With the release of Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver version 3.x, Easysoft has created a new standard for ODBC connectivity to the Oracle® database. This document describes the additional features added since the last major release of the driver, and discusses the benefits that these features bring to the user.
- Transparent Application Failover (TAF) Support
- Database Resident Connection Pooling (DRCP) Support
- Oracle® 11g Support
- Wire Protocol Driver
- Oracle® Feature Support
- Data Type Support
- New API Calls
- New SQL Features
- Fixes to Problems
Transparent Application Failover (TAF) is a mechanism that enables client applications to automatically reconnect to a node of a RAC database cluster following a connection failure. There may be a delay associated with failing over to another node. To keep users informed and give them the option to interrupt the failover process, it is possible for an OCI application to register a callback function that is invoked in the event of a connection loss and during the course of the failover.
The Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver now enables ODBC applications to register a failover callback function.
Database Resident Connection Pooling (DRCP) is a scalability feature introduced in Oracle® 11g Release 1, which uses a combination of dedicated server and connection broker to handle short, transient sessions coming from Web applications. DRCP is especially relevant for architectures with multi-process, single-threaded application servers, such as PHP and Apache, that cannot do middle tier connection pooling.
The Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver now enables ODBC applications to configure the behaviour of DRCP. ODBC applications can:
- Request a brand new session if they cannot reuse a session from the pool.
- Specify a connection class that indicates that the application is willing to reuse a pooled server, which was used by other applications using the same connection class.
The Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver now connects Linux, Unix and Windows applications to Oracle® 11g Release 1+.
Supported Oracle® 11g features include:
- Network/OCI Fusion, which increases the throughput and decreases the overhead of data transfer through OCI/Network layers.
- OCI Runtime Connection Load Balancing. OCI session pools have a new feature called Runtime Connection Load Balancing. OCI session pools are now integrated with the Oracle® RAC load balancing advisory to provide load balancing at the time the application gets the connection from the session pool.
- OCI Client Query Result Cache, which improves response times of repetitive queries by caching query result sets in client memory. The cached result set data is transparently kept consistent with any changes done on the server side.
- SQL Query Result Set Cache, which improves the performance of repetitive queries by caching query result sets in database memory. Subsequent queries using the cached results will experience significant performance improvements.
Easysoft now provide a Wire Protocol (WP) version of the Oracle® ODBC driver, which provides clientless, direct access to Oracle® 8–11g.
Although the driver was previously one of the quickest available, we have improved the performance of the driver such that the fetching of data may now be 300% faster. This performance increase has been gained by analysis of typical use patterns and subsequent optimisation of the Oracle® API calls. No additional changes are required to existing application code to take advantage of this extra performance, and there are no potential hidden costs to slow down other operations.
Additional support has been added for the following Oracle® features:
- Now fully supports Instant Client libraries including version 10.1, 10.2 and 11.1.
The OCI version of the Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver and its support tools are Instant Client aware. The driver will work seamlessly with both the full Oracle® client installation and the new Instant Client installation. The driver may be set to use a full client by the use of the ORACLE_HOME environment setting. An Instant Client-only connection may use the new connection string format (//host:port/sid). A mixed mode connection may also be used, employing the TNS_ADMIN environment setting to enable the use of a tnsnames.ora file with the Instant Client.
The support tools provided with the driver let you check the configuration and will suggest possible problems and their solution.
- Fully supports the new Oracle® Database XE release.
This is discussed in the document Accessing Oracle® Database XE by using the Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver.
- Fully supports Oracle® Advanced Security features, including authentication, validation and encryption.
- Integrates with Transaction Monitors for Oracle® XA Distributed transaction support.
This is discussed in the document Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver XA Support.
The following changes have been made to the Unix installation:
- The Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver now supports non root installations.
The software can be installed in any location through the use of EASYSOFT_ROOT environment variable. This allows the full installation of a local copy of the driver to be done without needing access to the root account. A test installation can therefore be done without affecting the full production installation.
The installation process has been streamlined to remove unnecessary user interaction.
- Instant Client aware
The installer will use the appropriate format for the database string if the use of a Instant Client connection is detected.
The following additional data types are supported:
This is a "TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE" type, and it is mapped to an ODBC SQL_TYPE_TIMESTAMP.
This is a "TIMESTAMP WITH LOCAL TIME ZONE" type, and it is also mapped to an ODBC SQL_TYPE_TIMESTAMP.
If an Oracle® column is defined as a NUMERIC type with a zero scale and a precision greater than 19 (the maximum that can fit into an ODBC SQLINTEGER type), the Easysoft ODBC-Oracle Driver will map this as an SQL_BIGINT.
Support has been added in the driver for the following ODBC API calls:
Positioned updates and deletes can now be done using "SELECT ... FOR UPDATE OF" statements.
Over 40 minor problems have been fixed in this release. These are detailed in the CHANGES.txt file included in the installation.