Sunday, 25 June 2017

Using the Oracle node driver on Windows

I have a pretty fresh installation of Windows, and I wanted to get going with the Node driver on that system. I know from memory it requires the Oracle client, so the first thing I do is go and install the Oracle instant client.

So, I head over to:

And what I normally stick to is three packages:
  1. Basic (Light)
  2. SQL*Plus
  3. SDK

With those downloaded I then unzip them all - as long as you downloaded to the same directory, each should hopefully unzip into a single folder: instantclient_12_2 (depending on the version you grabbed, of course). After I unzip all those, I moved the instantclient folder to a more convenient location. So, I just place it at: C:\instantclient_12_2

The next step after that is to set up some environment variables.

First, you will want to update your path so that `sql*plus` is on it. So, add a new entry on your path pointing to: C:\instantclient_12_2

Usually, you will want to set your ORACLE_HOME environment variable, so I also do that.

So, path should have a new entry:

And, similarly ORACLE_HOME

A good test to check this is working is, is SQL*Plus working?

Yep, that looks good.

I already have node and npm installed, so now without consulting the node oracledb install documentation, I'll just give a test to install that package.

Still in command prompt, in a new folder somewhere - I'm testing out in a tmp folder, I run: npm install oracledb.

Ok, it looks like the system is missing some dependencies. Probably a good time to turn to the install documentation. The README says we need the following:

  • Python 2.7
  • C compiler with support for C++ 11
  • Oracle client (done)

My thought process - Python 2.7 is easy, I can head to the python website and download - but a C compiler? Where is the best place to get that? OCI_LIB_DIR and OCI_INC_DIR.. what paths should these be set to, the README doesn't expand.

For the first two requirements - there is a convenient node package, windows-build-tools, which just so happens to include python 2.7 and a C compiler. So, let's first install that.

Just to caution on the safe side, I launch Command Prompt as Administrator and run: npm install -g windows-build-tools

Great - that's looking good. 

How about OC_LIB_DIR and OCI_INC_DIR environment variables. Well, the documentation also links to an INSTALL document which contains more detail. It states:

set OCI_LIB_DIR=C:\oracle\instantclient\sdk\lib\msvc
set OCI_INC_DIR=C:\oracle\instantclient\sdk\include

This is a but different install path, but the same concept applies. Head to your envionrment variables area and add those in, except if you followed my general install path for the instant client C:\oracle\instantclient would be replaces with c:\instantclient_12_2.

Your environment variables page would look like:

Now with that all done, we should be able to successfully install the node Oracle drive. Start a new command prompt window to make sure all your variables are re-evaluated.

Now, if all that was done correctly, you should be able to install the driver. I verified by again running npm install oracledb:

If you have to use Windows, at least you have a path to get up and running! Some would encourage OS X, but I'll leave you by encouraging you to make a switch to Linux ;-)