Comparing OEM Data Masking and AMP Data Scrambling Features

[Editor note: Sep 3 2010:  The embedded table (the final figure in the article) lists a line that reads, "Pre-Defined Masking Configuration for EBS."  This is an error.  It should read, "Pre-Defined Masking Algorithms for EBS."]

My last article spurred a flood of questions about the difference between Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM) Data Masking and the Application Management Pack's (AMP) Data Scrambling features.

What is Data Masking?

The act of anonymizing customer, financial, or company confidential data to create new, legible data, which retains the original data's properties, such as its width, type, and format.


The Oracle Enterprise Manager Data Masking Pack uses an irreversible process to replace sensitive data with realistic looking but scrubbed data based on masking rules.  This ensures that original data cannot be retrieved, recovered or restored.

This feature was introduced in Oracle Enterprise Manager 10gR4.


Major features of Data Masking

  • Maintains Automatic Database Referential Integrity when masking primary keys
    • Implicit - database enforced
    • Explicit - application enforced
  • Provides out-of-the-box Data mask format library
  • View sample data before masking
  • Application masking templates using the Export Mask Definition capability
  • Define once; execute multiple times


Masking processes are traditionally slow because they perform table updates.  The Data Masking Pack takes an advantage of built-in optimizations in the database to disable database logging and runs in parallel to quickly create a masked replacement for the original table.

Distinguishing OEM Data Masking and AMP Data Scrambling

The OEM Data Masking is a part of Database Management Pack.  Data Scrambling is a part of the Application Management Pack for E-Business suite, a plug-in for the Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Database Scrambling can only be performed when cloning E-Business Suite environments using the Applications Management Pack.

Here's a detailed comparison of the OEM Data Masking and Applications Management Pack Data Scrambling capabilities:

Distinction-Masking-Scrambling-1: Matrix comparing OEM Data Masking features with Application Management Pack Data Scrambling features

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Great article - exactly what was needed. One concern, though, the data scrambling does NOT maintain referential integrity? What about HR?


Posted by John Stouffer on April 20, 2008 at 09:24 AM PDT #

Data Scrambling cannot identify a referential integrity in place nor has the intelligence to know where sensitive information resides within DB. However as it痴 built into the EBS it understand the EBS data model (it can validate whether the table mentioned exist in the DB) and is governed by EBS data security. Last but not the least, referential integrity is not enforced at the DB level (in EBS) and is handled at the code level.

Posted by Sanchit Jindal on April 21, 2008 at 09:53 PM PDT #

Data Scrambling in Application Management Pack for E-Business Suite (EBS Pack) and Data Masking Pack are two similar technologies but with different technical requirements and emphasis.

EBS Pack data scrambling is designed specifically for E-Business Suite, so it has things such as pre-defined masking configurations and integration with Rapidclone. On the other hand, Data Masking Pack is a more general purpose product that has to work with different types of applications. Consequently, there is more flexibility but it also requires more effort to set up.

Conceptually, your choice basically are:

EBS Pack Data Masking: simple / easy
Data Masking Pack: powerful / more configuration

The two packs are not exclusive to each other, by the way. Data scrambling is one of the many features in EBS Pack, which also provides service level management, configuration management, monitoring, etc... Even if you need the additional power that Data Masking Pack provides, you still need EBS Pack for the other purpose. So, get both! :)

Chung Wu
Director of Product Management
Oracle Application Management Packs

Posted by Chung Wu on April 25, 2008 at 05:47 AM PDT #

Can we download this pack for testing ?

Posted by kamran siddique on October 06, 2008 at 05:38 AM PDT #

Hi, Kamran,

I don't see any links for either the Applications Management Pack or the OEM Data Scrambling Pack on the Oracle eDelivery site. I would infer from that that trial downloads aren't available for these products yet.

If you'd like to evaluate either of these products, I'd recommend getting in touch with your Oracle account manager. He or she can make arrangements to get trial versions to you.

Best of luck with your evaluations.


Posted by Steven Chan on October 08, 2008 at 03:13 AM PDT #

Datamasking is a really nice function. The big goal is that come with some predefined primitives that usually fits perfectly in many environments.
BTW I do not like this because:
- You must administer it using EM
- Is not dynamic
- If during mask you job hang or broke down you have to rerun the configuration through EM and run it again.
For these reason you can't optimize and automatize the masking

Posted by Stefano on May 06, 2010 at 04:00 PM PDT #


We want to scramble/mask the HR data like the SSN details after clone on a 11i instance . we are not cloning using the OEM grid cloning feature and use rapid clone CLI for cloning.
so what is the best method , scramble OR masking . I understand that scrambling can only be done while cloning from GRID . Also since this is EBS data , is data masking a good approach ? .

Posted by Raghav on May 09, 2010 at 10:58 PM PDT #

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