Oracle Call Interface Getting Started for Windows
Release 9.0.1 for Windows

Part Number A90166-01
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This guide provides introductory information for the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) running on Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 95/98, and Windows 2000.

This preface contains these topics:


Oracle Call Interface Getting Started for Windows is intended for developers who create applications written in C that interact with one or more Oracle Servers.

To use this document, you need to know:


This document contains:

Chapter 1, "Introduction to Oracle Call Interface"
Chapter 2, "Building OCI Applications"

Related Documentation

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If you already have a username and password for OTN, then you can go directly to the documentation section of the OTN Web site at


This section describes the conventions used in the text and code examples of this documentation set. It describes:

Conventions in Text

We use various conventions in text to help you more quickly identify special terms. The following table describes those conventions and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 


Bold typeface indicates terms that are defined in the text or terms that appear in a glossary, or both. 

When you specify this clause, you create an index-organized table.  


Italic typeface indicates book titles or emphasis. 

Oracle9i Database Concepts

Ensure that the recovery catalog and target database do not reside on the same disk. 

UPPERCASE monospace (fixed-width font) 

Uppercase monospace typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. Such elements include parameters, privileges, datatypes, RMAN keywords, SQL keywords, SQL*Plus or utility commands, packages and methods, as well as system-supplied column names, database objects and structures, usernames, and roles. 

You can specify this clause only for a NUMBER column.

You can back up the database by using the BACKUP command.

Query the TABLE_NAME column in the USER_TABLES data dictionary view.


lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) 

Lowercase monospace typeface indicates executables, filenames, directory names, and sample user-supplied elements. Such elements include computer and database names, net service names, and connect identifiers, as well as user-supplied database objects and structures, column names, packages and classes, usernames and roles, program units, and parameter values.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown. 

Enter sqlplus to open SQL*Plus.

The password is specified in the orapwd file.

Back up the datafiles and control files in the /disk1/oracle/dbs directory.

The department_id, department_name, and location_id columns are in the hr.departments table.

Set the QUERY_REWRITE_ENABLED initialization parameter to true.

Connect as oe user.

The JRepUtil class implements these methods. 

lowercase monospace (fixed-width font) italic 

Lowercase monospace italic font represents placeholders or variables. 

You can specify the parallel_clause.

Run Uold_release.SQL where old_release refers to the release you installed prior to upgrading. 

Conventions in Code Examples

Code examples illustrate SQL, PL/SQL, SQL*Plus, or other command-line statements. They are displayed in a monospace (fixed-width) font and separated from normal text as shown in this example:

SELECT username FROM dba_users WHERE username = 'MIGRATE';

The following table describes typographic conventions used in code examples and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 

[ ] 

Brackets enclose one or more optional items. Do not enter the brackets. 

DECIMAL (digits [ , precision ]) 

{ } 

Braces enclose two or more items, one of which is required. Do not enter the braces. 


A vertical bar represents a choice of two or more options within brackets or braces. Enter one of the options. Do not enter the vertical bar. 




Horizontal ellipsis points indicate either:

  • That we have omitted parts of the code that are not directly related to the example

  • That you can repeat a portion of the code


CREATE TABLE ... AS subquery;

SELECT col1, col2, ... , coln FROM employees; 



Vertical ellipsis points indicate that we have omitted several lines of code not directly related to the example. 


Other notation 

You must enter symbols other than brackets, braces, vertical bars, and ellipsis points as shown. 

acctbal NUMBER(11,2);

acct CONSTANT NUMBER(4) := 3; 


Italicized text indicates placeholders or variables for which you must supply particular values. 

CONNECT SYSTEM/system_password

DB_NAME = database_name 


Uppercase typeface indicates elements supplied by the system. We show these terms in uppercase in order to distinguish them from terms you define. Unless terms appear in brackets, enter them in the order and with the spelling shown. However, because these terms are not case sensitive, you can enter them in lowercase. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;


DROP TABLE hr.employees; 


Lowercase typeface indicates programmatic elements that you supply. For example, lowercase indicates names of tables, columns, or files.

Note: Some programmatic elements use a mixture of UPPERCASE and lowercase. Enter these elements as shown. 

SELECT last_name, employee_id FROM employees;

sqlplus hr/hr


Conventions for Windows Operating Systems

The following table describes conventions for Windows operating systems and provides examples of their use.

Convention  Meaning  Example 

Choose Start > 

How to start a program. For example, to start Oracle Database Configuration Assistant, you must click the Start button on the taskbar and then choose Programs > Oracle - HOME_NAME > Database Administration > Database Configuration Assistant.  

Choose Start > Programs > Oracle - HOME_NAME > Database Administration > Database Configuration Assistant 


Represents the Windows command prompt of the current hard disk drive. Your prompt reflects the subdirectory in which you are working. Referred to as the command prompt in this guide. 



Represents the Oracle home name.

The home name can be up to 16 alphanumeric characters. The only special character allowed in the home name is the underscore.  

C:\> net start OracleHOME_NAMETNSListener 


In releases prior to 8.1, when you installed Oracle components, all subdirectories were located under a top level ORACLE_HOME directory that by default was:

  • C:\orant for Windows NT

  • C:\orawin95 for Windows 95

  • C:\orawin98 for Windows 98

or whatever you called your Oracle home.

In this Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA)-compliant release, all subdirectories are not under a top level ORACLE_HOME directory. There is a top level directory called ORACLE_BASE that by default is C:\oracle. If you install release 9.0 on a computer with no other Oracle software installed, the default setting for the first Oracle home directory is C:\oracle\ora90. The Oracle home directory is located directly under ORACLE_BASE.

All directory path examples in this guide follow OFA conventions.

See Oracle9i Database Getting Started for Windows for additional information on OFA compliances and for information on installing Oracle products in non-OFA compliant directories. 

Go to the ORACLE_BASE\ORACLE_HOME\rdbms\admin directory.


Documentation Accessibility

Oracle's goal is to make our products, services, and supporting documentation accessible to the disabled community with good usability. To that end, our documentation includes features that make information available to users of assistive technology. This documentation is available in HTML format, and contains markup to facilitate access by the disabled community. Standards will continue to evolve over time, and Oracle is actively engaged with other market-leading technology vendors to address technical obstacles so that our documentation can be accessible to all of our customers. For additional information, visit the Oracle Accessibility Program Web site at

JAWS, a Windows screen reader, may not always correctly read the code examples in this document. The conventions for writing code require that closing braces should appear on an otherwise empty line; however, JAWS may not always read a line of text that consists solely of a bracket or brace.

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