Oracle Provider for OLE DB User's Guide
Release 8.1.6






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Based on an open standard, Oracle Provider for OLE DB (OraOLEDB) allows access to Oracle databases. This documentation describes OraOLEDB's provider-specific features and properties. This Preface includes the following sections:

Purpose of this Guide

This guide provides a description of the provider-specific features supported by Oracle Provider for OLE DB (OraOLEDB).

Generic OLE DB information can be found in OLE DB Programmer's Reference, which is a part of the OLE DB SDK provided by Microsoft. Information about OLE DB and the OLE DB SDK 2.1 is available at:


This guide is intended for programmers developing applications to access an Oracle database using Oracle Provider for OLE DB. This documentation is also valuable to systems analysts, project managers, and others interested in the development of database applications.

This document assumes that you are familiar with OLE DB and have a working knowledge of application programming using Microsoft C/C++, Visual Basic, or ActiveX Data Objects (ADO). In addition, some sections of this guide also assume a knowledge of the basic concepts of object-oriented programming. Knowledge of Component Object Model (COM) concepts are also useful.

Readers should also be familiar with the use of Structured Query Language (SQL) to access information in relational database systems. For information about SQL, refer to Oracle8i SQL Reference and PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference. For information about basic Oracle concepts, see Oracle8i Concepts.

Feature Coverage and Availability

This guide contains information that describes the features and functionality of Oracle Provider for OLE DB. For information about Oracle8i features and options, see Getting to Know Oracle8i.

How this Guide Is Organized

This guide contains the following chapters and appendices:

Chapter 1, "Introduction"

This chapter discusses OLE DB, Oracle Provider for OLE DB (OraOLEDB), requirements, and installation.

Chapter 2, "OraOLEDB Features"

This chapter discusses OraOLEDB components and describes how to use OraOLEDB to develop consumer applications.

Appendix A, "Provider-Specific Information"

This appendix discusses OLE DB information that is specific to Oracle Provider for OLE DB.

Conventions Used in this Guide

The following conventions are used in this guide.

Convention  Example  Meaning 

All uppercase plain 


Indicates command names, SQL reserved words, and keywords.  


Italic is used to indicate a variable:



Indicates a value that you must provide. For example, if a command asks you to type filename, you enter the actual name of the file.

Italic is also used for emphasis in the text and to indicate the titles of other guides. 

square brackets [ ] 


Encloses optional items. For example, when you create an Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA)-compliant Oracle home directory, you can place an optional pathname before the \oracle pathname.

Square brackets also indicate a function key, for example [Enter].  



Represents the Windows platforms command prompt of the current hard disk drive. Your prompt may differ and may, at times, reflect the subdirectory in which you are working. Referred to as the MS-DOS command prompt in this guide. 

Backslash (\) before a directory name 


Indicates that the directory is a subdirectory of the root directory. 

oracle_home and oracle_base 

Go to the oracle_base\oracle_home\bin directory. 

In this Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA)-compliant release, all subdirectories are no longer under a top level oracle_home directory. There is now a new top-level directory called oracle_base that by default is c:\oracle. The Oracle home directories are located directly under oracle_base.

If you install Oracle8i release 8.1.6 on a computer where there is no other Oracle software on the computer, the default settings for the first Oracle home directory is c:\oracle\ora81. If you run Oracle Universal Installer again and install release 8.2.x, the second Oracle home directory is called \ora82.

All directory path examples in this guide follow OFA conventions. For more information on OFA, see Oracle8i Administrator's Guide for Windows NT



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



Represents a unique registry subkey for each Oracle home directory in which you install products. A new HOMEID is created and incremented each time you install products to a different Oracle home directory on one machine. Each HOMEID contains its own configuration parameter settings for installed Oracle products. 


period .

comma ,

hyphen -

semicolon ;

colon :

equal sign =

backslash \

single quote `

double quote "

parentheses () 

Symbols other than brackets and vertical bars must be entered in commands exactly as shown. 

Documentation Library

This guide is part of a larger library of Oracle documentation. The Oracle documentation library consists of two types of documentation:

Documentation Type  Describes... 

Operating System-specific 

Installation, configuration, and use of Oracle products in a Windows environment. Operating system-specific documents are occasionally referred to in the generic documentation set. These documents are easy to identify because they always mention their specific operating system in their title. 


Oracle database, Oracle networking, and Application Programming Interfaces information that is uniform across all operating system platforms. The majority of documents in your documentation set belong to this category. While reading through the generic documentation set, you are occasionally asked to refer to your platform (or operating system) documentation for procedures specific to the Windows operating systems.

To easily identify where these generic documentation references are described in your operating system documentation, see the index of this guide for the following entry:

generic documentation references

All generic documentation references described in this guide appear under this index entry. 

Related Documents

For more information, see the following guides.

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