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For sql*plus simplest option is the Instant Client:
Get the Basic/Basic Lite + Sqlplus packages. Unzip and all you need is four-five files, no heavy install and installer, just copy a few files to a folder of choice.
One example of Instant Client usage:
Above connect string uses Easy Connect naming, so no tnsnames.ora needed (of course, instead you need to know details of host, port and service name for the listener).
C:\User\Files\Ora-IClite>dir *.dll *.exe Volume in drive C is OS Volume Serial Number is 6E8F-186A Directory of C:\User\Files\Ora-IClite 2011-07-30 13:21 683 008 oci.dll 2011-07-30 13:21 44 153 856 oraociicus11.dll 2011-07-30 13:21 1 501 696 Orasqlplusic11.dll 2011-07-30 13:21 869 376 sqlplus.exe 4 File(s) 47 207 936 bytes 0 Dir(s) 40 006 668 288 bytes free C:\User\Files\Ora-IClite>.\sqlplus test@'localhost/xe' SQL*Plus: Release 184.108.40.206.0 Production on Tue Oct 2 21:02:18 2012 Copyright (c) 1982, 2010, Oracle. All rights reserved. Enter password: Connected to: Oracle Database 11g Express Edition Release 220.127.116.11.0 - Production