back to article Microsoft kills Visual Studio's Oracle data connection

Coders have reacted with disappointment and frustration to Microsoft's decision to cease development of a connector to Oracle in its .NET Framework, a move that looks like another budget cut. Microsoft has said it will no longer develop OracleClient, or System.Data.OracleClient, with the the up-coming .NET Framework 4.0. It …


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  1. jorb
    Gates Horns

    missing the point

    Kind of surprising that the reg has not picked up on the concept that this is yet another attempt by MS to force everyone onto their platform?

    Seems kind of obvious given their history

  2. Chris Hills

    How about

    If Microsoft is seriously committed to open source, this would seem like the perfect project to demonstrate its commitment with.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    And MS is to blame?

    Show me a robust, stable connector for SQL Server that Oracle developed for Eclipse, then maybe I'll be sympathetic. Like Oracle would ever dream of producing the best connector for SQL Server. Fat chance.

    Oracle's been getting a free ride for quite some time. Can't blame MS one bit for deciding the ride is over.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Probably wouldn't have worked properly anyway. I remember years ago trying to use ODBC drivers for Oracle written by Microsoft, they didn't work properly.

  5. Osvaldo
    Thumb Down

    Just move to Java EE...

    It's ridiculous that DBMS-specific packages have to be included in the .NET framework in the first place. I guess that .NET is not sufficiently popular so MS could rely that all the ecosystem - DBMS vendors and others like ORM tools etc. - would offer top-rate and free "providers" for everything (like they do for Java EE).

  6. Poopie McStinklestein 1

    Isn't this one

    Isn't this one of the reasons that people say that Open Source stuff is better?

    In your face, people-who've-jumped-into-bed-with-Microsoft.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    They consulted with MVPs?

    I don't recall this conversation happening, they definitely didn't consult me. It must have been an XBox MVP whose only reaction was "don't give a shit, now let me play Halo!!! You're blocking the TV ffs!"

  8. Anonymous Coward


    One more argument for developing enterprise applications using open tools and standards.

  9. David Barrett


    As long as you dont mind the warnings that its obsolete you can still use it...

    Bug fixes etc sill still be provided but no new functionality will be added, dont see too much of an issue myself, had they cut it out alltogether that would be different, but they havn't, so its not.

  10. AWeirdoNamedPhil

    Aaaaaand THIS is why Oracle developers prefer Java.

    How can an IDE/tools/OS vendor like Microsoft kill off something as absolutely CENTRAL to application development as a database driver? Let's put this in perspective by using a car analogy. Pretend I'm a car manufacturer and that you've just heard me say this:

    "We have decided to halt all in-house production of wheel rims and tires, because we simply cannot match the quality of rims and tires you can get at a number of third-party sites.

    In this economic downturn, you can understand that we have to save money on our manufacturing processes, and this is only one of several measures we're taking.

    From now on, when you order vehicles from us, please supply your own copy of a set of wheels and tires, sourced from one of a number of third party vendors that are available. Of course you will have to bolt your wheels and tires onto the vehicle yourself, since we are no longer going to be involved in the wheel and tire process.

    Of course, if you have already purchased a set of our wheels and tires, we won't be able to replace them for you, but we might let you use the air nozzle out in the parking lot.

    Thank you for your support."

    Now, honestly... What would you do? You'd buy someone else's car, right?

    It's time to move to Java. No database driver issues THERE...

  11. Jimbo 7

    And MS is to blame?

    I kinda agree .... you can use Oracle connector, why would you be mad at Microsoft that they won't keep developing a clone? I had always better luck with Oracle native connectors.

    why wouldn't you use free native oracle connector in the first place?

  12. John P
    Paris Hilton

    that was close

    I only discovered the OraclieClient last week and was planning to use it in an upcoming project.

    As the OraclieClient will still be available and all I have to do is put up with compiler warnings, I think I can live with it.

