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DBA Questions with Answers Part1

What are four common errors found in an alert .log?


If we are getting any issue regarding database while performing any activity we
should check alert log file in dump destination.. The four common error we find
in alert.log are:
Deadlock Errors (ORA-00060), Oracle Internal errors, Backup and recovery errors,
Snapshot too old error (O1555)
What is PCT Free/PCT Used/PCT increase parameter in segment? What
is growth factor?
PCT-FREE is a block storage it uses to mention how much space should be left in
database block for future updates (updating the records eg. previously name
Smith after that we will update the name as Smith Taylor). If mention PCTFREE
as 10, oracle will adding the new rows to block up to 90% it allows 10% for future
updates.
If the PCT used was set to 60 this means if the data inside the block is 60 it is
FULL and if the data inside the block is 59 it is Empty.
This is the parameter which specify in percent that a block can only used for
insert or come in the free list(list of blocks in segment ready for insert operation)
when used space in a block is less than PCTUSED.
Suppose value of pctused is 40 and pctfree is 20 then data can be inserted till 80
of the block directly. And suppose the used space is 60 and some one has
perform a delete operation in a row in the same block which brings the used
space to 50 .Now one cannot insert any record in the same block unless the used
space comes down below 40 i.e. pctused.
What is dump destination? What are bdump, cdump and udump?
The dump destination is the location where the trace files are located for all the
Oracle process.
bdump-->Background processes + alert_SID.log file location
cdump--> Core Processes dump, udump--> User Processes dump, adump--> for
ASM processes
These destinations contains useful information related to process failures.
UDUMP is specifying the user dump directory where all user error logs (trace
files) will be placed.
BDUMP is specifying the background dump directory where all database error
logs (trace files) will be placed.
CDUMP is specifying the core dump directory where all OS error logs (core dump
files) will be placed.

Default location is (ORACLE_BASE/admin/<SID>)


SQL>show parameters dump_dest;
It'll show you all the dump directories wherever it is currently located. You can
change your parameters in init.ora by creating spfile from pfile.
What will you do if in any condition you do not know how to
troubleshoot the error at all and there are no seniors or your coworkers around?
We need to find where in the compilation the error is occurring. We have to
divide the code and check for correctness of the code part-by-part. This is called
debugging. Keep checking the code until you find the code which is wrong.
Search forums for similar error codes or symptoms and make a plan then submit
it to your supervising DBA if you are not authorized to carry it out yourself.
I am getting error "No Communication channel" after changing the
domain name? What is the solution?
Here Question is not clear about Where the Oracle database is residing. If the
Oracle Database is resides on your local machine then the domain name must
be updated in the tnsnames.ora file. Change this file in ../Admin folder contained
one. If you are accessing remote Database then there are no changes required to
your tnsnames.ora file only check with tnsping with the database service name.
Change the domain name in the sqlnet.ora file in NAMES.DEFAULT_DOMAIN
parameter
You have taken import of a table in a database. You have got the
Integrity constraint violation error. How you are going to resolve it.
If u wants to import the table just says constraints=n the movement table got
imported then u create constraint on that tables.
What is the most important action a DBA must perform after changing
the database from NOARCHIVELOG TO ARCHIVELOG?
First of all take an offline backup of whole database (including the (datafile
controlfile and redolog files). It is obvious that archive log process should be
started by:
SQL>alter system Archivelog start;
Otherwise the database halts if unable to rotate redo logs
Show one instance when you encountered an error in alert log and you
overcome that error. What actions you took to overcome that error.
Oracle writes error in alert log file. Depending upon the error corrective action
needs to be taken.

Deadlock Error: Take the trace file in user dump destination and analysis it for
the error.
ORA-01555 Snapshot error: Check the query try to fine tune and check the undo
size.
Unable to extent segment: Check the tablespace size and if require add space in
the tablespace by 'alter database datafile .... resize' or alter tablespace add
datafile command.

What is Ora-1555 Snapshot too Old error? Explain in detail?


Oracle Rollback Segments (Undo more recently) hold a copy of data before it was
modified and they work in a round-robin fashion. Writing and then eventually
overwriting the entries as soon as the changes are committed.
They are needed to provide read consistency (a consistent set of data at a point
in time) or to allow a process to abandon or rollback the changes or for database
recovery.
Heres a typical scenario:User A opens a query to fetch every row from a billion row table. If User B
updates and commits the last row of the billion row table a Rollback entry will be
created so User A can see the data as it was before the update.
Other users are busily updating rows in the database and this in turn generates
rollback which may eventually cause the entry needed for User A to be
overwritten (after all User B did commit the change so its OK to overwrite the
rollback segment). Maybe 15 minutes later the query is still running and User A
finally fetches the last row of the billion row table but the rollback entry is
gone. He gets ORA-01555: Snapshot too old rollback segment too small
I have applied the following commands: Now what will happen, will the
database will give an error / it will work?
Shutdown abort;
Startup;
Definitely database will be start without error but all uncommitted data will be
lost such as killed all sessions, killed all transactions, and didn't write from the
buffers because shutdown abort directly shutdown instance without committing.
There is four modes to shutdown the database:
1) Shutdown immediate, 2) Shutdown normal, 3) Shutdown transactional, 4)
Shutdown aborts
When the database is shutdown by first 3 methods checkpoint takes place but
when is shutdown by abort option it doesn't enforces checkpoints, it simply
shutdowns without waiting any users to disconnect.
What is mutated trigger? In single user mode we got mutated error, as
a DBA how you will resolve it?
Mutated error will occur when same table access more than once in one state. If
you are using before in trigger block then replace it with after.

Explain Dual table. Is any data internally stored in dual Table. Lot of
users is accessing select sysdate from dual and they getting some
millisecond differences. If we execute SELECT SYSDATE FROM EMP;
what error will we get. Why?
Dual is a system owned table created during database creation. Dual table
consist of a single column and a single row with value x. We will not get any
error if we execute select sysdate from scott.emp instead sysdate will be treated
as a pseudo column and displays the value for all the rows retrieved. For
Example if there is 12 rows in emp table it will give result of date in 12 rows.
As an Oracle DBA what are the entire UNIX file you should be familiar
with?
To check the process use: ps -ef |grep pmon or ps -ef
To check the alert log file: Tail -f alert.log
To check the cpu usage; Top vmstat 2 5
What is a Database instance?
A database instance also known as server is a set of memory structures and
background processes that access a set of database files. It is possible for a
single database to be accessed by multiple instances (this is oracle parallel
server option).
What are the Requirements of simple Database?
A simple database consists of:
One or more data files, One or more control files, Two or more redo log files,
Multiple users/schemas, One or more rollback segments, One or more
Tablespaces, Data dictionary tables, User objects (table, indexes, views etc.)
The server (Instance) that access the database consists of:
SGA (Database buffer, Dictionary Cache Buffers, Redo log buffers, Shared SQL
pool), SMON (System Monitor),PMON (Process Monitor), LGWR (Log Write), DBWR
(Data Base Write), ARCH (ARCHiver), CKPT (Check Point), RECO, Dispatcher, User
Process with associated PGS
Which process writes data from data files to database buffer cache?
The Background process DBWR rights data from datafile to DB cache.
How to DROP an Oracle Database?
You can do it at the OS level by deleting all the files of the database. The files to
be deleted can be found using:

1) select * from dba_data_files; 2) select * from v$logfile; 3) select * from


v$controlfile; 4) archive log list
5) initSID.ora 6) clean the UDUMP, BDUMP, scripts etc, 7) Cleanup the
listener.ora and the tnsnames.ora. Make sure that the oratab entry is also
removed.
Otherwise, go to DBCA and click on delete database.
In Oracle 10g there is a new command to drop an entire database.
Startup restrict mount;
drop database <instance_name>;
In fact DBA should never drop a database via OS level commands rather use GUI
utility DBCA to drop the database
How can be determining the size of the log files.
Select sum(bytes)/1024/1024 "size_in_MB" from v$log;
What is difference between Logical Standby Database and Physical
Standby database?
A physical or logical standby database is a database replica created from a
backup of a primary database. A physical standby database is physically
identical to the primary database on a block-for-block basis. It's maintained in
managed recovery mode to remain current and can be set to read only; archive
logs are copied and applied.
A logical standby database is logically identical to the primary database. It is
updated using SQL statements
How do you find whether the instance was started with pfile or spfile
SELECT name, value FROM v$parameter WHERE name = 'spfile';
This query will return NULL if you are using PFILE
2) SHOW PARAMETER spfile
This query will returns NULL in the value column if you are using pfile and not
spfile
3) SELECT COUNT(*) FROM v$spparameter WHERE value IS NOT NULL;
If the count is non-zero then the instance is using a spfile, and if the count is zero
then it is using a pfile:
SQL> SELECT DECODE(value, NULL, 'PFILE', 'SPFILE') "Init File Type"
FROM sys.v_$parameter WHERE name = 'spfile';
What is full backup?

A full backup is an operating system backup of all data files, on-line redo log files
and control file that constitute oracle database and the parameter. If you are
using the Rman for backup then in Rman full backup means Incremental backup
on 0 level.

While taking hot backup (begin end backup) what will happens back
end?
When we r taking hot backup (begin backup - end backup) the datafile header
associated with the datafiles in the corresponding Tablespace is frozen. So Oracle
will stop updating the datafile header but will continue to write data into
datafiles. In hot backup oracle will generate more redos this is because oracle
will write out complete changed blocks to the redo log files.
Which is the best option used to move database from one server to
another serve on same network and Why?
Import Export, Backup-Restore, Detach-Attach
Import-Export is the best option used to move database from one server to
another serve on same network. It reduces the network traffic. Import/Export
works well if youre dealing with very small databases. If we have few million
rows its takes minutes to copy when compared to seconds using backup and
restore.
What is Different Type of RMAN Backup?
Full backup: During a Full backup (Level 0) all of the block ever used in datafile
are backed up. The only difference between a level 0 incremental backup and a
full backup is that a full backup is never included in an incremental strategy.
Comulative Backup: During a cumulative (Level 0) the entire block used since
last full backup are backed up.
RMAN> BACKUP INCREMENTAL LEVEL 1 CUMULATIVE DATABASE; # blocks
changed since level 0
Differential Backup: During incremental backup only those blocks that have
changed since last cumulative (Level 1) or full backup (Level 0) are backed up.
Incremental backup are differential by default.
RMAN> BACKUP INCREMENTAL LEVEL 1 DATABASE
Give one method for transferring a table from one schema to another:
There are several possible methods: Export-Import, CREATE TABLE... AS SELECT
or COPY.
What is the purpose of the IMPORT option IGNORE? What is its default
setting?
The IMPORT IGNORE option tells import to ignore "already exists" errors. If it is
not specified the tables that already exist will be skipped. If it is specified, the
error is ignored and the tables data will be inserted. The default value is N.

What happens when the DEFAULT and TEMP tablespace clauses are left
out from CREATE USER statements?
The user is assigned the SYSTEM tablespace as a default and temporary
tablespace. This is bad because it causes user objects and temporary segments
to be placed into the SYSTEM tablespace resulting in fragmentation and
improper table placement (only data dictionary objects and the system rollback
segment should be in SYSTEM).
What happens if the constraint name is left out of a constraint clause?
The Oracle system will use the default name of SYS_Cxxxx where xxxx is a
system generated number. This is bad since it makes tracking which table the
constraint belongs to or what the constraint does harder.
What happens if a Tablespace clause is left off of a primary key
constraint clause?
This result in the index that is automatically generated being placed in then
USERS default tablespace. Since this will usually be the same tablespace as the
table is being created in, this can cause serious performance problems.
What happens if a primary key constraint is disabled and then enabled
without fully specifying the index clause?
The index is created in the users default tablespace and all sizing information is
lost. Oracle doesnt store this information as a part of the constraint definition,
but only as part of the index definition, when the constraint was disabled the
index was dropped and the information is gone.
Using hot backup without being in archive log mode, can you recover in
the event of a failure? Why or why not?
You can't recover the data because in archive log mode it take the backup of
redo log files if it in Active mode, If it in inactive mode then it is not possible to
take the backup of redolog files once the size is full, so in that case it is
impossible to take hot backup
What causes the "snapshot too old" error? How can this be prevented
or mitigated?
This is caused by large or long running transactions that have either wrapped
onto their own rollback space or have had another transaction write on part of
their rollback space. This can be prevented or mitigated by breaking the
transaction into a set of smaller transactions or increasing the size of the
rollback segments and their extents.
How can you tell if a database object is invalid?

select STATUS from user_objects where object_type='TABLE' AND


OBJECT_NAME='LOGMNRT_TABPART$';

Questions with Answers Part2


A user is getting an ORA-00942 error yet you know you have granted
them permission on the table, what else should you check?
You need to check that the user has specified the full name of the object (SELECT
empid FROM scott.emp; instead of SELECT empid FROM emp;) or has a synonym
that points to that object (CREATE SYNONYM emp FOR scott.emp;)
A developer is trying to create a view and the database wont let him.
He has the "DEVELOPER" role which has the "CREATE VIEW" system
privilege and SELECT grants on the tables he is using, what is the
problem?
You need to verify the developer has direct grants on all tables used in the view.
You can't create a stored object with grants given through a role.
If you have an example table, what is the best way to get sizing data
for the production table implementation?
The best way is to analyze the table and then use the data provided in the
DBA_TABLES view to get the average row length and other pertinent data for the
calculation. The quick and dirty way is to look at the number of blocks the table
is actually using and ratio the number of rows in the table to its number of blocks
against the number of expected rows.
How can you find out how many users are currently logged into the
database? How can you find their operating system id?
To look at the v$session or v$process views and check the current_logins
parameter in the v$sysstat view. If you are on UNIX is to do a ps -ef|grep oracle|
wc -l? Command, but this only works against a single instance installation.
How can you determine if an index needs to be dropped and rebuilt?
Run the ANALYZE INDEX command on the index to validate its structure and then
calculate the ratio of LF_BLK_LEN/LF_BLK_LEN+BR_BLK_LEN and if it isnt near
1.0 (i.e. greater than 0.7 or so) then the index should be rebuilt or if the ratio
BR_BLK_LEN/ LF_BLK_LEN+BR_BLK_LEN is nearing 0.3. It is not so easy to decide
so I personally suggest contact to the expert before going to rebuild.
What is tkprof and how is it used?
The tkprof tool is a tuning tool used to determine CPU and execution times for
SQL statements. You use it by first setting timed_statistics to true in the
initialization file and then turning on tracing for either the entire database via
the sql_trace parameter or for the session using the ALTER SESSION command.
Once the trace file is generated you run the tkprof tool against the trace file and

then look at the output from the tkprof tool. This can also be used to generate
explain plan output.
What is Explain plan and how is it used?
The EXPLAIN PLAN command is a tool to tune SQL statements. To use it you must
have an explain_table generated in the user you are running the explain plan for.
This is created using the utlxplan.sql script. Once the explain plan table exists
you run the explain plan command giving as its argument the SQL statement to
be explained. The explain plan table is then queried to see the execution plan of
the statement. Explain plans can also be run using tkprof.
How do you prevent output from coming to the screen?
The SET option TERMOUT controls output to the screen. Setting TERMOUT OFF
turns off screen output. This option can be shortened to TERM.
How do you prevent Oracle from giving you informational messages
during and after a SQL statement execution?
The SET options FEEDBACK and VERIFY can be set to OFF.
How do you generate file output from SQL?
By use of the SPOOL command
A tablespace has a table with 30 extents in it. Is this bad? Why or why
not.
Multiple extents in and of themselves arent bad. However if you also have
chained rows this can hurt performance.
How do you set up tablespaces during an Oracle installation?
You should always attempt to use the Oracle Flexible Architecture standard or
another partitioning scheme to ensure proper separation of SYSTEM, ROLLBACK,
REDO LOG, DATA, TEMPORARY and INDEX segments.
You see multiple fragments in the SYSTEM tablespace, what should you
check first?
Ensure that users dont have the SYSTEM tablespace as their TEMPORARY or
DEFAULT tablespace assignment by checking the DBA_USERS view.
What are some indications that you need to increase the
SHARED_POOL_SIZE parameter?

Poor data dictionary or library cache hit ratios, getting error ORA-04031. Another
indication is steadily decreasing performance with all other tuning parameters
the same.
Guideline for sizing db_block_size and db_multi_block_read for an
application that does many full table scans?
Oracle almost always reads in 64k chunks. The two should have a product equal
to 64 or a multiple of 64.
When looking at v$sysstat you see that sorts (disk) is high. Is this bad
or good? If bad -How do you correct it?
If you get excessive disk sorts this is bad. This indicates you need to tune the
sort area parameters in the initialization files. The major sort parameter is the
SORT_AREA_SIZE parameter.
When should you increase copy latches? What parameters control copy
latches?
When you get excessive contention for the copy latches as shown by the "redo
copy" latch hit ratio. You can increase copy latches via the initialization
parameter LOG_SIMULTANEOUS_COPIES to twice the number of CPUs on your
system.
Where can you get a list of all initialization parameters for your
instance? How about an indication if they are default settings or have
been changed?
You can look in the init.ora file for an indication of manually set parameters. For
all parameters, their value and whether or not the current value is the default
value, look in the v$parameter view.
Describe hit ratio as it pertains to the database buffers. What is the
difference between instantaneous and cumulative hit ratio and which
should be used for tuning?
The hit ratio is a measure of how many times the database was able to read a
value from the buffers verses how many times it had to re-read a data value
from the disks. A value greater than 80-90% is good, less could indicate
problems. If you simply take the ratio of existing parameters this will be a
cumulative value since the database started. If you do a comparison between
pairs of readings based on some arbitrary time span, this is the instantaneous
ratio for that time span. Generally speaking an instantaneous reading gives more
valuable data since it will tell you what your instance is doing for the time it was
generated over.

Discuss row chaining, how does it happen? How can you reduce it? How
do you correct it?
Row chaining occurs when a VARCHAR2 value is updated and the length of the
new value is longer than the old value and would not fit in the remaining block
space. This results in the row chaining to another block. It can be reduced by
setting the storage parameters on the table to appropriate values. It can be
corrected by export and import of the effected table.
You are getting busy buffer waits. Is this bad? How can you find what is
causing it?
Buffer busy waits could indicate contention in redo, rollback or data blocks. You
need to check the v$waitstat view to see what areas are causing the problem.
The value of the "count" column tells where the problem is, the "class" column
tells you with what. UNDO is rollback segments, DATA is data base buffers.
If you see contention for library caches how you can fix it?
Increase the size of the shared pool.
If you see statistics that deal with "undo" what are they really talking
about?
Rollback segments and associated structures.
If a tablespace has a default pctincrease of zero what will this cause (in
relationship to the SMON process)?
The SMON process would not automatically coalesce its free space fragments.
If a tablespace shows excessive fragmentation what are some methods
to defragment the tablespace? (7.1,7.2 and 7.3 only)
In Oracle 7.0 to 7.2 The use of the 'alter session set events 'immediate trace
name coalesce level ts#'; command is the easiest way to defragment contiguous
free space fragmentation. The ts# parameter corresponds to the ts# value found
in the ts$ SYS table. In version 7.3 the alter tablespace coalesce; is best. If the
free space is not contiguous then export, drop and import of the tablespace
contents may be the only way to reclaim non-contiguous free space.
How can you tell if a tablespace has excessive fragmentation?
If a select against the dba_free_space table shows that the count of tablespaces
extents is greater than the count of its data files, then it is fragmented.

You see the following on a status report: redo log space requests 23
redo log space wait time 0 Is this something to worry about? What if
redo log space wait time is high? How can you fix this?
Since the wait time is zero, no problem. If the wait time was high it might
indicate a need for more or larger redo logs.
If you see a pin hit ratio of less than 0.8 in the estat library cache
report is this a problem? If so, how do you fix it?
This indicates that the shared pool may be too small. Increase the shared pool
size.
If you see the value for reloads is high in the estat library cache report
is this a matter for concern?
Yes, you should strive for zero reloads if possible. If you see excessive reloads
then increase the size of the shared pool.
You look at the dba_rollback_segs view and see that there is a large
number of shrinks and they are of relatively small size, is this a
problem? How can it be fixed if it is a problem?
A large number of small shrinks indicates a need to increase the size of the
rollback segment extents. Ideally you should have no shrinks or a small number
of large shrinks. To fix this just increase the size of the extents and adjust
optimal accordingly.
You look at the dba_rollback_segs view and see that you have a large
number of wraps is this a problem?
A large number of wraps indicates that your extent size for your rollback
segments are probably too small. Increase the size of your extents to reduce the
number of wraps. You can look at the average transaction size in the same view
to get the information on transaction size.
You see multiple extents in the Temporary Tablespace. Is this a
problem?
As long as they are all the same size this is not a problem. In fact, it can even
improve performance since Oracle would not have to create a new extent when
a user needs one.
How do you set up your Tablespace on installation Level: Low?
The answer here should show an understanding of separation of redo and
rollback, data and indexes and isolation of SYSTEM tables from other tables. An

example would be to specify that at least 7 disks should be used for an Oracle
installation.
Disk Configuration:
SYSTEM tablespace on 1, Redo logs on 2 (mirrored redo logs), TEMPORARY
tablespace on 3, ROLLBACK tablespace on 4, DATA and INDEXES 5,6
They should indicate how they will handle archive logs and exports as well as
long as they have a logical plan for combining or further separation more or less
disks can be specified.
You have installed Oracle and you are now setting up the actual
instance. You have been waiting an hour for the initialization script to
finish, what should you check first to determine if there is a problem?
Check to make sure that the archiver is not stuck. If archive logging is turned on
during install a large number of logs will be created. This can fill up your archive
log destination causing Oracle to stop to wait for more space.
When configuring SQLNET on the server what files must be set up?
INITIALIZATION file, TNSNAMES.ORA file, SQLNET.ORA file
When configuring SQLNET on the client what files need to be set up?
SQLNET.ORA, TNSNAMES.ORA
You have just started a new instance with a large SGA on a busy
existing server. Performance is terrible, what should you check for?
The first thing to check with a large SGA is that it is not being swapped out.

