Wednesday Sep 16, 2015

Script: Is your database ready for Oracle GoldenGate?

Oracle GoldenGate can be a good addition to a lot of upgrade and migration projects to decrease the downtime to a bare minimum, or even zero in some cases.

But before you consider Oracle GoldenGate as THE solution to decrease your downtime you may evaluate if your database is ready for OGG. For this purpose you can download scripts from MyOracle Support (MOS) to check exactly this.

Complete Database Profile OGG readiness check for Classic Extract 

MOS Note:1298562.1:
GoldenGate database Complete Database Profile check script for Oracle DB (All Schemas) Classic Extract 

This script is intended to query all of the non default database users to identify current configuration and identify any unsupported data types or types that may need special considerations for Oracle GoldenGate in an Oracle environment.

Check OGG readiness for Schema Only

MOS Note: 1296168.1
Oracle GoldenGate database Schema Profile check script for Oracle DB

This script is intended to query the database by schema to identify current configuration and identify any unsupported data types or types that may need special considerations for Oracle GoldenGate in an Oracle environment. 

Difference and Execution 

The main difference between the two scripts is the amount of data being processed. The Schema Script is more targeted and therefore should return fewer items that need additional checking.

Log into sqlplus as sysdba and run the script:

SQL> @full-DB_CheckOracle_15092015.sql

SQL> @full-schemaCheckOracle_15092015.sql

Review the output.


Monday Sep 14, 2015

SQL Plan Management - Known Issues in Oracle

Our Support colleagues released the patch recommendation note for SQL Plan Management (SPM) for Oracle Database


SPM Note

In the unlikely event you'd like to upgrade to Oracle Database or (very very unlikely hopefully) please see these matching notes:


Some additional things to mention:

  • SPM is an Oracle Enterprise Edition feature at no extra cost
  • SPM is THE feature to ensure plan stability tackling changes such as (of course) upgrades and migrations
  • SPM has been improved a lot internally in Oracle Database
    • We now store entire plans instead of a large accumulation of hints in the SQL Management Base (SMB) in SYSAUX tablespace
    • The "Evolve" task does happen automatically (SYS_AUTO_SPM_EVOLVE_TASK) as part of the Automatic SQL Tuning Task 
  • You should always adjust the retention when starting to play with SQL Plan Management as the default retention of 53 weeks may lead to a too large LOB segment in SYSAUX tablespace (and LOB segments never shrink)
    • SQL> exec DBMS_SPM.CONFIGURE('plan_retention_weeks',5);
  • See the Oracle Database 12c documentation about SPM:



Thursday Sep 10, 2015

Don't get puzzled by "sqlpatch" messages during Upgrade

During my last Hands-On-Labs in Uruguay and Argentina I've had several people wondering about these messages below when running the command line upgrade with - sqlpatch

This (and another) message breaks the nicely structured format of the output. And as it ends with an "err" extension it looks to many people as if the upgrade had gotten an error,

But please don't feel disturbed. It's just messages from sqlpatch invocation - and the "err" extension is just pointing to an error file in case something has gone wrong.

In a future release such messages will be written to the logfiles only but not to the screen output anymore.


Wednesday Sep 09, 2015

Different Metrics for SPA (SQL Performance Analyzer)

I'm more the command line type of person. Once I've understand what's going on behind the curtains I certainly switch to the GUI-click-click tools. But in the case of Real Application Testing - even though the support via the OEM GUI is excellent - sometimes I prefer to run my procedures from the command line and check my reports in the browser.

Recently Thomas, a colleague from Oracle ACS Support, and I were asking ourselves about the different comparison metrics for the SQL Performance Analyzer reporting We did scan the documentation but we found only examples but no complete list. Then we did ask a colleague but thanks to OEM we got an incomplete list as well.

Finally Thomas dug it out - it's stored in the dictionary in the table V$SQLPA_METRIC

SQL> SELECT metric_name FROM v$sqlpa_metric;


9 rows selected.

What do you do with these metrics now?

You can use them in such a way:

set timing on

   execution_name=>'Compare workload Elapsed',
   execution_type=>'compare performance',
                     'execution_name2','TEST 11107 workload'),
   execution_desc=>'Compare 11107 Workload on 12102 Elapsed');

You can vary the elapsed_time in my example with the various comparison metrics mentioned in v$sqlpa_metric


Tuesday Sep 08, 2015

MOS Download for Oracle Database including SE2

Please find all our articles about Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2:


You have 3 options to download Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2.

