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Oracle® Database Net Services Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

Part Number B28317-01
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3 Syntax Rules for Configuration Files

This chapter describes the syntax rules for Oracle Net Services configuration files.

This chapter contains these topics:

Configuration File Syntax Overview

The Oracle Net Services configuration files consist of parameters which include keyword-value pairs. Keyword-value pairs are surrounded by parentheses:


Some keywords have other keyword-value pairs as their values:


For example, the address portion of a local naming configuration file (tnsnames.ora) might include the following lines:


Set up configuration files so that indentation reflects what keyword is the parent or owner of other keyword-value pairs.

Even if you do not choose to indent your files in this way, you must indent a wrapped line by at least one space, or it will be misread as a new parameter. The following layout is acceptable:


The following layout is not acceptable:


Further Syntax Rules for Configuration Files

The following rules apply to the syntax of configuration files:

Network Character Set

The network character set for keyword values consists of the following characters. Connect descriptors must be made up of single-byte characters.

A-Z, a-z
( ) < > / \
, . : ; ' "=- _
$ + * # & ! % ? @

Within this character set, the following symbols are reserved:

(  )=\ " ' # 

Reserved symbols are used as delimiters, not as part of a keyword or a value unless the keyword or value is quoted. Either single or double quotes can be used to enclose a value containing reserved symbols. To include a quote within a value that is surrounded by quotes, use different quote types. The backslash (\) is used as an escape character.

The following characters may be used within a connect descriptor, but not in a keyword or value:

<Space> <Tab> <Carriage Return> <Newline>

Character Set

The listener name and net service name are limited to the following character set:

[a...z] [A...Z] [0...9] _

The first character must be an alphabetical character. In general, up to 64 characters is acceptable. A database service name must match the global database name defined by the database administrator, which consists of a database name (originally limited to eight characters), and the database domain. Net service names and global database names are not case sensitive.