What OS user should be used for the first part of an Oracle installation
(on UNIX)?
You must use root first.
When should the default values for Oracle initialization parameters be
used as is?
Never
How many control files should you have? Where should they be
located?
At least 2 on separate disk spindles (Mirrored by Oracle).
How many redo logs should you have and how should they be
configured for maximum recoverability?
You should have at least 3 groups of two redo logs with the two logs each on a
separate disk spindle (mirrored by Oracle). The redo logs should not be on raw
devices on UNIX if it can be avoided.
Why are recursive relationships bad? How do you resolve them?
A recursive relationship defines when or where a table relates to itself. It is
considered as bad when it is a hard relationship (i.e. neither side is a "may" both
are "must") as this can result in it not being possible to put in a top or perhaps a
bottom of the table. For example in the EMPLOYEE table you could not put in the
PRESIDENT of the company because he has no boss, or the junior janitor
because he has no subordinates. These type of relationships are usually resolved
by adding a small intersection entity.
What does a hard one-to-one relationship mean (one where the
relationship on both ends is "must")?
This means the two entities should probably be made into one entity.
How should a many-to-many relationship be handled?
By adding an intersection entity table
What is an artificial (derived) primary key? When should an artificial (or
derived) primary key be used?
A derived key comes from a sequence. Usually it is used when a concatenated
key becomes too cumbersome to use as a foreign key.
When should you consider de-normalization?

Whenever performance analysis indicates it would be beneficial to do so without


compromising data integrity.
-UNIXHow can you determine the space left in a file system?
There are several commands to do this: du, df, or bdf
How can you determine the number of SQLNET users logged in to the
UNIX system?
SQLNET users will show up with a process unique name that begins with oracle,
if you do a ps -ef|grep oracle|wc -l you can get a count of the number of users.
What command is used to type files to the screen?
cat, more, pg
Can you remove an open file under UNIX?
Yes
What is the purpose of the grep command?
grep is a string search command that parses the specified string from the
specified file or files
The system has a program that always includes the word nocomp in its
name, how can you determine the number of processes that are using
this program?
ps -ef|grep *nocomp*|wc -l
The system administrator tells you that the system has not been
rebooted in 6 months, should he be proud of this?
Most UNIX systems should have a scheduled periodic reboot so file systems can
be checked and cleaned and dead or zombie processes cleared out. May be,
Some UNIX systems do not clean up well after themselves. Inode problems and
dead user processes can accumulate causing possible performance and
corruption problems.
How can you find dead processes?
ps -ef|grep zombie -- or -- who -d depending on the system.
How can you find all the processes on your system?
Use the ps command

How can you find your id on a system?


Use the "who am i" command.
What is the finger command?
The finger command uses data in the passwd file to give information on system
users.
What is the easiest method to create a file on UNIX?
Use the touch command
What does >> do?
The ">>" redirection symbol appends the output from the command specified
into the file specified. The file must already have been created.
If you are not sure what command does a particular UNIX function what
is the best way to determine the command?
The UNIX man -k command will search the man pages for the value specified.
Review the results from the command to find the command of interest.
How can you determine if an Oracle instance is up from the operating
system level?
There are several base Oracle processes that will be running on multi-user
operating systems, these will be smon, pmon, dbwr and lgwr. Any answer that
has them using their operating system process showing feature to check for
these is acceptable. For example, on UNIX ps -ef|grep pmon will show what
instances are up.
Users from the PC clients are getting messages indicating : ORA-06114:
NETTCP: SID lookup failure. What could the problem be?
The instance name is probably incorrect in their connection string.
Users from the PC clients are getting the following error stack:
ERROR: ORA-01034: ORACLE not available ORA-07318: smsget: open
error when opening sgadef.dbf file. HP-UX Error: 2: No such file or
directory What is the probable cause?
The Oracle instance is shutdown that they are trying to access, restart the
instance.
How can you determine if the SQLNET process is running for SQLNET
V1? How about V2?

For SQLNET V1 check for the existence of the orasrv process. You can use the
command "tcpctl status" to get a full status of the V1 TCPIP server, other
protocols have similar command formats. For SQLNET V2 check for the presence
of the LISTENER process(s) or you can issue the command "lsnrctl status".
What file will give you Oracle instance status information? Where is it
located?
The alert.ora log. It is located in the directory specified by the
background_dump_dest parameter in the v$parameter table.
Users are not being allowed on the system. The following message is
received: ORA-00257 archiver is stuck. Connect internal only, until
freed. What is the problem?
The archive destination is probably full, backup the archivelogs and remove
them and the archiver will re-start.
Where would you look to find out if a redo log was corrupted assuming
you are using Oracle mirrored redo logs?
There is no message that comes to the SQLDBA or SRVMGR programs during
startup in this situation, you must check the alert. log file for this information.
You attempt to add a datafile and get: ORA-01118: cannot add anymore
datafiles: limit of 40 exceeded. What is the problem and how can you
fix it?
When the database was created the db_files parameter in the initialization file
was set to 40. You can shutdown and reset this to a higher value, up to the value
of MAX_DATAFILES as specified at database creation. If the MAX_DATAFILES is set
to low, you will have to rebuild the control file to increase it before proceeding.
You look at your fragmentation report and see that smon has not
coalesced any of you tablespaces, even though you know several have
large chunks of contiguous free extents. What is the problem?
Check the dba_tablespaces view for the value of pct_increase for the
tablespaces. If pct_increase is zero, smon will not coalesce their free space.
Your users get the following error: ORA-00055 maximum number of
DML locks exceeded? What is the problem and how do you fix it?
The number of DML Locks is set by the initialization parameter DML_LOCKS. If
this value is set to low (which it is by default) you will get this error. Increase the
value of DML_LOCKS. If you are sure that this is just a temporary problem, you
can have them wait and then try again later and the error should clear.

You get a call from you backup DBA while you are on vacation. He has
corrupted all of the control files while playing with the ALTER DATABASE
BACKUP CONTROLFILE command. What do you do?
As long as all datafiles are safe and he was successful with the BACKUP
controlfile command you can do the following:
CONNECT INTERNAL STARTUP MOUNT (Take any read-only tablespaces offline
before next step
ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE .... OFFLINE;
RECOVER DATABASE USING BACKUP CONTROLFILE
ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS; (bring read-only tablespaces back online)
Shutdown and backup the system, then restart If they have a recent output file
from the ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROL FILE TO TRACE; command, they
can use that to recover as well.
If no backup of the control file is available then the following will be required:
CONNECT INTERNAL STARTUP NOMOUNT CREATE CONTROL FILE .....; However,
they will need to know all of the datafiles, logfiles, and settings for
MAXLOGFILES, MAXLOGMEMBERS, MAXLOGHISTORY, MAXDATAFILES for the
database to use the command.
You have taken a manual backup of a datafile using OS. How RMAN will
know about it?
Whenever we take any backup through RMAN in the repository information of the
backup is recorded. The RMAN repository can be either controlfile or recovery
catalog. However if you take a backup through OS command then RMAN does
not aware of that and hence recorded are not reflected in the repository. This is
also true whenever we create a new controlfile or a backup taken by RMAN is
transferred to another place using OS command then controlfile/recovery catalog
does not know about the prior backups of the database.
So in order to restore database with a new created controlfile we need to inform
RMAN about the backups taken before so that it can pick one to restore.
This task can be done by catalog command in RMAN.

Add information of backup pieces and image copies in the repository that
are on disk.

Record a datafile copy as a level 0 incremental backup in the RMAN


repository.

Record of a datafile copy that was taken by OS.

But CATALOG command has some restrictions. It can't do the following.

Can't catalog a file that belong to different database.

Can't catalog a backup piece that exists on an sbt device.

Example: Catalog Archive log


RMAN>CATALOG ARCHIVELOG '/oracle/oradata/arju/arc001_223.arc'
'/oracle/oradata/arju/arc001_224.arc';
Catalog Datafile
To catalog datafile copy '/oradata/backup/users01.dbf' as an incremental level 0
backup your command will be
RMAN>CATALOG DATAFILE COPY '/oradata/backup/users01.dbf' LEVEL 0;
Note that this datafile copy was taken backup either using the RMAN BACKUP AS
COPY command or by using operating system utilities in conjunction with ALTER
TABLESPACE BEGIN/END BACKUP.
Catalog multiple copies in a directory:
RMAN>CATALOG START WITH '/tmp/backups' NOPROMPT;
Catalog files in the flash recovery area:
To catalog all files in the currently enabled flash recovery area without prompting
the user for each one issue
RMAN>CATALOG RECOVERY AREA NOPROMPT;
Catalog backup pieces:
RMAN>CATALOG BACKUPPIECE '/oradata2/o4jccf4';
How to Uncatalog Backup?
In many cases you need to uncatalog command. Suppose you do not want a
specific backup or copy to be eligible to be restored but also do not want to
delete it.
To uncatalog all archived logs issue:
RMAN>CHANGE ARCHIVELOG ALL UNCATALOG;
To uncataog tablespace USERS issue:

RMAN>CHANGE BACKUP OF TABLESPACE USERS UNCATALOG;


To uncatalog a backuppiece name /oradata2/oft7qq issue:
RMAN>CHANGE BACKUPPIECE '/oradata2/oft7qq' UNCATALOG;
How would you find total size of database in OS level
The size of the database is the total size of the datafiles that make up the
tablespaces of the database. These details are found in the dba_extents view.
select sum(bytes)/(1024*1024) from V$datafile;select sum(bytes)/(1024*1024)
from dba_data_files;select sum(bytes)/(1024*1024) from dba_extents; Can we
take incremental Backup with out taking complete Backup?No, First full backup is
needed
DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part3
How to use "ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP;" command in Oracle 9i.
SQL>alter tablespace <tablespace_name> begin backup;
copy all the datafile redolog file using command prompt
querying v$datafile, v$controlfile to check the file status and path
after backing up end the command.
SQL>alter tablespace <tablespace_name> end backup;
repeat this for all tablespaces
How will you rectify if one of the rollback segments gets corrupted
The only option available is to restore and recover the database followed by opening
the database with resetlogs. In this case you will lose the entire prior database
backup so must make fresh backup.
How many days, we are going to retain the data after taking the backup. For
example the data which backed up today that will get expire in 90 days. That
means, it is 90 days retention policy for backup
You can configure retention policy command to create a persistent and automatic
backup retention policy. When a backup retention policy is in effect RMAN considers
backups of datafiles and control files as obsolete that is no longer needed for
recovery according to criteria that you specify in the CONFIGURE command. You can
then use the REPORT OBSOLETE command to view obsolete files and DELETE
OBSOLETE to delete them. That means it is 90 days retention policy for backup
Difference Retention Policy of REDUNDANCY/RECOVERY WINDOW
Parameters?

RETENTION POLICY: (REDUNDANCY/RECOVERY WINDOW) REDUNDANCY defines a


fixed number of backup to be retained. Any backup in excess of this number can be
deleted. The default value 1 says as soon as a new backup is created the old one is
no longer needed and can be deleted. The other option of retention policy is
RECOVERY WINDOW specified in days, to define period of time in which point in
time recovery must be possible. Thus it defines how long backup should retain.
What kind of backup you take Physical / Logical? Which one is better and
Why?
Logical backup means backing up the individual database objects such as tables,
views , indexes using the utility called EXPORT, provided by Oracle. The objects
exported in this way can be imported into either same database or into any other
database. The backed-up copy of information is stored in a dumpfile, and this file
can be read only using another utility called IMPORT. There is no other way you can
use this file. In this backup Oracle Export utility stores data in Binary file at OS level.
Physical backups rely on the Operating System to make a copy of the physical files
like data files, log files, control files that comprise the database. In this backup
physically CRD (datafile, controlfile, redolog file) files are copied from one location
to another (disk or tape)
We don't preferred logical backup. It is very slow and recoveries are almost not
possible.
What is Partial Backup?
A Partial Backup is any operating system backup short of a full backup, taken while
the database is open or shut down.
A partial backup is an operating system backup of part of a database. The backup of
an individual table spaces data files or the backup of a control file are examples of
partial backups. Partial backups are useful only when the database is in
ARCHIVELOG ...
What are the name of the available VIEW in oracle used for monitoring
database is in backup mode (begin backup).
V$backup : Status column of this view shows whether a tablespace is in hotbackup
mode. The status 'ACTIVE' shows the datafile to be in backup mode.
V$datafile_header : The fuzzy column also helps a dba to monitor datafile which are
in backup mode.
The fuzzy NO indicates that the datafile is in hotbackup 9begin backup) mode.
NOTE : The database doesn't startup when a datafile is in backup mode. So put
datafile back in the normal mode before shutting down the database.

What is Tail log backup? Where can we use it?


Tail Log Backup is the log backup taken after data corruption (Disaster). Even
though there is file corruption we can try to take log backup (Tail Log Backup). This
will be used during point in time recovery.
Consider a scenario where in we have full backup of 12:00 noon one Transactional
log backup at 1:00 PM. The log backup is scheduled to run for every 1 hr. If disaster
happens at 1:30 PM then we can try to take tail log backup at 1:30 (after disaster). If
we can take tail log backup then in recovery first restore full backup of 12:00 noon
then 1:00 PM log backup recovery and then last tail backup of 1:30 (After Disaster).
How to check the size of SGA?
SQL> show SGA
Total System Global Area 167772160 bytes
Fixed Size 1247900 bytes
Variable Size 58721636 bytes
Database Buffers 104857600 bytes
Redo Buffers 2945024 bytes
How to define data block size
The primary block size is defined by the Initialization parameter DB_BLOCK_SIZE.
How can we determine the size of the log files.
SQL>Select sum(bytes)/(1024*1024) size_in_mb from v$log;
What do you do when the server cannot start due to a corrupt master
database?
If the master database is corrupt then surely others also do have the problems and
thus the need of MDF recovery comes to an immediate. However you can try out to
rebuild it with rebuild.exe and restore it.
What do you do when temp db is full?
You need to clean up the space and add more space in order to prevent this error in
future.
SQL>Alter database tempfile temp01.dbf resize 200M;
Use V$TEMP_SPACE_HEADER to check the free space in Tempfile or use the query
SELECT A.tablespace_name tablespace, D.mb_total,
SUM (A.used_blocks * D.block_size) / 1024 / 1024 mb_used,
D.mb_total - SUM (A.used_blocks * D.block_size) / 1024 / 1024 mb_free

FROM v$sort_segment A,
(
SELECT B.name, C.block_size, SUM (C.bytes) / 1024 / 1024 mb_total
FROM v$tablespace B, v$tempfile C
WHERE B.ts#= C.ts#
GROUP BY B.name, C.block_size
)D
WHERE A.tablespace_name = D.name
GROUP by A.tablespace_name, D.mb_total;
The above query will displays for each sort segment in the database the tablespace
the segment resides in, the size of the tablespace, the amount of space within the
sort segment that is currently in use, and the amount of space available.
What is the frequency of log Updated..?
Whenever commit, checkpoint or redolog buffer is 1/3rd full, Time out occurs (3
sec.), 1 MB of redo log buffer
What are the Possibilities of Logical Backup (Export/Import)
- We can export from one user and import into another within the same database.
- We can export from one database and import into another database (but both
source and destination databases should be are ORACLE databases)
- When migrating from one platform to another like from windows to sun Solaris
then export is the only method to transfer the data.
What is stored in Oratab file
"oratab" is a file created by Oracle in the /etc or /var/opt/oracle directory when
installing database software. Originally ORATAB was used for SQL*Net V1, but lately
it is being used to list the databases and software versions installed on a server.
database_sid:oracle_home_dir:Y|N
The Y|N flags indicate if the instance should automatically start at boot time (Y=yes,
N=no).
Besides acting as a registry for what databases and software versions are installed
on the server, ORATAB is also used for the following purposes:

Oracle's "dbstart" and "dbshut" scripts use this file to figure out which instances
are to be start up or shut down (using the third field, Y or N).
The "oraenv" utility uses ORATAB to set the correct environment variables.
One can also write Unix shell scripts that cycle through multiple instances using
the information in the oratab file.
In your database some blocks of particular datafile are corrupted. What
statement will you issue to know how many blocks are corrupted?
You can check the " Select * from V$DATABASE_BLOCK_CORRUPTION; " view to
determine the corrupted blocks.
What is a flash back query? This feature is also available in 9i. What are
the difference between 9i and 10g (related to flash back query).
Oracle 9i flashback 10g enhancement
Flashback query:
Flashback version query
Flashback_Transactional_query view
10g new Features:
Flashback Table
Flashback database
Setup for new feature:
AUM
Flash Recovery Area
Describe the use of %ROWTYPE and %TYPE in PL/SQL
%ROWTYPE allows you to associate a variable with an entire table row. The %TYPE
associates a variable with a single column type.
How can the problem be resolved if a SYSDBA, forgets his password for
logging into enterprise manager?
There are two ways to do that:
1. Login as SYSTEM and change the SYS password by using ALTER USER.
2. Recreate the password file using orapwd and set remote_password_file exclusive
and then restart the instance.

3. Also you can enter as / as sysdba and then after change the password Alter
user sys identified by xxx;
How many maximum number of columns can be part of primary key in a
table in 9i and 10g.
You can set primary key in a single table up to 16 columns of table in oracle 9i and
10g.
What is RAC?
RAC stands for Real Application Cluster. In previous versions, it is known as
PARALLEL SERVER. RAC is a mechanism that allows multiple instances (on different
hosts/nodes) to access the same database. The benefits: It provides more memory
resources, since more hosts are being used; If one host gets down, then other host
assumes it's work load.
What is Data Pumping?
Data Pumping is a data movement utility. This is a replacement to imp/exp utilities.
The earlier imp/exp utilities are also data movement utilities, but they work within
the local servers only. Where as, impdp/expdp (Data pumping) are very fast and
perform data movements from one database to another database on same as well
as different host. In other words, it provides secure transports.
What is Data Migration?
Data migration is actually the translation of data from one format to another format
or from one storage device to another storage device. Data migration is necessary
when a company upgrades its database or system software, either from one version
to another or from one program to an entirely different program.
What is difference between spfile and init.ora file
init.ora or spfile both are contains Database parameters information. Both are
supported by oracle. Every database instance required either any one. If both are
present first choice is given to spfile only. init.ora saved in the format of ASCII where
as SPFILE saved in the format of binary. init.ora information is read by oracle engine
at the time of database instance started only that means any modification made in
this those are applicable in the next startup only. But in spfile modifications (through
alter system..... command) can applicable without restarting oracle database
(restarting instance).
What is SCN? Where the SCN does resides?
SCN - System Change Number - is always getting incremented by Oracle server and
will be used to make sure the consistency across the database. The system change

number (SCN) is an ever-increasing value that uniquely identifies a committed


version of the database. Every time a user commits a transaction. Oracle records a
new SCN. You can obtain SCNs in a number of ways for example from the alert log.
You can then use the SCN as an identifier for purposes of recovery. For example you
can perform an incomplete recovery of a database up to SCN 1030. Oracle uses
SCNs in control files datafile headers and redo records. Every redo log file has both
a log sequence number and low and high SCN. SCN number will be updated in
almost all places of the database.
CONTROLFILE, DATAFILE HEADERS, REDOLOG FILES (and hence ARCHIVE LOG
FILES), DATA BLOCK HEADERS but not in ALERT LOG file as it is not part of database.
How to know which query is taking long time?
By testing with the help of these tools tkprof or using explain plan. tkprof is
available to DBA Only where as explain plan can run programmer as well as DBA
also. As well as tkprof generates complexilty after sucessful execution only where as
explain plan can show Oracle internal plan & other details. Even though they are not
alternatives for one to another. But both are designed for one purpose only. They
are two different tools they are engaged in different useful situations also you can
use STATSPACK to take Snaps while running those queries and get the report with
details of SQL taking more time to respond otherwise, you can search Top ten sql
with the following views:
SQL>SELECT * FROM V$SQL;
SQL>SELECT * FROM V$SQLAREA;
SQL>SELECT * FROM (SELECT rownum Substr(a.sql_text 1 200) sql_text
Trunc(a.disk_reads/Decode(a.executions 0 1 a.executions)) reads_per_execution
a.buffer_gets a.disk_reads a.executions a.sorts a.address FROM v$sqlarea a ORDER
BY 3 DESC)WHERE rownum < 10;
How can you check which user has which Role.
Sql>Select * from DBA_ROLE_PRIVS order by grantee;

What are clusters


Groups of tables physically stored together because they share common columns
and are often used together is called clusters.
Name (init.ora) parameters which affects system performance.
These are the Parameters for init.ora which affect system performance
DB_BLOCK_BUFFERS; SHARED_POOL_SIZE; SORT_AREA_SIZE; DBWR_IO_SLAVES;
ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS; SORT_AREA_RETAINED_SIZE;
B_BLOCK_LRU_EXTENDED_STATISTICS
SHARED_POOL_RESERVE_SIZE
How do you rename a database?
Prior to the introduction of the DBNEWID (NID) utility alteration of the internal DBID
of an instance was impossible and alteration of the DBNAME required the creation of
a new controlfile. The DBNEWID utility allows the DBID to be altered for the first
time and makes changing the DBNAME simpler.
Steps: Change DBNAME only
Mount the database after clean shutdown.
Invoke the DBNEWID utility (NID) from the command line using sys user.
nid TARGET=sys/password@TSH2 DBNAME=TSH3 SETNAME=YES
Assuming the validation is successful the utility prompts for confirmation before
performing the actions.
Note: The SETNAME parameter tells the DBNEWID utility to only alter the database
name.
clean shutdown the database
SQL>SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE
Set the DB_NAME initialization parameter in the initialization parameter file (PFILE)
to the new database name.
Note:The DBNEWID utility does not change the server parameter file (SPFILE).
Therefore, if you use SPFILE to start your Oracle database, you must re-create the
initialization parameter file from the server parameter file, remove the server
parameter file, change the DB_NAME in the initialization parameter file, and then recreate the server parameter file. Because you have changed only the database
name, and not the database ID, it is not necessary to use the RESETLOGS option
when you open the database. This means that all previous backups are still usable.