Regarding OTN and eDelivery nothing has been changed since Sep 1, 2015 when Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2 got published. But the download from MOS now has changed.

When you search in the under Patches and Updates tab ...

Patches And Updates - MOS

... and display the Latest Patch Sets ...

Latest Patch Sets - MOS

... check for instance for platform Linux x86-64bit ...

MOS - Linux

... then you'll wonder about the two patch numbers ...

Patch Numbers Oracle SE2

The only difference of 2.5 GB in size results from two more zip files included in the new patch number 2141921 ...

... you'll have to check the README button to find out what's hidden behind each file ...

Files 3 and 4 contain Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2.

So please don't get puzzled by the different patch numbers - the only real difference is the inclusion of SE2 into the download package but the included patches etc are exactly the same as in the previous patch number. 



Monday Sep 07, 2015

Oracle Database SE2 - Support and Patches for Oracle Database SE/SE1

Oracle SE2

Please find all our articles about Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2:


Some questions regarding support for Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE/SE1) came up in the past days.

Most of those are answered already in MOS Note 2027072.1 (Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition 2 ( )

How long will Oracle Database in any edition remain under Premier Support? 

Full patching support for for all versions of 12gR1 (Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition and Standard One Edition) will be proviced for an additional 12 months from the release of SE2, so through until end August 2016. 

After that period Oracle Database will enter Sustaining Support. There won't be any Extended Support for Oracle Database in any edition.

Will there be PSUs and SPUs/CPUs available?

Yes, quarterly Patch Set Updates and Critical Patch Updates for will continue to be delivered until end of Premier Support for Oracle Database  

Will there be an Oracle Database Standard Edition SE/SE1? 

Beginning with the release of Oracle Database,  Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE) and Oracle Database Standard Edition One (SE1) are no longer being released. was the final edition that we will produce for SE and SE1.  

MOS Note:742060.1 Release Schedule of Current Database Releases does reflect this extension already:

Release Patching Ends

Notes and Exceptions* 31-Aug-2016



Friday Sep 04, 2015

Oracle non-CDB architecture may be desupported after Oracle Database 12.2

You may wonder about the headline of this blog post.
Haven't I blogged about this a long time ago?

Yes, I did. On January 22, 2015 - over 7 months ago:

But whenever in the past weeks this message has been refreshed and got a bit more precise (which I'd guess everybody appreciates). Now we are clearly saying that such a change won't happen with Oracle 12.2. Before we've said only "in a later release".

See the Oracle Database 12c Upgrade Guide

Deprecation Note non-CDB architecture

In case you'd like to explore the world of (at least) Oracle Single Tenant (no extra license required, available even with SE2) which I'd highly recommend you'll find some useful advice in this slide deck:

  • How Oracle Single Tenant will change a DBA's life 


    Thursday Sep 03, 2015

    Can you have Oracle Multitenant in Oracle SE2?

    Please find all our articles about Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2:


    Can you have Oracle Multitenant in Oracle Standard Edition SE2?

    No, you can't as Oracle Multitenant is a licensable option for Enterprise Edition (EE) databases only.

    But wait a second ...

    You can do Oracle Single Tenant with SE2 of course meaning you can have one active pluggable database within one container database at a time. That is possible and does not require any additional licenses.

    See the DBCA (Database Configuration Assistant) screen when you'll try to create a container database:

    DBCA - Single Tenant

    More information? 

    You'll find more information about the differences in handling and such between Oracle non-CDB, Oracle Single Tenant and Oracle Multitenant databases in this presentation:


    Wednesday Sep 02, 2015

    No patches anymore for Oracle Database

    Just in case you've missed the date please be aware:

    No bug fixes, no patches, no CPU/SPUs, no PSUs, no BPs will be produced for Oracle Database since Augugst 28, 2015

    I know from the many emails I'm receiving that people are a bit disturbed since the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy brochure (Lifetime Support Policy and Brochure for Technology Products ) doesn't talk explicitly about patch sets but offers support for Oracle 11.2 until January 2018.

