Querying Oracle through Powershell

I’ve been dealing with some back pain this summer/fall that has made fishing uncomfortable.  I’m still able to do it, but when you’re in constant pain, it takes the fun out of doing pretty much everything but laying down.  That, along with the general busyness of the summer and fall, have kept the fishing down to a minimum.  However, I did get out for a weekend and found that while musky fishing was difficult, slip-bobber fishing was better.  I’d never slip-bobber fished until this year, but I have found it’s really enjoyable.  You can get the bait right above the bottom at any depth, and that presentation seems to work well when the fish aren’t as aggressive.

This brings me to my second note – I love catching smallmouth bass.  They fight really hard for their size, with deep runs and long battles.  Below is one of two that I caught at dusk on a weedy finger that stuck out into the main basin of the lake.


As you’d expect, querying Oracle database from Powershell isn’t as easy as querying SQL Server.  Powershell and SQL Server are both Microsoft technologies, so they play together pretty nicely.  With Oracle, their are a couple ways to connect to the database.  You can use the OLE DB database connector or the Oracle Client version.  I tried using the OLE DB connector first, but found I was unable to get it going.  So I switched over to the Oracle Client, which was a bit more complicated in the setup, but worked.

In order to use the Oracle Client, you have to install it on your system first.  I will warn you that this is not a minor install.  The installer itself is 600 MB, and you need to make sure you grab the correct version (32 vs 64 bit), depending on your OS.  Once installed you should be ready to go.  Here is the basic pattern for creating the connection and querying data:

#Create connection to Oracle
 $OracleconnectionString = "Data Source=OracleDatabaseServer;User Id=dgugg;Password=myPass;Integrated Security=No"
 $OracleSchedulerQueryString = "select IMAGE_ID, DESCRIPTION from FMSH_IMAGE WHERE Rownum < 11 ORDER BY IMAGE_ID DESC"
 [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.Data.OracleClient") | Out-Null
 $OracleConnection = New-Object System.Data.OracleClient.OracleConnection($OracleConnectionString)
 $OracleCommand = New-Object System.Data.OracleClient.OracleCommand($OracleSchedulerQueryString, $OracleConnection)
 $OraImages = $OracleCommand.ExecuteReader()
 $OraCounter = $OraImages.FieldCount
 While ($OraImages.Read()) {
    for ($o=0; $o -lt $OraCounter; $o = $o++ ) {
        $OraImages.GetName($o) = $OraImages.GetValue($o)

Here is the gist of the code:

  • Define a connection string to the Oracle database.
  • Define your SQL statement
  • Load the Oracle Client Assembly into this instance of Powershell
  • Define and create your Oracle Connection Object
  • Define and create your Oracle command
  • Open your connection to Oracle
  • Execute your SQL into a recordset
  • Loop through the recordset from beginning to end
    • In each loop, print out the field name and field value

There are a few gotchas to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t end your SQL statement with a semicolon.  I did this and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.  Once I took it out it was smooth sailing.
  2. Don’t forget to escape Powershell special characters.  I was doing a query from the V$Database view and again ran into problems.  Once I escaped the dollar sign ($) with a back tick (`), everything once again started working.

Stay tuned for my final blog in this series where I will use this connection to Oracle as well as the previously posted connection to SQL Server to create a workbook that has daily monitoring of my database health stats.


2 thoughts on “Querying Oracle through Powershell

  1. Pingback: Querying SQL Server through Powershell | The Fisherman DBA

  2. Pingback: Using Powershell to create a nightly SQL health check | The Fisherman DBA

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