Create a new password file.


orapwd file=c:\oracle\920\database\pwdTSH2.ora password=password entries=10
Open the database without Reset logs option
SQL>Startup;
Steps: change DBID only
Repeat the same above procedure
nid TARGET=sys/password@TSH3
Shutdown and open the database with RESETLOGS option
What is the view name where we can get the space for tables or views?
DBA_Segments;
SELECT SEGMENT_NAME, SUM(BYTES) FROM DBA_SEGMENTS
WHERE SEGMENT_NAME='TABLE_NAME' AND OWNER='OWNER OF THE TABLE
GROUP BY SEGMENT_NAME;
We cannot get the space of view because view does not have its own space it
depend on base table.
What background process refreshes materialized views?
Job Queue processes
What view would you use to determine free space in a tablespace?
It is dba_free_space
SQL>SELECT TABLESPACE_NAME , BYTES FROM sm$ts_free;
SQL>SELECT TABLESPACE_NAME,SUM(BYTES/1024/1024) FROM
DBA_FREE_SPACE GROUP BY TABLESPACE_NAME;
If CPU is very slow, what can u do to speed?
Use VMSTAT to check the CPU enqueues or use also TOP and SAR commands for
CPU load.
What would you use to improve performance on an insert statement that
places millions of rows into that table?
Drop the indexes and recreate after insert.

DML Triggers to be DISABLED and then ENABLED once the insert completed.
DISABLE the Clustered Index and then ENABLED once the insert completed.
If Monday take full backup and Tuesday it was cumulative backup and
Wednesday we taken incremental backup, Thursday some disaster happen
then what type of recovery and how it will take?
Restore the Monday full backup + Tuesday cumulative backup + Wednesday
Incremental backup. Becausecumulative and incremental clears the archives every
backup
What is the difference between local managed Tablespace & dictionary
managed Tablespace ?
The basic diff between a locally managed tablespace and a dictionary managed
tablespace is that in the dictionary managed tablespace every time a extent is
allocated or deallocated data dictionary is updated which increases the load on data
dictionary while in case of locally managed tablespace the space information is kept
inside the datafile in the form of bitmaps every time a extent is allocated or
deallocated only the bitmap is updated which removes burden from data dictionary.
The Tablespaces that record extent allocation/deallocation in the dictionary are
called dictionary managed tablespaces and tablespaces that record extent
allocation in the tablespace header are called locally managed tablespaces.
While installing the Oracle 9i ( 9.2) version, automatically system takes
the space of approximately 4 GB. That is fine.... Now, if my database is
growing up and it is reaching the 4GB of my database space...Now, I would
like to extend my Database space to 20 GB or 25 GB... what are the things
i have to do?
Following steps can be performed:
1. First check for available space on the server.
2. You can increase the size of the datafiles if you have space available on the
server and also you can make auto extend on. So that in future you don't need to
manually increase the size.
The alternative better idea is that make the autoextend off and add more datafiles
to the Tablespace. Making a single datafile to a bigger size is risky. By making
autoextend off you can monitor the growth of the tablespace schedule a growth
monitoring script with a threshold of 85 full.

DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part4


How to handle data corruption for ASM type files?
The storage array should contain one or more spare disks (often called hot spares).
When a physical disk starts to report errors to the monitoring infrastructure or fails
suddenly the firmware should immediately restore fault tolerance by mirroring the
contents of the failed disk onto a spare disk
When a user comes to you and asks that a particular SQL query is taking
more time. How will you solve this?
If you find the SQL Query (which make problem) then take a SQLTRACE with explain
plan it will show how the SQL query will executed by oracle depending upon the
report you will tune your database.
For example: one table has 10,000 records but you want to fetch only 5 rows but in
that query oracle does the full table scan. Only for 5 rows full table is scan is not a
good thing so create an index on the particular column by this way to tune the
database.
By default Maximum Enabled Role in a database.
The MAX_ENABLED_ROLES init.ora parameter limits the number of roles any user
can have enabled simultaneously. The default is 30 in both oracle 8i and 9i. When
you create a role it is enabled by default. If you create many roles, then you may
exceed the MAX_ENABLED_ROLE setting even if you are not the user of this role.
User Profiles:
The user profile are used to limits the amount of system and database resources
available to a user and to manage password restrictions. If no profile are created in
a database then the default profile are, which specify unlimited resources for all
users, will be used.
How to convert local management Tablespace to dictionary managed
Tablespace?
>execute dbms_space_admin.tablespace_convert_to_local('tablespace_name');
>execute dbms_space_admin.tablespace_convert_from_local('tablespace_name');
What is a cluster Key ?
The related columns of the tables are called the cluster key. The cluster key is using
a cluster index and its value is stored only once for multiple tables in the cluster.
What are four performance bottlenecks that can occur in a database
server and how are they detected and prevented?

CPU bottlenecks
Undersized memory structures
Inefficient or high-load SQL statements
Database configuration issues
Four major steps to detect these issues: Analyzing Optimizer Statistics
Analyzing an Execution Plan
Using Hints to Improve Data Warehouse Performance
Using Advisors to Verify SQL Performance
Analyzing Optimizer Statistics
Optimizer statistics are a collection of data that describes more details about the
database and the objects in the database. The optimizer statistics are stored in the
data dictionary. They can be viewed using data dictionary views similar to the
following:
SELECT * FROM DBA_SCHEDULER_JOBS WHERE JOB_NAME 'GATHER_STATS_JOB';
Because the objects in a database can constantly change statistics must be
regularly updated so that they accurately describe these database objects.
Statistics are maintained automatically by Oracle Database or you can maintain the
optimizer statistics manually using the DBMS_STATS package.
Analyzing an Execution Plan
General guidelines for using the EXPLAIN PLAN statement are:
To use the SQL script UTLXPLAN.SQL to create a sample output table called
PLAN_TABLE in your schema.
To include the EXPLAIN PLAN FOR clause prior to the SQL statement.
After issuing the EXPLAIN PLAN statement to use one of the scripts or packages
provided by Oracle Database to display the most recent plan table output.
The execution order in EXPLAIN PLAN output begins with the line that is indented
farthest to the right. If two lines are indented equally then the top line is normally
executed first.
To analyze EXPLAIN PLAN output:

EXPLAIN PLAN FOR (YOUR QUERY);


EXPLAIN PLAN FOR SELECT p.prod_name c.channel_desc SUM(s.amount_sold)
revenue
FROM products p channels c sales s
WHERE s.prod_id p.prod_id
AND s.channel_id c.channel_id
AND s.time_id BETWEEN '01-12-2001' AND '31-12-2001'GROUP BY p.prod_name
c.channel_desc;
SELECT * FROM TABLE (DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY);
Using Advisors how to Verify SQL Performance?
Using the SQL Tuning Advisor and SQL Access Advisor you can invoke the query
optimizer in advisory mode to examine a given SQL statement or set of SQL
statements and provide recommendations to improve their efficiency. The SQL
Tuning Advisor and SQL Access Advisor can make various types of recommendations
such as creating SQL profiles restructuring SQL statements creating additional
indexes or materialized views and refreshing optimizer statistics. Additionally Oracle
Enterprise Manager enables you to accept and implement many of these
recommendations in very few steps
Difference between Rman Recovery Catalog or nocatalog Option?
The recovery catalog is an optional feature of RMAN though Oracle, recommends
that you use it, it isnt required. One major benefit of the recovery catalog is that it
stores metadata about backups in a database that can be reported or queried.
Catalog means you have a recovery catalog database, nocatalog means that you
are using the controlfile as rman repository. Of course catalog option can only be
used when recovery catalog is present (which is not mandatory). From functional
point of view there is no difference either taking backup in catalog or nocatlaog
mode.
What is Oracle Net?
Oracle Net is responsible for handling client-to-server and server to- server
communications in an Oracle environment. It manages the flow of information in the
Oracle network infrastructure. Oracle Net is used to establish the initial connection
to the Oracle server and then it acts as the messenger, which passes requests from
the client back to the server or between two Oracle servers.
Difference of Backup Sets and Backup Pieces?
RMAN can store backup data in a logical structure called a backup set, which is the
smallest unit of an RMAN backup. A backup set contains the data from one or more
datafiles, archived redo logs, or control files or server parameter file. Backup sets,

which are only created and accessed through RMAN, are the only form in which
RMAN can write backups to media managers such as tape drives and tape libraries.
A backup set contains one or more binary files in an RMAN-specific format. This file
is known as a backup piece. A backup set can contain multiple datafiles. For
example, you can back up ten datafiles into a single backup set consisting of a
single backup piece. In this case, RMAN creates one backup piece as output. The
backup set contains only this backup piece.
What is an UTL_FILE? What are different procedures and functions
associated with it?
The UTL_FILE package lets your PL/SQL programs read and write operating system
(OS) text files. It provides a restricted version of standard OS stream file
input/output (I/O).
Subprogram -Description
FOPEN function-Opens a file for input or output with the default line size.
IS_OPEN function -Determines if a file handle refers to an open file.
FCLOSE procedure -Closes a file.
FCLOSE_ALL procedure -Closes all open file handles.
GET_LINE procedure -Reads a line of text from an open file.
PUT procedure-Writes a line to a file. This does not append a line terminator.
NEW_LINE procedure-Writes one or more OS-specific line terminators to a file.
PUT_LINE procedure -Writes a line to a file. This appends an OS-specific line
terminator.
PUTF procedure -A PUT procedure with formatting.
FFLUSH procedure-Physically writes all pending output to a file.
FOPEN function -Opens a file with the maximum line size specified.
Differentiate between TRUNCATE and DELETE?
The Delete commands will log the data changes in the log file where as the truncate
will simply remove the data without it. Hence Data removed by Delete command
can be rolled back but not the data removed by TRUNCATE. Truncate is a DDL
statement whereas DELETE is a DML statement.
What is an Oracle Instance?
Instance is a combination of memory structure and process structure. Memory
structure is SGA (System or Shared Global Area) and Process structure is
background processes.
Components of SGA:
Database Buffer Cache: It is further divided into Library Cache and Data Dictionary
Cache or Row Cache,
Shared Pool/large pool/stream pool/java pool

Redo log Buffer,


Background Process:
Mandatory Processes (SMON, PMON, DBWR, LGWR, CKPT, RECO)
Optional Process (ARCN, RBAC, MMAN, MMON, MMNL)
When Oracle starts an instance, it reads the initialization parameter file to
determine the values of initialization parameters. Then, it allocates an SGA, which is
a shared area of memory used for database information, and creates background
processes. At this point, no database is associated with these memory structures
and processes.
What information is stored in Control File?
The database name, The timestamp of database creation, The names and locations
of associated datafiles and redo log files, Tablespace information, Datafile offline
ranges, The log history, Archived log information, Backup set and backup piece
information, Backup datafile and redo log information, Datafile copy information,
The current log sequence number
When you start an Oracle DB which file is accessed first?
To Start an instance, oracle server need a parameter file which contains information
about the instance, oracle server searches file in following sequence:
1) SPFILE ------ if finds instance started .. Exit
2) Default SPFILE -- if it is spfile is not found
3) PFILE -------- if default spfile not find, instance started using pfile.
4) Default PFILE -- is used to start the instance.
What is the Job of SMON, PMON processes?
SMON: System monitor performs instance recovery at instance startup in a multiple
instances. Recovers other instances that have failed in cluster environment .It
cleans up temporary segments that are no longer in use. Recovers dead
transactions skipped during crash and instance recovery. Coalesce the free extents
within the database, to make free space contiguous and easy to allocate.
PMON: Process monitor performs recovery when a user process fails. It is
responsible for cleaning up the cache, freeing resources used by the processes. In
the mts environment it checks on dispatcher and server processes, restarting them
at times of failure.
What is Instance Recovery?
When an Oracle instance fails, Oracle performs an instance recovery when the
associated database is re-started.
Instance recovery occurs in two steps:

Cache recovery: Changes being made to a database are recorded in the database
buffer cache. These changes are also recorded in online redo log files
simultaneously. When there are enough data in the database buffer cache, they are
written to data files. If an Oracle instance fails before the data in the database
buffer cache are written to data files, Oracle uses the data recorded in the online
redo log files to recover the lost data when the
associated database is re-started. This process is called cache recovery.
Transaction recovery: When a transaction modifies data in a database, the before
image of the modified data is stored in an undo segment. The data stored in the
undo segment is used to restore the original values in case a transaction is rolled
back. At the time of an instance failure, the database may have uncommitted
transactions. It is possible that changes made by these uncommitted transactions
have gotten saved in data files. To maintain read consistency, Oracle rolls back all
uncommitted transactions when the associated database is re-started. Oracle uses
the undo data stored in undo segments to accomplish this. This process is called
transaction recovery.
1. Rolling forward the committed transactions
2. Rolling backward the uncommitted transactions
What is written in Redo Log Files?
Log writer (LGWR) writes redo log buffer contents Into Redo Log Files. Log writer
does this every three seconds, when the redo log buffer is 1/3 full and immediately
before the Database Writer (DBWn) writes its changed buffers into the data file.
How do you control number of Datafiles one can have in an Oracle
database?
When starting an Oracle instance, the database's parameter file indicates the
amount of SGA space to reserve for datafile information; the maximum number of
datafiles is controlled by the DB_FILES parameter. This limit applies only for the life
of the instance.
How many Maximum Datafiles can there be in an Oracle Database?
Default maximum datafile is 255 that can be defined in the control file at the time of
database creation.
It can be increased by setting the initialization parameter value up to higher at the
time of database creation. Setting this value too higher can cause DBWR issues.
Before 9i Maximum number of datafile in database was 1022.After 9i the limit is
applicable to the number of datafile in the Tablespace.
What is a Tablespace?

A tablespace is a logical storage unit within the database. It is logical because a


tablespace is not visible in the file system of the machine on which database
resides. A tablespace in turn consists of at least one datafile, which, in tune are
physically located in the file system of the server. The tablespace builds the bridge
between the Oracle database and the file system in which the table's or index' data
is stored.
There are three types of tablespaces in Oracle:
Permanent tablespaces, Undo tablespaces, Temporary tablespaces
What is the purpose of Redo Log files?
The purpose of redo log file is to record all changes made to the data during the
recovery of database. It always advisable to have two or more redo log files and
keep them in a separate disk, so you can recover the data during the system crash.
Which default Database roles are created when you create a Database?
Connect , resource and dba are three default roles
What is a Checkpoint?
A checkpoint performs the following three operations:
1. Every block in the buffer cache is written to the data files. That is, it synchronizes
the data blocks in the buffer cache with the datafiles on disk. It's the DBWR that
writes all modified database blocks back to the datafiles.
2. The latest SCN is written (updated) into the datafile header.
3. The latest SCN is also written to the controlfiles.
The update of the datafile headers and the control files is done by the LGWR (if
CKPT is enabled). As of version 8.0, CKPT is enabled by default. The date and time
of the last checkpoint can be retrieved through checkpoint_time in
v$datafile_header. The SCN of the last checkpoint can be found in v$database as
checkpoint_change#.
Which Process reads data from Datafiles?
The Server process reads the blocks from datafiles to buffer cache
Which Process writes data in Datafiles?
DBWn Process is writing the dirty buffers from db cache to data files.
Can you make a Datafile auto extendible. If yes, then how?

You must be logged on as a DBA user, then issue


For Data File:
SQL>Alter database datafile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m
maxsize 40G
SQL>Alter database datafile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m
maxsize unlimited;
For Temp File:
SQL>Alter database tempfile 'c:\oradata\mysid\XYZ.dbf' autoextend on next 10m
maxsize unlimited;
This would turn on autoextend, grab new disk space of 10m when needed and have
no upper limit on the size of the datafile.
Note: This would be bad on a 32bit machine, where the max size is typically 4gig.
What is a Shared Pool?
It is the area in SGA that allows sharing of parsed SQL statements among
concurrent users. It is to store the SQL statements so that the identical SQL
statements do not have to be parsed each time they're executed.
The shared pool is the part of the SGA where (among others) the following things
are stored:
Optimized query plans, Security checks, Parsed SQL statements, Packages, Object
information
What is kept in the Database Buffer Cache?
Database Buffer cache is one of the most important components of System Global
Area (SGA). Database Buffer Cache is the place where data blocks are copied from
datafiles to perform SQL operations. Buffer Cache is shared memory structure and it
is concurrently accessed by all server processes. Oracle allows different block size
for different tablespaces. A standard block size is defined in DB_BLOCK_SIZE
initialization parameter. System tablespace uses standard block size.
DB_CACHE_SIZE parameter is used to define size for Database buffer cache. For
example to create a cache of 800 MB, set parameter as below
DB_CACHE_SIZE=800M
If you have created a tablesapce with bock size different from standard block size,
for example your standard block size is 4k and you have created a tablespace with
8k block size then you must create a 8k buffer cache as
DB_8K_CACHE_SIZE=256

How many maximum Redo Logfiles one can have in a Database?


Maximum number of log files a database can accommodate depends on the
parameter "MAXLOGMEMBERS" specified during database creation. In a database
we can create 255 maximum redo log files. It depends on what you specified for
MAXLOGFILES during database creation (manually) or what you specified for
"Maximum no. of redo log files" with DBCA.
What is PGA_AGGREGRATE_TARGET parameter?
PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET is an Oracle server parameter that specifies the target
aggregate PGA memory available to all server processes attached to the instance.
Some of the properties of the PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET parameter are given below:
Parameter type: Big integer
Syntax: PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET = integer [K M G]Default value: 20% of SGA size
or 10MB, whichever is greater or modifiable by ALTER SYSTEM
Large Pool is used for what?
Large Pool is an optional memory structure used for the following purposes: (1) Session information for shared server
(2) I/O server processes
(3) Parallel queries
(4) Backup and recovery if using through RMAN.
The role of Large Pool is important because otherwise memory would be allocated
from the Shared pool. Hence Large pool also reduces overhead of Shared pool.

What is PCT Increase setting?


PCTINCREASE refers to the percentage by which each next extent (beginning with
the third extend) will grow. The size of each subsequent extent is equal to the size
of the previous extent plus this percentage increase.
What is PCTFREE and PCTUSED Setting?
PCTFREE is a block storage parameter used to specify how much space should be
left in a database block for future updates. For example, for PCTFREE=10, Oracle
will keep on adding new rows to a block until it is 90% full. This leaves 10% for
future updates (row expansion).
When using Oracle Advanced Compression, Oracle will trigger block compression
when the PCTFREE is reached. This eliminates holes created by row deletions and
maximizes contiguous free space in blocks.
PCTUSED is a block storage parameter used to specify when Oracle should consider
a database block to be empty enough to be added to the freelist. Oracle will only
insert new rows in blocks that is enqueued on the freelist. For example, if
PCTUSED=40, Oracle will not add new rows to the block unless sufficient rows are
deleted from the block so that it falls below 40% empty.
SQL> SELECT Pct_free FROM user_tables WHERE table_name = EMP;

Monday, 30 April 2012


DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part5
What is Row Migration and Row Chaining?
There are two circumstances when this can occur, the data for a row in a table may
be too large to fit into a single data block. This can be caused by either row chaining
or row migration.
Chaining: Occurs when the row is too large to fit into one data block when it is first
inserted. In this case, Oracle stores the data for the row in a chain of data blocks
(one or more) reserved for that segment. Row chaining most often occurs with large
rows, such as rows that contain a column of data type LONG, LONG RAW, LOB, etc.
Row chaining in these cases is unavoidable.
Migration: Occurs when a row that originally fitted into one data block is updated so
that the overall row length increases, and the blocks free space is already
completely filled. In this case, Oracle migrates the data for the entire row to a new
data block, assuming the entire row can fit in a new block. Oracle preserves the
original row piece of a migrated row to point to the new block containing the
migrated row: the rowid of a migrated row does not change. When a row is chained
or migrated, performance associated with this row decreases because Oracle must
scan more than one data block to retrieve the information for that row.
INSERT and UPDATE statements that cause migration and chaining perform poorly,
because they perform additional processing.
SELECTs that use an index to select migrated or chained rows must perform
additional I/Os.
Detection: Migrated and chained rows in a table or cluster can be identified by using
the ANALYZE command with the LIST CHAINED ROWS option. This command collects
information about each migrated or chained row and places this information into a
specified output table. To create the table that holds the chained rows,
execute script UTLCHAIN.SQL.
SQL> ANALYZE TABLE scott.emp LIST CHAINED ROWS;
SQL> SELECT * FROM chained_rows;
You can also detect migrated and chained rows by checking the table fetch
continued row statistic in the v$sysstat view.
SQL> SELECT name, value FROM v$sysstat WHERE name = table fetch continued
row;
Although migration and chaining are two different things, internally they are
represented by Oracle as one. When detecting migration and chaining of rows you
should analyze carefully what you are dealing with.

What is Ora-01555 - Snapshot Too Old error and how do you avoid it?
1. Increase the size of rollback segment. (Which you have already done)
2. Process a range of data rather than the whole table.
3. Add a big rollback segment and allot your transaction to this RBS.
4. There is also possibility of RBS getting shrunk during the life of the query by
setting optimal.
5. Avoid frequent commits.
6. Google out for other causes.
What is a locally Managed Tablespace?
A Locally Managed Tablespace is a tablespace that manages its own extents
maintaining a bitmap in each data file to keep track of the free or used status of
blocks in that data file. Each bit in the bitmap corresponds to a block or a group of
blocks. When the extents are allocated or freed for reuse, Oracle changes the
bitmap values to show the new status of the blocks. These changes do not generate
rollback information because they do not update tables in the data dictionary
(except for tablespace quota information), unlike the default method of Dictionary Managed Tablespaces.
Following are the major advantages of locally managed tablespaces

Reduced contention on data dictionary tables


No rollback generated
No coalescing required
Reduced recursive space management.

Can you audit SELECT statements?