    Oracle 11.2 Lifetime Support Policy

    But this - as always - applies to the terminal patch set only - i.e. Oracle Database

    For a detailed description please see MOS Note:742060.1 and my previous blog posts from:

    I have visited customers with hundreds of Oracle databases in the past months. If you are now sitting there with one or many or many many Oracle instances don't even think of moving to Oracle The amount of work you'll spend in evaluating Oracle is exactly the same as testing Oracle Move to Oracle Database - NOW!

    Waived Extended Support for Oracle Database will end in less than 5 months.

    And keep in mind: there's no such thing as a 2nd release anymore. Every patch set release is a full release - no matter if we talk about or Both have new features, new behavior etc etc.


    Tuesday Sep 01, 2015

    Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE2) available for download

    Oracle SE2Finally ...

    Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE2) is available for download.

    Some information is already available in the Oracle Database Licensing Information. And you'll find more here:

    Quoting from the pricing document:

    "Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 sockets. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 may only be licensed on a maximum of 2 one-socket servers. In addition, notwithstanding any provision in Your Oracle license agreement to the contrary, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 16 CPU threads at any time. When used with Oracle Real Application Clusters, each Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 database may use a maximum of 8 CPU threads per instance at any time. The minimums when licensing by Named User Plus (NUP) metric are 10 NUP licenses per server."


    Download Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE2) on OTN

    ( - Standard Edition (SE2)

    Download Microsoft Windows x64 (64-bit) File 1, File 2  (2.6 GB)
    Download Linux x86-64 File 1, File 2  (2.5 GB)
    Download Oracle Solaris (SPARC systems, 64-bit) File 1, File 2  (2.7 GB)
    Download Oracle Solaris (x86 systems, 64-bit) File 1, File 2  (2.5 GB)
    Download HP-UX Itanium File 1, File 2  (3.3 GB)
    Download AIX (PPC64) File 1, File 2  (2.9 GB)
    Download zLinux64 File 1, File 2  (2.5 GB)

    And on the Oracle Software Cloud ( which is the recommended download location: SE2

    This location has been a corrected download link pointing to OTN as well:


    For a good overview about first experiences with Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE2) please see Franck Pachot's excellent blog post here:

    Please find all our articles about Oracle Database Standard Edition SE2:



    Upgrade downtime credited to APEX

    Upgrade Blog posts about Oracle Application Express: 

    What do you think when you see this post-upgrade result?

    Oracle Database 12.1 Post-Upgrade Status Tool           08-07-2015 15:08:26

    Component                               Current         Version  Elapsed Time
    Name                                    Status          Number   HH:MM:SS

    Oracle Server                          UPGRADED  00:19:26
    JServer JAVA Virtual Machine              VALID  00:10:52
    Oracle Workspace Manager                  VALID  00:01:52
    OLAP Analytic Workspace                   VALID  00:00:34
    OLAP Catalog                         OPTION OFF  00:00:00
    Oracle OLAP API                           VALID  00:00:42
    Oracle XDK                                VALID  00:01:07
    Oracle Text                               VALID  00:01:36
    Oracle XML Database                       VALID  00:03:55
    Oracle Database Java Packages             VALID  00:00:22
    Oracle Multimedia                         VALID  00:03:57
    Spatial                                UPGRADED  00:08:56
    Oracle Application Express                VALID  00:46:19
    Final Actions                                                    00:03:48

    Total Upgrade Time: 01:44:16

    I've got a bit worried as the time to upgrade APEX took 44% of the complete database upgrade downtime. APEX (Oracle Application Express) is a fantastic piece of software which is still completely underrated - potentially because it is for free for everybody who has an Oracle Database license. And things not costing anything are just worth nothing, ey? 

    Simply be aware when you have APEX in your databases installed - and especially if you ACTIVELY use APEX - it may be a very good idea to upgrade APEX upfront without causing downtime for your entire database.

    See this blog post here about how to upgrade APEX upfront: 


    Monday Aug 24, 2015

    Migration IBM AIX ==> SPARC Solaris with Data Guard

    Can we migrate our database with Oracle Data Guard?

    We are getting this question asked quite often during our workshops or via email. And if you are staying within the same operating system family (such as Red Hat 5.8 to OL 7) all is fine, and this is one of the best and most simple approaches to jump between servers. Even when you add a subsequent database upgrade all is very straight forward.

    But what if you mix operating systems?

