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You'll need at least 126.96.36.199 Oracle Client to with work EF so unless you upgrade your Oracle Database to that version, you won't be able to use EF at all.
For the other 50 apps that hard coded to use old Oracle, you'll have no way to bite the bullet to upgrade them to use the new Oracle Client. In most cases, that should be just a recompile.
imterpsfan2 wrote:You can do that by having both Oracle clients installed, and using the DLLPath configuration option to force the applications to use the one you want.
What I would probably like to do is somehow set the dll directory to my local bin directory and just put all the .dlls for the most recent ODP.NET in my app and leave the existing applications as they are until I can migrate them.
I've seen examples of this but doesn't seem to work for me.
That said, the next version of the managed client is going to support working in Entity Framework, and that is just an assembly you can include in the project with no Oracle installation at all. So really, the best answer is going to be to use that once they release it.
(Also - most of the time something compiled for Oracle 11.x will work in 188.8.131.52 without doing anything. The 184.108.40.206 installer adds binding redirects to itself from older versions, provided you were loading from the GAC.)
After doing some research and some trial and error, it appears a good solution is to merely set the DllPath in the web.config. I don't think you actually need a full blown Oracle client installed on the IIS server anyway. You're good as long as you have the Instant Client that comes with the ODAC installation.
I downloaded the XCOPY version of the ODAC and only installed the components I needed. This installation came to only about 100 MB. The XCOPY install doesn't seem to touch the registry at all (which may be good or bad).
I found a How To in the ODP.NET Developer's Guide. I just have to create an oracle.dataaccess.client element in my web config, set the DllPath and that works nicely. This allows me to keep the other applications on the server untouched until I want to migrate them.