When starting SQLTools, a colleague was getting an error message “OCI8: Cannot allocate OCI handle”. Helping to investigate this, I found some guidance on the web with suggestions such as:

  • Run the app with Administrator privileges
  • Delete the OCI.DLL Oracle DLL from the Windows directory

Neither of the above worked (the OCI.DLL wasn’t even present in my Windows folder), or any others which were so rubbish or vague that I can’t even recall now. Makes me wonder if people actually have found these workarounds to help or if they just post something thinking that they will sort the problem?
After significant digging I came across a note that SQLTools needs a 32-bit Oracle client installed, this seemed like it was worth a go but given that my colleague said she had been using SQLTools before and it suddenly stopped working I was sceptical. So, after installing the 32-bit Oracle client SQLTools duly opened without the error.
To summarise, the issue can be worked around by installing the 32-bi version of the Oracle client – I’m not sure if there are plans for a version of SQL Tools to work with the 64-bit client but there certainly should be!

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