    The Support Note for Heterogeneous Data Guard Configurations explains which combinations are allowed beginning with specific releases:

    MOS Note: 413484.1
    Data Guard Support for Heterogeneous Primary and Physical Standbys in Same Data Guard Configuration

    The most popular combinations are Windows to Linux or Intel Solaris to Linux beginning with Oracle 11.1. One combination often requested was IBM AIX to Oracle SPARC Solaris. And we did support this for a few weeks - a white paper got published - and taken away shortly after, removing the support as it turned out that the control file had 5 or 6 pieces which were highly OS dependent. There were rumors circling around you still could do it with a bit of manual extra work.

    Migration Oracle on AIX to SPARC SOLARIS

    Now (ok, since end of March 2015), surprise-surprise, there's an official MOS Note available explaining how to migrate away from IBM AIX to SPARC Solaris by using a Physical Standby Database beginning with Oracle

    MOS Note: 1982638.1
    One Time Migration Steps from IBM AIX Power to Solaris SPARC using Data Guard

    It is based on the MOS Note:469493.1 (Step By Step Guide to create a Physical Standby Database using RMAN Backup/Restore).

    The key action is to recreate the controlfile:

    To recreate a new primary control file, use the following procedure:
    a) On the open production, connect as SYSDBA, and issue "alter database backup controlfile to trace;"
    b) In the trace file for this session you will see two sets of DDLs to create a new backup control file. Use the set of DDLs that create the control file with the NORESETLOGS option (Set # 1)
    c) Shutdown the production database

    SQL> shutdown;

    d) Run the commands in the trace file starting with 'startup NOMOUNT', 'CREATE CONTROLFILE REUSE .. NORESETLOGS ..', 'RECOVER DATABASE', etc..

    And how about Big to Little Endian platforms?

    As the redo stream is highly OS dependent I don't think that we'll see combinations such as HP-UX to OL in the near future - just my feeling. But with the offering of Full Transportable Export/Import and the help of RMAN Incremental Backups (see this presentation in our Slides Download Center about it: ) we have very strong alternative in place.


    Friday Aug 21, 2015

    DBMS_STATS. GATHER_DICTIONARY_STATS fails with ORA-20001 ORA-6502 ORA-6512 - Concurrent Stats

    I really have to say "Thank you very much" to the people out there alerting me about issues I haven't seen before. Just in the past week I've got to learn about three issues which are related to the upgrade - and I haven't seen before. Please don't expect me always to follow up with the progress of your SRs or the related bugs. But your experiences are such an important source for me - so thanks again!

    The most recent issue (thanks to Bernd Tuba from MM Warburg) ...


    execute dbms_stats.gather_dictionary_stats

    ORA-06502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error: character string buffer too small
    ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_STATS", line 24268
    ORA-20001: Unexpected configuration: sofar: 41 objList.count: 41 sofar_part: 0 partObjList.count: 0 sofar_ind: 0 indObjList.count: 21 concurrent: TRUE runPartTable: TRUE jstats.Running: -19
    ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_STATS", line 27383
    ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_STATS", line 27402
    ORA-06512: at line 1

    I see the word "CONCURRENT" - and it immediately rings a bell. Wasn't there an issue with the change of setting for default stats gathering in Oracle Database being now CONCURRENT=TRUE?

    Yes ... the reason for this blog's existence is not only to give you some interesting useful information to read about but also to dump of details from my limited brain capacity :-) I have written something about a similar issue in October 2014:


    This is interesting. Whereas in my other blog post the concurrent stats gathering conflicted with the resource manager settings and is fixed by a patch (Patch 19664340: ORA-20000: UNABLE TO GATHER STATISTICS CONCURRENTLY: RESOURCE MANAGER IS NOT ENABLED) this one is a different topic.

    (unpublished bug - therefore no link included here)


    Very simple to solve - switch CONCURRENT stats gathering to FALSE

    SQL> exec dbms_stats.set_global_prefs('CONCURRENT', 'FALSE');

    In the Exadata Upgrade Note (MOS Note: 1681467.1) you'll find the same recommendation. 

    More Information? 


    Thursday Aug 20, 2015

    Upgrade nach Oracle Database 12c - alles ganz einfach!

    Sorry - German only - if you seek for a very similar presentation in English please find it here:

    Danke noch mal an meinen Kollegen Frank Schneede, der das erste Webinar rund um 12c eingeführt hat. 

    Das Replay meines Seminar-Teils ist hier in Deutsch verfügbar:

    Viel Spass :-)


    Wednesday Aug 19, 2015

    Invalid Table Data before Upgrade to

    Oracle Database Upgrade 12c

    You plan to upgrade your database(s) to Oracle Database,?

