There are a number of ways in which we can connect to an Oracle database in order to manipulate its data from within our ASP scripts. Which one you use rather depends what you are trying to achieve and whether your organization prefers access through stored procedures, as the features supported by one method may not be supported in another.
As well as Oracle Corporation, there are many third-party vendors such as Microsoft and Intersolv that provide a number of products to communicate with Oracle. The following list represents the more commonly used tools :
Microsoft's Universal Data Access (UDA) initiative contains a set of tools that we can use to communicate with an Oracle database. With the integrated Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) suite we can use ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) in conjunction with the Microsoft OLE DB Provider For Oracle (MSDAORA.DLL) or the Microsoft ODBC Driver for Oracle (MSORCL32.DLL) to communicate effectively with Oracle in a way that is reliable, scalable and offers high performance when using ADO.
Microsoft also offers the universal OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers (MSDASQL.DLL) that allows any ODBC data source to make use of the improvements in OLE DB. This, the default provider used by ADO, was developed so that any existing ODBC-based data could fit into the UDA environment efficiently and without losing an organization's ODBC investment .
As if this didn't give us enough flexibility,
we also have the universal Merant
range of OLE DB providers and ODBC drivers from Intersolv
/Connect/factsheet.asp), and Oracle Objects for OLE (OO4O).
We've discussed how Oracle8's Net8 networking component is used to communicate with an Oracle8 database, but we haven't mentioned the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) library . We won't go into much detail except to say that this low-level layer exposes certain procedures that the OLE DB providers and ODBC drivers call in order to communicate with the database, in much the same way as DBLib for SQL Server databases.
After that brief overview, it is now time to show you how to connect to an Oracle8 database using the more popular technologies so that you can see the relative pros and cons of each in terms of feature support, performance, and ease.