Oracle Database on Windows and .NET FAQ

Windows, COM, and .NET Integration
Operating System Support and Certification
Migration and Interoperability

Q: How does the Oracle database on Windows work?  How do I tune the Oracle database on Windows?

A: The Oracle RDBMS on Windows web site describes how the Oracle database operates on Windows, as well as provides tips on performance tuning.

Q: I use C#, Visual Basic, Active Server Pages, Visual C++, or another Windows-specific programming language. How does Oracle provide data access?

A: Oracle offers a variety of data access methods for COM-based, .NET-based, and Win32/64-based programming languages. Oracle developers can use any one of the following data access drivers based on the Windows programming language employed:

These data access drivers have been engineered to provide superior performance with Oracle and expose the database's advanced features which may not be available in third-party drivers.

Q: I use C#, Visual Basic .NET, or another .NET language. How does Oracle support .NET? What about web services?

A: The Oracle database provides optimum .NET data access support through the Oracle Data Provider for .NET, allowing .NET applications to access advanced Oracle features.

The Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET help streamline the development of Oracle database applications right from within Visual Studio. It enables developers to browse and modify their Oracle schemas, leverage powerful wizards and designers, automatically generate code, and view and edit Oracle data. These and other features, including stored procedure editing with Intellisense, syntax coloring, and an integrated help system, are designed to speed development and make it easy to learn how to develop Oracle applications for Windows.

Oracle Application Server allows programmers to easily and quickly build web services via SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, and XML. SOAP and XML support has been available since Oracle9iAS. By their very definition, web services are intended to be cross-platform. As such, Oracle web services support .NET web services.

Q: What is the maximum amount/number of memory, processors, etc. that Oracle on Windows can support?

A: Oracle supports the maximum amount of memory and maximum number of processors allowable under Windows 2000, XP, and Server 2003.  Oracle supports fail over using Microsoft Cluster Server with Oracle Fail Safe for up to eight nodes on Windows 2003 Datacenter.  Oracle Real Application Clusters on Windows is supported beyond four nodes.  Visit the High Availability home page for more information.

Q: Why does Oracle integrate with Windows?

A: Oracle is committed to provide open solutions for our customers. This allows customers to choose the software technologies that best fit their needs. Oracle is integrated closely with popular Windows-based languages and servers to make development and deployment of Oracle products on Windows simple and seamless.

Q: What is the target market for Oracle's integration with Windows?

A: Oracle's integration with Windows benefits all areas of IT infrastructure: client, middle-tier, and data tier. At each of these levels, Oracle allows developers, software architects, and database administrators to take advantage of native Windows servers and technologies. This integration ensures Oracle is scalable, fault-tolerant, high-performing, and easy to develop and deploy on Windows. Whether your applications using the native Windows services, .NET, COM, or Java, Oracle offers strong support for Windows technologies.

Q: What Windows integration features are available in the Oracle database?

Oracle is committed to providing the best database on Windows. Below is a brief description of the integration features:

Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET)
The Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET) features optimized data access to the Oracle database from a .NET environment. Unlike other .NET providers, ODP.NET is a native driver and does not use a data access bridge, which can hurt performance. ODP.NET allows developers to take advantage of advanced Oracle database functionality. The data provider can be used from any .NET language, including C# and Visual Basic .NET. The Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET streamlines database development as an add-in for the development environment.

Oracle Services for Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS)
The Oracle Services for MTS leverage Oracle databases as resource managers for distributed transactions through the Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC). These services provide client-side connection pooling to MTS and allow transaction coordination of COM and .NET components involving Oracle databases. MTS, which is also known as COM+ and .NET Enterprise Services, is a superset of the DTC.

Oracle Objects for OLE (OO4O)
OO4O is a COM-based API that provides high performance data access to Oracle databases and exposes Oracle features, such as objects and advanced queueing, not available through ADO. OO4O can be used in any COM development environment, such as Visual Basic, PowerBuilder, or Delphi. OO4O can interact with MTS and IIS.

