ODBC Oracle 8i TNSNAMES error

How does the microsoft ODBC driver for oracle know where to look for the tnsnames entry so it can find the database and what influence does installing 7.3 and 8i versions of clients at the same time have on the equation???
cheAsked:
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tbcoxConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It looks in the Windows registry for certain keys under the CURRENT_MACHINE - SOFTWARE - ORACLE key.

If you want to specify a place for it to look, you can add under ORACLE the key-value pair TNS_ADMIN,"C:\ORAWIN95\NET80\ADMIN" (or whatever).

Installing two clients may have no effect (if they both went into the same Oracle Home) or may break things (if a new Oracle Home got activated during the install).  Only one home can be active at one time.  Try using the Oracle Home Selector to switch between them and see if this helps.

 -Tom
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aultowskisCommented:
The Oracle Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) driver allows third-party applications that support ODBC to connect to an Oracle database.  
The ODBC knows where to find the Oracle database because after the ODBC driver is installed it has to be configured with the Oracle "Service Name" you are trying to connect too.
For a NT computer, click on Start button and select Settings/Control Panel.  Dbl-click on the ODBC icon; the ODBC Data Source Administrator window will appear. Verify that the Oracle ODBC driver is installed. Now click on the ODBC drivers tab; the window should display "Oracle ODBC Driver".
Click on the User DSN tab to list the to list the ODBC data sources that can be used from the current machine; click on Add buttin. The create New Data Source window will appear.
Click on Oracle ODBC driver, then click finish. The Oracle ODBC Driver Setup window will appear. Type in a meaningful Data Source Name and description is the space provided. Type in a valid Service Name, as it appears in the %OracleHome%\Admin\TNSnames.ora file. Click on Ok to finish the setup.

As for installing Oracle 7.3 and 8i on the same client you would be wise to ensure that they have different Oracle homes, but I heard that if you install 8i on the client that it knows how to communicate with a 7.3 server.

good luck...steve
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