Configure Oracle Gateway for ODBC with MySQL Connector


In the last steps we have configured unixODBC and MySQL Connector to access a MySQL target database.
Now we will configure the Oracle Gateway.

Usually the gateway will run on the same system where the Oracle database in running.

Configure Oracle Gateway

For each connection we will configure

  • the gateway initialization file $ORACLE_HOME/hs/admin/initGWSID.ora
  • the oracle net listener
  • tnsnames.ora (optional)
  • a database link

Gateway initialization file

Oracle supplies a sample initialization file, initdg4odbc.ora. The sample file is stored in the $ORACLE_HOME/hs/admin directory.

For this example we will create a file $ORACLE_HOME/hs/admin/initGWMYSQLSID.ora

# HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO: data source name from odbc.ini
HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO = mysqltestdsn

# HS_FDS_TRACE_LEVEL: Values: OFF, ON, DEBUG, default: OFF. Activate to get a trace file in $ORACLE_HOME/hs/log/

# HS_FDS_SHAREABLE_NAME : full path of the ODBC driver
HS_FDS_SHAREABLE_NAME = /usr/local/lib/

# change the characterset if you have problems
# HS_LANGUAGE should be set exactly the same as Oracle database

# If you get ORA-28528: Heterogeneous Services datatype conversion error
# Problem occurs, if you use a 32Bit unixODBC on a 64Bit System
# (see Oracle Support Doc ID 554409.1)

# ODBC specific environment variables
# ODBCINI: full path of odbc.ini
set ODBCINI = /usr/local/etc/odbc.ini

Listener configuration

On the system where the gateway is configured, you need to add some lines to the file $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/listener.ora

    (SID_DESC =
      # full path of ORACLE_HOME here
      (ORACLE_HOME = /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1)
      # SID_NAME from initGWMYSQLSID.ora
      # PROGRAM = dg4odbc tells the listener the use the database gateway for odbc
      (PROGRAM = dg4odbc)

If you have already the section SID_LIST= in your file listener.ora the you just add the marked lines.
If dont have the section, you add all lines.

Important: After changing the file listener.ora you have to reload the listener:

lsnrctl reload

Checking the listener:

lsnrctl status
# you should see the GWMYSQLSID:
#  Service "GWMYSQLSID" has 1 instance(s).
#    Instance "GWMYSQLSID", status UNKNOWN, has 1 handler(s) for this service...

tnsnames.ora configuration

This step is optional, TNS information also may be specified in the database link.

On the system where the database is running, we add some lines to the file $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora.

# GWMYSQLCONN is my name for the connection. This name will be used in the Database Link
         # HOST: system where the gateway is running (or localhost if gateway and database host are the same)
         (HOST = gatwewayserver)
         # PORT: portnumber of listener (usually 1521)
         (PORT = 1521)
      # Gateway SID from listener.ora
    # HS = OK : this is a gateway connection
    (HS = OK)

Checking with tnsping:

tnsping gwmysqlconn

TNS Ping Utility for Linux: Version - Production on 19-JAN-2016 18:56:54

Copyright (c) 1997, 2014, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Used parameter files:

Used TNSNAMES adapter to resolve the alias
OK (0 msec)

The tnsping command only verifies the configuration in tnsnames.ora and the listener configuration on the gateway server. It shows, that the listener can be reached and the SID is configured in the listener.

It show OK also when something after the listener is misconfigured or not working.

Database Link configuration

The database link will be created by the oracle schema user who will use it. As an alternative you may create a public database link.

For creation we need:

  • Username and Password for the target database (e.g. the MySQL database)
  • The TNS alias configured in tnsnames.ora

Your Oracle DB Admin should grant CREATE DATABASE LINK and ALTER DATABASE LINK to your schema user.

-- replace user and password with your values
create database link GWMYSQLLINK connect to "username" identified by "password" using 'GWMYSQLCONN';
-- alternative if you have not configured an TNS alias
create database link GWMYSQLLINK connect to "username" identified by "password" using '(DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS_LIST=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=localhost)(PORT=1521)))(CONNECT_DATA=(SID=GWMYSQLSID))(HS=OK))';

Configuration finished!

Using the database link

Now we are ready to test the database link

-- the simplest test. if you get a result, the connection to the target database works.
select 'it works' as status from dual@GWMYSQLLINK;

-- query for all tables you can see on the target database
select * from all_tables@GWMYSQLLINK;

Case sensitive Object Names

SQL Server Object names are case-sensitive, Oracle Object Names normally only have uppercase letters.
In this example, the target MySQL database has installed a sample database sakila.
The query for all_tables shows us the names:

OWNER                          TABLE_NAME
------------------------------ ------------------------------
DG4ODBC                        actor
DG4ODBC                        address
DG4ODBC                        category
DG4ODBC                        city
DG4ODBC                        country
DG4ODBC                        customer
DG4ODBC                        film
DG4ODBC                        film_actor
DG4ODBC                        film_category
DG4ODBC                        film_text
DG4ODBC                        inventory
DG4ODBC                        language
DG4ODBC                        payment
DG4ODBC                        rental
DG4ODBC                        staff
DG4ODBC                        store

16 rows selected.

OWNER is always DG4ODBC (Database Gateway for ODBC). When you access a MySQL database via ODBC you always only see the default database of the user.
If you want to access other databases, you have to create separate DSN (odbc.ini) and Database Links (Oracle Database).

