RMAN Catalog requires Enterprise Edition (EE)
since Oracle Database

Credits go to Cameron Hodge, Malcom and Martin Mäs who all highlighted issues to me following my previous entry about RMAN - and sorry for any disappointment but I wasn't aware of all these nice little things. 

Ok, you'd upgrade your RMAN Catalog to be ready to backup/recover Oracle Database databases and you see this error:

RMAN> upgrade catalog;

error creating create_deleted_object_seq
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================

RMAN-06004: ORACLE error from recovery catalog database: ORA-00439: feature not enabled: Partitioning

Now you start to wonder as your Catalog Database had been an Oracle Standard Edition (SE) database for quite a while - and of course an SE database does not have Partitioning on. And on the side the Oracle Partitioning Option is licensable option.

First of all this new behavior gets introduced with Oracle Database And as far as I know it is not documented in relation to the "upgrade catalog". 

The valid workaround leads to a new feature called Infrastructure Repository Database - which is always an EE database without the need for extra licensening as all feature will be used only by Oracle internal mechanisms. 

Licensing doc:

Infrastructure Repository Databases

A separate single instance Oracle Database can be installed and used as an infrastructure repository for RMAN, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) Warehouse, Global Data Services Catalog, and Grid Infrastructure Management Repository without additional license requirements, provided that all the targets are correctly licensed. It may not be used or deployed for other uses.

The infrastructure repositories for RMAN, Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control, AWR Warehouse, and Global Data Services Catalog can be shared in one database, or deployed in separate databases. Enterprise Edition must be used for the infrastructure repository database(s).

Furthermore the Recovery Manager documentation mentions this:

Creating and Managing Virtual Private Catalogs with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (


Starting with Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (, virtual private catalogs can be used only with the Enterprise Edition of the Oracle Database. This functionality is not supported for the Standard Edition.

Now this is a bit misleading as most of you won't use the Virtual Private Catalogs - but even though you may not use it still some of the functionality is in your catalog already. And therefore every RMAN catalog beginning with Oracle Database must be hosted in an Enterprise Edition database which does not require an EE license.

The next question is:
How do I migrate my catalog into an EE database?

There are two options whereas I'd prefer the one mentioned in the RMAN documentation:

And there are more things to mention:

  • DBMS_LOB package must be present
  • UTL_HTTP must be present


To summarize to successfully upgrade your RMAN catalog:

  • You need to execute this script before upgrading the catalog:
    SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dbmsrmansys.sql
  • Your database hosting the RMAN Catalog beginning with Oracle
    • Must be an Enterprise Edition database - no EE license required
    • Oracle Partitioning Option must be installed - no Partitioning lincese required
    • DBMS_LOB and UTL_HTTP packages must be present


PS:  Credits for this addition go to Malcom!!! In addition to RMAN Catalog Database now requiring to be in an EE database this database will require the Partitioning Option linked in as well. See MOS Note:1927265.1


Actually, the first mention of infrastructure database in licensing was in 10.2 (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B19306_01/license.102/b14199/editions.htm#sthref27), so it is not really a new feature

Posted by Freek on August 16, 2014 at 09:42 AM CEST #

Thanks - I know that but it seems to become more and more used by several groups.

Thanks for your pointer - good hint!


Posted by Mike on August 21, 2014 at 02:31 PM CEST #

What if your database is EE but partitioning has been turned off for some reason?

This is the case with my current employer. He has a linux server with several production databases sharing the same home directory. All other servers seem to have partitioning on so I am unsure why this one doesn't.

Is it a case you must have partitioning enabled to be able to upgrade your catalog to 12102?

Could ther be a scenario where you would have partitioning turned off in a EE environment other than a licensning issue?

Posted by guest on September 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM CEST #

Good question - I'd assume YES - but in order to be 100% sure you'll please have to open an SR.

Thanks, Mike

Posted by Mike on September 19, 2014 at 05:57 PM CEST #

Thanks Mike,

I raised a SR with Oracle as you, advised.

As you suspected having partitioning turned on is a requirement to upgrading to Catalog version, albeit an undocumented one.

This is published in "ORA-00439: feature not enabled: Partitioning ( Doc ID 1927265.1 )"

Posted by guest on September 22, 2014 at 01:09 PM CEST #

Thanks for your update - I have updated the original blog post with your input - thanks for all your effort & time!!!


Posted by Mike on September 22, 2014 at 02:38 PM CEST #

In case anyone else has concerns about licensing, we questioned Oracle on turning partitioning on if you are not actually licensed to use partitioning.

Oracle's response was "You should be good as long as Partitioning is only used by Oracle/RMAN for RMAN purposes."

Obviously, check with Oracle for your own individual circumstances before turning partitioning on, if you are not licensed.

Posted by Malcolm on September 25, 2014 at 09:44 AM CEST #

Hi Mike,
thanks for the article. I ran into the same problem.
In addition to the above I found out that both the DBMS_LOB as well as the UTL_HTTP packages must be installed to be able to create an rman catalog. I think oracle should document this better...
regards, Martin.

Posted by Martin on January 14, 2015 at 02:05 PM CET #


thanks for the information - I will update the original blog post - and I wasn't aware of it.

Thanks for this input!!!

Posted by Mike on January 19, 2015 at 07:42 AM CET #

Hi Mike, Does the licensed Oracle 12c Standard Edition one comes with the RMAN in it?

Posted by guest on March 25, 2015 at 02:25 PM CET #

Hi there,

RMAN is always license free. The change in Oracle and onwards to previous versions in case you are using a RMAN CATALOG DATABASE is:

- the catalog database needs to be an EE
- it has to have partitioning linked in
- this is license free and can be used by anybody

RMAN is independet of any license agreement for SE ONE, SE or EE.

Hope this helps - cheers

Posted by Mike on March 25, 2015 at 08:43 PM CET #

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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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