Managing 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle Client

Beginning with PeopleTools 8.54, the PeopleTools client tools became 64-bit applications. This means the client tools require the 64-bit Oracle client. If are still running on PeopleTools 8.53 (or earlier), you’ll need both 32-bit and 64-bit Oracle clients installed. Managing both versions can be cumbersone, and often times frustrating.

Tim Slater offered a great solution for managing Oracle clients in the Community. Here is Tim’s method for managing Oracle clients:

  1. Install Oracle 32-bit client to c:\oracle2\product\12.1.0\client_1
  2. Install Oracle 64-bit client to c:\oracle\product\12.1.0\client_1
  3. Create a symbolic link c:\windows\system32\oracle to point to the 64-bit installation folder.

    mklink /j c:\windows\system32\oracle c:\oracle\product\12.1.0\client_1
  4. Create a symbolic link c:\windows\sysWOW64\oracle to point to the 32-bit installation folder.

    mklink /j c:\windows\sysWOW64\oracle c:\oracle2\product\12.1.0\client_1
  5. Set the ORACLE_HOME environment variable to c:\windows\system32\oracle.

  6. (Optional) Set the TNS_ADMIN environment variable to %ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin

This works because of File System Redirection in 64-bit versions of Windows. If you are running a 64-bit application, Windows will route any system calls to c:\windows\system32. But, if you are running a 32-bit application, any system calls are routed to c:\system\sysWOW64 instead. Rather than manually configuring your applications and updating the PATH environment variable, you can let Windows do the work for you.