To access Objects whith lowercase letters from Oracle, we habe to enclose the name with ” characters:
Example for select from Table film:

COLUMN "film_id" FORMAT 9999;
COLUMN "title" FORMAT A20;

SELECT "film_id", "title", "last_update" FROM "film"@GWMYSQLLINK WHERE "film_id" <=10;

film_id title                last_update
------- -------------------- -------------------
      1 ACADEMY DINOSAUR     2006-02-15 05:03:42
      2 ACE GOLDFINGER       2006-02-15 05:03:42
      3 ADAPTATION HOLES     2006-02-15 05:03:42
      4 AFFAIR PREJUDICE     2006-02-15 05:03:42
      5 AFRICAN EGG          2006-02-15 05:03:42
      6 AGENT TRUMAN         2006-02-15 05:03:42
      7 AIRPLANE SIERRA      2006-02-15 05:03:42
      8 AIRPORT POLLOCK      2006-02-15 05:03:42
      9 ALABAMA DEVIL        2006-02-15 05:03:42
     10 ALADDIN CALENDAR     2006-02-15 05:03:42

10 rows selected.

Data Type Conversion

Data Types are converted from MySQL Types to ODBC Types and the to Oracle Types. More Info you find in the documentation for MySql Connector, unixODBC and Oracle Gateways.

To see, what data type we get, we can query all_tab_columns:

COLUMN column_name FORMAT A30
COLUMN data_type FORMAT A8
COLUMN data_length FORMAT 99999
COLUMN data_precision FORMAT 999

SELECT column_name, data_type, data_length, data_precision, nullable FROM all_tab_columns@GWMYSQLLINK WHERE table_name='film';

------------------------------ -------- ----------- -------------- -
film_id                        NUMBER             2             22 Y
title                          VARCHAR2         765                N
description                    LONG           65535                Y
release_year                   NUMBER             1             22 Y
language_id                    NUMBER             1             22 N
original_language_id           NUMBER             1             22 Y
rental_duration                NUMBER             1             22 N
rental_rate                    NUMBER             6             22 N
length                         NUMBER             2             22 Y
replacement_cost               NUMBER             7             22 N
rating                         CHAR              15                Y
special_features               CHAR             162                Y
last_update                    DATE              16                Y

13 rows selected.

Synopsis of names used in this example

In the configuration many names are used. This will be sometime confusing. Here you see all names:

NamePurposedefined inused incase sensitive?
GWMYQLLINKdatabase link namecreate database link ...sql queries, eg. select * from table@GWMSQLLINKno
GWMYSQLCONNTNS aliastnsnames.oraUSING clause of database linkno
GATEWAYSERVERHostname where Gateway is installedtnsnames.orano
GWMYQLSIDGateway SIDlistener.oratnsnames.ora and filename of initGWSID.oraYES
MYSQLDSNODBC Datasource Nameodbc.iniHS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO in file initGWSID.orano
MYSQLSERVERHostname or IP address of target database serverodbc.inino
SAKILAMySQL Server Database nameMySQL Serverodbc.inino

There are some limitations on name length and case sensitiveness.
You are free to use own names, even you can use for all objects the same name but you should know what your are doing.


For a gateway connection, there are many components involved:

  • the oracle database
  • the database link
  • the TNS Alias in tnsnames.ora
  • the network connection between database and gateway
  • the listener configuration in listener.ora
  • the gateway configuration file initGWSID.ora
  • the unixODBC installation
  • the unixODBC configuration file odbc.ini
  • the MySQL Connector installation
  • the network connection to target database server
  • the target database

If the connection does not work, always first test with isql and try to isolate the problem.

Some typical errormessages

ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve the connect identifier specifiedTNS Alias used in the database link not found in tnsnames.ora
ORA-28545: error diagnosed by Net8 when connecting to an agent
Unable to retrieve text of NETWORK/NCR message 65535
ORA-02063: preceding 2 lines from TESTLINK
Mismatch between tnsnames.ora and listener.ora (e.g. wrong SID, wrong port number)
ORA-28500: connection from ORACLE to a non-Oracle system returned this message:
ORA-28541: Error in HS init file on line 39.
ORA-02063: preceding 2 lines from TESTLINK
error in file $ORACLE_HOME/hs/admin/initGWSID.ora
ORA-28500: connection from ORACLE to a non-Oracle system returned this message:
[unixODBC][Driver Manager]Data source name not found, and no default driver
specified {IM002}
ORA-02063: preceding 2 lines from TESTLINK
Mismatch between data source name in odbc.ini and HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO in initGWSID.ora

Also check the ODBCINI setting ininitGWSID.ora
ORA-28500: connection from ORACLE to a non-Oracle system returned this message:
[unixODBC][Driver Manager]Can't open lib '/usr/local/lib/' : file
not found {01000}
ORA-02063: preceding 2 lines from GWMYSQLLINK
This error should also find when testing with isql
ORA-28500: connection from ORACLE to a non-Oracle system returned this message:
[unixODBC][MySQL][ODBC 5.3(w) Driver]Can't connect to MySQL server on 'mysqlserver'
(111) {HY000,NativeErr = 2003}
ORA-02063: preceding 2 lines from GWMYSQLLINK
MySQL Database not running. This error should also find when testing with isql