Oracle Instant Client 12.1 for OS X was just released and is now available for free download from OTN for 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Update: the bundles were re-released 14 June 2016 with a connectivity fix.
Instant Client provides libraries and tools for connecting to Oracle Database. Among other uses, languages such as C, Python, PHP, Ruby, Perl and Node.js can use Instant Client for database connectivity.
In addition to having Oracle 12.1 client features like auto-tuning, new in this release is an ODBC driver.
The install instructions have been updated to reflect the resolution of the linking issues caused by the OS X El Capitan changes with SIP to ignore
DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH in sub processes. The
~/lib location required for Instant Client 11.2 on El Capitan is no longer needed with Instant Client 12.1. Note if you are creating your own apps, you should link with
This release of Instant Client supports Mavericks, Yosemite, and El Capitan. Applications can connect to Oracle Database 10.2 or more recent. You should continue using the older 11.2 client if you need to connect to Oracle Database 9.2.
Update: Official installation doc and release notes are now on the doc portal: Oracle Database Online Documentation 12c Release 1 (12.1).
If you are interested in running Oracle Database itself on OS X, see my earlier post The Easiest Way to Install Oracle Database on Mac OS X.