    I have just used the generic ODBC adapter up til now, works fine if all you want to do is run some queries against a database. Plus if you want to use it against SQL Server or Firebird, all you've got to do is change the connection string.

    Paris because...what, I need a reason?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Why should Microsoft... Oracle? Not only are they taking money from their own pockets, but Oracle is a gross, sucky travesty of a database product. Even its originator has trouble supplying good programming tools for it. And since it is a much more proprietary thing than even SQL Server (e.f. where is Oracle Express?) this development should be a Good Thing for all the freetards out there.

  14. Matware

    Um, so it still just all works then

    And they've just stopped adding features...

    So I guess you've still got your easy to use, well tested, provider with a consistent interface that comes built into the framework then, and works with any of the open source of comercial ORM tools.

    And if those compiler warnings really really bug you, you could just :

    1. Reflect out the source code.

    2. Recompile it without the deprecated flags.

    3. Add features as required.

    I mean seriously, have any of you guys actually used the MS development environments or are you just blindly ranting about stuff you've never used?

  15. Ed 17


    It's called ODBC. .Net has a perfectly good provider for it.

    @Microsoft: Open up the source for System.Data.Oraclewhatever. Let someone else mess with it.

  16. zenkaon

    Isn't the way forward clear...

    ...use MS SQL server.

    Really glad my organization doesn't use anything like the .NET framework.

    Now if only Oracle could speed up it's access when I try and get information from a remote DB server......

  17. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Its not mendacious

    they dont have the technical skills to do it anymore!

  18. Stephen Byrne
    Thumb Up



    "We have decided to halt all in-house production of wheel rims and tires, because we simply cannot match the quality of rims and tires you can get at a number of third-party sites"

    It's not really like that - it's more like "we have decided to halt all in-house production of the fittings that let you attach third party wheels to our car. If you already own a car with these fittings, they will continue to work but we won't be fixing any new problems you find."

    Why shouldn't Oracle be responsible for providing a working Oracle Data Connector for .NET?

  19. Linbox

    J++, MTS, .NET the list goes on

    MS make fine tools for disposable, in-house development of little applications.

    History has proven that they cannot be trusted for large long-term development projects as they simply make it up as they go along, dumping bits of the environment (or whole languages - yes I'm looking at you J++) to suit their current corporate strategy (hello Microsoft Transaction Services).

    Anybody who uses an MS development tool for strategic projects needs their heads examining. If you think otherwise, you are either 23 years of age or have Alzheimer's.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Extend the logic

    If they applied this logic to their web browser they'd end up saying:

    "There are LOTS of third-party apps that browse the net better than our application, so we're not going to make any more improvements to it. If you want to browse the net with a full standards compliant browser then contact a seperate provider"

    As if!

  21. Jay Jaffa
    Gates Horns

    Open source it and let the community take over

    Simple solution, open source it and let someone else develop it. Perhaps even charge for updates ...

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Quote: ...and "provide the same level of quality and support that customers have come to expect from Microsoft."

    You mean it'll be terrible then, huh?

  24. Shakje


    "Really glad my organization doesn't use anything like the .NET framework."

    Why? Because it speeds up development time, makes maintennance a hell of a lot easier and has a fantastic set of libraries? Only excuse not to use .NET is portability or a need for low-level coding. Speed-wise it's as fast as any other language, and it really does drastically cut down on dev time, especially with ReSharper. It's like using IDEA but more intuitive because you don't have to worry about the backwards way that Java has of doing things.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Bye Bye Oracle...

    I develop with .NET and Oracle, and I have to say I can't wait to move over to SQL Server. SQL Server is much less expensive, has a great user interface (SQL Developer - ha ha! Utterly terrible documentation... slow... runs out of cursors pdq.... Editing TNSNAMES.ORA in Notepad - LOL, so 20th century) , is still fast... and whats more there's no shortage of people with SKILLS to maintain the database out there.

