How to Successfully Configure InfoAccess

This document serves as a reference document and table of contents to successfully configure InfoAccess on your Windows computer.

First steps

There are two things you must determine before you begin:
  1. Determine if an Oracle client is already installed on your machine.

    • Open command prompt, type tnsping, and press enter to test this. If the response to this command is "'tnsping' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file", you do not have an Oracle client installed. Any other response means the computer has an Oracle client installed.

  2. Determine if you need a 32- or 64-bit version of the Oracle client.

    • The bit-version of the Oracle client should match the programs you wish to use to connect to InfoAccess. If you're unsure, install 64-bit as modern data querying applications typically require a 64-bit connection. If you're using Microsoft Office applications to query InfoAccess, you can check the version of your applications by following these linked instructions.
Once you have verified whether you have an Oracle client on your computer and what version you require, you may move on to the next steps.

Install and Test the Oracle Client

Important: the first two steps in this section require administrative rights on your computer. If you do not have administrative rights, you must partner with your IT staff to successfully complete the first two steps in this section.

Please reference the linked KnowledgeBase documents and follow these steps in order.
  1. Download and install the Oracle client.
  2. Place the tnsnames.ora file in your Oracle home folder.
  3. Test your connection to InfoAccess.
If the test in step 3 succeeds, you have successfully installed the Oracle client on your computer.

Configure the Oracle Client with an ODBC Connection

You may need to set up an ODBC connection if you wish to use InfoAccess with Microsoft Office applications. The bit-version of the connection will depend on which bit-version of the Oracle client you installed. Please follow the instructions below:
If the ODBC connection test succeeds, you have successfully configured the Oracle client to connect to InfoAccess.

Connect InfoAccess to Microsoft Access or Toad Data Point

Two commonly used tools on campus to connect to InfoAccess are Microsoft Access and Toad Data Point. Microsoft Access is available to all UW-Madison employees, but Toad Data Point is restricted to employees with a specific need for an advanced ad-hoc query tool. Instructions on how to connect are linked below:
Other tools may allow you to connect to InfoAccess, but are beyond the scope of this document.

Need More Information or Help?

If you have performed all of the steps in this document and still cannot connect to InfoAccess after you have contacted your IT staff, please contact the Office of Data Management and Analytics Services (ODMAS) at