On his Oracle blog today, Christopher Jones has posted a simple howto on getting the feedback the PHP Oracle functions throw when they error, only faster.
When a connection fails, you want to know about it as soon as possible. With Oracle Net there are many ways to configure connection and authentication. For example a connection:
$c = oci_connect("hr", "hr", "abc");
could be evaluated by Oracle 10g as using the Easy Connect syntax to machine "abc" (using the default port and database service) or using a net alias "abc" configured in a tnsnames.ora file.
He includes some settings to add to the sqlnet.ora file to help speed thing along - setting the directory path to enable a different authentication syntax and changing a setting to restrict the types of connect methods the client can try.
To show how it all works together, he gives an example of the tnsnames.ora, sqlnet.ora, environment variables, and the commands he ran to test it all out.