Yes, we can audit the select statements. Check out the below example:
SQL> show parameter audit
NAME TYPE VALUE

audit_file_dest string E:\ORACLE\PRODUCT\10.2.0\DB_2\
ADMIN\SRK\ADUMP
audit_sys_operations boolean FALSE
audit_trail string NONE
SQL> begin

dbms_fga.add_policy ( object_schema => SCOTT,


object_name => EMP2,
policy_name => EMP_AUDIT,
statement_types => SELECT );
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL>select * from dba_fga_audit_trail;
no rows selected
In HR schema:
SQL> create table bankim(
name varchar2 (10),
roll number (20));
Table created.
SQL> insert into bankim values (bankim, 10);
1 row created.
SQL> insert into bankim values (bankim2, 20);
1 row created.
SQL> select * from bankim;
NAME ROLL
- bankim 10
bankim2 20
SQL> select name from bankim;
NAME
bankim
bankim2
In sys schema:
SQL>set head off
SQL> select sql_text from dba_fga_audit_trail;
select count(*) from emp2
select * from emp2
select * from emp3

select count(*) from bankim


select * from bankim
select name from bankim
What does DBMS_FGA package do?
The dbms_fga Package is the central mechanism for the FGA is implemented in the
package dbms_fga, where all the APIs are defined. Typically, a user other than SYS is
given the responsibility of maintaining these policies. With the convention followed
earlier, we will go with the user SECUSER, who is entrusted with much of the
security features. The following statement grants the user SECUSER enough
authority to create and maintain the auditing facility.
Grant execute on dbms_fga to secuser;
The biggest problem with this package is that the polices are not like regular objects
with owners. While a user with execute permission on this package can create
policies, he or she can drop policies created by another user, too. This makes it
extremely important to secure this package and limit the use to only a few users
who are called to define the policies, such as SECUSER, a special user used in
examples.
What is Cost Based Optimization?
The CBO is used to design an execution plan for SQL statement. The CBO takes an
SQL statement and tries to weigh different ways (plan) to execute it. It assigns a
cost to each plan and chooses the plan with smallest cost.
The cost for smallest is calculated: Physical IO + Logical IO / 1000 + net IO.
How often you should collect statistics for a table?
CBO needs some statistics in order to assess the cost of the different access plans.
These statistics includes:
Size of tables, Size of indexes, number of rows in the tables, number of distinct keys
in an index, number of levels in a B* index, average number of blocks for a value,
average number of leaf blocks in an index
These statistics can be gathered with dbms_stats and the monitoring feature.
How do you collect statistics for a table, schema and Database?
Statistics are gathered using the DBMS_STATS package. The DBMS_STATS package
can gather statistics on table and indexes, and well as individual columns and
partitions of tables. When you generate statistics for a table, column, or index, if the
data dictionary already contains statistics for the object, then Oracle updates the
existing statistics. The older statistics are saved and can be restored later if

necessary. When statistics are updated for a database object, Oracle invalidates any
currently parsed SQL statements that access the object. The next time such a
statement executes, the statement is re-parsed and the optimizer automatically
chooses a new execution plan based on the new statistics.
Collect Statistics on Table Level
sqlplus scott/tiger
exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats ( ownname => 'SCOTT', tabname => 'EMP', estimate_percent => dbms_stats.auto_sample_size, method_opt => 'for all columns size auto', cascade => true, degree => 5 - )
/
Collect Statistics on Schema Level
sqlplus scott/tiger
exec dbms_stats.gather_schema_stats ( ownname => 'SCOTT', options => 'GATHER', estimate_percent => dbms_stats.auto_sample_size, method_opt => 'for all columns size auto', cascade => true, degree => 5 - )

Collect Statistics on Other Levels


DBMS_STATS can collect optimizer statistics on the following levels, see Oracle
Manual
GATHER_DATABASE_STATS
GATHER_DICTIONARY_STATS
GATHER_FIXED_OBJECTS_STATS
GATHER_INDEX_STATS
GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS
GATHER_SYSTEM_STATS
GATHER_TABLE_STATS
Can you make collection of Statistics for tables automatic?

Yes, you can schedule your statistics but in some situation automatic statistics
gathering may not be adequate. It suitable for those databases whose object is
modified frequently. Because the automatic statistics gathering runs during an
overnight batch window, the statistics on tables which are significantly modified
during the day may become stale.
There may be two scenarios in this case:
Volatile tables that are being deleted or truncated and rebuilt during the course of
the day.
Objects which are the target of large bulk loads which add 10% or more to the
objects total size.
So you may wish to manually gather statistics of those objects in order to choose
the optimizer the best execution plan. There are two ways to gather statistics.
Using DBMS_STATS package.
Using ANALYZE command
How can you use ANALYZE statement to collect statistics?
ANALYZE TABLE emp ESTIMATE STATISTICS FOR ALL COLUMNS;
ANALYZE INDEX inv_product_ix VALIDATE STRUCTURE;
ANALYZE TABLE customers VALIDATE REF UPDATE;
ANALYZE TABLE orders LIST CHAINED ROWS INTO chained_rows;
ANALYZE TABLE customers VALIDATE STRUCTURE ONLINE;
To delete statistics:
ANALYZE TABLE orders DELETE STATISTICS;
To get the analyze details:
SELECT owner_name, table_name, head_rowid, analyze_timestamp FROM
chained_rows;
On which columns you should create Indexes?
The following list gives guidelines in choosing columns to index:
You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently in WHERE clauses.
You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently to join tables.

You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently in ORDER BY
clauses.
You should create indexes on columns that have few of the same values or unique
values in the table.
You should not create indexes on small tables (tables that use only a few blocks)
because a full table scan may be faster than an indexed query.
If possible, choose a primary key that orders the rows in the most appropriate order.
If only one column of the concatenated index is used frequently in WHERE clauses,
place that column first in the CREATE INDEX statement.
If more than one column in a concatenated index is used frequently in WHERE
clauses, place the most selective column first in the CREATE INDEX statement.
What type of Indexes is available in Oracle?
B-tree indexes: the default and the most common.
B-tree cluster indexes: defined specifically for cluster.
Hash cluster indexes: defined specifically for a hash cluster.
Global and local indexes: relate to partitioned tables and indexes.
Reverse key indexes: most useful for Oracle Real Application Clusters.
Bitmap indexes: compact; work best for columns with a small set of values
Function-based indexes: contain the pre-computed value of a function/expression
Domain indexes: specific to an application or cartridge.
What is B-Tree Index?
B-Tree is an indexing technique most commonly used in databases and file systems
where pointers to data are placed in a balance tree structure so that all references
to any data can be accessed in an equal time frame. It is also a tree data structure
which keeps data sorted so that searching, inserting and deleting can be done in
logarithmic amortized time.
A table is having few rows, should you create indexes on this table?
You should not create indexes on small tables (tables that use only a few blocks)
because a full table scan may be faster than an indexed query.
A Column is having many repeated values which type of index you should create on
this column

B-Tree index is suitable if the columns being indexed are high cardinality (number of
repeated values). In fact for this situation a bitmap index is very useful but bitmap
index are vary expensive.
When should you rebuild indexes?
There is no thumb rule when you should rebuild the index. According to expert it
depends upon your database situation:
When the data in index is sparse (lots of holes in index, due to deletes or updates)
and your query is usually range based or If Blevel >3 then takes index in rebuild
consideration; desc DBA_Indexes;
Because when you rebuild indexes then database performance goes down.
In fact binary tree index can never be unbalanced. Binary tree performance is good
for both small and large tables and does not degrade with the growth of table.
Can you build indexes online?
Yes, we can build index online. It allows performing DML operation on the base table
during index creation. You can use the statements:
CREATE INDEX ONLINE and DROP INDEX ONLINE.
ALTER INDEX REBUILD ONLINE is used to rebuild the index online.
A Table Lock is required on the index base table at the start of the CREATE or
REBUILD process to guarantee DDL information. A lock at the end of the process
also required to merge change into the final index structure.
A table is created with the following setting
storage (initial 200k
next 200k
minextents 2
maxextents 100
pctincrease 40)
What will be size of 4th extent?
Percent Increase allows the segment to grow at an increasing rate.
The first two extents will be of a size determined by the Initial and Next parameter
(200k)
The third extent will be 1 + PCTINCREASE/100 times the second extent

(1.4*200=280k).
AND the 4th extent will be 1 + PCTINCREASE/100 times the third extent
(1.4*280=392k!!!) and so on...
Can you Redefine a table Online?
Yes. We can perform online table redefinition with the Enterprise Manager
Reorganize Objects wizard or with the DBMS_REDEFINITION package.
It provides a mechanism to make table structure modification without significantly
affecting the table availability of the table. When a table is redefining online it is
accessible to both queries and DML during the redefinition process.
Purpose for Table Redefinition
Add, remove, or rename columns from a table
Converting a non-partitioned table to a partitioned table and vice versa
Switching a heap table to an index organized and vice versa
Modifying storage parameters
Adding or removing parallel support
Reorganize (defragmenting) a table
Transform data in a table
Restrictions for Table Redefinition:
One cannot redefine Materialized Views (MViews) and tables with MViews or MView
Logs defined on them.
One cannot redefine Temporary and Clustered Tables
One cannot redefine tables with BFILE, LONG or LONG RAW columns
One cannot redefine tables belonging to SYS or SYSTEM
One cannot redefine Object tables
Table redefinition cannot be done in NOLOGGING mode (watch out for heavy
archiving)
Cannot be used to add or remove rows from a table
Can you assign Priority to users?

Yes, we can do this through resource manager. The Database Resource Manager
gives a database administrators more control over resource management decisions,
so that resource allocation can be aligned with an enterprise's business objectives.
With Oracle database Resource Manager an administrator can:
Guarantee certain users a minimum amount of processing resources regardless of
the load on the system and the number of users
Distribute available processing resources by allocating percentages of CPU time to
different users and applications.
Limit the degree of parallelism of any operation performed by members of a group
of users
Create an active session pool. This pool consists of a specified maximum number of
user sessions allowed to be concurrently active within a group of users. Additional
sessions beyond the maximum are queued for execution, but you can specify a
timeout period, after which queued jobs terminate.
Allow automatic switching of users from one group to another group based on
administrator-defined criteria. If a member of a particular group of users creates a
session that runs for longer than a specified amount of time, that session can be
automatically switched to another group of users with different resource
requirements.
Prevent the execution of operations that are estimated to run for a longer time than
a predefined limit
Create an undo pool. This pool consists of the amount of undo space that can be
consumed in by a group of users.
Configure an instance to use a particular method of allocating resources. You can
dynamically change the method, for example, from a daytime setup to a nighttime
setup, without having to shut down and restart the instance.

Monday, 30 April 2012


DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part5
What is Row Migration and Row Chaining?
There are two circumstances when this can occur, the data for a row in a table may
be too large to fit into a single data block. This can be caused by either row chaining
or row migration.
Chaining: Occurs when the row is too large to fit into one data block when it is first
inserted. In this case, Oracle stores the data for the row in a chain of data blocks
(one or more) reserved for that segment. Row chaining most often occurs with large
rows, such as rows that contain a column of data type LONG, LONG RAW, LOB, etc.
Row chaining in these cases is unavoidable.
Migration: Occurs when a row that originally fitted into one data block is updated so
that the overall row length increases, and the blocks free space is already
completely filled. In this case, Oracle migrates the data for the entire row to a new
data block, assuming the entire row can fit in a new block. Oracle preserves the
original row piece of a migrated row to point to the new block containing the
migrated row: the rowid of a migrated row does not change. When a row is chained
or migrated, performance associated with this row decreases because Oracle must
scan more than one data block to retrieve the information for that row.
INSERT and UPDATE statements that cause migration and chaining perform poorly,
because they perform additional processing.
SELECTs that use an index to select migrated or chained rows must perform
additional I/Os.
Detection: Migrated and chained rows in a table or cluster can be identified by using
the ANALYZE command with the LIST CHAINED ROWS option. This command collects
information about each migrated or chained row and places this information into a
specified output table. To create the table that holds the chained rows,
execute script UTLCHAIN.SQL.
SQL> ANALYZE TABLE scott.emp LIST CHAINED ROWS;
SQL> SELECT * FROM chained_rows;
You can also detect migrated and chained rows by checking the table fetch
continued row statistic in the v$sysstat view.
SQL> SELECT name, value FROM v$sysstat WHERE name = table fetch continued
row;
Although migration and chaining are two different things, internally they are
represented by Oracle as one. When detecting migration and chaining of rows you
should analyze carefully what you are dealing with.

What is Ora-01555 - Snapshot Too Old error and how do you avoid it?
1. Increase the size of rollback segment. (Which you have already done)
2. Process a range of data rather than the whole table.
3. Add a big rollback segment and allot your transaction to this RBS.
4. There is also possibility of RBS getting shrunk during the life of the query by
setting optimal.
5. Avoid frequent commits.
6. Google out for other causes.
What is a locally Managed Tablespace?
A Locally Managed Tablespace is a tablespace that manages its own extents
maintaining a bitmap in each data file to keep track of the free or used status of
blocks in that data file. Each bit in the bitmap corresponds to a block or a group of
blocks. When the extents are allocated or freed for reuse, Oracle changes the
bitmap values to show the new status of the blocks. These changes do not generate
rollback information because they do not update tables in the data dictionary
(except for tablespace quota information), unlike the default method of Dictionary Managed Tablespaces.
Following are the major advantages of locally managed tablespaces

Reduced contention on data dictionary tables


No rollback generated
No coalescing required
Reduced recursive space management.

Can you audit SELECT statements?


Yes, we can audit the select statements. Check out the below example:
SQL> show parameter audit
NAME TYPE VALUE

audit_file_dest string E:\ORACLE\PRODUCT\10.2.0\DB_2\
ADMIN\SRK\ADUMP
audit_sys_operations boolean FALSE
audit_trail string NONE
SQL> begin

dbms_fga.add_policy ( object_schema => SCOTT,


object_name => EMP2,
policy_name => EMP_AUDIT,
statement_types => SELECT );
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL>select * from dba_fga_audit_trail;
no rows selected
In HR schema:
SQL> create table bankim(
name varchar2 (10),
roll number (20));
Table created.
SQL> insert into bankim values (bankim, 10);
1 row created.
SQL> insert into bankim values (bankim2, 20);
1 row created.
SQL> select * from bankim;
NAME ROLL
- bankim 10
bankim2 20
SQL> select name from bankim;
NAME
bankim
bankim2
In sys schema:
SQL>set head off
SQL> select sql_text from dba_fga_audit_trail;
select count(*) from emp2
select * from emp2
select * from emp3

select count(*) from bankim


select * from bankim
select name from bankim
What does DBMS_FGA package do?
The dbms_fga Package is the central mechanism for the FGA is implemented in the
package dbms_fga, where all the APIs are defined. Typically, a user other than SYS is
given the responsibility of maintaining these policies. With the convention followed
earlier, we will go with the user SECUSER, who is entrusted with much of the
security features. The following statement grants the user SECUSER enough
authority to create and maintain the auditing facility.
Grant execute on dbms_fga to secuser;
The biggest problem with this package is that the polices are not like regular objects
with owners. While a user with execute permission on this package can create
policies, he or she can drop policies created by another user, too. This makes it
extremely important to secure this package and limit the use to only a few users
who are called to define the policies, such as SECUSER, a special user used in
examples.
What is Cost Based Optimization?
The CBO is used to design an execution plan for SQL statement. The CBO takes an
SQL statement and tries to weigh different ways (plan) to execute it. It assigns a
cost to each plan and chooses the plan with smallest cost.
The cost for smallest is calculated: Physical IO + Logical IO / 1000 + net IO.
How often you should collect statistics for a table?
CBO needs some statistics in order to assess the cost of the different access plans.
These statistics includes:
Size of tables, Size of indexes, number of rows in the tables, number of distinct keys
in an index, number of levels in a B* index, average number of blocks for a value,
average number of leaf blocks in an index
These statistics can be gathered with dbms_stats and the monitoring feature.
How do you collect statistics for a table, schema and Database?
Statistics are gathered using the DBMS_STATS package. The DBMS_STATS package
can gather statistics on table and indexes, and well as individual columns and
partitions of tables. When you generate statistics for a table, column, or index, if the
data dictionary already contains statistics for the object, then Oracle updates the
existing statistics. The older statistics are saved and can be restored later if

necessary. When statistics are updated for a database object, Oracle invalidates any
currently parsed SQL statements that access the object. The next time such a
statement executes, the statement is re-parsed and the optimizer automatically
chooses a new execution plan based on the new statistics.
Collect Statistics on Table Level
sqlplus scott/tiger
exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats ( ownname => 'SCOTT', tabname => 'EMP', estimate_percent => dbms_stats.auto_sample_size, method_opt => 'for all columns size auto', cascade => true, degree => 5 - )
/
Collect Statistics on Schema Level
sqlplus scott/tiger
exec dbms_stats.gather_schema_stats ( ownname => 'SCOTT', options => 'GATHER', estimate_percent => dbms_stats.auto_sample_size, method_opt => 'for all columns size auto', cascade => true, degree => 5 - )

Collect Statistics on Other Levels


DBMS_STATS can collect optimizer statistics on the following levels, see Oracle
Manual
GATHER_DATABASE_STATS
GATHER_DICTIONARY_STATS
GATHER_FIXED_OBJECTS_STATS
GATHER_INDEX_STATS
GATHER_SCHEMA_STATS
GATHER_SYSTEM_STATS
GATHER_TABLE_STATS
Can you make collection of Statistics for tables automatic?

Yes, you can schedule your statistics but in some situation automatic statistics
gathering may not be adequate. It suitable for those databases whose object is
modified frequently. Because the automatic statistics gathering runs during an
overnight batch window, the statistics on tables which are significantly modified
during the day may become stale.
There may be two scenarios in this case:
Volatile tables that are being deleted or truncated and rebuilt during the course of
the day.
Objects which are the target of large bulk loads which add 10% or more to the
objects total size.
So you may wish to manually gather statistics of those objects in order to choose
the optimizer the best execution plan. There are two ways to gather statistics.
Using DBMS_STATS package.
Using ANALYZE command
How can you use ANALYZE statement to collect statistics?
ANALYZE TABLE emp ESTIMATE STATISTICS FOR ALL COLUMNS;
ANALYZE INDEX inv_product_ix VALIDATE STRUCTURE;
ANALYZE TABLE customers VALIDATE REF UPDATE;
ANALYZE TABLE orders LIST CHAINED ROWS INTO chained_rows;
ANALYZE TABLE customers VALIDATE STRUCTURE ONLINE;
To delete statistics:
ANALYZE TABLE orders DELETE STATISTICS;
To get the analyze details:
SELECT owner_name, table_name, head_rowid, analyze_timestamp FROM
chained_rows;
On which columns you should create Indexes?
The following list gives guidelines in choosing columns to index:
You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently in WHERE clauses.
You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently to join tables.

You should create indexes on columns that are used frequently in ORDER BY
clauses.
You should create indexes on columns that have few of the same values or unique
values in the table.
You should not create indexes on small tables (tables that use only a few blocks)
because a full table scan may be faster than an indexed query.
If possible, choose a primary key that orders the rows in the most appropriate order.
If only one column of the concatenated index is used frequently in WHERE clauses,
place that column first in the CREATE INDEX statement.
If more than one column in a concatenated index is used frequently in WHERE
clauses, place the most selective column first in the CREATE INDEX statement.
What type of Indexes is available in Oracle?
B-tree indexes: the default and the most common.
B-tree cluster indexes: defined specifically for cluster.
Hash cluster indexes: defined specifically for a hash cluster.
Global and local indexes: relate to partitioned tables and indexes.
Reverse key indexes: most useful for Oracle Real Application Clusters.
Bitmap indexes: compact; work best for columns with a small set of values
Function-based indexes: contain the pre-computed value of a function/expression
Domain indexes: specific to an application or cartridge.
What is B-Tree Index?
B-Tree is an indexing technique most commonly used in databases and file systems
where pointers to data are placed in a balance tree structure so that all references
to any data can be accessed in an equal time frame. It is also a tree data structure
which keeps data sorted so that searching, inserting and deleting can be done in
logarithmic amortized time.
A table is having few rows, should you create indexes on this table?
You should not create indexes on small tables (tables that use only a few blocks)
because a full table scan may be faster than an indexed query.
A Column is having many repeated values which type of index you should
create on this column

B-Tree index is suitable if the columns being indexed are high cardinality (number of
repeated values). In fact for this situation a bitmap index is very useful but bitmap
index are vary expensive.
When should you rebuild indexes?
There is no thumb rule when you should rebuild the index. According to expert it
depends upon your database situation:
When the data in index is sparse (lots of holes in index, due to deletes or
updates) and your query is usually range based or If Blevel >3 then takes
index in rebuild consideration;
desc DBA_Indexes;
Because when you rebuild indexes then database performance goes down.
In fact binary tree index can never be unbalanced. Binary tree performance is good
for both small and large tables and does not degrade with the growth of table.
Can you build indexes online?
Yes, we can build index online. It allows performing DML operation on the base table
during index creation. You can use the statements:
CREATE INDEX ONLINE and DROP INDEX ONLINE.
ALTER INDEX REBUILD ONLINE is used to rebuild the index online.
A Table Lock is required on the index base table at the start of the CREATE or
REBUILD process to guarantee DDL information. A lock at the end of the process
also required to merge change into the final index structure.
A table is created with the following setting
storage (initial 200k
next 200k
minextents 2
maxextents 100
pctincrease 40)
What will be size of 4th extent?
Percent Increase allows the segment to grow at an increasing rate.
The first two extents will be of a size determined by the Initial and Next parameter
(200k)

The third extent will be 1 + PCTINCREASE/100 times the second extent


(1.4*200=280k).
AND the 4th extent will be 1 + PCTINCREASE/100 times the third extent
(1.4*280=392k!!!) and so on...
Can you Redefine a table Online?
Yes. We can perform online table redefinition with the Enterprise Manager
Reorganize Objects wizard or with the DBMS_REDEFINITION package.
It provides a mechanism to make table structure modification without significantly
affecting the table availability of the table. When a table is redefining online it is
accessible to both queries and DML during the redefinition process.
Purpose for Table Redefinition
Add, remove, or rename columns from a table
Converting a non-partitioned table to a partitioned table and vice versa
Switching a heap table to an index organized and vice versa
Modifying storage parameters
Adding or removing parallel support
Reorganize (defragmenting) a table
Transform data in a table
Restrictions for Table Redefinition:
One cannot redefine Materialized Views (MViews) and tables with MViews or MView
Logs defined on them.
One cannot redefine Temporary and Clustered Tables
One cannot redefine tables with BFILE, LONG or LONG RAW columns
One cannot redefine tables belonging to SYS or SYSTEM
One cannot redefine Object tables
Table redefinition cannot be done in NOLOGGING mode (watch out for heavy
archiving)
Cannot be used to add or remove rows from a table
Can you assign Priority to users?

