As per Oracle Glossary : SID is a unique name for an Oracle database instance. ---> To switch between Oracle databases, users must specify the desired SID <---. The SID is included in the CONNECT DATA parts of the connect descriptors in a TNSNAMES.ORA file, and in the definition of the network listener in the LISTENER.ORA file. Also known as System ID. Oracle Service Name may be anything descriptive like "MyOracleServiceORCL". In Windows, You can your Service Name running as a service under Windows Services. You should use SID in TNSNAMES.ORA as a better approach.