    Now, bring the flames my goatee-bearded geek chums, I'm ready for you. And I don't want to see TPS statistics, just write down how much it costs to run a licensed Enterprise Oracle database vs SQL Server 2008 and whether we need it!

    BTW - if you really want to use Oracle with .NET then just use Reflector to reverse engineer the .NET Oracle code and take what you need from there. Just another nail in Oracle's coffin

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am not a developer, but I play one on TV

    Well, actually I work at the Help Desk with a company that employs developers who use both Oracle and MS SQL depending on client requirements. Reading the comments in the article, it looks to me like Oracle has made such a hash of connecting .NET to the Oracle database that MS can't throw enough programmers at it to keep producing a working product. So they've killed it, just like the killed the code in Visio that use to let you generate schema for an Oracle database. Imagine that, one proprietary vendor obfuscating their code enough so another proprietary vendor can't support connections to their product. And as usual the people who suffer the most are the poor schmucks stuck with programming things to meet vendor requirements.

  27. Bronek Kozicki

    actually, it makes sense

    The vendor best positioned to write .NET connector to Oracle database is not Microsoft, it;s Oracle. Simple.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Actually, I forgot to mention

    Anyone who wanted to take advantage of Oracle's full feature set would use ODP.NET anyway.

    Its a free download from Oracle's site, and it also comes with the Oracle client install.

    Anyway regarding Microsoft, why should they spend money developing an Oracle client when Oracle are making one themselves? I would much rather they spent their money improving the compiler on Visual Studio or making Windows 7 so good the Linux nerds start to spew.

  29. Jimbo 7

    Bye Bye Oracle...

    "I develop with .NET and Oracle, and I have to say I can't wait to move over to SQL Server. SQL Server is much less expensive, has a great user interface (SQL Developer - ha ha! Utterly terrible documentation... slow... runs out of cursors pdq.... Editing TNSNAMES.ORA in Notepad - LOL, so 20th century) , is still fast... and whats more there's no shortage of people with SKILLS to maintain the database out there"

    seriously, look for another job

    1. TNSNAMES.ORA is one of many ways how to connect to oracle, you should really read a bit more about oracle easy connect

    2. vast mojority of Oracle developers use TOAD and it's much better than any SQL SERVER tool out there (i am talking about pure database server tool, not programming tool in general)

    3. Oracle has THE BEST free documentation, it's much better than Microsoft's or any other vendor. I had never need to buy any Oracle book because everything is nicely organized on their web site. I wish I could say the same about Microsoft

  30. Andy Davies


    Right - it works ffs - there's stuff that ms doesn't actively support that has worked for decades!

    AndyD 8-)#

  31. WhatWasThat?

    @AWeirdoNamedPhil ; @Mosh Jahan

    If I may...

    Data is not the application. It is the slick, juicy bits of data that flow through the application and make it worthwhile for the user to... well... use.

    So, I propose that data is the fuel for the application CAR.NET.

    The database would be the fuel tank, pump, etc, where the fuel (data) is stored and transported. The database driver, then, would be the fuel injector, where the fuel (data) in squirted into the engine (app engine) for use.

    So, MS is saying that there will be no 4.0 barrel Oracle injector. All existing Oracle injectors will still work, they will still service them if someone takes a screwdriver at 'em, but nothing new will come out for them.

    Now, that doesn't stop you from then searching for another after-market or competing OEM manufacturer's part... But that assumes that the OEM's specs are out to work with, eh?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad the reg commenters don't work for us

    Okay. Let's think about this a bit...

    Let me start by saying that I consider myself vendor and technology agnostic. That is to say, I'd rather have the right tool for the job than use a hammer for everything just because it's all I know. More readers might want to explore this philosophy instead of taking the usual tack of bashing or ignoring anything they don't fully understand. I am posting this as a coward because I really don't have time to deal with a deluge of inane responses.

