't plan on ever having to use it with a non-Oracle database. Therefore, he did not bother to install the OCA package.

This is easily solved by running the Oracle installer (it is found in the Oracle for Win9x menu) and installing the Oracle Open Client Adapter for ODBC. This should be found with the distribution that Oracle Developer came with.

Now that OCA is properly installed, Jim is ready to prototype his Oracle Developer Applications running against a Microsoft Access database. The last thing he needs to do is provide the proper connection string. At the login screen, he has to provide the username and password specified above. For Jim, it was a test for both values. The database name will be the following:

ODBC:ODBCTest

The first ODBC tells the connection network to connect to a database using the ODBC driver. "ODBCTest" gives the name of the database. Jim can now connect to Access and use Oracle Developer to create applications.

Possible Problems

As with anything involving computers, a lot can go wrong. If you find that it takes about 20 to 30 seconds to connect to the ODBC database, you may want to modify your tnsnames.ora file, and remove the HOSTNAME value from the names.directory_path entry. According to Oracle documentation, this is a defect that will be fixed in some future version of the connection software.

As you create your application, it may be impossible to see a list of tables in the Access database. This is because Oracle Developer is looking for specific data dictionary information. Access does not use the same data dictionary as Oracle, so it is necessary to fool Access (or any other ODBC database) into displaying its information using tables that Oracle Developer will be looking for. This is done by running a script provided by Oracle. For Access, you run the following command:

UBT32.EXE test/test@ODBC:ODBCTest @accdmbld.sql

You may have to provide the entire path of the accdmbld.sql script (which is found in the $ORACLE_HOME\oca60\60\sql\access directory). After the script is run, you should be able to see your database objects within the Access database. There are scripts for several other ODBC databases, as well. If a script does not exist for your particular one, you need to take an existing script and modify it to match your database's data dictionary. Although not exactly simple, it should be completed fairly easily with the help of your ODBC database's data dictionary documentation.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020