    You did run the preupgrd.sql including the preupgrade package in your current database already?

    But in the preupgrade.log you'll see the following ERROR:

    ERROR: --> Invalid Oracle supplied table data found in your database.

         Invalid data can be seen prior to the database upgrade
         or during PDB plug in.  This table data must be made
         valid BEFORE upgrade or plug in.

       - To fix the data, load the Preupgrade package and execute
         the fixup routine.
         For plug in, execute the fix up routine in the PDB.

        exec dbms_preup.run_fixup_and_report('INVALID_SYS_TABLEDATA')

    Where does it come from?

    First of all it's important to know that you can't upgrade your database without resolving this error condition before. If you'd ignore it you'll see the magic universal ORA-1722: invalid number error indicating that one of the mandatory checks in the upgrade scripts had failed

    For more information on type evolution check the Oracle Database 12c Object-Relational Developer's Guide

    What does this warning mean? 

    The error results from a failed check for table data in columns of evolved types. Those must be upgraded before the database can be upgraded, otherwise they will be considered as "invalid" data. The same thing can happen when you try to plugin a stand-alone (non-CDB) database making it a pluggable database. The sanity script noncdb_to_pdb.sql will also check for this condition.  

    And how do you solve the ERROR

    • For oracle-supplied data, the conversion would be done by:
      exec dbms_preup.run_fixup_and_report('INVALID_SYS_TABLEDATA');

    • For user data, the conversion would be done by:
      exec dbms_preup.run_fixup_and_report('INVALID_USR_TABLEDATA');

    In both cases the preupgrade package @?/rdbms/admin/utluppkg.sql from either your $ORACLE_HOME or from the download via MOS Note: 884522.1 must be loaded into your database - it has been loaded already if you'd execute the preupgrd.sql

    You shouldn't run the fixups on a live production system during normal operation but only right before upgrade as the fixups run ALTER TABLE DDL commands. Column metadata and data related to the object columns/tables that contains data of older version types will be updated. 

    The below query will check how many of the tables/columns (oracle-supplied and user data) are affected


    Further Information?

    MOS Note: 2009405.1
    ORA-01722: invalid number SELECT TO_NUMBER(‘INVALID_TABLEDATA’) while upgrading to 12c


    PS: Credits to my colleagues Cindy and Agrim for providing tech background and the MOS Note 

    Tuesday Aug 18, 2015

    Ouch, this hurts: bug 17325413 - patch BEFORE upgrade!

    PatchI really don't want to turn this blog into something making our database look bad. But in this case it is really necessary as it is VERY UNUSUAL that we recommend to patch the database BEFORE upgrade

    Just for clarification:

    The following topic will affect all databases between and - those (and only those) need to be patched BEFORE upgrade. The topic is fixed in but as it gets introduced with the BEFORE upgrade database version you'll have to apply the fix before upgrade. The inclusion of the fix in means only that the misbehavior won't happen there again. But as it is a meta data dictionary corruption you'll have to apply the fix before as otherwise it will break during or after the upgrade.

    First of all, thanks to Ehtiram Hasanov (cleverbridge AG) and Oliver Pyka ( for highlighting this to me. And sorry for hitting this issue ...


    After upgrading to Oracle Database you'll get one of the below errors when trying to read data: 

    • ORA-07445: exception encountered: core dump [qcsIsColInFro()+358] [SIGSEGV] [ADDR:0x4] [PC:0xCDB4A26] [Address not mapped to object] []
    • ORA-12899 / ORA-607
    • ORA-600 [kdmv_check_row_2:IMCU row has wrong contents]
    • ORA-600 [kddummy_blkchk]
    • ORA-600 [kdBlkCheckError]
    • ORA-600 [klaprs_12]
    • ORA-600 [13013]
    • ORA-600 [17182] 


    Basically this happens when you try to drop a column with a DEFAULT value and a NOT NULL definition - it ends up with dropped column data being written to disk leading to block corruptions. This causes problems for generating undo which cannot be applied; a ROLLBACK fails.