Yes, we can do this through resource manager. The Database Resource Manager
gives a database administrators more control over resource management decisions,
so that resource allocation can be aligned with an enterprise's business objectives.
With Oracle database Resource Manager an administrator can:
Guarantee certain users a minimum amount of processing resources regardless of
the load on the system and the number of users
Distribute available processing resources by allocating percentages of CPU time to
different users and applications.
Limit the degree of parallelism of any operation performed by members of a group
of users
Create an active session pool. This pool consists of a specified maximum number of
user sessions allowed to be concurrently active within a group of users. Additional
sessions beyond the maximum are queued for execution, but you can specify a
timeout period, after which queued jobs terminate.
Allow automatic switching of users from one group to another group based on
administrator-defined criteria. If a member of a particular group of users creates a
session that runs for longer than a specified amount of time, that session can be
automatically switched to another group of users with different resource
requirements.
Prevent the execution of operations that are estimated to run for a longer time than
a predefined limit
Create an undo pool. This pool consists of the amount of undo space that can be
consumed in by a group of users.
Configure an instance to use a particular method of allocating resources. You can
dynamically change the method, for example, from a daytime setup to a nighttime
setup, without having to shut down and restart the instance.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part6
Can one switch to another database user without a password?
Users normally use the "CONNECT" statement to connect from one database user to
another. However, DBAs can switch from one user to another without a password. Of
course it is not advisable to bridge Oracle's security, but look at this example:
SQL> CONNECT / as sysdba
SQL> SELECT password FROM dba_users WHERE username='SCOTT';
F894844C34402B67
SQL> ALTER USER scott IDENTIFIED BY anything;
SQL> CONNECT scott/anything
OK, we're in. Let's quickly change the password back before anybody notices.
SQL> ALTER USER scott IDENTIFIED BY VALUES 'F894844C34402B67';
User altered.
How do you delete duplicate rows in a table?
There is a several method to delete duplicate row from the table:
Method1:
DELETE FROM SHAAN A WHERE ROWID >
(SELECT min(rowid) FROM SHAAN B
WHERE A.EMPLOYEE_ID = B.EMPLOYEE_ID);
Method2:
delete from SHAAN t1
where exists (select 'x' from SHAAN t2
where t2.EMPLOYEE_ID = t1.EMPLOYEE_ID
and t2.EMPLOYEE_ID = t1.EMPLOYEE_ID
and t2.rowid > t1.rowid);
Method3:

DELETE SHAAN
WHERE rowid IN
( SELECT LEAD(rowid) OVER
(PARTITION BY EMPLOYEE_ID ORDER BY NULL)
FROM SHAAN );
Method4:
delete from SHAAN where rowid not in
( select min(rowid)
from SHAAN group by EMPLOYEE_ID);
Method5:
delete from SHAAN
where rowid not in ( select min(rowid)
from SHAAN group by EMPLOYEE_ID);
Method6:
SQL> create table table_name2 as select distinct * from table_name1;
SQL> drop table table_name1;
SQL> rename table_name2 to table_name1;
What is Automatic Management of Segment Space setting?
Automatic Segment Space Management (ASSM) introduced in Oracle9i is an easier
way of managing space in a segment using bitmaps. It eliminates the DBA from
setting the parameters pctused, freelists, and freelist groups.
ASSM can be specified only with the locally managed tablespaces (LMT). The
CREATE TABLESPACE statement has a new clause SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT.
Oracle uses bitmaps to manage the free space. A bitmap, in this case, is a map that
describes the status of each data block within a segment with respect to the
amount of space in the block available for inserting rows. As more or less space
becomes available in a data block, its new state is reflected in the bitmap.
CREATE TABLESPACE myts DATAFILE '/oradata/mysid/myts01.dbf' SIZE 100M
EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL UNIFORM SIZE 2M
SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT AUTO;

What is COMPRESS and CONSISTENT setting in EXPORT utility?


If COMPRESS=Y, the INITIAL storage parameter is set to the total size of all extents
allocated for the object. The change takes effect only when the object is imported.
Setting CONSISTENT=Y exports all tables and references in a consistent state. This
slows the export, as rollback space is used. If CONSISTENT=N and a record is
modified during the export, the data will become inconsistent.
What is the difference between Direct Path and Convention Path loading?
When you use SQL loader by default it use conventional path to load data. This
method competes equally with all other oracle processes for buffer resources. This
can slow the load. A direct path load eliminates much of the Oracle database
overhead by formatting Oracle data blocks and writing the data blocks directly to
the database files. If load speed is most important to you, you should use direct
path load because it is faster.
What is an Index Organized Table?
An index-organized table (IOT) is a type of table that stores data in a B*Tree index
structure. Normal relational tables, called heap-organized tables, store rows in any
order (unsorted).
CREATE TABLE my_iot (id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY, value VARCHAR2 (50))
ORGANIZATION INDEX;
What are a Global Index and Local Index?
When you create a partitioned table, you should create an index on the table. The
index may be partitioned according to the same range values that were used to
partition the table. Local keyword in the index partition tells oracle to create a
separate index for each partition of the table. The Global clause in create index
command allows you to create a non-partitioned index or to specify ranges for the
index values that are different from the ranges for the table partitions. Local indexes
may be easier to manage than global indexes however, global indexes may perform
uniqueness checks faster than local (portioned) indexes perform them.
What is difference between Multithreaded/Shared Server and Dedicated
Server?
Oracle Database creates server processes to handle the requests of user processes
connected to an instance.
A dedicated server process, which services only one user process
A shared server process, which can service multiple user processes

Your database is always enabled to allow dedicated server processes, but you must
specifically configure and enable shared server by setting one or more initialization
parameters.
Can you import objects from Oracle ver. 7.3 to 9i?
We can not import from lower version export to higher version in fact. But not sure
may be now concept is changed.
How do you move tables from one tablespace to another tablespace?
Method 1:
Export the table, drop the table, create the table definition in the new tablespace,
and then import the data (imp ignore=y).
Method 2:
Create a new table in the new tablespace with the "CREATE TABLE x AS SELECT *
from y" command:
CREATE TABLE temp_name TABLESPACE new_tablespace AS SELECT * FROM
real_table;
Then drop the original table and rename the temporary table as the original:
DROP TABLE real_table;
RENAME temp_name TO real_table;
Note: After step #1 or #2 is done, be sure to recompile any procedures that may
have been
invalidated by dropping the table. Prefer method #1, but #2 is easier if there are no
indexes, constraints, or triggers. If there are, you must manually recreate them.
Method 3:
If you are using Oracle 8i or above then simply use:
SQL>Alter table table_name move tablespace tablespace_name;
How do see how much space is used and free in a tablespace?
SELECT * FROM SM$TS_FREE;
SELECT TABLESPACE_NAME, SUM(BYTES) FROM DBA_FREE_SPACE GROUP BY
TABLESPACE_NAME;
Can view be the based on other view?

Yes, the view can be created from other view by directing a select query to use the
other view data.
What happens, if you not specify Dictionary option with the start option in
case of LogMinor concept?
It is recommended that you specify a dictionary option. If you do not, LogMiner
cannot translate internal object identifiers and datatypes to object names and
external data formats. Therefore, it would return internal object IDs and present
data as hex bytes. Additionally, the MINE_VALUE and COLUMN_PRESENT functions
cannot be used without a dictionary.
What is the Benefit and draw back of Continuous Mining?
The continuous mining option is useful if you are mining in the same instance that is
generating the redo logs. When you plan to use the continuous mining option, you
only need to specify one archived redo log before starting LogMiner. Then, when you
start LogMiner specify the DBMS_LOGMNR.CONTINUOUS_MINE option, which directs
LogMiner to automatically add and mine subsequent archived redo logs and also the
online catalog.
Continuous Mining is not available in Real Application Cluster.
What is LogMiner and its Benefit?
LogMiner is a recovery utility. You can use it to recover the data from oracle redo log
and archive log file. The Oracle LogMiner utility enables you to query redo logs
through a SQL interface. Redo logs contain information about the history of activity
on a database.
Benefit of LogMiner?
1. Pinpointing when a logical corruption to a database; suppose when a row is
accidentally deleted then logMiner helps to recover the database exact time based
and changed based recovery.
2. Perform table specific undo operation to return the table to its original state.
LogMiner reconstruct the SQL statement in reverse order from which they are
executed.
3. It helps in performance tuning and capacity planning. You can determine which
table gets the most update and insert. That information provides a historical
perspective on disk access statistics, which can be used for tuning purpose.
4. Performing post auditing; LogMiner is used to track any DML and DDL performed
on database in the order they were executed.
What is Oracle DataGuard?

Oracle DataGuard is a tools that provides data protection and ensures disaster
recovery for enterprise data. It provides comprehensive set of services that create,
maintain, manage, and monitor one or more standby databases to enable
production Oracle databases to survive disasters and data corruption. Dataguard
maintains these standsby databases as transitionally consistent copies of the
production database. Then, if the production database becomes failure Data Guard
can switch any standby database to the production role, minimizing the downtime
associated with the outage. Data Guard can be used with traditional backup,
restoration, and cluster techniques to provide a high level of data protection and
data availability.
What is Standby Databases
A standby database is a transitionally consistent copy of the primary database.
Using a backup copy of the primary database, you can create up to 9 standby
databases and incorporate them in a Data Guard configuration. Once created, Data
Guard automatically maintains each standby database by transmitting redo data
from the primary database and then applying the redo to the standby database.
Similar to a primary database, a standby database can be either a single-instance
Oracle database or an Oracle Real Application Clusters database. A standby
database can be either a physical standby database or a logical standby database:
Difference between Physical standby Logical standby databases
Provides a physically identical copy of the primary database on a block-for-block
basis. The database schema, including indexes, is the same. A physical standby
database is kept synchronized with the primary database, though Redo Apply, which
recovers the redo data, received from the primary database and applies the redo to
the physical standby database.
Logical Standby database contains the same logical information as the production
database, although the physical organization and structure of the data can be
different. The logical standby database is kept synchronized with the primary
database though SQL Apply, which transforms the data in the redo received from
the primary database into SQL statements and then executing the SQL statements
on the standby database.
If you are going to setup standby database what will be your Choice
Logical or Physical?
We need to keep the physical standby database in recovery mode in order to
apply the received archive logs from the primary database. We can open physical
stand by database to read only and make it available to the applications users
(Only select is allowed during this period). Once the database is opened in Read
only mode then we can not apply redo logs received from primary database.

We do not see such issues with logical standby database. We can open up the
database in normal mode and make it available to the users. At the same time, we
can apply archived logs received from primary database.
If the primary database needed to support pretty large user community for the OLTP
system and pretty large Reporting Group then better to use logical standby as
primary database instead of physical database.
What are the requirements needed before preparing standby database?
OS Architecture of primary database secondary database should be same.
The version of secondary database must be the same as primary database.
The Primary database must run in Archivelog mode.
Require the same hardware architecture on the primary and all standby site.
Does not require the same OS version and release on the primary and secondary
site.
Each Primary and secondary database must have its own database.
What are Failover and Switchover in case of dataguard?
Failover is the operation of bringing one of the standby databases online as the new
primary database when failure occurs on the primary database and there is no
possibility of recover primary database in a timely manner. The switchover is a
situation to handle planned maintenance on the primary database. The main
difference between switchover operation and failover operation is that switchover is
performed when primary database is still available or it does not require a flash
back or re-installation of the original primary database. This allows the original
primary database to the role of standby database almost immediately. As a result
schedule maintenance can performed more easily and frequently.
When you use WHERE clause and when you use HAVING clause?
HAVING clause is used when you want to specify a condition for a group function
and it is written after GROUP BY clause The WHERE clause is used when you want to
specify a condition for columns, single row functions except group functions and it is
written before GROUP BY clause if it is used.
What is a cursor and difference between an implicit & an explicit cursor?
A cursor is a PL/SQL block used to fetch more than one row in a Pl/SQl block. PL/SQL
declares a cursor implicitly for all SQL data manipulation statements, including
quries that return only one row. However, queries that return more than one row
you must declare an explicit cursor or use a cursor FOR loop.

Explicit cursor is a cursor in which the cursor name is explicitly assigned to a


SELECT statement via the CURSOR...IS statement. An implicit cursor is used for all
SQL statements Declare, Open, Fetch, Close. An explicit cursors are used to process
multirow SELECT statements An implicit cursor is used to process INSERT, UPDATE,
DELETE and single row SELECT. .INTO statements.
Explain the difference between a data block, an extent and a segment.
A data block is the smallest unit of logical storage for a database object. As objects
grow they take chunks of additional storage that are composed of contiguous data
blocks. These groupings of contiguous data blocks are called extents. All the extents
that an object takes when grouped together are considered the segment of the
database object.
You have just had to restore from backup and do not have any control
files. How would you go about bringing up this database?
I would create a text based backup control file, stipulating where on disk all the data
files where and then issue the recover command with the using backup control file
clause.
A table is classified as a parent table and you want to drop and re-create
it. How would you do this without affecting the children tables?
Disable the foreign key constraint to the parent, drop the table, re-create the table,
and enable the foreign key constraint.
How to Unregister database from Rman catalog
First we start up RMAN with a connection to the catalog and the target, making a
note of the DBID in the banner:
C:\>rman catalog=rman/rman@shaan target=HRMS/password@orcl3
connected to target database: W2K1 (DBID=691421794)
connected to recovery catalog database
Note the DBID from here. Next we list and delete any backupset recorded in the
repository:
RMAN> LIST BACKUP SUMMARY;
RMAN> DELETE BACKUP DEVICE TYPE SBT;
RMAN> DELETE BACKUP DEVICE TYPE DISK;
Next we connect to the RMAN catalog owner using SQL*Plus and issue the following
statement:
SQL> CONNECT rman/rman@shaan

SQL> SELECT db_key, db_id FROM db


WHERE db_id = 1487421514;
DB_KEY DB_ID
---------- ---------1 691421794
The resulting key and id can then be used to unregister the database:
SQL> EXECUTE dbms_rcvcat.unregisterdatabase(1, 691421794);
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part7
My database was terminated while in BACKUP MODE, do I need to recover?
If a database was terminated while one of its tablespaces was in BACKUP MODE
(ALTER TABLESPACE xyz BEGIN BACKUP;), it will tell you that media recovery is
required when you try to restart the database. The DBA is then required to recover
the database and apply all archived logs to the database. However, from Oracle 7.2,
one can simply take the individual datafiles out of backup mode and restart the
database.
SQL> ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE C:\PATH\FILENAME END BACKUP;
One can select from V$BACKUP to see which datafiles are in backup mode From
Oracle9i onwards, the following command can be used to take all of the datafiles
out of hotbackup mode:
SQL>ALTER DATABASE END BACKUP;
Note: This command must be issued when the database is mounted, but not yet
opened.
Does Oracle write to data files in begin/hot backup mode?
When a tablespace is in backup mode, Oracle will stop updating its file headers, but
will continue to write to the data files. When in backup mode, Oracle will write
complete changed blocks to the redo log files. Because of this, increased log activity
and archiving during on-line backups. To solve this problem, simply switch to RMAN
backups.
Difference Consistent and Inconsistent Backup
The backup taken in shutdown state or in same point in time are referred to as
consistent. Unlike an inconsistent backup, a consistent whole database backup does
not require recovery after it is restored, here all header of datafile belongs to
writable tablespace have the same SCN. These datafile donot have any change past
this check point SCN. The SCN of datafile header matches exactly controlfile
checkpoint.
An inconsistent backup is a backup of one or more database files that you make
while the database is open or after the database has shut down abnormally. This
means that the files in the backup contain data taken from different points in time.
This can occur because the datafiles are being modified as backups are being taken.
Not any of the above mentioned properties are exist here. A recovery (Applying all
the archive and online redo logs) is needed in order to make the backup consistent.

Difference between restoring and recovering?


Restoring involves copying backup files from secondary storage (backup media) to
disk. This can be done to replace damaged files or to copy/move a database to a
new location.
Recovery is the process of applying redo logs to the database to roll it forward. One
can roll-forward until a specific point-in-time (before the disaster occurred), or rollforward until the last transaction recorded in the log files.
Difference between Complete and Incomplete Recovery?
Complete recovery involves using redo data or incremental backups combined with
a backup of a database, tablespace, or datafile to update it to the most current
point in time. It is called complete because Oracle applies all of the redo changes
contained in the archived and online logs to the backup. Typically, you perform
complete media recovery after a media failure damages datafiles or the control file.
Incomplete recovery, or point-in-time recovery we do not apply all of the redo
records generated after the most recent backup or when archive redo log is missing.
Because you are not completely recovering the database to the most current time,
you must tell Oracle when to terminate recovery. You can perform the following
types of media recovery.
Time based Recovery, Cancel based Recovery, Change based Recovery, Log
sequence Recovery
What happens when we open the database with Resetlogs option after
incomplete recovery?
The RESETLOGS operation creates a new incarnation of the databasein other
words, a database with a new stream of log sequence numbers starting with log
sequence 1.
Before using the OPEN RESETLOGS command to open the database in read/write
mode after an incomplete recovery, it is a good idea to first open the database in
read-only mode, and inspect the data to make sure that the database was
recovered to the correct point. If the recovery was done to the wrong point, then it
is easier to re-run the recovery if no OPENRESETLOGS has been done.
Difference between online and offline backups?
A hot (or on-line) backup is a backup performed while the database is open and
available for use (read and write activity). Except for Oracle exports, one can only
do on-line backups when the database is ARCHIVELOG mode. A cold (or off-line)
backup is a backup performed while the database is off-line and unavailable to its

users. Cold backups can be taken regardless if the database is in ARCHIVELOG or


NOARCHIVELOG mode.
It is easier to restore from off-line backups as no recovery (from archived logs)
would be required to make the database consistent. Nevertheless, on-line backups
are less disruptive and doesn't require database downtime.
Point-in-time recovery (regardless if you do on-line or off-line backups) is only
available when the database is in ARCHIVELOG mode.

What is the difference between Views and Materialized Views in Oracle?


Views evaluate the data in the tables underlying the view definition at the time the
view is queried. It is a logical view of your tables, with no data stored anywhere
else. The upside of a view is that it will always return the latest data to you. The
downside of a view is that its performance depends on how good a select statement
the view is based on. If the select statement used by the view joins many tables, or
uses joins based on non-indexed columns, the view could perform poorly.
Materialized views are similar to regular views, in that they are a logical view of
your data (based on a select statement), however, the underlying query result set
has been saved to a table. The upside of this is that when you query a materialized
view, you are querying a table, which may also be indexed. Materialized views
having several other advantages over simple view.
What happens when you set CONTROL_FILE_RECORD_KEEP_TIME to 0
Never set CONTROL_FILE_RECORD_KEEP_TIME to 0. If you do, then backup records
may be overwritten in the control file before RMAN is able to add them to the
catalog. As we know that The CONTROL_FILE_RECORD_KEEP_TIME initialization
parameter determines the minimum number of days that records are retained in the
control file before they are candidates for being overwritten.
How to find the last refresh of your database (when the recovery with
resetlogs performed)?
If the cloned database has been opened with RESETLOGS option, you can try
checking out V$DATABASE.RESETLOGS_TIME. if the V$DATABASE.CREATED is not
equal to V$DATABASE.RESETLOGS_TIME...there is a possibility that it might be
opened with resetlogs option. I don't have the required set up to check and confirm
this myself....but this is something you can get it a shot.
Command to find files created a day before
find . -type f -mtime 1 -exec ls -lth {} \;

Initially Flashback Database was enabled but noticed Flashback was


disabled automatically long time ago. What is the Issue?
Reason:
It could be because the flashback area 100% Once Flashback Area become 100%
full then oracle will log in Alert that Flashback will be disabled and it will
automatically turn off Flash Back without user intervention.
How can I check if there is anything rolling back?
It depends on how you killed the process. If you did and alter system kill session you
should be able to look at the used_ublk block in v$transaciton to get an estimate for
the rollback being done. If you killed to server process in the OS and pmon is
recovering the transaction you can look at V$FAST_START_TRANSACTIONS view to
get the estimate
How do you see how many instances are running?
In Linux, Unix the command: ps -ef|grep pmon
In Windows: services.msc
Which is more efficient Incremental Backups using RMAN or Incremental
Export?
Rman
The current logfile gets damaged. What you can do now?
Once current redolog file is damaged, instance is aborted and it needs recovery
upto undamaged part. Only undamaged part can be recovered. Here DBA must
apply time based recovery, means it can be a point in time or specified by SCN. It
leads to incomplete recovery
Where should the tuning effort be directed?
Consider the following areas for tuning in order to increase performance of DB
Application Tuning:
Experience showed that approximately 80% of all Oracle system performance
problems are resolved by coding optimal SQL. Also consider proper scheduling of
batch tasks after peak working hours.
Memory Tuning:
Properly size your database buffers (shared pool, buffer cache, log buffer, etc) by
looking at your buffer hit ratios. Pin large objects into memory to prevent frequent
reloads.

Disk I/O Tuning:


Database files needs to be properly sized and placed to provide maximum disk
subsystem throughput. Also look for frequent disk sorts, full table scans, missing
indexes, row chaining, data fragmentation, etc
Eliminate Database Contention:
Study database locks, latches and wait events carefully and eliminate where
possible.
Tune the Operating System:
Monitor and tune operating system CPU, I/O and memory utilization. For more
information, read the related Oracle FAQ dealing with your specific operating
system.

What are the common Import/ Export problems?


ORA-00001: Unique constraint (...) violated - You are importing duplicate rows. Use
IGNORE=NO to skip tables that already exist (imp will give an error if the object is
re-created).
ORA-01555: Snapshot too old - Ask your users to STOP working while you are
exporting or use parameter CONSISTENT=NO
ORA-01562: Failed to extend rollback segment - Create bigger rollback segments or
set parameter COMMIT=Y while importing
IMP-00015: Statement failed ... object already exists... - Use the IGNORE=Y import
parameter to ignore these errors, but be careful as you might end up with duplicate
rows.
By mistake a use drop or truncate a Table then what is the best method to
recover it?
There are several methods possibly through RMAN such as:
Restore and recover the primary database to a point in time before the drop. This is
an extreme measure for one table as the entire database goes back in time.
Restore and recover the tablespace to a point in time before the drop. This is a
better option, but again, it takes the entire tablespace back in time.

