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     Oracle Features of SQL*Net version 1

When a connection is made to SQL*Net, it passes the request to its underlying layer, the TNS, where the request is transmitted to the appropriate server.  At the server, SQL*Net receives the request from TNS and passes the SQL to the database. TNS is the “transparent network substrate”; a single, common interface to all protocols.  TNS has the ability to connect to databases in physically separate networks.  At the lowest level,  TNS communicates to other databases with message level send-receive commands.


Client side - The User Programmatic Interface (UPI) is the central client component.  The UPI converts SQL to associated parse, execute and fetch statements.  The UPI parses the SQL, opens the SQL cursor, binds the client application, describes the contents of returned data fields, executes the SQL, fetches the rows and closes the cursor.  Oracle attempts to minimize messages to the server by combining UPI calls whenever possible.


Server side - The Oracle Programmatic Interface (OPI) is the central server component.  The OPI is the obverse of the UPI;  it responds to all possible messages from the UPI and returning requests.


For server to server communication there is no UPI, instead there is a Network Programmatic Interface (NPI) at the initiating server.  SQL*Net supports network transparency such that the network structure may be changed without effecting the SQL*Net application. Location transparency is achieved with database-links and synonyms.


SQL*Net v 1 was the first attempt by Oracle at database connectivity.  In SQL*Net v 1, database connections requires that the request supply all of the connection information.  This includes the protocol, the host name (or IP address) and the database name.  To connect to the “tom” database on the dilbert server using TCP/IP, you would set a UNIX environment variable called TWO_TASK.  When the request is made SQL*Net v 1 will interrogate the contents of TWO_TASK to get the database information.


For example, let’s make a connection from the fred server to the dilbert server, and connect to the “tom” databases using TCP/IP:


Fred> export TWO_TASK=t:dilbert:tom

fred> sqlplus /


SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Thu Mar 18 08:25:30 1999


Copyright (c) Oracle Corporation 1979, 1996.  All rights reserved.



Connected to:

Oracle7 Server Release - Production

With the distributed option

PL/SQL Release - Production


SQL> select * from v$database;



--------- -------------------- ------------ ------------------ ---------------

TOM       06/13/98 19:00:26    NOARCHIVELOG         2.8713E+12      2.8713E+12



One of the biggest shortcoming of SQL*Net v 1 was the requirement to “know” all of the connection information, instead of having a look-up file to get this information.  In SQL*Net version 2 we see this information.

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