OLE DB
The Oracle Provider for OLE DB offers high performance and efficient access to Oracle data for OLE DB and ADO developers. Developers programming with Visual Basic, C++, or any COM client can utilize the provider to access Oracle databases.

Oracle Open Database Connectvity (ODBC)
The Oracle ODBC driver provides optimized ODBC access to the Oracle database from Windows clients.

COM Automation Feature
The COM Automation Feature allows Oracle databases to communicate with COM Automation servers, such as Microsoft Office, using SQL, PL/SQL, and Java stored procedures. It is primarily used for server-initiated data access to a client COM Automation Server. The COM Automation Feature exposes APIs to instantiate COM objects, get and set their properties, and invoke their methods.

Very Large Memroy (VLM)
On Windows 2000 and higher, Oracle interfaces with the Microsoft's Address Windowing Extensions (AWE), which allows the Oracle database to access to up to 64 GB of memory. On Windows NT Server, Oracle interfaces with the Intel PSE36 device driver which makes up to 16 GB of memory available to Oracle. This support enables very large amounts of database buffers which will help performance for transaction-intensive applications by reducing disk I/O and keeping more data cached. This is one of the many integration features of the Oracle RDBMS on Windows.

Directory & Security
Oracle provides integration with Oracle Internet Directory, Microsoft Active Directory, and Windows native authentication in order to simplify and centralize administration on Windows. The integration permits single sign-on and flexible security management.

Oracle Fail Safe
Oracle Fail Safe provides easy-to-deploy high availability (through fast failover) on commodity Windows clusters for both data tier and application tier components for nearly all Oracle products shipping on Windows.

Q: Where can I find more information about the Oracle database on or integration with Windows?

A: Visit the Windows Technology Center on OTN for more information.

Q: Where can I find more information about Oracle integration with .NET?

A: Visit the .NET Developer Center on OTN for more information.

Q: Which versions of the Oracle database are supported on which versions of Windows?

A:

Oracle10g Release 2 (10.2) Supported Windows Operating Systems
Enterprise Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Standard Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Personal Edition Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Express Edition Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003
Client Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2


Oracle Database 10g (10.1) Supported Windows Operating Systems
Enterprise Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Standard Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Personal Edition Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Client Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2

Oracle9i Release 2 (9.2) Supported Windows Operating Systems
Enterprise Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Standard Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Personal Edition Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2
Client Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Server 2003 R2


Oracle9i Release 1 (9.0.1) Supported Windows Operating Systems
Enterprise Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP
Standard Edition (Server) Windows 2000/XP
Personal Edition Windows 2000/XP
Client Windows 2000/XP


Oracle8i Release 3 (8.1.7) Supported Windows Operating Systems
Enterprise Edition (Server) Windows 2000
Standard Edition (Server) Windows 2000
Personal Edition Windows 2000
Client Windows 2000


Note:
For AMD64/EM64T platform information, refer to this
certification matrix.
Windows 2000 support indicates support for Professional, Server, Advanced Server, Datacenter editions.
Windows XP support indicates support for Professional Edition (32-bit) and XP 2003 (64-bit Itanium). Windows XP 2003 is supported for Oracle 9.2 and 10.1 only. Microsoft is discontinuing support for Windows XP for Itanium.
Windows Server 2003 support indicates support for Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web editions (32-bit) and Enterprise and Datacenter editions (64-bit Itanium).
Windows NT and Windows 98 have been desupported by Oracle.
Oracle Standard Edition support includes support for Standard Edition One.
Consult Oracle Metalink for updated operating support information.

Q: Which Windows operating systems has Oracle desupported or plans to desupport?

A: In general, Oracle will end support of its products on a Windows operating system at the same time the operating system enters Microsoft's Non-Supported Phase or equivalent thereof. Currently, Oracle and Microsoft have desupported Windows NT and Windows 98. Consult Oracle Metalink for more details.

Q: Can I use one version of the Oracle Database (e.g. Oracle10g) with a different version of the Oracle client (e.g. Oracle9i)?

