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Accessing the GIS Hub Databases

This page applies only to North Dakota state agencies or those organizations within the internal state network.

Prerequisites for Connecting

Before connecting to a GIS Hub database using a direct connect (a.k.a. 2-Tier connection), the Oracle Client must be installed on the computer being used to make the connection. These steps are for downloading the 32-bit client which is required for ArcGIS Desktop. You have two choices for obtaining the Oracle Client. If you are using only Esri software, then you can use the Oracle client from Esri or from Oracle though you will find it more convenient to utilize the client from Esri. If you have applications, utilities, or other software other than Esri that utilize Oracle, you should probably install the Oracle Client from Oracle.

Oracle Client from Esri

  1. Download the Oracle Database 11g R2 Instant Client (about 97mb) from the "Additional Products" section of the My Esri site. The "Additional Products" section can be found under My Organizations - Products - Manage Downloads - ArcGIS for Desktop (View Downloads)
  2. Double-click the downloaded file which may be named something like OracleDatabaseInstantClient_11gR2_135450.exe
  3. Use the default destination folder for the extracted files or set your own destination folder
  4. Using Windows Explorer, browse to the location of the extracted files and into the Windows32 folder (assuming you are running 32-bit ArcGIS) and unzip the contents of the file, e.g., instantclient-basic-nt- into a folder of your choosing, e.g., C:\OracleEsriClient11gR2\Windows32
  5. Set the environment variable by editing the system path on your computer and adding the location of the unzipped folder to the beginning of the path. When finished, the path might look something like this: C:\OracleEsriClient11gR2\Windows32\instantclient_11_2;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\...
  6. If you are not able to connect to the database you may need to have the sqlnet.ora file on your system. Obtain this file from your GIS Coordinator or create it, and then place it into a folder such as where you placed the extracted files such as C:\OracleEsriClient11gR2. Then add a new system environment variable TNS_ADMIN with a value pointing to the location of the folder containing the sqlnet.ora file, e.g., C:\OracleEsriClient11gR2. The sqlnet.ora file should look like this:

    # sqlnet.ora Network Configuration File
    names.directory_path = (LDAP,TNSNAMES,EZCONNECT)
    names.default_domain = itd.nd.gov

Oracle Client from Oracle

  1. Download the client (about 500mb)
  2. Click "See All" next to the version you wish to download. - IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE RUNNING ARCGIS DESKTOP 10.1 OR OLDER USE THE 32-BIT CLIENT. USE THE 64-BIT VERSION ONLY IF YOU ARE USING A 64-BIT ARCGIS PRODUCT. (Click for larger image)
    screenshot for step 2
  3. After clicking on the "See All" link you will need to accept the OTN License Agreement. Scroll down the page and after the "Directions" section, click on Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Client ( for Microsoft Windows (32-bit) Download win32_11gR2_client.zip (684,581,290 bytes) (Click for larger image)
    screenshot for step 3
  4. Unzip the contents of the .zip file to a temporary folder, e.g., on the desktop, “oracle11gtemp”
  5. Browse to the location of the temporary folder, e.g., …Desktop\oracle11gtemp then go into the ‘client’ directory then double click on the setup.exe .
  6. In the setup program, click on the Next button, then click on the radio button in front of Runtime, then click Next.
  7. For Oracle base, you can choose to accept the default or specify your own. It might be preferable to specify a name/location that will be clear, e.g., ‘C:\oracle11g’ then click Next.
  8. A prerequisite check will run briefly, then click Finish.
  9. Near the end of the install the Configuration Assistants window will appear and may appear to hang. If this is the case, minimize all other windows on the desktop to find the “Oracle Net Configuration Assistant” window. Click Next then Finish. You can now click on the Exit button when prompted.
  10. If you wish, delete the downloaded .zip file and the temporary directory, ‘oracle11gtemp’
  11. Go into the directory: C:\oracle11g\product\11.2.0\client_1\network\admin and create or edit the existing sqlnet.ora so that the content looks like:

    # sqlnet.ora Network Configuration File
    names.directory_path = (LDAP,TNSNAMES,EZCONNECT)
    names.default_domain = itd.nd.gov

  12. In the C:\oracle11g\product\11.2.0\client_1\network\admin directory with help from your GIS Coordinator, create or obtain a file named ldap.ora.

Request Oracle Username and Password

Everyone will have their own user ID, and their own passwords. Each agency has an IT Lead Coordinator, that is probably already familiar with using the work request system that is used to request the User ID, password, and roles.

To get direct access to the Hub, please follow these steps. We are using Bob Smith as a fictitious user in this example:

If you have been trained, use the Work Management System to add a new user using the following instructions:

  1. Enter in your IT Coordinator user ID and password, click the 'Login' button.
  2. Create a new Service Request under a new or existing Work Order. In the new or existing Work Order, click on the 'Add Service Request' button near the bottom of the page.
  3. Select the type of service request by clicking on the 'Oracle User ID' link in the Security section.
  4. Fill in the request information, e.g., specify the request date and type in a short description then click on the 'Continue' button.
  5. In the Request Details section, specify the following:
    1. Region: select 'Production'
    2. Database/instance: type in 'gisp'
    3. For adding a user, for example Bob Smith, click on the 'Add User ID' link then:
      Action: select 'add'
      UserID: type in 'bsmith'
      User Name: First: type in 'Bob' ; MI: optional ; Second: type in 'Smith'
      Initial Password: type it in, minimum 6 characters, mix of alpha and numeric
      Department of User: from the pull-down list, select your department
      Externally authenticated ID: select 'no'
    4. The 'Add User Role' link is not used.
    5. The 'Add Grant Details' link is not used.
    6. The 'Add Attachment' link is not used.
    7. You can enter text in the 'Comments/Special Instructions' area if you wish, this is optional.
  6. Click on the 'Submit' button near the bottom of the page.

Database Names

ArcGIS Desktop or version 10.0 or above can be used to connect to one of the GIS Hub databases. The GIS Hub data reside on multiple databases.

Database Direct Connect Name Comment
GISP gisp_svc Primary database, vector data
GISGLO gisglo_svc Government Land Office surveys (GLOs)
GISSPEC gisspec_svc Specialized and agency-specific data
GISRAS gisras_svc Raster data
GISER giser_svc Emergency response data

Connection Parameters

version 10.2.x

version 10.1

version 10.0

Simultaneously Using Oracle clients from Oracle and Esri

Having the Oracle client from both Oracle and Esri installed on your computer may be needed if you are using both Esri and non-Esri software. Running both clients at the same time will also assist in transitioning from using only the Oracle client to using only the Esri client.

Once both clients are installed, you only need to do two things:

  1. Set the environment variable by editing the system path on your computer and adding the path to the location of both Oracle clients. When finished, it might look something like this: C:\OracleEsriClient11gR2\Windows32\instantclient_11_2;C:\Oracle11g\product\11.2.0\client_1\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\Java…
  2. Add a new system environment variable TNS_ADMIN with a value pointing to the location of the .ora files used with the Oracle Client from Oracle, e.g., C:\Oracle11g\product\11.2.0\client_1\network\admin
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