    Now, on to some of the comments...

    First off, the entire car analogy is way off-base. Microsoft even offering a data connector for a competing product in the first place was a bit like a car manufacturer offering to let you use an engine from a competing car-manufacturer free of charge.

    TOAD is a great tool but I encourage everyone who thinks it is the only tool worth using to explore some of the others out there. SQL Server Management Studio 2008 is a very well-designed and useful management tool in its own right and Visual Studio 2008 for DB Professionals has been fantastic to work with so far.

    As someone who develops in multiple languages, frameworks, and IDEs and against multiple databases I have to say that whoever posted that "Anybody who uses an MS development tool for strategic projects needs their heads examining." may want to upgrade from Windows 2000 and look at some of the newer development tools MS offers. Like any vendor (and that's what Microsoft is, a vendor) they have their problems but they have come quite a distance in the last 5 years or so towards offering a secure and stable development platform that is scales and performs well enough for large-scale, enterprise software development. Believe me on this. I have developed just as many enterprise .NET apps as I have enterprise Java apps and both have strengths and weaknesses but both are well-suited to their purpose.

    On to ODP.NET. It works but it is a pain. The developers at Oracle don't seem to know how to correctly build policy files for their GAC'd assemblies, the result of which is that if my software targets an older version of ODP.NET and the server or workstation has a newer version of ODP.NET the assembly references aren't automatically redirected. They also don't seem to know how to match the version numbers in their AssemblyInfo with what is in the manifests. I can't tell you how many times I have had to explain to my developers how to do an assembly redirect in an app or web config (it took me quite awhile to work the assembly version numbers out myself the first time). I will also take the liberty of saying that Oracle itself is a bit of a pain to install and get up and operational, especially for someone who is not an Oracle expert. Whoever came up with the "Unified" installer needs a good, old-fashioned tar and feather.

    So anyways, the moral of my long-winded comment is this... stop your whining and go learn about a vendor and the tools they offer and try to actually write something intelligent when you post comments to these things. I'm getting sick and tired of reading rants from a bunch of mindless jerks who will be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

  33. dalisllama
    IT Angle

    A few more things...

    Oracle Express does exist. (go to Oracle's site, Products and Services, Oracle Database, Express Edition)

    The libraries may not be able to be open-sourced since Oracle is a proprietary database technology and likely hold patents related to connections. Microsoft was likely paying a license fee to Oracle or had worked out an agreement with Oracle just to provide support in the first place.

    To whoever said that Oracle's documentation is better than anyone else's... Have you never developed against the Oracle Primavera API or Oracle Financials? And forget about support. I have spent literally hours on the phone with them trying to find out why things are broken just to be told that I can make it work by violating a documented Java best practice.

    To the best of my knowledge, J++ got killed with the settlement that came out of the Sun vs. Microsoft suit.

    If you do development using Visual Studio and Oracle you should go check out the Oracle development tools plug-ins. They are a bit flakey at times but they get the job done inside of the IDE.

    At least in Visual Studio 2008, I'm pretty sure you can supress the deprecation warning by right-clicking it in the Errors and Warnings pane. When I develop in VS I usually have it generate a separate file of warning supressions. This serves as documentation, can be ported from project to project, and lets me keep the warnings I want to see.

    The best thing about the OracleClient class was that it simplified deployment and the cost of maintaining and licensing something that most enterprise developers didn't use anyways is probably what killed it. I am not a .NET Framework or ASP.NET MVP but if they had asked me I probably would have told them to forget about it and go focus on something important, like integrating WF with BPMN.

    Why do people assume that Microsoft has no documentation without looking? Almost every time I get asked a question about a Microsoft product I end up referring someone to MSDN documentation for the answer. Oracle ends up about 50/50 forums/ODN. With other tools (and I'll include Java in this one) I usually end up finding answers to the really hinkey questions on forums or blogs instead of in the vendor-provided documentation.