    If you need more information please look up this MOS Note about
    Bug 17325413 - Drop column with DEFAULT value and NOT NULL definition ends up with dropped column data hitting disk leading to corruption

    Versions being affected:

    • These versions require to be patched BEFORE upgrade:
      • Oracle Database and above (may happen with earlier PSUs as well)
        Solution: Apply the fix 17325413  on top - see below
      • Oracle Database and 
        Solution: Apply the most recent PSU
    • These versions can get you the issue if you haven't patched BEFORE upgrade:
      • Oracle Database
      • Oracle Database

    Workaround and/or Fix:

    The MOS Note about Bug 17325413 - Drop column with DEFAULT value and NOT NULL definition ends up with dropped column data hitting disk leading to corruption explains the workaround WHEN you hit this issues. 

    As a precaution you will have to make sure that you applied one of those fixes BEFORE upgrading to Oracle Database as the fix for Bug 17325413 is included in all those mentioned below (list is taken from above MOS Note as well).

    The best way to avoid this is really to apply the patch (or the PSU/BP including the patch) before upgrading.

    The issue has been mentioned in "Oracle - Known Issues and Alerts" (MOS Note:1562139.1)  under "Issues Introduced":

    Issues introduced

    But that does jump into your eye as a thing you need to fix before upgrade.
    We'll see if we can get the issue added to the 12c MOS Notes as "Upgrade Issues".


    Monday Aug 17, 2015

    DBCA 12c and "" - things to know

    A few weeks ago I did blog about the DBUA (Database Upgrade Assistant) not executing 'datapatch' (i.e. not applying the SQL changes involved with a SPU/PSU/BP) automatically:

    Again, please note that this behavior DOES NOT APPLY to command line upgrades done with - as you can see from this somewhat disturbing messages during the upgrade in phase 65 and phase 69 (which are not errors but just informational messages for datapatch's execution):

    Datapatch phases command line upgrade

    But afterwards I have learned that things are worse.
    The same behavior is true when you create a database.

    Not a typo.
    You create a fresh database with DBCA (Database Configuration Assistant), you are a honest customer, you have followed our advice and applied the most recent PSU (or SPU or BP) into your Oracle Home. You don't even deploy one of the preconfigured databases but use the CREATE CUSTOM DATABASE option of DBCA. And the database will run from the patched home - but the SQL changes haven't been applied to it


    DBCA does not call 'datapatch' for database changes.

    I consider this even worse than the DBUA behavior as the person who upgrades a database in most cases is aware of the future home. But the person who either deploys a new database or asks for one to be deployed is often not identical with the person who did patch the homes.

    And there's no warning displayed yet nor (afaik) is there a MOS note available talking about it.

    How do you fix the issue?

    After creating a new database make sure to run:

    cd $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch
    ./datapatch -verbose

    and double check with DBA_REGISTRY_SQLPATCH view:

    order by BUNDLE_SERIES;

    Actually to be 100% you may find some patch information in DBA_REGISTRY_SQLPATCH showing that the JAVAVM patch has been applied in case you've installed the Combo version of the PSU. But you'll miss the database changes.

    Related Blog Posts


    Addition - Sept 18, 2015:

    Please be aware that the same thing happens on ODA (Oracle Database Appliance) with the oakcli. This will be fixed in the version (ODA/oakcli)

    Friday Aug 14, 2015

    Oracle Databases and Microsoft Windows 10

    MS Windows 10If you have upgraded already or plan to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10 in the near (or later) future, you may find this Statement Of Direction by Oracle regarding Microsoft Windows 10 certification quite useful:

    In summary:

    • Oracle plans to certify Oracle Database by October 2015
    • Oracle plans to certify the next major version of the database as well on MS Win 10 - 64bit

    Addition [Oct, 22, 2015]:




    Wednesday Aug 05, 2015

    Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) - Datapatch?

    I have blogged about the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) a while back:

    And Markus Michalewicz, our Director of Product Management, Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC), has published a very interesting and helpful insight article about GIMR on July 30, 2015. Read it here:

    Since Oracle Database the GIMR database will be created by default - and it is a single tenant database having a CDB$ROOT and one active PDB. 

    Recently the question came up if - in the likely event of applying a PSU or BP to the GI Home - you'll have to run datapatch manually to adopt the SQL changes for the PSU/BP into the GIMR database as well?

    Simple answer: No.

