Oracle and ADO and Newbie

I have been speculatively asked to write a frontend that will access a mega-large Oracle database. At first it will be read only and a small table may/will be split off for local use, but I think a dial-up connection will eventually be required. I want to use VB5 and ADO. My question/s are;

1.Where can I get a small Oracle db to use locally for testing to come up to speed.
2. Do I have to own a copy of Oracle?
2. Is it difficult to use ?, I am very familiar with Access/VB5  and some ADO etc ?
3. Any good sources of information of how to do this
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gelorupAsked:
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mcixConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You will eventually need to purchase a copy of Oracle.  For a short term evaluation, Oracle has several product downloads located here:

http://www.oracle.com/products/trial/html/trial.htm

Here is a good starting point for ADO:

http://www.microsoft.com/sql/library/adosql.exe

It is geared for MS SQL Server, but has generic sample code that will work with Oracle.
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gelorupAuthor Commented:
When I said, do I have to own a copy of Oracle I meant in the sense that I can program for Access in VB5 and ADO without owning MS Access. My impression is that Oracle is a very expensive DB. From experience of many years ago Oracle was a pig to use. Hopefully things have changed.
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mcixCommented:
Sorry to say, but you can't treat Oracle like you would Access.

You are right, Oracle is expensive and can be difficult to administrate and tune.  I have not used the NT product as yet, perhaps it is a little more friendly.

To get a feel ADO programming, you can use Access as an ADO/ODBC provider.  It is terribly inefficient, but it gives you the concepts without the expense...
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