What is the difference between instant client and the original Oracle client? The Oracle client is almost 800MB and the instant client is not so much. I need to install oracle client, ODBC drivers and JDBC drivers. What is the best way to go and which one should I choose? The original 800 megs client or the instant client?

  • The JDBC driver does not need any installation at all. And it also does not need an Oracle client. All you need to do is to copy the driver's jar file to the client where the Java program is running.
    – user1822
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 10:10
  • @a_horse_with_no_name okay and what about ODBC?
    – tesla747
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 10:13

2 Answers 2


The Instant Client is easier to install and more lightweight. It doesn't even need to be installed, you can just unzip it and use it. You don't need an Oracle Home either.

On the other hand, it does not support deprecated features like Oracle Names. If you don't need any feature the instant client omits, I suggest you use it. It looks like you are covered by the list of what is supported:

Instant Client can be used to run your OCI, OCCI, Pro*C, JDBC, and ODBC applications without installing a full Oracle Client. In addition, Instant Client supports SQL*Plus. As of Instant Client 10.2, it is also possible to develop applications for OCI and OCCI using the Instant Client SDK download.

  • Yes it worked. So now to connect to a remote database from my application server where I have installed the instant client, how to give the respective tns entries.? so that I can connect to the particular database.
    – tesla747
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 8:12
  • I typically add a tnsnames.ora file in the Instant Client's directory and set the TNS_ADMIN environment variable to point to the tnsnames.ora location.
    – hooinator
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 12:52

If you are using Oracle Wallet for a secure connection , Instant Client does not support it, where as Regular sqlplus supports

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.