Setting up a direct connection to Oracle

To make a direct connection from a client machine to the Oracle database, you must install and configure the Oracle client application on the client machine.

Be sure you install a release of the Oracle client application that is compatible with the release of the database to which you must connect.


ArcGIS clients, such as ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server, are 32-bit applications. If you are making a spatial database connection, you must use a 32-bit Oracle client to connect to the Oracle database. This is true even if you install the ArcGIS client application on a computer with a 64-bit operating system (OS) and the database and server OS are 64-bit. Also note that there is no 32-bit driver for Oracle on Solaris; therefore, you cannot make a direct connection from ArcGIS Server on Solaris to ArcSDE for Oracle.

  1. Follow the directions in your Oracle documentation and use Oracle tools to do the following:
    1. Install Oracle Net on the client computer.
    2. Add an entry in the tnsnames.ora file to allow you to connect to the Oracle DBMS.
  2. Test that Oracle Net was installed successfully by typing the following at a command prompt on the client machine:
    sqlplus <user name>/<password>@<Oracle Net service name>

    The <user name> is a valid Oracle user name, <password> is the password for that user, and <Oracle Net service name> is the service name of the Oracle database to which you want to connect.


    The Oracle Net service name is usually the same as the global database name, though it does not have to be.

  3. If you get the SQL prompt when you execute the command, the Net client is working and you are ready to go to the next step. If you do not get the SQL prompt, consult the Oracle documentation's troubleshooting information.

  4. For each client machine, there are system environment variables you should set, such as the ORAHOME and Path variables. If necessary, ask your system administrator to find out how to set environment variables on your system.
  5. Test the connection by adding a spatial database connection from ArcGIS Desktop. Instructions for this can be found in the topic Making a direct connection from ArcGIS Desktop to a geodatabase in Oracle.