Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio FAQ

Last updated: 8/30/2010

    Common Issues

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  • Can I use the latest download of Oracle Developer Tools 11g with an Oracle 10g or Oracle 9i database?

    Scenario: I have read about interesting new Visual Studio features contained in Oracle Developer Tools 11g but I am using an Oracle 10g or an Oracle 9i database. Can I use the 11g version of Oracle Developer Tools with my 10g or 9i database?

    Solution: Yes! The Oracle Developer Tools is supported and tested against database versions back to Oracle 9.2. We encourage you to download the very latest version of Oracle Developer Tools, no matter what your version of the database may be. This way you can take advantage of all new features, many of which were added in the 11g release.

  • Can I use the latest features in Oracle Developer Tools 11g and still use ODP.NET version 10.x or 9.x in my application?

    Scenario: I have read about interesting new Visual Studio features contained in Oracle Developer Tools 11g but I am standardized on Oracle Data Provider for .NET version 10.x or 9.x in my application. Since the Oracle Developer Tools download includes (and is dependent on) ODP.NET 11g, must I use an old version of the Oracle Developer Tools and miss out on the new features or can I use both ODT 11g and ODP.NET 10g or 9i simultaneously?

    Solution: Yes, you can use the newest 11g version of Oracle Developer Tools while developing code that relies on ODP.NET version 10g or 9i. In almost all cases it will work fine. The only exception is with the automatic .NET code generation feature. Here is what you need to do:

    1. a) Install both ODT 11g *and* ODP.NET 10g or 9i. They must be placed in different Oracle Homes!
    2. b) You will now be able to use the 11g Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio and all of the newest features. To ensure the correct version of ODP.NET is used by your application continue to the next steps:
    3. c) Make sure that in the "References" section in your solution, the Oracle.DataAccess.dll that is referenced is coming from the Oracle 10 or Oracle 9 Oracle home.
    4. d) Finally, you must "ungac" (gacutil /u) the ODP.NET 11g policy DLL's or else your application will silently begin using the 11g version of ODP.NET even though the reference points to the correct DLL. There are several Oracle policy DLLs with varying names, for example: "Policy.2.102.Oracle.DataAccess.dll". Ungac them all.

    Important Note: In some cases, automatic .NET code generated by ODT version 11 and later (for example via Tableadapter configuration wizard) may not compile against ODP.NET version 10 or earlier due to some small changes to an interface. Since this automatic code generation is typically done infrequently, this may not impact you if you are using a pre-existing code base where this code generation was done with earlier versions of ODT. If this does impact you, you could use an older version of ODT to do the automatic code generation and then upgrade to the latest version of ODT to take advantage of new tools functionality once you have completed that.

  • ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve the connect identifier specified

    Scenario: You just installed Oracle Developer Tools, and now you cannot connect to the database using a Oracle connect alias that has worked in the past. You get a ORA-12154 error when you attempt to connect.

    Cause: When you install Oracle Developer Tools, it typically creates a new "Oracle Home" (a new Oracle subdirectory, for example C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\my_new_home ) Each Oracle home maintains it's own copy of your connect aliases in a file called TNSNAMES.ORA. When you try to connect from this new Oracle home, none of your old connect aliases will exist in the new copy of TNSNAMES.ORA, therefore you get this error. They need to be copied over to the new Oracle home.


    In some configurations, copying SQLNET.ORA and LDAP.ORA files from the same directory above may also be required.

    Additionally: 64-bit Windows users who after doing the above steps still get ORA-12154 should either: 1) Upgrade to the latest version of their Oracle client that contains the fix for bug 3807408, or 2) rename subdirectories in their application that contain parenthesis to remove those parenthesis, in particular: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server and C:\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 8

  • Slowness, hanging, and other performance problems

    Scenario: You are experiencing hanging or extreme slowness when opening a Server Explorer node, when creating a Datasource, TableAdapter or Dataset, when opening a Designer such as Table Designer, or when generating a script.

    Cause: Older versions of Oracle Developer Tools did not perform well when loading metadata from certain database configurations - such as those containing many schemas. This has been fixed in ODT version or later and upgrading to that version may result in a 700% increase in performance. Additionally, many users are able to resolve performance problems by setting up "filters".

    Solution: Upgrade to ODT version or later. Filters can be also enabled via the Filter tab on the Oracle Connection dialog to limit the schemas and schema objects that are visible in Server Explorer or in the Datasource configuration wizard.

    Note: If you continue to have performance problems after upgrading to ODT version or later and after applying filters please post to the ODT forum for a complete diagnostic.

  • "Package Load Failure" error when attempting to use Oracle Developer Tools for the first time

    Scenario: You just installed Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio and when you attempt to open Server Explorer or use the tools in other ways, you get a "Package Load Failure" error.

    Cause: This is a generic error, that means that Oracle Developer Tools did not install correctly or has been disabled in some way. The typical cause of this error varies with each software release.

    Solution: In general, if any errors occured during the installation process, you should correct the problem before attempting to use the product or this error may result.

    For version specific causes and solutions for the Package Load Failure error, please visit this link:

  • Problems using PL/SQL Debugging for the first time

    Scenario: You are trying to get PL/SQL debugging with Visual Studio to work, but you are receiving various errors.

    Cause: Configuring PL/SQL Debugging for the first time requires several steps. If any of the steps are skipped you will get one of several errors. Among other things, you need to be granted appropriate privileges for debugging, need certain open ports in your firewall, need to configure the Oracle Developer Tools Options page, and need to set break points in both the .NET code and the PL/SQL code. Also it is important to note, that when debugging PL/SQL from ASP.NET, you must follow some special steps to get it working.

    Solution: If you are calling PL/SQL from a C# or VB.NET Windows application, or attempting to debug directly from Oracle Explorer follow these configuration instructions:

    If you are calling PL/SQL from ASP.NET, follow the configuration steps in the blog entry link below:

  • New Visual Studio Oracle features I have read about do not seem to be available in my installation of ODT

    Scenario: You may have read about major new features in Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio such as SQL Scripting support, Source Control Integration, User Defined Types support, etc but they are not available in your release.

    Solution: Download the latest ODAC 11g release and install it. See also the FAQ entry, can I use ODT 11g with an Oracle 10 or Oracle 9 database? Please note that sometimes new features may be included in a beta release. Since Oracle Developer Tools is not redistributed to your end users, many developers do not mind using a beta release for their day to day development.

  • I don't see any Server Explorer menus, designers or features that I read about in the documentation

    Scenario: You see Oracle schema objects in Server Explorer, but the menus don't match what you read about elsewhere and you don't see any of the designers and wizards.

    Solution: When you create a connection in Server Explorer, you should select "Oracle Database (Oracle ODP.NET)" as the datasource.

  • Where did Oracle Explorer go? I can't find it!

    Scenario: You recently upgraded to a new version of ODT and can no longer find Oracle Explorer.

    Solution: Newer versions of ODT no longer include Oracle Explorer. You should use Server Explorer instead. The functionality is almost identical.

  • Oracle Components in Toolbox are greyed out in Visual Studio 2005 Web Application

    Scenario: Oracle components in the Toolbox, such as "OracleDataAdapter" are greyed out. When you drag and drop a table onto the aspx form, all you get is text with a select statement.

    Solution: Right click on the default.aspx, select "View Component Designer" from the context menu and this will launch the Component (Windows Forms) Designer and then the ODP.NET components in the toolbox will be enabled.