Restore and recover a subset of the database as a DUMMY database to export the
table data and import it into the primary database. This is the best option as only
the dropped table goes back in time to before the drop.
How to find running jobs in oracle database
select sid, job,instance from dba_jobs_running;
select sid, serial#,machine, status, osuser,username from v$session where
username!='NULL'; --all active users
select owner, job_name from DBA_SCHEDULER_RUNNING_JOBS; --for oracle 10g
How to find long running jobs in oracle database
select username,to_char(start_time, 'hh24:mi:ss dd/mm/yy') started,
time_remaining remaining, message from v$session_longops
where time_remaining = 0 order by time_remaining desc
Login without password knowledge
This is not the genuine approach consider it as a practice.
SQL> CONNECT / as sysdba
Connected.
SQL> SELECT password FROM dba_users WHERE username='SCOTT';
PASSWORD
--------------- --------------F894844C34402B67
SQL> ALTER USER scott IDENTIFIED BY anything;
User altered.
SQL> CONNECT scott/anything
Connected.
OK, we're in. Let's quickly change the password back before anybody notices.
SQL> ALTER USER scott IDENTIFIED BY VALUES 'F894844C34402B67';
User altered.

While applying the CPU Patch why we need to update the Oracle
Inventory?
Because when you apply the CPU it updates the oracle binaries.

Monday, 14 May 2012


DBA Interview Questions with Answers Part8
Difference between locks and latches
Locks are used to protect the data or resources from the simultaneous use of them
by multiple sessions which might set them in inconsistent state. Locks are external
mechanism, means user can also set locks on objects by using various oracle
statements.
Latches are for the same purpose but works at internal level. Latches are used to
Protect and control access to internal data structures like various SGA buffers. They
are handled and maintained by oracle and we cant access or set it.
Setting the audit_trail parameter in the database to db, it generates lot
of records in sys.aud$ table. Can you suggest any method to overcome
this issue?
1. When you set audit it does audit for every single activity on the database. So it
may lead into performance problem.
You have to disable every single audit(<> noaudit) before or after you set the
parameter and then enable one by one based on the requirement.
2. You should monitor the growth of sys.aud$ and archive it properly or maintain the
space.
How to change the topnsql of AWR Snapshot in 10g
Select * from DBA_HIST_WR_CONTROL
1898043910 +00 01:00:00.000000 +01 00:00:00.000000 DEFAULT
exec DBMS_WORKLOAD_REPOSITORY.MODIFY_SNAPSHOT_SETTINGS(topnsql =>
30);
Select * from DBA_HIST_WR_CONTROL
1898043910 +00 01:00:00.000000 +01 00:00:00.000000 30
How to detect whos causing excessive redo generation
SELECT S1.SID, S1.SERIAL_NUM, S1.USER_NAME, S1.PROGRAM, T1.USED_UBLK,
T1.USED_UREC FROM V$SESSION S1, V$TRANSACTION T1 WHERE S1.TADDR =
T1.ADDR ORDER BY 5 DESC, 6 DESC, 1, 2, 3, 4;
Tracking undo generation by all session
SELECT S1.SID, S1.USER_NAME, R1.NAME, T1.START_TIME, T1.USED_UBLK ,
T1.USED_UREC FROM V$SESSION S1, V$TRANSACTION T1, V$ROLLNAME R1 WHERE
T1.ADDR = S1.TADDR AND R1.USN = T1.XIDUSN;

Or you can collect Statistics from V$SESSTAT to AWR

How do you remove an SPFILE parameter (not change the value of, but
actually purge it outright)?
Use "ALTER SYSTEM RESET ..." (For database versions 9i and up)
Syntax:
ALTER SYSTEM RESET PARAMETER SID='SID|*'
ALTER SYSTEM RESET "_TRACE_FILES_PUBLIC" SCOPE=SPFILE SID='*';
NOTE: The "SID='SID|*'" argument is REQUIRED!
Can you use RMAN to recover RMAN?
Yes, you can!
Which situation Exist condition is better than IN
If the resultant of sub query is small then IN is typically more appropriate where as
resultant of sub query is big/large/long then EXIST is more appropriate. The Exist
always results full scan of table where as first query can make use of index on Table.
Is Oracle really quicker on Windows than Solaris?
I found in my experience that Yes, windows perform better on comparable hardware
just about any UNIX box. I am working on Windows but once I installed Solaris trying
to test. I found the windows installations always outperformed the Solaris ones both
on initial loading the pool cache and subsequent runs. The test package is rather
large (5000+ lines), which is used in a form to display customer details. On Solaris I
was typically getting an initial return time of 5 seconds and on windows, typically, 1
second. Even subsequent runs (i.e. cached) the windows outperformed Solaris. The
parameter sizes for the SGA were approx. the same and the file systems are the
conventional method. In both cases the disk configuration is local.
What is Difference between DBname and instance_name?
A database is a set of files (data, redo, ctl and so on) where as An instance is a set
of processes (SMON, PMON, DBWR, etc) and a shared memory segment (SGA).
A database may be mounted and opened by many INSTANCES (Parallel Server)
concurrently. An instance may mount and open ANY database -- however it may
only open a single database at any time. There for you need unique (for the set of
files).
Does DBCA create instance while creating database?

DBCA does not create instance. It create database (set of files). The instance is only
feelings do a shutdown and goodbye instance and on windows it registers the
necessary services that can be used to start an instance when you want.
Is there any way to create database without DBCA?
Yes, you can used oradim directly
What's the difference between connections, sessions and processes?
A connection is a physical circuit between you and the database. A connection
might be one of many types -- most popular begin DEDICATED server and SHARED
server. Zero, one or more sessions may be established over a given connection to
the database as show above with sqlplus. A process will be used by a session to
execute statements. Sometimes there is a one to one relationship between
CONNECTION->SESSION->PROCESS (eg: a normal dedicated server connection).
Sometimes there is a one to many from connection to sessions (eg: like autotrace,
one connection, two sessions, one process). A process does not have to be
dedicated to a specific connection or session however, for example when using
shared server (MTS), your SESSION will grab a process from a pool of processes in
order to execute a statement. When the call is over, that process is released back to
the pool of processes.
SQL>select username from v$session where username is not null;
you can see one session, me
SQL>select username, program from v$process;
you can see all of the backgrounds and my dedicated server...
Autotrace for statistics uses ANOTHER session so it can query up the stats for your
CURRENT session without impacting the STATS for that session!
SQL>select username from v$session where username is not null;
now you can see two session but...
SQL>select username, program from v$process;
Same 14 processes...
What about Fragmentation situation (LMT) in oracle 8i and up?
Fragmentation is that if you have many small holes (regions of contiguous free
space) that are too small to be the next extent of any object. These holes of free
space resulted from dropping some object (or truncating them) and the resulting
free space cannot be used by any other object in that tablespace. This is a direct

result of using pctincrease that is not zero and having many weird sized extents
(every extents is unique size and shape). In oracle 8i and above we all are using
locally managed tablespace. These would use either uniform sizing or our automatic
allocation scheme. In either case it is almost impossible to get into a situation where
you have unusable free space.
To see if you suffer from fragmentation you can query from DBA_FREE_SPACE (best
to do an alter tablespace to ensure all contiguous made into 1 big free region). You
would look any free space that is smaller then the smallest next extent size for any
object in that tablespace. Check with below query:
Select * from dba_free_space
where tablespace_name = 'T' and bytes <= ( select min(next_extent)
from dba_segments where tablespace_name = 'T') order by block_id
Is there a way we can flush out a known data set from the database buffer
cache?
No you dont, in real life; the cache would never be empty. It is true that 10g
introduce an alter system flush buffer_cache, but it is not really worthwhile. Having
empty buffer cache is fake, if no more so than what you are currently doing.
What would be the best approach to benchmark the response time for a
particular query?
run query q1 over and over (with many different inputs)
run query q2 over and over (with many different inputs)
discard first couple of observations, and last couple
use the observations in the middle
What is difference between Char and Varchar2 and which is better
approach?
A CHAR datatype and VARCHAR2 datatype are stored identically (eg: the word
'WORD' stored in a CHAR(4) and a varchar2(4) consume exactly the same amount
of space on disk, both have leading byte counts).
The difference between a CHAR and a VARCHAR is that a CHAR(n) will ALWAYS be N
bytes long, it will be blank padded upon insert to ensure this. A varchar2(n) on the
other hand will be 1 to N bytes long, it will NOT be blank padded. Using a CHAR on a
varying width field can be a pain due to the search semantics of CHAR.
Consider the following examples:

SQL> create table t ( x char(10) );


Table created.
SQL> insert into t values ( 'Hello' );
1 row created.
SQL> select * from t where x = 'Hello';
X
---------Hello
SQL> variable y varchar2(25)
SQL> exec :y := 'Hello'
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL> select * from t where x = :y;
no rows selected
SQL> select * from t where x = rpad(:y,10);
X
---------Hello
Notice how when doing the search with a varchar2 variable (almost every tool in the
world
uses this type), we have to rpad() it to get a hit. If the field is in fact ALWAYS 10
bytes long, using a CHAR will not hurt -- HOWEVER, it will not help either.
Rman always shows date in DD-MON-YY format. How to set date format to
M/DD/YYYY HH24:MI:SS in rman ?
You can just set the NLS_DATE_FORMAT before going into RMAN:
In Rman list backup how do i get time column that shows me date and time
including seconds as generally it is showing only date.
Before connecting the rman target set the date format on command prompt:
export NLS_DATE_FORMAT=dd-mon-yyyy hh24:mi:ss - Linux

Set NLS_DATE_FORMAT=dd-mon-yyyy hh24:mi:ss - windows


then try to connect rman target
rman target sys/oralce@orcl3 catalog rman/rman@shaan
rman> list backupset 10453

Why not use O/S backups instead of RMAN?


There is nothing wrong with doing just OS backups. OS backups are just as valid as
RMAN backups. RMAN is a great tool but it is not the only way to do it. Many people
still prefer using a scripting tool of there choice such as perl or ksh to do this.
RMAN is good if you have lots of databases. The catalog it uses remembers lots of
details for you. You don't have as much to think about.
RMAN is good if you do not have good "paper work" skills in place. Using OS
backups, it is more or less upto you to remember where they are, what they are
called and so on. You have to do all of the book keeping RMAN would do.
RMAN provides incremental backups, something you cannot get without RMAN.
RMAN provides tablespace point in time recovery. You can do this without RMAN but
you have to do it by yourself and it can be rather convoluted.
RMAN is more integrated with OEM. If you do OS backups, you'll have to do
everything yourself. With RMAN you may have less scripting to develop, test and
maintain.
RMAN if the catalog/controlfile are damaged? what is the next step?
If you lose rman, you rebuild from the controlfiles of the backed up databases but,
you should not lose the rman catalog using proper techniques of backup itself.
How to switch between Noarchivelog and archivelog in oracle 10g
connect "/ as sysdba"
alter system set log_archive_start=true scope=spfile;
alter system set log_archive_dest='......' scope=spfile;
shutdown immediate;
startup mount
alter database archivelog;
alter database open;
connect /
-andconnect "/ as sysdba"
shutdown immediate

startup mount
alter database noarchivelog;
alter database open;
connect /
How to Update millions or records in a table?
If we had to update millions of records I would probably opt to NOT update.
I would more likely do:
CREATE TABLE new_table as select <do the update "here"> from old_table;
index new_table
grant on new table
add constraints on new_table
etc on new_table
drop table old_table
rename new_table to old_table;
You can do that using parallel query, with nologging on most operations generating
very
little redo and no undo at all in a fraction of the time it would take to update the
data.
SQL>create table new_emp as select empno, LOWER(ename) ename, JOB,
MGR, HIREDATE, SAL, COMM, DEPTNO from emp;
SQL>drop table emp;
SQL>rename new_emp to emp;
How to convert database server sysdate to GMT date?
Select sysdate, sysdate+(substr(tz_offset(dbtimezone),1,1)||1)*to_dsinterval(0
||substr(tz_offset( DBTIMEZONE ),2, 5)||:00) from dual;

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Interview question with Answer Part 9
What is the difference between to back up the current control file and to
backup up control file copy?
If you backup current control file you backup control file which is currently open
by an instance where as If you backup controlfile file copy" you backup the copy of
control file which is created either with SVRMGRL command "alter system backup
controlfile to .." or with RMAN command "copy current controlfile to ...". In the other
words, the control file copy is not current controlfile backup current controlfile
creates a BACKUPSET containing controlfile. You don't have to give the FILENAME
where as backup controlfile copy <filename> creates a BACKUPSET from a copy of
controlfile. You have to give the FILENAME.
How much of overhead in running BACKUP VALIDATE DATABASE and
RESTORE VALIDATE DATABASE commands to check for block corruptions
using RMAN? Can I run these commands anytime?
Backup validate works against the backups not against the live database so no
impact on the live database, same for restore validate they do not impact the real
thing (it is reading the files there only).
Is there a way to force rman to use these obsolete backups or once it is
marked obsolete?
As per my understanding it is just a report, they are still there until you delete them.
Can I use the same snapshot controlfile to backup multiple databases(one
after another) running on the same server?
This file is only use temporarily like a scratch file. Only one rman session can access
the snapshot controlfile at any time so this would tend to serialize your backups if
you do that.
Why does not oracle keep RMAN info after recreating the controlfile?
Creating the new controlfile from scratch how do you expect the create controlfile to
"make up" the missing data? that would be like saying similarly we have drop and
recreated my table and now it is empty similarly here recreating from the scratch
means the contents there will be naturally will be gone. Use the rman catalog to
deal this situation. It is just a suggestion.
What is the advantage of using PIPE in rman backups? In what
circumstances one would use PIPE to backup and restore?

It lets 3rd parties (anyone really) build an alternative interface to RMAN as it permits
anyone
that can connect to an Oracle instance to control RMAN programmatically.
How To turn Debug Feature on in rman?
run {
allocate channel c1 type disk;
debug on;
}
rman>list backup of database;
now you will see a output
You can always turn debug off by issuing
rman>debug off;
Assuming I have a "FULL" backup of users01.dbf containing employees table that
contains 1000 blocks of data. If I truncated employees table and then an
incremental level 1 backup of users tablespace is taken, will RMAN include 1000
blocks that once contained data in the incremental backup?
The blocks were not written to the only changes made by the truncate was to the
data dictionary (or file header) so no, it won't see them as changed blocks since
they were not changed.
Where should the catalog be created?
The recovery catalog to be used by Rman should be created in a separate database
other than the target database. The reason is that the target database will be
shutdown while datafiles are restored.
How many times does oracle ask before dropping a catalog?
The default is two times one for the actual command, the other for confirmation.
What are the various reports available with RMAN?
rman>list backup; rman> list archive;
What is the use of snapshot controlfile in terms of RMAN backup?
Rman uses the snapshot controlfile as a way to get a read consistent copy of the
controlfile, it uses this to do things like RESYNC the catalog (else the controlfile is a

moving target, constantly changing and Rman would get blocked and block the
database)
Can RMAN write to disk and tape Parallel? Is it possible?
Rman currently won't do tape directly, you need a media manager for that,
regarding disk and tape parallel not as far as I know, you would run two backups
separately (not sure). May be trying to maintain duplicate like that could get the
desired.

What is the difference between DELETE INPUT and DELETE ALL command
in backup?
Generally speaking LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_n points to two disk drive locations where
we archive the files, when a command is issued through rman to backup archivelogs
it uses one of the location to backup the data. When we specify delete input the
location which was backed up will get deleted, if we specify delete all (all
log_archive_dest_n) will get deleted.
DELETE all applies only to archived logs.
delete expired archivelog all;
Is it possible to restore a backupset (actually backup pieces) from a
different location to where RMAN has recorded them to be ?
With 9.2 and earlier it is not possible to restore a backupset (actually backup pieces)
from a different location to where RMAN has recorded them to be. As a workaround
you would have to create a link using the location of where the backup was
originally located. Then when restoring, RMAN will think everything is the same as it
was.
Starting in 10.1 it is possible to catalog the backup pieces in their new location into
the controlfile and recovery catalog. This means they are available for restoration
by RMAN without creating the link.
What is difference between Report obsolete and Report obsolete orphan
Report obsolete backup are reported unusable according to the users retention
policy where as Report obsolete orphan report the backup that are unusable
because they belong to incarnation of the database that are not direct ancestor of
the current incarnation.
How to Increase Size of Redo Log
1. Add new log files (groups) with new size
ALTER DATABASE ADD LOGFILE GROUP
2. Switch with alter system switch log file until a new log file group is in state
current
3. Now you can delete the old log file
ALTER DATABASE DROP LOGFILE MEMBER
What is the difference between alter database recover and sql*plus
recover command?

ALTER DATABASE recover is useful when you as a user want to control the recovery
where as SQL*PLUS recover command is useful when we prefer automated recovery.
Difference of two view V$Backup_Set and Rc_Backup_Set in respect of
Rman
The V$Backup_Set is used to check the backup details when we are not managing
Rman catalog that is the backup information is stored in controlfile where as
Rc_Backup_Set is used when we are using catalog as a central repository to list the
backup information.
Can I cancel a script from inside the script? How I cancil a select on
Windows client?
Use ctl-c
How to Find the Number of Oracle Instances Running on Windows Machine
C:\>net start |find OracleService
How to create an init.ora from the spfile when the database is down?
Follow the same way as you are using
SQL> connect sys/oracle as sysdba
SQL> shutdown;
SQL> create pfile from spfile;
SQL> create spfile from pfile;
When you shutdown the database, how does oracle maintain the user
session i.e.of sysdba?
You still have your dedicated server
!ps -auxww | grep ora920
sys@ORA920> !ps -auxww | grep ora920
sys@ORA920> shutdown
sys@ORA920> !ps -auxww | grep ora920
You can see you still have your dedicated server. When you connect as sysdba, you
fire up dedicated server that is where it is.
What is ORA-002004 error? What you will do in that case?

A disk I/O failure was detected on reading the control file. Basically you have to
check whether the control file is available, permissions are right on the control file,
spfile/init.ora right to the right location, if all checks were done still you are getting
the error, then from the multiplexed control file overlay on the corrupted one.
Let us say you have three control files control01.ctl, control02.ctl and control03.ctl
and now you are getting errors on control03.ctl then just copy control01.ctl over to
control03.ctl and you should be all set.
In order to issue ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE TO TRACE; database
should be mounted and in our case it is not mounted then the only other option
available is to restore control file from backup or copy the multiplexed control file
over to the bad one.
Why do we need SCOPE=BOTH clause?
BOTH indicates that the change is made in memory and in the server parameter
file. The new setting takes effect immediately and persists after the database is
shut down and started up again. If a server parameter file was used to start up the
database, then BOTH is the default. If a parameter file was used to start up the
database, then MEMORY is the default, as well as the only scope you can specify.
How to know Number of CPUs on Oracle
Login as SYSDBA
SQL>show parameter cpu_count
NAME TYPE VALUE
cpu_count integer 2
Could you please tell me what are the possible reason for Spfile corruption
and Recovery?
It should not be corrupt under normal circumstances, if it were, it would be a bug or
failure of some component in your system. It could be a file system error or could be
a bug.
You can easily recover however from
a) Your alert log has the non-default parameters in it from your last restart.
b) it should be in your backups
c) strings spfile.ora > init$ORACLE_SID.ora - and then edit the resulting file to clean
it up would be options.
How you will check flashback is enabled or not?

Select flashback_on from v$database;


In case Revoke CREATE TABLE Privilege from an USER giving ORA-01952.
What is the issue? How to do in that case?
SQL> revoke create table from Pay_payment_master;
ORA-01952: system privileges not granted to PAY_PAYMENT_MASTER
This is because this privilege is not assigned to this user directly rather it was
assigned through role CONNECT If you remove connect role from the user then
you will not be able to create session (Connect) to database. So basically we have
to Revoke the CONNECT Role and Grant other than create table privilege to this
user.
What kind of information is stored in UNDO segments?
Only before image of data is stored in the UNDO segments. If transaction is rolled
back information from UNDO is applied to restore original datafile. UNDO is never
multiplexed.
How to Remove Oracle Service in windows environment?
We can add or remove Oracle Service using oradim which is available in
ORACLE_HOME/bin
C:\Oradim delete sid
or
Oradim delete svrc
Why ORA-28000: the account is locked? What you will do in that case?
The Oracle 10g default is to lock an account after 10 bad password attempts and
giving ORA-28000: the account is locked. In that case one of the solutions is
increase default limit of the login attempts.
SQL> Alter profile default limit FAILED_LOGIN_ATTEMPTS unlimited;
How to Reduce the Physical Reads on Statistics?
You need to increase the Buffer Cache
Consider the situation Buffer Cache of the database is 300MB. One SQL gave the
Physical read as 100. I increased as 400MB and now the same SQL giving the
Physical read value is 0
How many redo groups are required for a Oracle DB?

At least 2 redo groups are required for a Oracle database to be working normally.
My spfile is corrupt and now I cannot start my database running on my laptop. Is
there a way to build spfile again?
if you are on unix then
$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/dbs
$ strings spfilename temp_pfile.ora
edit the temp_pfile.ora, clean it up if there is anything "wrong" with it and then
SQL> startup pfile=temp_pfile.ora
SQL> create spfile from pfile;
SQL> shutdown
SQL> startup
On windows -- just try editing the spfile [do not try with the prod db first try to check
on test db. It can be dangerous], create a pfile from it. save it, and do the same or if
you got problem you can startup the db from the command line using sqlplus create
a pfile, do a manual startup (start the oracle service, then use sqlplus to start the
database)
What is a fractured block? What happens when you restore a file
containing fractured block?
A block in which the header and footer are not consistent at a given SCN. In a usermanaged backup, an operating system utility can back up a datafile at the same
time that DBWR is updating the file. It is possible for the operating system utility to
read a block in a half-updated state, so that the block that is copied to the backup
media is updated in its first half, while the second half contains older data. In this
case, the block is fractured.
For non-RMAN backups, the ALTER TABLESPACE ... BEGIN BACKUP or ALTER
DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP command is the solution for the fractured block problem.
When a tablespace is in backup mode, and a change is made to a data block, the
database logs a copy of the entire block image before the change so that the
database can reconstruct this block if media recovery finds that this block was
fractured.
The block that the operating system reads can be split, that is, the top of the block
is written at one point in time while the bottom of the block is written at another
point in time. If you restore a file containing a fractured block and Oracle reads the
block, then the block is considered a corrupt.

