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Access FTP Data as a Remote Oracle Database

Use the Oracle ODBC Gateway and Heterogeneous Services technology to access FTP data from your Oracle system.

The Oracle Database Gateway for ODBC and Heterogeneous Services technology enable you to connect to ODBC data sources as remote Oracle databases. This article shows how to use the CData ODBC Driver for FTP to create a database link from FTP to Oracle and to query FTP data through the SQL*Plus tool. You can also create the database link and execute queries from SQL Developer.

Connect to FTP as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to FTP follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

To connect to FTP or SFTP servers, specify at least RemoteHost and FileProtocol. Specify the port with RemotePort.

Set User and Password to perform Basic authentication. Set SSHAuthMode to use SSH authentication. See the Getting Started section of the data provider help documentation for more information on authenticating via SSH.

Set SSLMode and SSLServerCert to secure connections with SSL.

The data provider lists the tables based on the available folders in your FTP server. Set the following connection properties to control the relational view of the file system:

  • RemotePath: Set this to the current working directory.
  • TableDepth: Set this to control the depth of folders to list as views.
  • FileRetrievalDepth: Set this to retrieve and list files recursively from the root table.

Stored Procedures are available to download files, upload files, and send protocol commands. See the Data Model chapter of the FTP data provider documentation for more information.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Note: If you need to modify the DSN or create other FTP DSNs, you must use a system DSN and the bitness of the DSN must match your Oracle system. You can access and create 32-bit DSNs on a 64-bit system by opening the 32-bit ODBC Data Source Administrator from C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for FTP in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData FTP Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for FTP Description = My Description RemoteHost = MyFTPServer

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Set Connection Properties for Compatibility with Oracle

The driver provides several connection properties that streamline accessing FTP data just as you would an Oracle database. Set the following properties when working with FTP data in SQL*Plus and SQL Developer. For compatibility with Oracle, you will need to set the following connection properties, in addition to authentication and other required connection properties.

  • MapToWVarchar=False

    Set this property to map string data types to SQL_VARCHAR instead of SQL_WVARCHAR. By default, the driver uses SQL_WVARCHAR to accommodate various international character sets. You can use this property to avoid the ORA-28528 Heterogeneous Services data type conversion error when the Unicode type is returned.

  • MaximumColumnSize=4000

    Set this property to restrict the maximum column size to 4000 characters.

  • IncludeDualTable=True

    Set this property to mock the Oracle DUAL table. SQL Developer uses this table to test the connection.

Linux Configuration

In Linux environments, Oracle uses UTF-8 to communicate with the unixODBC Driver manager, whereas the default driver encoding is UTF-16. To resolve this, open the file /opt/cdata/cdata-driver-for-ftp/lib/cdata.odbc.ftp.ini in a text editor and set the encoding.

cdata.odbc.ftp.ini

[Driver] DriverManagerEncoding = UTF-8

Configure the ODBC Gateway, Oracle Net, and Oracle Database

Follow the procedure below to set up an ODBC gateway to FTP data that enables you to query live FTP data as an Oracle database.

  1. Create the file initmyftpdb.ora in the folder oracle-home-directory/hs/admin and add the following setting:

    initmyftpdb.ora

    HS_FDS_CONNECT_INFO = "CData FTP Sys"
  2. Add an entry to the listener.ora file. This file is located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin.

    If you are using the Database Gateway for ODBC, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = myftpdb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = dg4odbc) ) )

    If you are using Heterogeneous Services, your listener.ora needs to have a SID_LIST_LISTENER entry that resembles the following:

    listener.ora

    SID_LIST_LISTENER = (SID_LIST = (SID_DESC = (SID_NAME = myftpdb) (ORACLE_HOME = your-oracle-home) (PROGRAM = hsodbc) ) )
  3. Add the connect descriptor below in tnsnames.ora, located in oracle-home-directory/NETWORK/admin:

    tnsnames.ora

    myftpdb = (DESCRIPTION= (ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=localhost)(PORT=1521)) (CONNECT_DATA=(SID=myftpdb)) (HS=OK) )
  4. Restart the listener.
  5. Test the configuration with the following command:

    tnsping myftpdb
  6. Open SQL*Plus and create the database link with the command below:

    CREATE DATABASE LINK myftpdb CONNECT TO "user" IDENTIFIED BY "password" USING 'myftpdb';

You can now execute queries in SQL*Plus like the one below (note the double quotation marks around the table name):

SELECT * from "MyDirectory"@myftpdb WHERE FilePath = '/documents/doc.txt';