I am having a lot of trouble installing ODAC with my VS2013. One main reason for my issues is that the ODAC Server install cannot detect my Oracle server because Oracle Express is installed using the install shield and does not build it into an Oracle home. Oracle Standard or Enterprise requires licensing which we are of course not willing to pay for.
I am a student and in the middle of a school project where we as a group need to build a web application. We chose ASP.net with oracle database Express in the back-end, but after all of these issues, I am wonder if we should should switch to MS SQL Server since it it would be more tightly integrated with Visual Studio already without any additional installs and we could get a free license for it.
For about 99% of apps, you don't need to install ODAC server. You only need to install ODAC client that then connects to the DB server. For a school project, I doubt you need anything in ODAC server.
With respect to DB Enterprise or Standard editions, as a student, you can use these for FREE when you download from OTN. If you take a look at the OTN license, it says "We grant you a nonexclusive, nontransferable limited license to use the programs only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your application, and not for any other purpose."
You can't use EE and SE for production and commercial purposes, which it doesn't appear that you are trying to do.
The Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio, which is needed to generate Table Adapter/datasets and to use the Entity Designer, do not work with Visual Studio
Express, which does not support add-ins.
If you don't care about that and are simply doing some coding with ODP.NET then you can use the Express Edition.