You recreated the control file by using backup control file to trace and using alter
database backup controlfile to location command what have you lost in that case?
You lost all of the backup information as using backup controlfile to trace where as
using other ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE to D:\Backup\control01.ctl. All
backup information is retained when you take binary control file backup.
If a backup is issued after shutdown abort command what kind of
backupis that?
It is an inconsistent backup. If you are in noarchivelog mode ensure that you issue
the shutdown immediate command or startup force is another option that you can
issue: startup force->shutdown abort; followed by shutdown immediate;

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Interview Question with Answer Part 10
How can I check if there is anything rolling back?
It depends on how you killed the process. If you did and alter system kill session you
should be able to look at the used_ublk block in v$transaciton to get an estimate for
the rollback being done. If you killed to server process in the OS and PMON is
recovering the transaction you can look at V$FAST_START_TRANSACTIONS view to
get the estimate
How to find out how much rollback a session has to do
select time_remaining from v$session_longops
where sid =<sid of the session doing the rollback>;
How to Drop a column of a Table?
Consider the below Example
Create table x(a date, b date, c date);
Now to drop column B:
Alter table x set unused column b; -- it will mark column as UNUSED
Select * from sys.dba_unused_col_tabs;
Alter table x drop unused columns;
Alternative method to drop column:
Alter table x drop column c cascade constraints;
How can we see the oldest flashback available?
You can use the following query to see the flashback data available.
SELECT to_char(sysdate,'YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI') current_time,
to_char(f.oldest_flashback_time, 'YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI') OLDEST_FLASHBACK_TIME,
(sysdate - f.oldest_flashback_time)*24*60 HIST_MIN FROM v$database d,
V$FLASHBACK_DATABASE_LOG f;
How to get current session id, process id, client process id?
select b.sid, b.serial#, a.spid processid, b.process clientpid from v$process a,
v$session b

where a.addr = b.paddr


and b.audsid = userenv('sessionid');
V$SESSION.SID and V$SESSION.SERIAL# are database process id
V$PROCESS.SPID Shadow process id on the database server
V$SESSION.PROCESS Client process id, on windows it is : separated the first # is
the process id on the client and 2nd one is the thread id.
What is MRC ? What you do as application DBA for MRC?
MRC also called as Multiple Reporting Currency in oracle application. Default you
have currency in US Dollars but if your organization operating books are in other
currency then you as application DBA need to enable MRC in applications.
How will you find Invalid Objects in database?
select count(*) from dba_objects where status like 'INVALID';
select * from dba_objects where status like 'INVALID';
Can you use both ADPATCH and OPATCH in application?
Yes you have to use both in application , for application patches you will use
ADPATCH UTILITY and for applying database patch in application you will use opatch
UTILITY.
Do you have idea how to trace a running process on Linux?
Using strace you can trace the system calls being executed by a running process
$ strace -p 1435
Process 1435 attached interrupt to quit
Pressed <control-C> - press control-C to stop the strace
$ strace -cfo smon_strace.log -p 1435
Process 1435 attached interrupt to quit
Process 1435 detached
What are database link? Differenciate the use of each of them?
A database link is a named object that describes a "path" from one database to
another. There are different types of database link such as: Private database link,
public database link & network database link.

Private database link is created on behalf of a specific user. A private database link
can be used only when the owner of the link specifies a global object name in a SQL
statement or in the definition of the owner's views or procedures.
Public database link is created for the special user group PUBLIC. A public database
link can be used when any user in the associated database specifies a global object
name in a SQL statement or object definition.
Network database link is created and managed by a network domain service. A
network database link can be used when any user of any database in the network
specifies a global object name in a SQL statement or object definition.
How to know which version of database you are working?
select * from v$version;
In Reference to Rman point in time Recovery which scenario is better for
you (Until time or until sequence)?
I am practicing various scenarios for backup and recovery using RMAN. I find until
SCN better than until time, with log_seq in the middle. Until time is still going to use
(ultimately) an SCN to recover, so if you know the SCN it would be preferred if not
then time is fine.
If you have forgotten the root password on CentOS then what you will do?
If you are on CentOS then follow these steps:
- At the splash screen during boot time, press any key which will take you an
interactive menu.
- Then select a Linux version you wish to boot and press a to append option to the
line this will bring you to a line with the boot command
- Next at the end of that line type single as an option/parameter and then Press
Enter to exit and execute the boot this will start the OS with single user mode
which allow you to reset the root password by typing passwd and you can set new
password for root.
How to determine whether the datafiles are synchronized or not?
select status, checkpoint_change#, to_char(checkpoint_time, 'DD-MON-YYYY
HH24:MI:SS') as checkpoint_time, count(*)
from v$datafile_header
group by status, checkpoint_change#, checkpoint_time
order by status, checkpoint_change#, checkpoint_time;

Check the results of the above query if it returns one and only one row for the online
datafiles, means they are already synchronized in terms of their SCN. Otherwise the
datafiles are still not synchronized yet.
You have just restored from backup and do not have any control files. How
would you go about bringing up this database?
If you do not have a control file, you can create one from scratch in SQL*Plus as
follows:
1. sqlplus /nolog
2. connect / as sysdba
3. Startup nomount;
4. the either create controlfile or restore it from the backup (if you have)
5. alter dataase mount;
6. Recover database using backup controlfile;
7. Alter database open;
From more details follow my blog post "Disaster Recovery from the scratch":
http://shahiddba.blogspot.com/2012/05/rman-disaster-recovery-from-scratch.html
Is there any way to find the last record from the table?
select * from employees where rowid in(select max(rowid) from employees);
select * from employees minus select * from employees where rownum < (select
count(*) from employees);
How you will find Oracle timestamp from current SCN?
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual; -- Oracle Ver. 9i
SCN
-----------8843525
SQL> Select to_char(CURRENT_SCN) from v$database; -- oracle Ver. 10g or above
SQL> select current_scn, dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number from
v$database; --standby case
SQL> select scn_to_timestamp(8843525) from dual;

How to suspend/resume a process using oradebug?


SQL> oradebug setorapid 14
Unix process pid: 14962, image: oracle@localhost.localdomain (TNS V1-V3)
SQL> oradebug suspend
Statement processed.
SQL> oradebug resume
Statement processed.
How to find the last time a session performed any activity?
In v$session the column last_call_et has value which tells us the last time (seconds)
ago when the session performed any activity within the database.
select username, floor(last_call_et / 60) "Minutes", status
from v$session
where username is not null order by last_call_et;
How to find parameters that will take into effect for new sessions?
Using the following query one can find the list of parameters that will take info
effect for new sessions if the value of the parameter is changed.
SQL> SELECT name FROM v$parameter WHERE issys_modifiable = 'DEFERRED';
You can change the parameter using the deferred option:
SQL> alter system set sort_area_size=65538 deferred;
System altered
How to free (Flush) buffer cache?
How to free buffer cache?
Note: you may only want to do this on Dev or Test environment as it would affect
performance on production. I already written on my earlier post
http://shahiddba.blogspot.com/2012/05/dba-interview-questions-withanswers_14.html in real life; the cache would never be empty
-- displays the status and number of pings for every buffer in the SGA
SQL> select distinct status from v$bh;

STATUS
--cr
free
xcur
-- flush buffer cache for 10g and upwards
SQL> alter system flush buffer_cache;
System altered.
-- flush buffer cache for 9i and upwards
SQL> alter session set events immediate trace name flush_cache;
Session altered.
-- Shows buffer cache was freed after flushing buffer cache
SQL> select distinct status from v$bh;
STATUS
Free
How to suspend all jobs from executing in dba_jobs?
By setting the value of 0 to the parameter job_queue_processes you can suspend
all jobs from executing in DBA_JOBS. The value of this parameter can be changed
without instance restart.
SQL> show parameter job_queue_processes;
NAME TYPE VALUE

job_queue_processes integer 400
Now set the value of the parameter in memory, which will suspend jobs from
starting
SQL> alter system set job_queue_processes=0 scope=memory;

System altered.
How to see the jobs currently being executed?
By using dba_jobs_running to can see all the job currently executing
SQL> select djr.sid, djr.job, djr.failures, djr.this_date, djr.this_sec, dj.what from
dba_jobs_running djr, dba_jobs dj where djr.job = dj.job;
What is GSM in Oracle application E-Business Suite?
GSM stands for Generic Service Management Framework. Oracle E-Business Suite
consist of various compoennts like Forms, Reports, Web Server, Workflow,
Concurrent Manager. Earlier each service used to start at their own but managing
these services (given that) they can be on various machines distributed across
network. So Generic Service Management is extension of Concurrent Processing
which manages all your services , provide fault tolerance (If some service is down
ICM through FNDSM and other processes will try to start it even on remote server)
With GSM all services are centrally managed via this Framework.
How can you license a product after installation?
You can use ad utility adlicmgr to licence product in Oracle application.
In a situation when you want to know which was the last query fired by the user.
How to check?
Select S.USERNAME||'('||s.sid||')-'||s.osuser UNAME
,s.sid||'/'||s.serial# sid,s.status "Status",p.spid,sql_text sqltext
from v$sqltext_with_newlines t,V$SESSION s , v$process p
where t.address =s.sql_address and p.addr=s.paddr(+) and t.hash_value =
s.sql_hash_value
order by s.sid,t.piece;
Can one copy Oracle software from one machine to another?
Yes, one can copy or FTP the Oracle Software between similar machines. Look at the
following example:
# use tar to copy files and directorys with permissions and ownership
tar cf $ORACLE_HOME | rsh cd $ORACLE_HOME; tar xf
To copy the Oracle software to a different directory on the same server:
cd /new/oracle/dir/

(cd $ORACLE_HOME; tar cf . ) | tar xvf NOTE: Remember to relink the Intelligent Agent on the new machine to prevent
messages like Encryption key supplied is not the one used to encrypt file:
cd /new/oracle/dir/
cd network/lib
make -f ins_agent.mk install
A single transaction can have multiple deletes and a single SCN number
identifying all of these deletes. What if I want to flash back only a single
individual delete?
You would flash back to the SYSTEM (not your transactions) SCN at that point in
time. The SYSTEM has an SCN, your transaction has an SCN. You care about the
SYSTEM SCN with flashback, not your transactions SCN.
Are flash back queries useful for the developer or the DBA both? How can I
as a developer and DBA get to know the SCN number of a transaction?
Oracle Flashback is a tool is useful for both either DBA and Developer. If you deleted
data accidently then either DBA or Developer both can flashback, recover and fix
this problem. As a developer you can use
"dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number" to returns the current system SCN
and as DBA you can use Log Miner utility to to look back in time at various events to
find SCN's as well.
After Performing DML operation you are using flashback query to retun
back your committed data can you use flashback concept after Truncating
any data?
In version 9i, Flashback is limited to Data Manipulation Language (DML) commands
such as SELECT,INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. Truncate doesn't generate any undo
for the table truncate just cuts it all loses where as delete puts the deleted data into
undo. Flashback query works on undo.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


Interview Question with Answer part 11
What is SID and what is it used for? Where can I find out the SID of my
database?
The SID is a site identifier. It plus the Oracle_home are hashed together in Unix to
create a unique key name for attaching an SGA. If your Oracle_sid or Oracle_home is
not set correctly, you will get "oracle not available". you can get instance name with
the following command:
select instance from v$thread;
select instance_name from v$instance;
If you are buying a new server that will be a mirror image of the current
Production Server what would be the step for that?
In same environment and directory structure setup server, install oracle, use oradim
to setup the registry (register the instance) and restore from backup.
I am cloning database A as database B, both exactly identical, running in
NOARCHIVELOG mode. Database A will be shutdown before copying files. I
am using the CREATE CONTROLFILE statement to clone.
a) Do I need to copy redo log files from A to B if I need to open B with
RESETLOGS option?
b) Do I need to copy control files from A to B since I will be creating
controlfile for B?
a) You do not need to, but you would avoid having to open resetlogs if that makes
you feel better.
b) Not if you are doing the create controlfile trick. You could just copy EVERYTHING,
startup mount, and issue a series of alter database rename file 'old name' to 'new
names'; and then alter database open (assuming logs are in the same place, else
you'll drop and create them).
Note: My understanding is that if you use RESETLOGS option in CREATE
CONTROLFILE, the redo log files will be created by Oracle as per the specifications
given in the create controlfile statement.
I have a new server. What is the best way I can have the same oracle setup
that is there on a prodn db? Either we need to restore the file systems and
relink oracle without doing any installation?

My suggestion is install the same software on another server then then apply
restore and recover procedure on the same environment or directory structure.
No idea about "relink oracle without doing any installation", see the admin guide for
your OS for details on things like this.
There is any difference between Oracle TCL and DCL command?
DCL stands for Data Control Language. These command are used to configure and
control database objects such as GRANT, REVOKE where as TCL stands for
Transaction Control language. It is used to manage the changes made by DML
statements. It allows statements to be grouped together into logical transactions
such as
COMMIT - save work done
SAVEPOINT - identify a point in a transaction to which you can later roll back
ROLLBACK - restore database to original since the last COMMIT
SET TRANSACTION - Change transaction options like isolation level and what
rollback segment to use
What happens when the lock is disabling on the table?
When you disabling the lock on table then you are not able to perform DDL
operation on that table but you still to manage DML operation easily
For Example:
Create Table s1 (Eno number(2), ename varchar2(15), salary number(5,2));
insert into s1 values (1, 'shahid', 400);
insert into s1 values (1, 'javed', 200);
insert into s1 values (2, 'karim', 100);
--disable lock on table
Alter table s1 disable table lock;
-- cannot drop/truncate table as table lock is disable
drop table s1;
truncate table s1;
--you cannot able to add/modify/drop column

Alter table s1 add comm number(5,2);


Alter table s1 modify s1 salary number (10,4);
Alter table s1 drop column salary;
-- But still you are able to perform DML
update s1 set salary= 800 where eno=2;
select * from s1;
delete from s1 where eno=2;
insert into s1 values (2, 'mohan', 250);
What is the importance of clock time in case of database cloning?
My personal experience sometimes just cloning a database is not enough if moving
it to another machine you also have to ensure:
1. The environment on the new machine is setup, to match the cloned system this
would include memory & disc allocation space.
2. The "new" machine time is the same or greater than the machine you were
cloning from
How much space does it take to clone a database?
The clone needs the same space.
In which case %LIKE (before or after use) operator performance increases?
LIKE% works the fastest because it uses the index to search on the column provided
an index is specified on the column. Using % after LIKE, results in faster results.
Do you have idea about Fuzz testing or fuzzing?
Fuzz testing or fuzzing is a software testing technique that provides random data
("fuzz") to the inputs of a program. If the program fails (for example, by crashing, or
by failing built-in code assertions), the defects can be noted. The great advantage
of fuzz testing is that the test design is extremely simple, and free of
preconceptions about system behavior.
Using the expdp/impdp (Data Pump in 10g), can export and import data
from one schema/Database to another schema/Data is it possible?
Yes, you can use dblink for that
What is DataMapper?

DataMAPPER is a high-performance data migration tool designed for large-scale


data movement projects. Its distinct client/server design allows users to work in a
graphical environment, without sacrificing the performance.
How to Start Enterprise Manager from command line?
C:\cd ORACLE_HOME/bin
C:\emctl start dbconsole
Now type on the browser http://localhost.localdomain:5500/em/
How will you find current and max utilization of session and number of
processes?
SQL>select resource_name, current_utilization, max_utilization from
v$resource_limit where resource_name in ('processes','sessions');
RESOURCE_NAME CURRENT_UTILIZATION MAX_UTILIZATION
--------------------- ------------------- --------------processes 14 18
sessions 12 17
As the table is being modified, can ROWID of a row change?
A rowid is assigned to a row upon insert and is imutable (never changing) unless the
row is deleted and re-inserted (meaning it is another row, not the same row!).
What happened when I updated narrow rows, setting character to wide
values?
In this case row will migrate but the rowid for the row stays the same even when the
row migrate.
Session 1: retrieves a row with rowid X
Session 2: deletes the row with rowid X, commits
/* rowid X is now free for re-use */
Session 3: inserts a new row with rowid X, commits
Session 1: update .... where rowid = X
Session 1's update is not updating the same row that it had earlier retrieved.
Consider the above scenario what should be the solution

Use the Primary Key with the table. If you combine rowid with the primary key then
it will be perfectly safe to use rowid id in all cases.
If you have a single delete statement that deletes many records using
rowids. Would there ever be a time when the rowid within this table
change during the execution of this delete statement?
In order for a rowid to change you have to enable row movement first so if row
movement is not enabled then answer is NO. If it is, then flashback table could
change a rowid incase of DDL statement and would not happen concurrently with a
delete (so it would not affect it).
For Example:
Alter table s1 shrink space compact, that moves rows and would change rowids.
Update of a partition key that causes a row to move, that moves rows and would
change rowids.
If I fire two inserts in a table, whether the rowid of the 2nd record will be
greater than rowid of the 1st record?
The answer is NO see the example below
if you insert A
then insert B
later insert C
delete A
insert D
It is quite possible in above example that D will be "first" in the table as it took over
A's place. If rowids always "grew", than space would never be reused (that would be
an implication of rowids growing always. We would never be able to reuse old space
as the rowid is just a file.block.slot-on-block - a physical address).
Difference between Stored Procedure and Macro?
Stored Procedure:
It does not return rows to the user.
It has to use cursors to fetch multiple rows
It used Inout/out to send values to user
It is stored in DATABASE or USER PERM

A stored procedure also provides output/Input capabilities


Macros:
It returns set of rows to the user.
It is stored in DBC PERM space
A macro that allows only input values
If the port 1521 is default port for the TNSLinstener. I have a database
server on port 1527 how can I make the clients connect on this port or can
I have one listener service connect to listen for 2 servers?
If you are using "Host naming" convention (this is a method that does not require
the client to have a tnsnames.ora file at all. You must be using TCP or you must only
have one default database per host. The client only needs to know the hostname of
the server to connect) then yes, 1521 is the default and only port.
If you are using tnsnames.ora, the Oracle nameserver, or any other method to
connect then no, 1521 is not a default port. In this case, 1521 is simply the port
used by "convention". The clients would, typically in their tnsnames.ora, connect to
the listener on some specified port number. 1521 is the convention used by many
people; it is neither mandatory nor necessary.
What is an IPC protocol and where and how it is used? I have experience
only in TCP/IP protocol. Is there any advantage in using IPC over TCP?
IPC is interposes communication you have messages, pipes, socket pairs and so on
it is alot like just using sockets with TCP/IP. IPC is generally limited to "a machine",
not over a network. IPC used to be a tad faster than TCP but recent tests have
shown this to be less and less true.
In your absence any body has done any alteration then how did you notice
or How to know last DDL fired from the particular schema and particular
table?
To find the last ddl performed check out the last_ddl_time from all_objects,
dba_objects, user_objects view because each time and object changes the
last_ddl_time is updated from these view.
Select CREATED, TIMESTAMP, last_ddl_time from all_objects
WHERE OWNER='HRMS' AND OBJECT_TYPE='TABLE' AND
OBJECT_NAME='PAYROLL_MAIN_FILE';
In the above query HRMS is the schema name and payroll_main_file is the table
name.

How to find tables that have a specific column name?


SELECT owner, table_name, column_name
FROM dba_tab_columns
WHERE column_name like 'AMOUNT'
ORDER by table_name;
Differentiate Row level and statement level Trigger?
Row Level Trigger is fired each time row is affected by Insert, Update or Delete
command. If statement doesnt affect any row then no trigger action happens where
as Statement level trigger fires when a SQL statement affects the rows of the table.
The trigger activates and performs its activity irrespective of number of rows
affected due to SQL statement. They get fired once for each triggering statement.

Saturday, 10 November 2012


DBA Interview Question with Answer part 12
I exported one table with a name of user, how to import that table with
another name of user?
EXPDP user1/pwd TABLES=test DUMPFILE=test.DMP DIRECTORY=abc;
IMPDP user2/pwd REMAP_SCHEMA=user1:user2 DUMPFILE=test.DMP
DIRECTORY=abc ;
-orIMPDP user2/pwd directory=directory_name tables=table_name
dumpfile=dump_name.dmp;
SQL>Grant read, write on directory directory_name to public;
SQL>Grant read, write on directory <dir_name> to <user>;
Just careful to give grant to public if it is production Environment
I have two server of same configuration having single database of 10GB
and 20 GB size respectively, I want to merge into single server what are
the prerequisites and steps to follow in this case.
In my view Export/Import is the best solution to merge the database. You can export
the schemas from one database and import it into other database.
Can one monitor how fast a table is imported?
If you need to monitor how fast rows are imported from a running import job, try
one of the following methods:
Method 1:
select substr(sql_text,instr(sql_text,'INTO "'),30) table_name,
rows_processed,
round((sysdate-to_date(first_load_time,'yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss'))*24*60,1)
minutes,
trunc(rows_processed/((sysdate-to_date(first_load_time,'yyyy-mm-dd
hh24:mi:ss'))*24*60)) rows_per_min
from sys.v_$sqlarea
where sql_text like 'INSERT %INTO "%'
and command_type = 2
and open_versions > 0;
If the import has more than one table, this statement will only show information
about the current table being imported.
Method 2:

Use the FEEDBACK=n import parameter. This command will tell IMP to display a dot
for every N rows imported.
How we will increase performance on particular table? Here I am inserting
2GB data in table, its takes more time to insert in a table. Is there any way
to increase performance on a particular table?
Index on huge table while doing insert will not only solution to improve
performance. Get your table partitioned that will make table insertion faster and
also easy to manage the archive data. Alternatively do one thing first disable
constraints as well as index then perform insertion then again enable.
You can use high-speed solid-state disk (RAM-SAN) to make Oracle inserts run up to
300x faster than platter disk.
How to reduce alert log Size?
If you move or delete your Alert log file, it is recreated automatically in next startup,
alternatively you can put a script at OS level to move the archives and use new one.
So the best way to reduce the size of log is just move your aler.log to some other
place. Oracle will recreate it in next startup.
How you will know the instance is Primary or Standby?
By querying v$database one can tell if the host is primary or standby
On the primary database:
SQL> select database_role from v$database;
DATABASE_ROLE
-----------------PRIMARY
OR check the value of controlfile_type in V$database i.e is CURRENT for primary
and "STANDBY" for standby
SQL> SELECT controlfile_type FROM V$database;
CONTROL
------------CURRENT
On the Standby database:
SQL> select database_role from v$database;

DATABASE_ROLE
------------------PHYSICAL STANDBY
SQL> SELECT controlfile_type FROM V$database;
CONTROL
------------STANDBY
Note: You may need to connect to as sys if the instance is in mount state
How would you determine what sessions are connected and what
resources they are waiting for?
Use of V$SESSION and V$SESSION_WAIT
Give two methods you could use to determine what DDL changes have
been made.
You could use Logminer or Streams
How would you determine who has added a row to a table?
Turn on fine grain auditing for the table.
Explain the differences between PFILE and SPFILE
A PFILE is a Static, text file that initializes the database parameter in the moment
that its started. If you want to modify parameters in PFILE, you have to restart the
database.
A SPFILE is a dynamic, binary file that allows you to overwrite parameters while the
database is already started (with some exceptions).
Name some clients that can connect with Oracle?
There are several such as SQL Developer, SQL-Plus, TOAD, dbvisualizer, PL/SQL
Developer.
In which view can you find information about every view and table of
oracle dictionary?
DICT or DICTIONARY view. You can query as:
SQL> SELECT * FROM DICT;
How can we change which databases are started during a reboot in Linux
Env.?
Edit the /etc/oratab

How can we reduce the space of TEMP datafile?


