System.Data.OracleClient Update

As a part of formulating our long term strategy for ADO.NET, we have had several discussions with number of our customers, internal and external partners, and MVPs to better align our development efforts to ensure we are delivering the right technologies according to our customers’ highest priority needs. One of the key intent of these discussions and the associated research was to understand the needs and requirements of customers who develop applications with Oracle using “System.Data.OracleClient” (OracleClient).   OracleClient is the ADO.NET provider for Oracle developed by Microsoft and ships as a part of the .NET Framework.

We learned  that a significantly large portion of customers use our partners’  ADO.NET providers for Oracle;  with regularly updated support for Oracle releases and new features. In addition, many of the third party providers are able to consistently provide the same level of quality and support that customers have come to expect from Microsoft. This is strong testament of our partners support for our technologies and the strength of our partner ecosystem.  It is our assessment that even if we made significant investments in ADO.Net OracleClient to bring it at parity with our partners based providers, customers would not have a compelling reason to switch to ADO.Net OracleClient.

The Decision

After carefully considering all the options and talking to our customers, partners, and MVPs it was decided to deprecate OracleClient as a part of our ADO.NET roadmap. 

Recommendation and Guidance:  

System.Data.OracleClient will be available in the upcoming 4.0 release of .NET Framework; however, it will be marked as deprecated. This will have no impact to existing applications and these applications will continue to work as expected. Developing new applications which use OracleClient will be supported; however, warnings will be raised if the applications are compiled against .Net 4.0. Once compiled, no warnings or errors will be generated while running these applications. We strongly recommend customers to use  our partners’ ADO.NET Provider for Oracle  instead of continuing to use Microsoft’s OracleClient for new application development.

Microsoft will continue to provide hotfixes for critical issues in System.Data.OracleClient as per the standard support policy for .Net Framework 4.0. We will also continue to make critical bug fixes in future service packs for .Net Framework 4.0.

Thank you,

Himanshu Vasishth
Program Manager, ADO.NET OracleClient