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A few months ago my colleague asked me to try out TOra (Toolkit for Oracle). I downloaded the latest stable version of TOra (2.0), and get it installed in my PC.

But somehow I could’t get it to connect to our Oracle test DB. I tried all combinations of the connection settings, but I always get either of these error messages whenever I press the connect button:

  • ORA-06401: NETCMN: Invalid driver designator
  • ORA-12560: TNS: protocol adapter error

Desperate for guidance, I lurked at TOra’s community forum looking for one. I found a number of questions from people who apparently have the same problem as mine. I tried the tips given there, but I still unable to get TOra connected.

I stopped my experiment with TOra because my colleague suggested us to settle with Oracle’s SQL Developer instead. I noticed that SQL Developer is a Java-based Windows application, so I already anticipated that it is going to be much slower than native Windows application.

TOra (Toolkit for Oracle)

So after months of occasionally frustrated by SQL Developer’s slowness and memory-hogging, I return back to trying to get TOra connected. Hoping that my fortune is improved this time. And it does improved 😀

I installed TOra (the latest stable version is still 2.0) and then visited TOra’s community forum for clues. Then I found out someone mentioned that TOra 2.0 was build based on Oracle Instant Client 10. Hmm.. I am still using Oracle 9.2 Instant Client. This could be the main cause why TOra unable to connect.

So I downloaded Oracle’s Instant Client v. 10.2 and extracted its content to my TOra installation folder. Then I tried the following settings:


Voila!!! It works!!!



Unfortunately, I am still unable to use TNS record to get TOra connected. I’ll update again once I have success getting TOra connected using TNS records.

To make TOra able to use TNS, please set the following Environment Variables:

  • TNS_ADMIN. Value: fullpath of TNSNames.ORA’s directory
  • ORACLE_HOME. Value: fullpath of Oracle’s installation directory

Once you’ve done above steps, a new connection provider [Oracle (TNS)] will be available.

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How to Connect TOra to Oracle Database, 3.7 out of 5 based on 9 ratings

About Hardono

Hi, I'm Hardono. I am working as a Software Developer. I am working mostly in Windows, dealing with .NET, conversing in C#. But I know a bit of Linux, mainly because I need to keep this blog operational. I've been working in Logistics/Transport industry for more than 11 years.

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20 comments so far

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  1. Hey Dude,

    Thanks a lot. Because recently I migrated from TOAD to TORA and came across issue as that of you. Really this blog helped me.


  2. Thanks a lot dude…

    I was struggling with the tora connectivity with oracle…Googled a lot..But failed in the first you said i started again and i found the way to connect using tns which is explained in this blog…

  3. Thanks a lot for this block i have googled a lot!!

  4. Hi and thanks for the help.

    I found that installing the windows version of Tora 2.1.1 from the ZIP file and then copying the instantclient 11.1 into the Tora directory worked for me (it replaces the oci.dll file).

  5. Great blog, helped me 🙂 THANKS

  6. I found I had to unzip the instaclient 10.2 into my Tora directory then I could connect using TNS or with instaclient.

  7. Thanks. Followed yr description to make it working.

  8. This works for me using oracle client. Thanks!

    Downloaded the following:


    extract in one folder. copy the file extracted from instantclient-basic-win32-

    Follow the screenshots and it works..

    MAny thanks!

  9. Mine Tora version is 2.1.2. And I am not able to connect to Oracle database. Getting “ORA-30354264” error. I have set both the environment variable on windows machine.

  10. Hello, I need help, the thing is that I’m using Ubunu 10.4. So I think this might be a bit different…. SO if anybody knows how to make an oracle 11g with TOra then I would apreciate this help A LOT

  11. Thanks a lot for this article!! 🙂

  12. Thank You

  13. hi, Iam using Oracle – OraDb11g and getting getting this error message.
    Unable to connect to the database
    Unable to connect to the database.
    ORA-48696096 missing error description

    also, I tried to rename the “oci.dll” and run the tora 2.1.1 but unfortunately, i got this

    tora.exe – Application Error
    The application was unable to start correctly (0xc000007b). Click OK to close the application.

    can somebody help me on this?

    • same problem … 🙁

  14. in addition, provided I already populated the correct parameters using Oracle(TNS) un connection provide ..etc.

    • I’m no longer using TOra … its instability makes me crawling back to Oracle SQL Developer … 🙁

      Sorry guys…

    • same problem here… and i am sure the params are correct
      deleted the tool already :/

  15. You don’t know what your are talking about.

    You are not using the tnsnames.ora file, you use easy connect.

    Double check your connection providers list

  16. hey.. thank you for this super good article!! it helped me setup tora 🙂

  17. If people are still having issues with this. Try making sure all oracle *.dll files are copied from the client and the bin. I’m running and had to copy over oci.dll, oraociei10.dll and orasqlplusic10.dll to the tora install folder…