Oracle8 and Oracle8i

Client Components

In this section we will be installing the Oracle client components  on an IIS-based web server to enable our ASP scripts to communicate with an Oracle database server. Once the client programs have been installed we will be using Oracle's configuration utilities to configure our web server to connect to Oracle.

With the exception of cosmetics, there are very few differences between the Oracle8 and Oracle8i installation programs, so we will be showing screen shots from the Oracle8i installation .

In order to access an Oracle database, a number of software components need to be installed on a client computer. Oracle8 uses its networking component Net8 to provide client-server and server-server connectivity for many common protocols and platforms.

In versions prior to Oracle8, the forerunner to Net8 was SQL*Net version 2 – you'll find lots of documentation that still refers to SQL*Net. Net8  is backwardly compatible with SQL*Net version 2, allowing Net8 to access both Oracle7 and Oracle8 databases. It is possible, however, to connect to an Oracle8 database using SQL*Net but some of the new network features will not be available.

Once you've installed the Oracle client components, the Net8 Easy Config and Net8 Assistant applications can be used to configure your Net8 settings . Both applications use a number of .ora configuration files that you can, if you know what you're doing, edit yourself in Notepad. We'll go through the installation of the client components before we go into the details of the applications.

The Oracle client components are supported on all 32-bit Windows platforms: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 3.5 and NT 4 Server and Workstation, and Windows 2000.

By running the familiar setup.exe file you will be presented with a screen welcoming you to the Oracle Universal Installer, or Oracle Installer as Oracle8 calls it . After clicking Next your first choice is to tell the Installer where to put the physical files that it installs. This location is known as the Oracle Home setting:

This allows you to install multiple versions of the Oracle products onto the same machine without an installation conflicting with any other installation. Oracle Home essentially defines the location of a folder into which the software is installed. If you only plan to have one set of Oracle products installed on the machine, which is very often the case, then choose DEFAULT_HOME for the Name. In my case, I have a number of Oracle products installed, so I have given it a name of oracle8i_dev with the files being located in the d:\oracle8i_dev folder.

Clicking the Next button takes you to the Available Products screen:

Here you must choose the actual product to install: the database server, client software, or
management infrastructure software. In many cases you will be connecting to an Oracle database running on a different server to that of your web server, so you should select the second option, Oracle8i Client. If your web server also happens to be your database server then you will need to select the first option to install the actual database sever and, optionally, a starter database accessed via the scott account. The Management Infrastructure option installs the client components along with directory services components.

In my case, I am installing the Oracle client on a web server that will connect to Oracle on a remote server, so I selected Oracle8i Client.

Once you've clicked Next, you will be asked about the Installation Type (the Oracle8 installation calls this the Primary Function). The list of options shown is dependent upon the item selected from the previous screen. If you had chosen to install the Oracle server then you will see a list of options, such as whether to include the pre-configured  starter scott database.

In the case of the Oracle Client installation you can specify the type of installation required for the client components depending upon the features that the client machine needs:

If you need to perform DBA tasks such as creating and backing-up databases, and stopping the server then choose the Administrator option. This will install all of the utilities required to administer an Oracle server.

If the machine is used as your development server then it's a good idea to choose the Programmer option to install a subset of the Administrator tools. However, you won't get utilities such as the Enterprise Manager Console used to administer an Oracle server.

The Application User option should be selected if the machine is used as your web server. This will only install the basic networking and client components and none of the admin or programming tools.

The last option, Custom, allows you to specify exactly which components should be installed.

You can decide which items should be installed on your machine, but some organizations do not allow developers to perform traditional DBA functions such as stopping servers - for very good reasons. You can always add or remove components using the Installer at a later date. Personally I'd want everything that's available so I'd choose Administrator anytime!

After you've clicked Next (for the last
time) the Installer will show a summary
page confirming the options that you
have selected:

Now it's just a case of pressing the Install button to install all of the required programs. Once the installation has been completed you can move onto configuring Net8, the client software, to connect to your Oracle server.

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