Installing Two Oracle 12c Clients on One Server

The Oracle 12c 32-bit client requires a little bit of extra attention.

I’ve previously written about best practices for installing the 64-bit and 32-bit Oracle clients on a single Microsoft Windows server that needs to support SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 (see related article, Installing Two Oracle Clients on One Server). Those best practices still apply, but I encountered a small wrinkle with Oracle 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.2.0) and apparently I’m not the only one. To the best of my knowledge, I believe the issue is resolved in Oracle 12c Release 2 (12.2.0.1.0).

The installation of the 64-bit client goes smoothly. It’s only when you attempt to install the 32-bit client that you may encounter the following error, “[INS-10102] Installer initialization failed.”

Oracle 12 32 bit trick 01 500The issue seems to occur when a previous installation of the Oracle 32-bit client (for example, the older 11g client) was previously installed. The registry key named HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/ORACLE has a value named inst_loc behind, which interferes with the Oracle 12c 32-bit installation.

Oracle 12 32 bit trick 02 500

Simply remove the offending inst_loc value from the registry.

Oracle 12 32 bit trick 03 500

Then you’ll be able to install the 32-bit client successfully.

Oracle 12 32 bit trick 04 500

Additional fun with Oracle 12c SQL Loader

The 64-bit Oracle 12c client tools also have a small issue with the SQL Loader utility (sqlldr.exe). SQL Loader is not required by SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4, but I thought I’d document the issue here anyway – “The program can’t start because oranfsodm12.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.”

Oracle 12c SQL Loader Issue

Reinstalling the client tools won’t help because the issue is an Oracle defect, which is described on the Oracle Technology Network. To resolve, make a copy of the oraodm12.dll in the bin directory and rename it to oranfsodm12.dll.

What is your experience with SAP BusinessObjects BI4 and Oracle 12c? Share you thoughts in the comments below.

Installing Two Oracle Clients on One Server

A simple trick for managing two versions of Oracle client tools.

One dose of Larry Ellison is enough for most people. Unless you need two.  There are two common scenarios for SAP BusinessObjects BI4 customers that require installation of 32-bit and 64-bit client tools on the same server.

The first scenario occurs when the BI platform and its client tools are installed on the same server.  The BI4 platform is (mostly) 64-bit (see related article, SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 is Mostly 64-bit), yet all of its client tools such as the Information Design Tool or Universe Design Tool are 32-bit.  A second scenario occurs when the BI4 platform must support classic Crystal Reports (2011/20132016).  The Crystal Reports processing server requires 32-bit middleware even though new Crystal Reports for Enterprise reports use 64-bit middleware (Microsoft SQL Server users should read my related article More Fun with 64-bit Windows and ODBC).

Distinguishing between the two Oracle installations can be challenging, particularly when default home folder names are used.  The example below has two client tool installations using the default folder names, client_1 and client_2.  But which one is 32-bit?  Which one is 64-bit?  These are questions that shouldn’t be asked during groggy 3:00 AM support calls.

To minimize the confusion, simply rename the default directories when installing the Oracle clients.  The 64-bit middleware should be installed first. I use a directory name of client_64.  Then I install the 32-bit middleware, using a directory name of client_32. The final result is shown below. Notice that I also use C:Oracle as the home directory, not the C:app[username] nonsense that Oracle sets as a default directory.

Now there isn’t any ambiguity, either in Windows Explorer or in the PATH environmental variable.  The folder names are self-documenting.  But be sure that both installations have identical copies of a single, standard tnsname.ora file in their respective network/admin folders.

UPDATE (March 31, 2014): Oracle 11g isn’t supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 so I installed Oracle 12c clients for the first time. I typically use the Administrator installation option for both 64-bit and 32-bit clients, but the 32-bit client complained. I opted instead for the Runtime installation option for the 32-bit client, which installed without complaining. This type of install still provides 32-bit SQL*Plus, so that’s good enough for me.

I hope this simple naming trick makes your SAP BusinessObjects BI server easier to manage.