Making the Connection

I got a call for help from a fellow developer. She had installed the Oracle 11g client. And she could not connect via SQL*Plus or SQL Developer. So I went over to see what was wrong.

The first problem was that she was using the SQL*Plus that comes with the client. This is different than the old Windows sqlplusw. You only get asked for username and password. If you only enter those two, SQL*Plus assumes you are trying to connect to a local database on your workstation. It turns out she was getting a TNS protocol adaptor error.

I had her type in username@Dbname. That did the trick. She was able to get into SQL*Plus. Then we looked at her connection in SQL Developer. She was using the default that also tried to connect to localhost on port 1521. She typed in the actual host name and port. Then she was good to go for SQL Developer. She could have alternatively changed the connection type to TNS. We set up a TNS_ADMIN variable that points to a "tnsnames.ora" file. That would have made life easier.

Just now I got another email for help from a different developer. He was wondering whether we have PL/SQL Developer on our new machines. I told him to try out Oracle's SQL Developer. Let's see how he fares.