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Connecting to the Database

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When starting any KeepTool application the first thing you see is the Connect dialog. It allows you to establish a connection to your Oracle databases. It is also displayed when you change the connection using the File | Connect menu item or the Connect button and when choosing New Connection from the drop-down list next to the Connect button.

Establishing an Oracle database connection



The left side of the dialog contains a grid view with recently used connections. On first start the grid is empty. It fills with each successful connection by one connection item. The tabs below the grid allow you to group and sort the list by 3 different ways:

History shows the items ungrouped and sorted by last usage time.

Server shows the list grouped by server, i.e. Oracle net service name or direct TCP/IP connection string

User shows the list grouped by user name.

Custom Category shows the list with user defined filters.


In each view you can click the column headers for changing the sort order.


A single click on an item copies the values of the grid row in the appropriate fields on the right side. A double click includes clicking the OK button as well. The latter will only work if you decided to store the password.

The input controls on the right side of the form allow you to parameterize your connection;

User name: Oracle user name. Please verify character case on Oracle 11g and later.

The drop-down list initially contains the users SYS, SYSTEM and the user's operating system user name

KeepTool Free does not allow user names SYS or SYSTEM.

Password. The password for each connection can be saved in encrypted form if you select the Save Password check box.

The green button in the top-right corner allows you to copy the user name into the password box for development systems with basic security rules.

Database Connection string, i.e Oracle Net service name or direct TCP/IP connection string (see below for details about direct TCP/IP connectivity).

The drop-down list of the combo box contains TNS aliases from the tnsnames.ora file of the used Oracle Home.

Connect mode can be either NORMAL, AS SYSOPER, AS SYSDBA, or AS SYSASM.

Please remember the SYS user can only connect AS SYSOPER or SYSDBA to Oracle 9i and later.

An optional color scheme that shows up as a horizontal bar in the color of your choice in the top region of the form. It allows you to easily distinguish multiple Hora instances from each other.

An optional logo file name. You can enter a bitmap file name, e.g. a customer's logo, for showing up on the right side of the color scheme bar.

An optional short verbal description for the connection that shows up in the main form title.



When you press the OK button, KeepTool will try to establish the connection to the database server.


The user name drop-down list initially contains the users SYS, SYSTEM and the user's operating system user name. For SYS and SYSTEM, the well-known default passwords supplied by Oracle are the default values. For all other users (including SCOTT), the password field defaults to the user name. The button below the user name combo box can be used to copy the user name into the password box.

(KeepTool Free does not permit logging on as SYS or SYSTEM.)

The Oracle Net Service Name combo box drop-down list contains all the items from the tnsnames.ora file associated with the active oci.dll file.

Direct TCP/IP connectivity

The direct TCP/IP connection option is very similar to a JSP connection. This feature is leveraged by 3rd-party ODAC database access components from DevArt.com. It eliminates the need of an Oracle client and is defined by a connection string as follows:

For connection to Oracle11g or prior databases by SID:



  Oracle 12c requires a connection by service name:



HOSTNAME is the host name or IP address of the database server

PORT is the IP port number, usually 1521

SID is the Oracle SID, for example ORCL.

You can lookup the information from either $ORACLE_HOME\Network\Admin\TnsNames.Ora file or running Oracle's tnsping command on a machine with Oracle client.

The direct connection mode comes with a couple of limitations that are

TCP/IP is the only supported protocol

The whole variety of SQL*Net options including advanced security is not available

Some types such as OBJECT, ARRAY, REF, XML, BINARY_DOUBLE, BINARY_FLOAT are unsupported

Certain problems may occur when using firewalls.

NLS conversion on client side is not supported

Transparent Application Failover is not supported.

Statement caching is not available.

OS authentication and changing expired passwords features are not available.

No national character set support in parameterized queries

Minor compatibility issues on server platforms other that Windows and Linux.


Oracle Home Selection

The Oracle Home Selection button expands the connect dialog. It expands the window to expose two additional fields at the bottom: