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Oracle Installation Tips

Please read the following!

This is a VERY OLD document. Some folks using Windows XP and Oracle 8i may find some use for it. But most of you are probably looking for Oracle 10g or Oracle 11g installation tips. If so, I strongly suggest you check out my updated Obtaining and installing Oracle Software tutorial as it covers working with Oracle 11g.

If you are still interested in Oracle 8i feel free to read on below.


This document is intended to support Baruch College faculty, staff and students who are working with Oracle Developer, Designer and the Personal Oracle database management system. The way Oracle is installed at your school, work or home may be vastly different and thus these instructions may not benefit you at all.

An Overview of Oracle Software

The Oracle Corp. offers numerous products from relational and object-relational database management systems, software developement tools and CASE tools to packaged applications such as Oracle Financials. When discussing Oracle, one must refer to a specific piece of software. People who talk about "buying Oracle" or that say "I have used Oracle" seldom actually know or understand what they are talking about.

Under the headings above, one might categorize the Oracle product line as follows:
Category Software Description
Database Servers Oracle7, Oracle8, Oracle8i, Oracle9i, Oracle10g, Oracle11g
The database engines that store and retrieve data, and servers that provide access to the DBMS over a LAN or the Internet/Web.
There are several versions of each:
Personal Oracle X (intended for desktop single user)
Oracle X (intended for small to medium sized workgroups)
Oracle X Enterprise (intended for very large organizations)
(where X is some version like Oracle7, Oracle8, Oracle8i, Oracle9i, etc.)
Application/Web servers (Web) Application Server, WebDB or it's modern name "Application Express" Web development and applications server software that allow applications to served over the web. This is typically done in a 3-tier architecture.
Software Development SQL*Plus (Command line interface)
Developer/2000, or simply Developer (Forms, Reports, Graphics)
Designer/2000 or simply Designer (CASE Tools)
Programmer/2000 (Embedded SQL libraries)
JDeveloper (Java application development)
As of Summer, 2002, all of these pieces are now combined under one title: Oracle 9i Development Suite. The modern version is Oracle10g Developer. With Oracle 11 they are transitioning away from the "Forms" and "Report" model.
Tools used to develop applications that access an Oracle DBMS (or multiple DBMS), typically in a traditional 2-tier client/server architecture or 3-Tier architecture.
Packaged Apps. Oracle Financials
Oracle CRM
Oracle Supply Chain Management, etc.
Software written using Oracle tools by Oracle that is then installed and customized for a business.

In general, Baruch supplies an Oracle8i server and the Developer tools for projects in the CIS4400 and CIS 9440 courses.

What Oracle Software will I need to learn Oracle?

Given the vast array of products listed above, one should assume it is not feasible to learn ALL of the Oracle products at one time. Below is a suggested series of steps to gradually build your Oracle knowledge using the minimum amount of software. If you have a reasonably equipped PC (2 GB RAM, 30 GB disk space free, Windows Server, XP Professional or later OS), you can run both a server instance and the client tools on the same machine.

If your goal is to ... Acquire this software...
Learn the basics of SQL, Stored Procedures, Triggers and the Oracle data dictionary
e.g., in preparation for the first OCP exam. This is also the basics you will need for Baruch College's CIS 4400 and CIS 9440 classes.
Personal Oracle 8i/10g/11g for Windows (includes the DBMS and SQL*Plus tool)
Learn how to develop client side applications (forms, reports)
e.g., for development of a 2 or 3 tier client/server project
Personal Oracle 8i/9i/10g/11g (see above) and Oracle Developer 9i/10g or Forms 11g
Learn how to develop client side applications in Java (forms, reports)
e.g., for development of a 2 or 3 tier client/server project
Personal Oracle 8i/9i/10g/11g (see above) and Oracle JDeveloper

Sources for Oracle Software

You can obtain Oracle software for your own personal use in the following ways:

This is probably the most appropriate place to remind you that copying software is illegal. Oracle is well known in the software industry for zealously prosecuting offenders.

The Elmasri/Navathe 3rd Edition Oracle Software supplement

The 3rd edition of the Elmasri/Navathe Fundamentals of Database Systems book can be ordered with an Oracle Software supplement. This supplement includes the following software:
- Personal Oracle 8i RDBMS for Windows 98 (This software does not work with Windows 95, NT, ME, 2000 or XP)

They used to bundle Developer and Designer, but no longer.

Students with the Elmasri/Navathe Oracle software supplement may wish to visit the Addison-Wesley Computer Science and Engineering home page for the textbook. There are some installation instructions available for the Oracle tools.

I have also provided some installation guidelines for Personal Oracle8i (click here). Note that these instructions ONLY apply to installing the EXACT version of Personal Oracle8i that comes with the E/N textbook on to Windows 98.

All versions of the Oracle RDBMS ship with the SQL*Plus tool. SQL*Plus is a simple command-line tool for entering SQL statements in to the Oracle database. In the CIS 9440 and CIS 4400 classes, we will use SQL*Plus to create tables, write queries and create stored procedures and triggers.

Oracle Developer (Developer/2000)

Oracle Developer is the Forms, Reports and graphics tools used to build the client portion of client/server applications. While newer versions of the Developer tools exist (e.g., Developer 6.0, 6i), they require significantly more system resources.

Oracle Designer/2000

Oracle Designer (Designer/2000) (the CASE tool) is not presently supported anywhere at Baruch and is not used for any classes. It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt to install Oracle Designer. The main reason is that this is a very complex product that requires you to create a "CASE Repository". This repository is actually an Oracle database with a minimum size of over 300 megabytes. It requires strong DBA skills to get this product installed properly. This includes manipulating the Oracle tablespaces (not a typical job for novices). When things go wrong during the installation, one can waste significant time troubleshooting. Once installed, Oracle Designer requires significant time to learn and master before it can be used effectively. For these reasons, I recommend against using Oracle Designer until you are very familiar with manipulating Oracle schemas.

Operating Systems (Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0 and Windows2000)

The majority of Oracle tools including Developer 6i, Personal Oracle 8i and Designer/2000 2.1 were developed for Windows 98, Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional.

At this time (August, 2002) none of the Oracle databases or tools appear to be supported under Windows ME or the Home Edition of Windows XP). Most of the tools and databases are now only supported under Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 (Server or Professional) and Windows XP Professional.

Speaking of Windows 2000, if you have trouble installing Oracle8i under Windows 2000, try this suggestion from the Intel web site: http://support.intel.com/support/processors/pentium4/issues.htm

One hint that seems to work for some people is that once you have installed the database (Personal Oracle8 for example), and then you attempt to install Developer/2000 2.1, you may get some errors during the install. When you put in the CD-ROM for Developer/2000 2.1, its install program will automatically run. The problem is that Developer/2000 2.1 install program is likely not compatible with Personal Oracle8. So the trick is to exit the Developer/2000 2.1 install program and run the "Oracle Installer" program that was installed along with Personal Oracle8. You can then tell Oracle Installer to point to the CD-ROM drive where it will find the Forms, Reports and Graphics applications parts of Devleoper/2000 to install.

Links to specific software installation instructions

File: index.html Date: Tue Aug 20 12:09:21 EDT 2002
All materials Copyright, 1997-2002 Richard Holowczak