    Do Oracle developers really prefer Java? This is news to me! Given the choice, for 80%-90% of the applications I build I would actually choose ASP.NET Forms or ASP.NET MVC. If a client required me to step back to .NET 1.0 or 1.1 I might take the Java path but as long as you know what you're doing I find it's actually easier to get a quality .NET app written and running on time and on schedule.

    Mine's the one with the sonic screwdriver in the pocket.

  34. Ramazan
    Paris Hilton

    Editing TNSNAMES.ORA in Notepad - LOL

    Indeed, why don't you use vim/emacs, stupi?

  35. Ramazan

    needs a good, old-fashioned tar and feather

    You meant tar and gzip, dude?

  36. Ramazan

    good, old-fashioned tar and feather

    Let me try another guess: .cpio.Z? Of course, you will have problems finding "people with SKILLS to maintain the database out there" then, stupid M$ monkey.

    Honestly, it's your own personal problem, there's nothing wrong with either UNIX or Oracle

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Because I'm connecting to Oracle from a Windows PC

    Thats why I'm not using Vim/Emacs, you anti-social beardy nerds!!!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Because I'm connecting to Oracle from a Windows PC

    Oracle easy connect?

    My man, I'm not the Database Administrator. I set up with what I am given to set up. I create tables, sequences, sps etc but I'm not the data owner....

    TOAD? Nice if your company can afford to buy it. But you never mentioned it wasn't free, did you?

    So let's see - SQL Developer vs SQL Enterprise manager? Anyone who thinks SQL Developer is better than Enterprise manager or anywhere near it in speed or ease of use needs to up their Seroxat prescription, and start getting out more.

    And how come none of the Oracle mentalists have mentioned costs yet? *cough*

    Go get yourself some new patter, then get back to me

  39. Jimbo 7

    RE :Because I'm connecting to Oracle from a Windows PC

    "Oracle easy connect?"

    you can use easy connect from non-windows computers... there are multiple methods for oracle connections, this is one of them. I use it once a while and it works dam good. In general Oracle gives you more options than MS SQL

    btw can you share what web based product MS SQL offers in comparison to Oracle Grid Control?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Oracle Grid Control?

    Never heard of Oracle Grid Control. Is this something I should worry about given I'm not a DBA? I'M A DEVELOPER .... AND THIS THREAD IS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT WITH ORACLE!

    Jimbo, you can say tool XYZ is present in Oracle and not in SQL Server but here's the harsh fact: oracle's bloody expensive to deploy and keep running, and the free tools you get with the client install or from Oracle's site are inferior to standard SQL Server's toolset.

    SQL Developer vs Enterprise manager? Not even close. Enterprise manager, even in ye olde SQL 2K, stomps all over SQL Developer for speed and features. I use both in my day job.

    Maybe you guys work in some cash-rich/ cash-leeching public sector jobs (delete where applicable) but here in the real world we are in a recession and can't afford all these tools like TOAD.

    With standard SQL Server what you get is far easier to develop for, and better documented, than the equivalent in Oracle.

    Now Jimbo 7, how much does it cost to deploy Oracle compared to SQL Server?

    Any of you socially-retarded Oracle lovers want to spill the beans on how much it costs to run per annum? I think not. Go back to your Ubuntu installs and

  41. Jimbo 7

    Oracle Grid Control?

    if you cannot afford TOAD, then I really don't know where you live ... it's less than $1000 tool and seriously simplifies development and DBA work under Oracle. It's not the only tool, but is one of the best tools.

    Grid Control is pretty nice tool and allows you to manage oracle and some non-oracle servers from single web console. It's been a while I used MS SQL but I don't think they have anything like this.

    Deployment is really not what you should be looking at, and I really don't want to go into easy/hard comparison between windows/unix/linux. What you should be looking at is ROI. There is no winner in ROI - it depends on individual requirements. Things like GRID CONTROL and ASM help to reduce overall ROI a lot. My favorite is Oracle APEX which is very easy to use web based development tool and even users with almost no knowledge can pull pretty nice apps.

