Oracle ODBC option recommendation

We want to develop a small application that pulls data from a 11gR2 database. It is likely using MS Access as the user interface and the total # of users around 5 (to start). I know Oracle has free ODBC driver but it requires installing the bloated Oracle Client and the configuration of TNS name is sometimes clunky. So we want to explore alternatives.

Any recommendation of 3rd party ODBC driver (for WIndows both x86 and x64)? DataDirect/Progress has wire protocol it seems many are using it. I am not sure how exactly it is licensed but it seems based on the processors on the Oracle server. Is it cost effective for us? Any other alternatives?

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johnsoneSenior Oracle DBACommented:
From what I found on Microsoft's site, your connection options from Access to Oracle via linked tables seems to be limited to ODBC.  Unless there is some JDBC configuration that I couldn't find.

If you don't want to install full Oracle client, I would recommend instant client.  To get ODBC connectivity, there are 2 files to download and unzip.  Then there is one exe to run to get ODBC set up.  It still requires the tnsnames.ora file to be set up, but that should be a one time thing.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend drivers other than the ones from Oracle.  It is their database, they are the experts on how to use it.
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
shutterhackerAuthor Commented:
This is what I have on my own win7 computer now. The instant client is less bloated. I have seen many commercial software packages that runs against this 11gR2 backend that use DataDirect ODBC - I figure there might be a reason why they avoided the Oracle client approach.
Darrell PorterEnterprise Business Process ArchitectCommented:
For what business reasons does the size of the client on disk matter?  Is it worth the cost of installing a third party package, including support costs and other tangible and intangible costs, worth the minimal cost of a hundred megabytes of disk space?
The Oracle ODBC connection performs just as well as, or nearly as well as, the third-party options, is supported by both Oracle and Microsoft, and is free.  You just have to remember that, if you're working with the 32-bit drivers on 64-bit Windows 7 that you need to use the ODBC administration tool from C:\Windows\SYSWOW64\ODBCAD32.EXE and not the one located in Control Panel.

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