Why are my Oracle formats greyed out in the formats gallery

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2015.x


Why are my Oracle formats greyed out in the format gallery?


This can occur because there is no Oracle client installed or FME cannot find the location of the oci.dll file. See below for additional licensing restrictions.

The Oracle Client or Oracle Instant Client is all you need however it also does need to be for the same platform as your version of FME. i.e 32 bit FME needs a 32 bit client, 64 bit FME needs a 64 bit client. It is possible to have both FME's installed but then you will also need both Oracle clients installed. See here for more information.

If you are unsure which version of the client you have installed you can check, as follows, for the correct registry entries.

  • If you are on a 64 bit machine then 32bit software shows up in the registry entry - HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\. If there is an entry here for Oracle then you have a 32 bit client.

  • If the Oracle entry is not in here then you have a 64 bit client.

  • If you have installed an instant client there also won't be an entry in here and then it is likely that the PATH entry is incorrect. See here for information on installing the Instant Client

FME detects the presence of an Oracle client by the file oci.dll which is usually found in C:\oracle\product\<version>\<client>\BIN\.

Sometimes it is necessary to move the reference to the client in the System PATH environment variable to the beginning of the PATH variable so that FME knows where to look to find this .dll. Furthermore, if there are any entries in the system path (Path environment variable) that point to non-existent directories, this can also cause problems for Oracle clients.

In the system PATH environment variable, if there are multiple clients, please ensure that there are no spaces between the two clients.

There is also an issue with some of the older versions of the Oracle client where they cannot be accessed by a program which has been installed into a folder such as C:\Program Files (x86). In this case install FME into a folder such as C:\apps and it will work successfully.


If you are attempting to write to the Oracle Spatial Object format then it is also a requirement that your FME license be at the FME Database Edition or higher. Reading from Oracle requires an FME Professional Edition license or higher.

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