    If you really cry about money, get mySQL

    my original reaction was to somebody who posted that Oracle sucks because you have to manually edit TNSNAMES.ORA ... it kinda morphed into way different discussion.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    LOL - "if you really cry about money get mySQL"

    "if you cannot afford TOAD then I really don't know where you live" - how's about the real world? That's where I live.

    People are being made redundant left right and centre, and you expect companies cutting back on staff, bonuses and even Xmas nights out, to make investments of $1000 to be spent on extra software for an already exorbitant costing platform? That's just....

    Anyway I googled for TOAD and found the following sentence: "while commercial versions of Toad range from $870 to about $4900 per seat" - $4900?? WTF!!

    And MySQL? You mean the one that Oracle is in talks about buying? LOL

    Look, just admit it - Oracle's a rip off and the tools you get as standard are inferior to Microsoft's standard kit. I don't care about 3rd party tools or things you pay extra for, this is not the right time for my company to spend money on what may be construed as luxuries.

    And while you're there, admit that SQL Server is better documented than Oracle (the ODP OracleClient documentation is absolutely DIRE)

    Now go back to your Unix doss-house with the fellow beardies/ cherry boys and let's hear no more about it.

  43. Jimbo 7

    LOL - "if you really cry about money get mySQL"

    "And while you're there, admit that SQL Server is better documented than Oracle (the ODP OracleClient documentation is absolutely DIRE)"

    do you really need more documentation about data provider - this has 1500 pages

    "Anyway I googled for TOAD and found the following sentence: "while commercial versions of Toad range from $870 to about $4900 per seat" - $4900?? WTF!!"

    well, I don't think we get anywhere with this discussion .... I live in US and it is not unusual to be paid $150k a year as good Oracle developer. $1500 (toad professional) is 1% (you can say that if I save 1% of my work time using TOAD then I got my money back = ROI) ... TOAD is not the only tool out there, it is in my opinion the best tool for oracle server side development

    oracle might be more expensive to purchase (both oracle and ms sql have free editions), but if you look at ROI then you might be surprised, if MS SQL would be cheaper, then Oracle would not be used as it is. Purchase price is not the most important factor (or should not be).

    mySQL is very good and widely used, I really don't get why are you so negative about it. Yes Oracle purchased SUN, look at berkeley db - it's still great product even after Oracle purchased it.

    Personally I have nothing against MS SQL not Oracle DB, both are great products.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    $150,000 for developing with Oracle

    Wait here a mo Jimster!

    $150,000 just to DEVELOP with Oracle? Not DBA?

    Now we're talking!

    When's the next flight out?

    I can be coerced to develop for bloatware, for the right price!

    I for one welcome our overpriced Oracle overlords! Forget I ever slandered them, I'm on it

  45. jonbruce
    Thumb Up

    Time to jump to client-less connectivity for Oracle & .NET

    Connect for ADO.NET from DataDirect Technologies offers a client-less solution for .NET platforms –free from OracleClient or so called Instant Client . Go grab a copy of our install to check out what a true pedigree, 100% managed provider can offer while supporting the latest .NET technologies such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework provider for Oracle :–

  46. steward

    This may be the small decision that puts Microsoft out of business

    Think about it.

    Oracle is currently trying to acquire Sun. If that goes through, Oracle will own Open Office, which, combined with Oracle's DB platform and Sun's Java platform, is an across-the-board threat to Microsoft in everything except operating systems - and if Oracle makes all their software UN*X compliant, totally wipes out Microsoft.

    All because it's too expensive for a company the size of Microsoft to continue to connect to Oracle databases.

    For want of a nail... their kingdom will be lost. Bill better start selling his shares fast if he wants to be able to afford to continue to fund his charity work.

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