A: Yes, Oracle supports using different versions of the Oracle client with the Oracle Database. In general, a database server version supports the two major database client releases prior to its release and the two major releases after its release. For example, Oracle8i server supports the major client releases prior to it (Oracle7 and Oracle8) and the major releases after it (Oracle9i and Oracle10g). A database client version also supports two major server releases prior to its release and two major release after. Consult Oracle Metalink for more details on specific releases.

Q: Is Windows Terminal Server/Services and Remote Desktop Connection supported?

A: Terminal Server/Services and Remote Desktop Connection are supported. Some Oracle components will be exceptions to this support. Please check the Oracle Database release notes for your specific version for more details.

Q: Does Oracle certify against the latest Windows service packs?

A: Oracle certifies against the specific Microsoft operating system and, if applicable, service packs (SPs) stated in the Oracle product documentation. Oracle will support the use of our products on any later SP as soon as that SP becomes generally available. Depending upon the severity, quantity and impact of the SP-related issues found, Oracle may recommend that customers wait until relevant Oracle patches have been released before upgrading to a particular SP. Oracle may recommend or discourage the installation of specific SPs if the SPs will significantly affect the operation of Oracle software, either positively or negatively. If such a statement is deemed necessary, then Oracle Development will disseminate this statement in as timely a fashion as possible after the release of an SP.

Q: Does Oracle support 64-bit Windows on Itanium and on multi-core "Montecito" Itanium?

A: Yes, the Oracle database supports 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and XP 2003 and can be downloaded from OTN. Oracle was the first vendor to make database software publicly available for the 64-bit Windows Itanium platform in December, 2000. Oracle9i Database Release 2 was the first production database supported on 64-bit Windows.

For multi-core "Montecito" Itanium processors with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 or higher, Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2.0.2 or higher), Oracle Database 10g Release 1 (10.1.0.5 or higher), and Oracle9i Release 2 (9.2.0.8 or higher) are supported. Consult Metalink note: 400227.1 for more information on installation.

Does Oracle support Windows x64 (x86-64) for AMD64 and Intel EM64T?

A: Consult the following matrix for certification information.

Oracle Database 10g (10.2) Release 2 Supported Windows Operating Systems
32-bit Database Server and Client 32-bit Windows
32-bit Client 64-bit Windows x64
64-bit Database Server and Client 64-bit Windows x64

Oracle Database 10g (10.1) Supported Windows Operating Systems
32-bit Database Server and Client 32-bit Windows
32-bit Database Client 64-bit Windows x64

Oracle9i Release 2 (9.2) Supported Windows Operating Systems
32-bit Database Server and Client 32-bit Windows
32-bit Database Client 64-bit Windows x64


Note:
32-bit Windows consists of the family of 32-bit Windows operating systems using AMD64 and EM64T.
Windows x64 consists of the following operating systems: Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Edition (Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter) and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

Consult
Oracle Metalink for updated operating support information.

Oracle was the first to make a 64-bit database developer release publicly available for AMD64 and Intel EM64T chipsets.

Does Oracle support Windows Encrypting File System (EFS)?

A: Yes, EFS is supported and is transparent to Oracle.  However, there is a tradeoff in using it. EFS will slow database peformance as it constantly encrypts and decrypts data, so it's not encouraged for high performance applications.

Q: How do I migrate from SQL Server (or another database) to Oracle?

A: The Oracle Migration technology web site provides tools and documentation on moving your database to Oracle.

Q: How can Oracle interoperate with a non-Oracle database?

A: Oracle provides two connectivity solutions to address the needs of disparate data access: Oracle Transparent Gateways and Oracle Generic Connectivity. Oracle Transparent Gateways provides access to many non-Oracle data stores, including Microsoft SQL Server, Informix, Ingres, and Sybase from an Oracle environment. Oracle Generic Connectivity provides access to many data stores for which Oracle does not have a gateway solution. This feature enables transparent connectivity using ODBC and OLE DB.

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