3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2008 8:21 PM by Jonah H. Harris RSS

    Documentation of Oracle Wire Protocol


      If I were to implement my own wire protocol ODBC or JDBC driver, where would I find documentation on the Oracle Wire Protocol? Would I run into any licensing issues? What I mean is: Is the Oracle Wire Protocol open or considered a trade secret by Oracle?

        • 1. Re: Documentation of Oracle Wire Protocol
          Jonah H. Harris
          Oracle's wire-level protocol is proprietary and not publicly documented. The only way to get a hold of the official specification is to become a partner and pay (what I've heard is) about $100K US for access to it. If you want to research the protocol yourself, there are several online sources of information if you can get the Google keywords just right.

          If you're looking for starting information, you can find basic protocol information in David Litchfield's Oracle Hacker's Handbook. If you're looking for a bit more detailed code, you can find dissectors for Oracle's protocol from the Wireshark project (formerly Ethereal) at:

          For TNS (Transparent Network Substrate):

          For TTI (Two-Task Interface):

          The Wireshark TNS dissector is fairly complete, but the TTI one is far from it.

          FYI, I started researching the Oracle protocol in 2001 and now know enough about it to write my own wire-level driver. While I won't release the code to it, in the next couple months you can visit my soon-to-be-fixed website (http://www.oracle-internals.com/) for more information on the basic protocol.

          Also, if you happen to attend IOUG's COLLABORATE 08, I'm actually presenting on this topic in particular. The session information resides below:

          381: Listening In: Passive Capture and Analysis of Oracle Network Traffic

          In this presentation we will discuss and demonstrate the methods for passively capturing, analyzing, and reporting the details of Oracle network traffic in real-time for use in end-to-end Oracle tuning and troubleshooting scenarios.

          In cases where very short response time requirements must be met, or where sporadic spikes in response time occur, the most reliable way to tune and troubleshoot them is by capturing Oracle's Ethernet traffic, analyzing it, and reporting on various aspects of it. Throughout this session we will demonstrate the passive capture of SQL statements, their frequency, time spent in execution, number of roundtrips, and all relevant response times.

          Using the data from these reports can not only assist DBAs in diagnosing network-related issues and in tuning Oracle's network settings, but also ensure that application developers are writing performant, network-friendly database access code.
          • 2. Re: Documentation of Oracle Wire Protocol
            It is legal to reverse-engineer if you are doing it because you need to write a ODBC/JDBC driver.

            • 3. Re: Documentation of Oracle Wire Protocol
              Jonah H. Harris
              I'd be very hesitant in that area. Technically, you could claim it was for interoperability, but you should consult a very experienced attorney.