    SQL changes will be automatically applied to the GIMR database by default. This got introduced in Oracle with the PSU1 already and is tracked by ER BUG 14830129 - MGMT DATABASE PATCH ACTIONS NEED TO RUN DURING GI POST PATCH PHASE

    You can verify this by looking at your logs (Thanks Santosh!) - you should see something similar as:

    <grid_home>/cfgtoollogs/crsconfig/crspatch_xxxx file

    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Mgmtdb is running on node: racnode1; local node: racnode1
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Mgmtdb is running on the local node
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Starting to patch Mgmt DB ...
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Invoking "/opt/oracle/app/12.1.0/grid/sqlpatch/sqlpatch -db -MGMTDB"
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Running as user oracle: /opt/oracle/app/12.1.0/grid/sqlpatch/sqlpatch -db -MGMTDB
    2015-07-15 15:36:51:   Invoking "/opt/oracle/app/12.1.0/grid/sqlpatch/sqlpatch -db -MGMTDB" as user "oracle"
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Executing /bin/su oracle -c "/opt/oracle/app/12.1.0/grid/sqlpatch/sqlpatch -db -MGMTDB"
    2015-07-15 15:36:51: Executing cmd: /bin/su oracle -c "/opt/oracle/app/12.1.0/grid/sqlpatch/sqlpatch -db -MGMTDB"
    2015-07-15 15:37:50: Command output:
    >  SQL Patching tool version on Tue Jul 15 15:36:51 2015
    >  Copyright (c) 2015, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

    >  Connecting to database...OK
    >  Note:  Datapatch will only apply or rollback SQL fixes for PDBs
    >         that are in an open state, no patches will be applied to closed PDBs.
    >         Please refer to Note: Datapatch: Database 12c Post Patch SQL Automation
    >         (Doc ID 1585822.1)
    >  Determining current state...done
    >  Adding patches to installation queue and performing prereq checks...done
    >  Installation queue:
    >    For the following PDBs: CDB$ROOT PDB$SEED CRS
    >      Nothing to roll back
    >      The following patches will be applied:
    >        20831110 (Database Patch Set Update : (20831110))

    >  Installing patches...
    >  Patch installation complete.  Total patches installed: 3

    >  Validating logfiles...done
    >  SQL Patching tool complete on Tue Jul 21 15:37:50 2015


    For all the skeptical people (Germans especially) let me add that in Oracle Database the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) is not mandatory - but its existence will be mandatory for a future upgrade to Grid Infrastructure 12.2.


    Tuesday Aug 04, 2015

    Other people's thoughts: "Should you upgrade to 12c?"

    You still don't believe me yet when I say: You can't seriously wait for the so called 2nd release of Oracle Database 12c as it will be an entirely new release again? And you haven't upgraded yet to Oracle Database for various reasons? 

    Then sometimes it's good to listen to other people's opinions - and I'm happy to share this 6 minute video by Tim Hall (very well known for his great page oracle-base). Listen to Tim and his Thoughts about Upgrading to Oracle Database 12c. And don't get disturbed that he's driving on the wrong side of the road ;-)

    And I promise I didn't bribe Tim (cocktails don't count) ;-)

    Thanks Tim!!! 


    Saturday Aug 01, 2015

    Upgrade workshop this week in Denver

    Denver workshop

    I am looking forward to my trip to the Denver area this week, including an upgrade workshop at the Oracle office in the tech center area. We have a good registration list so far but there is still room! If you would like to attend, just register at

    Thursday Jul 30, 2015

    SQL Monitoring - Limitation at 300 lines per statement

    One of the best parts of my job at Oracle:
    I still learn something new every day.

    Yesterday I've learned from my colleague from Oracle Switzerland, Thomas Teske, that SQL Real Time Monitoring has an embedded default limitation on the number of lines in the statement. If the limit (default: 300 lines) is exceeded the statement won't be monitored. We both work with a leading Swiss company and we wanted to monitor a complex plan. 

    Now you may think: Who the heck has statements longer than 300 lines?
    Well ... sometimes that is beyond your influence as in this particular case this is of course done by the application.


    SQL> alter system set "_sqlmon_max_planlines"=800 scope=both;

    or set in your spfile:


    This limitation is described in:

    MOS Note:1613163.1
    How to Monitor SQL Statements with Large Plans Using Real-Time SQL Monitoring?

    If you'd like to read a bit more about SQL Real Time Monitoring please follow one of these links - and be aware that it's part of the Tuning Pack license and VERY helpful in many everyday situations. You'll have to have STATISTICS_LEVEL either TYPICAL (the default) or ALL and CONTROL_MANAGEMENT_PACK_ACCESS='DIAGNOSTIC+TUNING' (the default as well).



