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Installing node-oracledb on Microsoft Windows

By: Bill Christo
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In this article Bill Christo (bchr02) leads you step-by-step though the process of installing node-oracledb on Microsoft Windows. Bill is an experienced corporate solutions provider and full-stack developer. He has been using the node-oracledb driver since it was released. He has contributed to it, and has guided many users through the process of installation on Windows.

I. Introduction
Node.js has revolutionized the web development industry by facilitating the use of the JavaScript programming language for server-side development. This also brings with it JavaScript’s non-blocking architecture, which permits commands to be executed in parallel in a single thread, allowing for the construction of highly concurrent applications. Before Node.js, developers were forced to use other languages such as PHP or ASP on the server-side, in addition to using JavaScript on the client-side. Having the ability for a more unified API opens the doors for increased efficiency and the potential of code sharing between the client and server.

Many companies have realized how advantageous Node.js is and so they are doing what they can to support it. One of the most recent companies to do this is Oracle Corp. with their release of node-oracledb, an Oracle database driver for Node.js. Node-oracledb is an open source project being actively maintained by Oracle on GitHub at the following URL: https://github.com/oracle/node-oracledb

In this article, we will cover what is needed to get node-oracledb installed and working on Microsoft Windows. This article is geared to those who have an Oracle database in their environment and those who are familiar with using Node.js and the npm package manager. If you are not yet familiar with them you should first familiarize yourself before proceeding. There are many websites to help you get started. One such website is nodeschool.io.

II. Before You Begin

Before you begin the installation, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to know the bitness of your Windows Operating System. Is it 32-bit or 64-bit? If 32-bit, you must use 32-bit software throughout the rest of the process. If 64-bit, you have the option of either. What’s important is that you remain consistent with the same bitness for all the software that is required. Mismatched usage of 32-bit and 64-bit software won’t work and instead would give ambiguous error messages during node-oracledb’s compilation.

In this article we will be using Visual Studio Community 2013 and Oracle Instant Client 12c, however, if you plan to use another version of either package, you need to verify that they are compatible with one another. For example, you cannot use Visual Studio 2008 with Oracle Database Client 12c because Oracle Database Client 12c does not contain the necessary files to compile with that version of Visual Studio. You would instead have to use Oracle Instant Client 11g. But, how would you know that? You would know that by reading the Client Quick Installation Guide for that version of Oracle, which clearly specify the supported compilers.

As an example, if we pull up the Oracle Instant Client 12.1 Quick Installation Guide for x64 Windows, under Section 3 we can see that version 2013 of Visual Studio is compatible. By the way, you shouldn’t have any issues using a newer Oracle client from the Oracle database you are connecting to so long as it’s not too much older. For example, connecting to a 10gR2 database from a 12c client has never caused any issues for me. If you have a valid Oracle Support ID you can see Metalink Note 207303.1 for more information on backwards compatibility.

III. Install the Prerequisites

a. Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition

Before we can install node-oracledb we will need to install the prerequisites. We will start by installing Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition. At the time of this article, this can be downloaded from the Downloads section of the Visual Studio website here: https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads.

1. Once at the site, scroll down until you see “Visual Studio 2013” and once found, click on it. This will bring you to the following page:
2. Next, you will want to click on “Download” to download the Visual Studio Community 2013 with Update 5 web installer.
3. Once downloaded, run it.
4. At the first screen of the installation, you have the option to change the install location. Click Next.
5. At the next screen, you will need to agree to the licensing terms.
6. At the optional features screen, you can safely uncheck each of them because none of them are necessary to proceed. Finally, click “Install”

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