"Cannot load an IDAPI service library" error with a message of "SQLORA8.DLL"

By: Corbin Dunn

Abstract: When trying to connect to Oracle 8, I get an error about loading the library.

I recently moved from Oracle 7 to 8, and when I try to open my alias up in the BDE administrator, I get a "Cannot load an IDAPI service library" error with a message of "SQLORA8.DLL". How do I fix this?

There are several things that can cause this problem. The first thing to make sure of is that you have the Oracle 8 client installed. If you can use the Oracle 8 client tools (such as SQL Plus) to successfully connect, then you may have a path issue. The easiest way to test this is to copy the SQL Plus EXE from the Oracle bin directory to your desktop and see if you can run it. The SQL Plus EXE is typically in your c:\ORANT\BIN or c:\ORA95\BIN directory (depending on the OS, and assuming it is installed on the C drive). If you try to run it from the desktop and you get an error about it not finding a DLL, then you have a path issue.

The way to fix a path issue is to right click on the file c:\autoexec.bat and select Edit. Look for the line that starts with something like:

set PATH=C:\....
Add REM to the start of that line to comment it out, and add a new line that looks like this:
For Windows NT:
For Windows 95/98:
set PATH=C:\ORA95\BIN;
After that, reboot your machine and it should work fine.

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