    Things to consider BEFORE upgrading to Oracle to AVOID poor performance and wrong results

    Finally it got published on MyOracle Support (MOS) portal - one of the most helpful notes when we prep for an upgrade or a migration - and potentially the one with the longest title in MOS:

    MOS Note: 2034610.1
    Things to consider BEFORE upgrading to Oracle Database
    to AVOID poor performance and wrong results 

    Avoid Poor Performance and Wrong Results when upgrading to

    Just in case you are NOT upgrading/migrating to Oracle Database there are three other helpful notes for earlier releases available as well:

    Document 1320966.1
    Things to Consider Before Upgrading to
    to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results

    Document 1392633.1
    Things to Consider Before Upgrading to
    to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results
    Document 1645862.1
    Things to Consider Before Upgrading to
    to Avoid Poor Performance or Wrong Results


    Wednesday Jul 29, 2015

    ORAchk - How to log SRs and ERs for ORAchk

    ORAchkI have recently recommended to use ORAchk in its new version - and I can just emphasize on this.

    During a conf call with a lead customer from the UK Roy and I learned about the uncertainness on how to log a Service Request (SR) or enhancement Request (ER) against ORAchk in case something is not working correctly or missing.

    Especially as the documentation of ORAchk states:

    Appendix B - How to Obtain Support

    If problems are encountered either at runtime or if there are questions about the content of the findings of the tool, please post your issues/questions/concerns to the ORAchk thread within the ORAchk Thread of the Scalability RAC My Oracle Support Community.

    Roy explored this topic in the past days and that is the outcome

    • Of course you can file SRs via MOS (and ERs as well).
      If a Support Engineer told you that the product is only supported via the Community Forum this is not correct. Just insist :-)
    • There's an official product ID (10655), component (ORACHK) and sub component (FRAMEWORK) for filing ORAchk bugs and enhancements internally in our bug database. But of course a customer will need to file an SR first via MOS.

    We hope this helps :-)


    Tuesday Jul 28, 2015

    Optimizer Issue in Oracle "Reduce Group By"

    Wrong Query Results BugDBAs biggest fears I'd guess are Optimizer Wrong Query Results bugs as usually the optimizer does not write a message into the alert.log saying "Sorry, I was in a bad mood today ..."

    The Oracle Database Optimizer is a complex piece - and in Oracle 12c it delivers great performance results. Plus (my personal experience when you know what to do) it is more predictable which I like a lot when changing databases from one to another release. But due to its complexity sometimes we see issues - and sometimes it is necessary to switch off tiny little pieces until a fix is available.

    Roy just came across this one - and we believe it's worth to tell you about it. Again, our intention is only to prevent issues when upgrading or migrating to Oracle Database


    An outer join query with a bind variable and a group by clause can produce wrong results in some cases.


     If all of the following match, you may be hitting this bug:
     - two or more subquery views are outer-joined on column C1
     - column C1 is specified on select list of top-most query block
     - column C1 is filtered on a bind value


     create table test1(c1 number(5),c2 varchar2(16));
     insert into test1 values(1,'3');

     set NULL NULL
     variable num1 number
     execute :num1 :=1;

     -- Following query retuns wrong result(NULL), this should return 1.

     select V.c1 from
      (SELECT c1 FROM test1 GROUP BY c1) V,
      (SELECT c1 FROM test1 WHERE c2 = '1' GROUP BY c1) V2
     where  V.c1 = :num1
        and V.c1 = V2.c1(+);


    alter session set "_optimizer_reduce_groupby_key" = false;

    Please don't use the workaround:
    alter session set optimizer_features_enable='';
    as this will switch off other good optimizer features working very well.

    More information:

    See MOS Note:20634449.8 describing:
    Bug 20634449 - Wrong results from OUTER JOIN with a bind variable and a GROUP BY clause in

    As far as I can see there are no interim (one-off/single) patches available right now. 



    Mike Dietrich - Oracle Mike Dietrich
    Master Product Manager - Database Upgrade & Migrations - Oracle

    Based in Germany. Interlink between customers/partners and the Upgrade Development. Running workshops between Arctic and Antartica. Assisting customers in their reference projects onsite and remotely. Connect via:

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