[CentralOH] Python and Oracle

Michael S. Yanovich yanovich at cse.ohio-state.edu
Wed Dec 9 04:40:05 CET 2009

I've started a challenge in Python (I may have gotten myself in over my 
head) where I want to create a Python script that would access a 
*remote* Oracle database and provide the contents of a certain entry in 
the database. I've done some research on this and it seems that I would 
need either cx_Oracle or PyODBC.

For cx_Oracle it looks like I need to have Oracle installed locally to 
use it. However, I have found some useful tutorials on using cx_Oracle 
that make it look easy for what I want to accomplish.

As for PyODBC I would have to compile it locally and change my PATHs for 
Python to get this to work, but I'm not fully sure on how to go about 
using it to access a database. (It seems more intimidating)

The server I would like to remotely connect to doesn't have a documented 
API, but it does have a publicly search-able database that anyone can 
connect to and browse. I know it is built on Oracle. I have determined 
this by the error messages and such the system throws at someone. I am 
assuming though that the information I am looking for is in a database.

The database is: 

It can be access by going to http://buckeyelink.osu.edu/ and scrolling 
down to and clicking on "Course Catalog" under Academics and under 
Public Access.

I know something of this nature can be done because a website has 
accomplished this using PHP and maybe something else. 

My question to everyone is: Which route should I go cx_Oracle or PyODBC, 
or am I going about this all wrong? Or is there an easier way?

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