(All the searches for this sort of thing tell me about where the linked server is connecting to the original database via ODBC, but I'm connecting to the intermediate server via ODBC.)

I have a Python script which I want to connect to an Oracle database. In between the two I have a server running Server 2003 and SQLServer 2008. I have created a linked database on this intermediate server which successfully connects to the Oracle server. (Using Management Studio I can run a query on the remote Oracle server successfully.)

When I set up the machine that the Python script is running on, (happens to be another Server 2003, but I'll be running it on XP and Win7 machines too), I try to create an OBDC data source to the intermediate server. When the list of databases on the server comes up it doesn't list the linked server databases, only the normal databases on that intermediate server.

Is it possible to get ODBC to look at a linked server database? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


You have created a linked server, not a linked database, so there is no list of databases to select from. You need to either use a "four-part name" or use the OPENQUERY() function.

Four-part names describe an object on another server. Usually a four-part name would look like "servername.databasename.schemaname.tablename", but for Oracle you apparently need to leave the database name out. A query using a four-part name for Oracle might look like this:

SELECT name FROM OracleSvr..joe.titles WHERE id = 101

where "OracleSvr" is the name of the linked server.

Alternatively, here is an example of a statement that uses OPENQUERY. It should do the same thing, some people find this style easier to read.

SELECT * FROM OPENQUERY (OracleSvr, 'SELECT name FROM joe.titles WHERE id = 101')

OPENQUERY is documented here.

No matter which style of query you choose, you would connect via your Python program to the SQL Server and then run the query.

You can do this via ODBC, you don't need to specify the database name when setting up the connection, you do it at query time as described above.

  • Thanks. I've added a bit at the end to mention ODBC as that was in my original question. Oct 19, 2012 at 15:35
  • additionally, if you have trouble finding the exact string of the server name, you could run select * from sys.sysservers first.
    – steadyfish
    Oct 22, 2014 at 16:31

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