04 May, 2013

ORA-12154: The other uncommon cause, and the solution

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ORA-12154: It is not always due to the listener down, or something...
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04-May-2013

2 weeks ago, while I was preparing my arsenal of personal computers (now 9, with 1 laptop and 8 desktops) at work, one requirement is to be able to synchronize the TNS file across all the 9 computers.

This would need me to have a read/write priv to the Ora folder in the 9 PCs, and so I opened it up for me by sharing the folders. This, in turn, closed the folder access to everybody else, because I shared the folder only to me – I removed access for Everybody/Everyone. The priv then was full control.

That began the issue of all users of the web apps running in these computers, where ORA-12154 is being thrown. I didn’t see it, and I could just imagine their shock that suddenly, the application doesn’t work properly. Until one of the customer service personnel came over to ask something, and just remembered to check with me why the web apps aren’t working.

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I quickly checked, and I got ORA-12154. Since that same day I got to sync all the code files and accessory files in all of the computers, I didn’t know where to start at first. I gathered my wits, and thought of checking the particular web apps having problem. Problem was there. Half a day passed, and the problem persisted. Then I thought of verifying the web apps from my laptop. It was working! So I got even more confused, believing that it was the file transfer that I run which caused the problem.

A few more check here and there on the web apps having problem, and still no luck. I then started to check on the other web apps and Windows apps using the same files and libraries, and to my surprise, they are all working!

What now?

At this point, I knew I had to break away from the pressure, so I called up the Oracle DBA, and asked him about ORA-12154, and since I can’t do desktop sharing on any of the affected computers (yes, all having problem, actually, and on the same web apps), he came over. He checked a few items, and he is also stuck. Told him all that I‘ve done so far, and I said the other Web and Windows apps are running, to which he checked with me, “And these are running under your account?”

I said “Yes.”

At that queue, he checked the Ora folder, looked at the sharing setup, and opened it to “Everybody”.

That PC worked. After that, he went on his way, trusting me to be able to manage the rest.

So there you are. ORA-12154 error. It is not always that the listener at the server machine is down, or whatever. For my case, it was the access privilege that got screwed up. Anybody running the web apps that uses Oracle client must have access to the installation folder, at least “Read” access.

Hope this helps anybody there running into the same problem, but is not due to the listener down or not running.

Till then!
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