Prior to Oracle 11g, you have to re-create the datafile. In Oracle 11g a new feature
was introduced and you can shrink the TEMP tablespace.
How can you view all the current users connected in your database in this
moment?
SELECT COUNT(*),USERNAME FROM V$SESSION GROUP BY USERNAME;
What is the difference between a view and a materialized view?
A view is a select that is executed each time a user accesses to it. A materialized
view stores the result of this query in memory for faster access purposes.
Can we have different database versions in the same RAC Env.?
Yes, but Clusterware version must be greater than the database version.
How can you difference a usual parameter and an undocumented
parameter of oracle?
The undocumented parameters have the prefix _. Such as:
_allow_resetlogs_corruption
What should be the result of logical comparision (NULL != NULL)
False in both cases:
In case of SELECT * FROM MY_SCHEMA.MY_TABLE why we are getting
this error: SP2-0678: Column or attribute type can not be displayed by
SQL*Plus?
Check for sure the table has a BLOB column.
Which are the default passwords of SYSTEM/SYS?
MANAGER / CHANGE_ON_INSTALL
Is it possible to center an object horizontally in a repeating frame that has
a variable horizontal size?
Yes
Can a field be used in a report without it appearing in any data group?
Yes
When a form is invoked with call_form, Does oracle forms issues a save
point?
Yes
You have just had to restore from backup and do not have any control
files. How would you go about bringing up this database?
I would create a text based backup control file, stipulating where on disk all the data
files where and then issue the recover command with the using backup control file
clause.

Explain the difference between a data block, an extent and a segment.


A data block is the smallest unit of logical storage for a database object. As objects
grow they take chunks of additional storage that are composed of contiguous data
blocks. These groupings of contiguous data blocks are called extents. All the extents
that an object takes when grouped together are considered the segment of the
database object.
A table is classified as a parent table and you want to drop and re-create
it. How would you do this without affecting the children tables?
Disable the foreign key constraint to the parent, drop the table, re-create the table,
enable the foreign key constraint.
What column differentiates the V$ views to the GV$ views and how?
The INST_ID column which indicates the instance in a RAC environment the
information came from.
How would you go about increasing the buffer cache hit ratio?
Use the buffer cache advisory over a given workload and then query the
v$db_cache_advice table. If a change was necessary then I would use the alter
system set db_cache_size command.
How would you determine the time zone under which a database was
operating?
select DBTIMEZONE from dual;
Explain the use of setting GLOBAL_NAMES equal to TRUE.
Setting GLOBAL_NAMES indicates how you might connect to a database. This
variable is either TRUE or FALSE and if it is set to TRUE it enforces database links to
have the same name as the remote database to which they are linking.
What background process refreshes materialized views?
The Job Queue Processes.
When a user process fails, what background process cleans up after it?
PMON
What are the roles and user accounts created automatically with the
database?
DBA - role Contains all database system privileges.
SYS user account - The DBA role will be assigned to this account. All of the base

tables and views for the database's dictionary are store in this schema and are
manipulated only by ORACLE.
SYSTEM user account - It has all the system privileges for the database and
additional tables and views that display administrative information and internal
tables and views used by oracle tools are created using this username.
What are the minimum parameters should exist in the parameter file
(init.ora) ?
DB NAME - Must set to a text string of no more than 8 characters and it will be
stored inside the datafiles, redo log files and control files and control file while
database creation.
DB_DOMAIN - It is string that specifies the network domain where the database is
created. The global database name is identified by setting these parameters
(DB_NAME & DB_DOMAIN) CONTORL FILES - List of control filenames of the
database. If name is not mentioned then default name will be used.
DB_BLOCK_BUFFERS - To determine the no of buffers in the buffer cache in SGA.
PROCESSES - To determine number of operating system processes that can be
connected to ORACLE concurrently. The value should be 5 (background process) and
additional 1 for each user.
ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS - List of rollback segments an ORACLE instance acquires at
database startup. Also optionally
LICENSE_MAX_SESSIONS,LICENSE_SESSION_WARNING and LICENSE_MAX_USERS.
What is the difference between NAME_IN and COPY ?
Copy is package procedure and writes values into a field.
Name in is a package function and returns the contents of the variable to which you
apply.
How do you implement the If statement in the Select Statement
We can implement the if statement in the select statement by using the Decode
statement. e.g select DECODE (EMP_CAT,'1','First','2','Second'Null); Here the Null is
the else statement where null is done .
How many rows will the following SQL return?
Select * from emp Where rownum = 10;
No rows
Can dual table be deleted, dropped or altered or updated or inserted?
Yes

Thursday, 6 December 2012


DBA interview Question with Answer Part 13
Why it is not necessary to take UNDO backup
In fact when you do some transaction, redo entries will be generated and accepted
just like that whenever some change happen to UNDO tablespace or UNDO
segments oracle will generate redo entries.
So even though you does not backup UNDO, you have the redo entries through
which you can recover or rollback the transactions.
What happens with the datafile during hot backup process?
The below three action will happen in case of hot backup process in database
The Tablespace checkpointed.
The checkpoint SCN in datafile header will freeze to increment with checkpoint.
Full image of changed DB block are written to redologs.
Why more redologs are generated during hotbackup?
During the hotbackup in initial checkpointing, the datafile that comprise the
tablespace generates full image of changed Db block in these tablespace to the
redologs. Normally oracle logs an entry in the redologs for every change in database
but it does not log the whole image of database blog. By logging full images of
changed DB blocks to the redologs during hot backup mode, oracle eliminates the
possibility of the backup containing fractured blocks and guarantees that in the
event of a recovery, any fractured that might be in the backup copy of the datafile
will be resolved by replacing them with the full image of the block from the
redologs.
How do you increase the performance of % like operator?
The % placed after the search word (ss%) can enable the use of index if one is
specified in the index column. This performance is better than the other two ways
using % such as before the search word (like %ss) and before and after the search
word (%ss%).
What is cache Fusion Technology?
Cache fusion treats multiple buffer caches as one joint global cache. This solves the
issues like data consistency internally, without any impact on the application code
or design. Cache fusion technology eases the process of a very high number of
concurrent users and SQL operations without compromising data consistency.

Do you have idea about reports server?


Reports server is also a component of the middle tier and is hosted in the same
node of the concurrent processing server. Reports server is used to produce
business intelligence reports.
What is importance of replication and their use in oracle?
Replication is the process of copying and maintaining database objects in multiple
databases that make up a distributed database system. Changes applied at one site
are captured and stored locally before being forwarded and applied each of the
remote location. Replication provides user with fast, local access to shared data,
and protects availability of applications because alternate data access options exist.
Even if one site becomes unavailable, users can continue to query or even update
the remaining locations.
In simple replication, you create a snapshot, a table corresponding to the query's
column list. When the snapshot is refreshed, that underlying table is populated with
the results of the query. As data changes in a table in the master database, the
snapshot is refreshed as scheduled and moved to the replicated database.
Advanced replication allows the simultaneous transfer of data between two or more
Master Sites. There are considerations to keep in mind when using multi-master
replication. The important ones are sequences (which cannot be replicated), triggers
(which can turn recursive if you're not careful) and conflict resolution.
What is the basic difference between Cloning and Standby databases?
The clone database is a copy of the database which can be opened in read write
mode. It is treated as a separate copy of the database that is functionally
completely separate. The standby database is a copy of the production database
used for disaster protection. In order to update the standby database; archived redo
logs from the production database can be used. If the primary database is
destroyed or its data becomes corrupted, one can perform a failover to the standby
database, in which case the standby database becomes the new primary database.
Why we are using materialized view instead of a table?
Materialized views are basically used to increase query performance since it
contains results of a query. They should be used for reporting instead of a table for a
faster execution.
Which BG process refreshes the materialized view?
Job Queue Process
What is the importance of transportable Tablespace in oracle?

The transportable tablespace enable us to transport data objects across different


platform. Moving data using transportable can be much faster than performing
either export/import or unload or load of the same because transporting a
tablespace only requires the copying of datafiles & integrating the tablespace
structure information.
Can we reduce the size of TEMP datafile?
Yes, we can reduce the space of the TEMP datafile. Prior to oracle 11g, you had to
recreate the datafile but in oracle 11g you reduce space of TEMP datfile by shrinking
the TEMP tablespace. It is a new feature to 11g. The dynamic performance view
DBA_temp_files can be very useful in determining which table space to shrink.
SELECT TABLESPACE_NAME, ROUND(BYTES/1048576/1024, 2) "IN GB", FILE_ID,
FILE_NAME FROM DBA_TEMP_FILES;
ALTER TABLESPACE TEMP SHRINK TEMPFILE
D:\ORACLE\ORADATA\SADHAN\TEMP02.DBF KEEP 5G;
New data dictionary to check free space
Select * from dba_temp_free_space;
How can we move table from one schema to another?
The simplest way is Login with the SCOTT schema and use the below command to
move EMP table from HR Schema. You can also use Copy and Import/Export for that.
CREATE TABLE EMP
AS SELECT * FROM HR.EMP;
How we can prevent fragmentation in oracle Tablespace.
Tablespace fragmentation can be prevented by using PCTINCREASE command.
PCTINCREASE is the percentage a new subsequent extent will grow. This value
should be ideally set to 0 or 100 to avoid tablespace fragmentation. Alternate and
strange values for PCTINCREASE results in strange sizes of extents. Same size of
each extent of all segments must be used.
Do you know the use of iostat, vmstat and netstat?
Iostat report on terminal, disk and terminal IO activities.
Vmstat reports on virtual memory statistics for processes, disk, tape and CPU
activity.
Netstat reports on the contents of network data structures.
Name the different types of indexes available in Oracle?

Oracle provides several Indexing schemas


B-tree index Retrieves a small amount of information from a large table.
Global and Local index Relates to partitioned tables and indexes.
Reverse Key Index - It Is most useful for oracle real application clusters applications.
Domain Index Refers to an application
Hash cluster Index Refers to the index that is defined specifically for a hash
cluster.
What is a user process trace file?

It is an optional file which is produced by user session.


It is generated only if the value of SQL_TRACE parameter is set to true for a
session.

SQL_TRACE parameter can be set at database, instance, or session level.

If it set at instance level, trace file will be created for all connected sessions.

If it is set at session level, trace file will be generated only for specified
session.

The location of user process trace file is specified in the USER_DUMP_DEST


parameter.

How can you use automatic PGA memory management with oracle 9i or
above?
Set the WORK_AREA_SIZE_POLICY parameter to AUTO and set
PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET
When a user comes to you and asks that a particular SQL query is taking
more time. How will you solve this?
If you find the particular query is taking time to execute, then take a SQLTRACE with
explain plan, it will show how the SQL query will be executed by oracle, depending
upon the report you will tune your database.
Then determine the table size and check the user requirement is % of data from
query table. If it is less then
For example: one table has 10000 records, but you want to fetch only 5 rows, but in
that query oracle does the full table scan. Only for 5 rows full table scan is not a
good, so create an index on that particular column.

If the user requirement is more than 80% of data from query table then in that case
if we create index, again user will get poor performance because oracle will get
contention on db buffer cache since first of all index block need to be picked up as
well as almost all block from that table will be pull out. Hence it will increase the I/O,
also other user request may get slow performance since existing data in cache will
be flush out and reloaded.
Additionally we need to check system level performance, either any problem with
dbwn either dbwn writing slow any modified data which is in buffer to datafile and
either user server process is waiting for space in buffer cache?
Check alert log file too.
Check if user query needed join or sorting?
Check either there is not enough space in temporary tablespace?
If user again user again facing issue then we need drill down to check either any
issue with table block level either table needs defragments if watermark reached
high.
What is Difference between sqlnet.ora, listener.ora, tnsname.ora network
file?
sqlnet.ora: The normal location for this file is D:\oracle\ora92\network\admin. The
sqlnet.ora file is the profile configuration file, and it resides on the client machines
and the database server. The sqnet.ora is text file (optional) that contain basic
configuration details used by the SQL*Net. It contain network configuration details
such domain name, as what path to take in resolving then name of an instance,
order of naming method, authentication services etc.
listener.ora: The normal location for this file is D:\oracle\ora92\network\admin. This
file is client side file (typically on remote PC). The client uses this tnsname.ora file to
obtain connection details from the desired database.
tnsname.ora: The normal location for this file is D:\oracle\ora92\network\admin. This
file is located on both client and server. If you make configuration changes on the
server ensure you can connect to the database through the listener if you are
logged on to the server. If you make configuration change on the client ensure you
can connect from your client workstation to the database through the listener
running on the server.
What is the address of official oracle support?
Metalink.oracle.com or support.oracle.com
Is the password in oracle case sensitive?
In oracle 10g and earlier version NO and since 11g is YES

What is the difference between ISNULL and IS NOT NULL operators?


The IS NULL and IS NOT NULL operators are used to find the NULL and not NULL
values respectively. The IS NULL operator returns TRUE, when the value is NULL;
and FALSE, when the value is not NULL. The IS NOT NULL operator returns TRUE,
when the value is not NULL; and FALSE, when the value is NULL.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


DBA Interview Questions with Answer Part14
Why drop table is not going into Recycle bin?
If you are using SYS user to drop any table then users object will not go to the
recyclebin as there is no recyclebin for SYSTEM tablespace, even we have already
SET recycle bin parameter TRUE.
Select * from v$parameter where name = 'recyclebin';
Show parameter recyclebin;
How to recover password in oracle 10g?
You can query with the table user_history$. The password history is store in this
table.
How to detect inactive session to kill automatically?
You can use the SQLNET.EXPIRE_TIME for the dead connections (for abnormal
disconnections) by specifying a time interval in minute to send a problem message
that verify client/server connections are active. Setting the value greater than 0 to
this parameter ensures that connection is not left open indefinitely, due to abnormal
client termination. If probe finds a terminated connection, or connection that is no
longer in use, it returns an error, causing the server process to exit.
SQLNET.EXPIRE_TIME=10
Why we need CASCADE option with DROP USER command whenever
dropping a user and why "DROP USER" commands fails when we don't use
it?
If a user having any object then YES in that case you are not able to drop that user
without using CASCADE option. The DROP USER with CASCADE option command
drops user along with its all associated objects. Remember it is a DDL command
after the execution of this command rollback cannot be performed.
Can you suggest the best steps to refresh a Database?
Refreshing the database is nothing but applying the change on one database
(PROD) to another (Test). You can use import/export and RMAN method for this
purpose.
Import/Export Method: If you database is small and if you need to refresh particular
schema only then it is always better to use this method.
Export the dump file from source DB

Drop and recreate Test environment User.


Import the dump to destination DB.
RMAN Method: Now days RMAN is most likely to be used for backup and recovery. It
is relatively easier and better method for full database refresh to be refreshed. It is
taking less time as compare to import/export method. Here also you can use
particular SCN based refreshing.
#!/usr/bin/ksh
export ORAENV_ASK='NO'
export ORACLE_SID=PRD
/usr/local/bin/oraenv
export NLS_LANG=American_america.us7ascii;
export NLS_DATE_FORMAT="Mon DD YYYY HH24:MI:SS";
$ORACLE_HOME/bin/rman target / nocatalog log=/tmp/duplicate_tape_TEST.log
connect auxiliary sys/PASSWORD@TEST;
run
{
allocate auxiliary channel aux1 device type disk;
set until SCN 42612597059;
duplicate target database to "TEST"
pfile='/u01/app/xxxx/product/10.2.0/db_1/dbs/initTEST.ora' NOFILENAMECHECK;
}
EOF
\
How will we know the IP address of our system in Linux environment?
Either use ipconfig command or ip addr show
It will give you all IP address and if you have oracle 9i you can query from SQL
prompt.
SELECT UTL_INADDR.GET_HOST_ADDRESS "Host Address",
UTL_INADDR.GET_HOST_NAME "Host Name" FROM DUAL;

Can we create Bigfile Tablespace for all databases?


Infact your question do we create bigfile tablespace for every database is not clear
for me. If you are asking can we create bigfile for every database?
Yes you can but it is not ideal for every datafile if your work is suitable for small file
then why you create bigfile but if your mean is impact of bigfile that depends on
your requirements and storage.
A bigfile tablespace is having single very big datafile which can store 4GB to 128 TB.
Creating single large datafile reducing the requirement of SGA and also it will allow
you modification at tablespace level. In fact it is ideal for ASM, logical device
supporting stripping.
Avoid using bigfile tablespace where there is limited space availability. For more
details impact, advantage, disadvantage of bigfile on my blog.
Can you give more explanation on logfile states?
CURRENT state means that redo records are currently being written to that group.
It will be until a log switch occurs. At a time there can be only one redo group
current.
If a redo group containing redos of a dirty buffer that redo group is said to be
ACTIVE state. As we know log file keep changes made to the data blocks then data
blocks are modified in buffer cache (dirty blocks). These dirty blocks must be written
to the disk (RAM to permanent media).
And when a redolog group contains no redo records belonging to a dirty buffer it is
in an "INACTIVE" state. These inactive redolog can be overwritten.
One more state UNUSED initially when you create new redo log group its log file is
empty on that time it is unused. Later it can be any of the above mentioned state.
What is difference between oracle SID and Oracle service name?
Oracle SID is the unique name that uniquely identifies your instance/database
where as the service name is the TNS alias can be same or different as SID.
How to find session for Remote users?
-- To return session id on remote session:
SELECT distinct sid FROM v$mystat;
-- Return session id of you in remote Environment:
Select sid from v$mystat@remot_db where rownum=1;

We have a complete cold Backup taken on Sunday. The database crashed


on Wednesday. None of the database files are available. The only files we
have are the taped backup archive files till Wednesday. Is there a
possibility of recovering the database until the recent archive which we
have in the tape using the cold backup.
Yes, if you have all the archive logs since the cold backup then you can recover to
your last log
Steps:
1) Restore all backup datafiles, and controlfile. Also restore the password file and
init.ora if you lost those too. Don't restore your redo logs if you backed them up.
2) Make sure that ORACLE_SID is set to the database you want to recover
3) startup mount;
4) Recover database using backup controlfile;
At this point Oracle should start applying all your archive logs, assuming that
they're in log_archive_dest
5) alter database open resetlogs;
How to check RMAN version in oracle?
If you want to check RMAN catalog version then use the below query from SQL*plus
SQL> Select * from rcver;
If you want to check simply database version.
SQL> Select * from v$version;
What is the minimum size of Temporary Tablespace?
1041 KB
Difference b/w image copies and backup sets?
An image copy is identical, byte by byte, to the original datafile, control file, or
archived redo log file. RMAN can write blocks from many files into the same backup
set but cant do so in the case of an image copy.
An RMAN image copy and a copy you make with an operating system copy
command such as dd (which makes image copies) are identical. Since RMAN image
copies are identical to copies made with operating system copy commands, you
may use user-made image copies for an RMAN restore and recovery operation after
first making the copies known to RMAN by using the catalog command.

You can make image copies only on disk but not on a tape device. "backup as copy
database;" Therefore, you can use the backup as copy option only for disk backups,
and the backup as backupset option is the only option you have for making tape
backups.
How can we see the C:\ drive free space capacity from SQL?
create an external table to read data from a file that will be as below
create BAT file free.bat as
@setlocal enableextensions enable delayedexpansion
@echo off
for /f "tokens=3" %%a in ('dir c:\') do (
set bytesfree=%%a
)
set bytesfree=%bytesfree:,=%
echo %bytesfree%
endlocal && set bytesfree=%bytesfree%
You can create a schedular to run the above free.bat, free_space.txt inside the
oracle directory.
Differentiate between Tuning Advisor and Access Advisor?
The tuning Advisor:
-->It suggests indexes that might be very useful.
-->It suggests query rewrites.
-->It suggests SQL profile
The Access Advisor:
-->It suggest indexes that may be useful
-->Suggestion about materialized view.
-->Suggestion about table partitions also in latest version of oracle.
How to give Access of particular table for particular user?
GRANT SELECT (EMPLOYEE_NUMBER), UPDATE (AMOUNT) ON
HRMS.PAY_PAYMENT_MASTER TO SHAHID;
The Below command checks the SELECT privilege on the table
PAY_PAYMENT_MASTER on the HRMS schema (if connected user is different than the
schema)
SELECT PRIVILEGE

FROM ALL_TAB_PRIVS_RECD
WHERE PRIVILEGE = 'SELECT'
AND TABLE_NAME = 'PAY_PAYMENT_MASTER'
AND OWNER = 'HRMS'
UNION ALL
SELECT PRIVILEGE
FROM SESSION_PRIVS
WHERE PRIVILEGE = 'SELECT ANY TABLE';
What are the problem and complexities if we use SQL Tuning Advisor and
Access Advisor together?
I think both the tools are useful for resolving SQL tuning issues. SQL Tuning Advisor
seems to be doing logical optimization mainly by checking your SQL structure and
statistics and the SQL Access Advisor does suggest good data access paths, that is
mainly work which can be done better on disk.
Both SQL Tuning Advisor and SQL Access Advisor tools are quite powerful as they
can source the SQL they will tune automatically from multiple different sources,
including SQL cache, AWR, SQL tuning Sets and user defined workloads.
Related with the argument complexity and problem of using these tools or how you
can use these tools together better to check oracle documentation.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


DBA Interview Questions with Answer Part 15
Can you differentiate Redo vs. Rollback vs. Undo?
I find there is always some confusion when talking about Redo, Rollback and Undo.
They all sound like pretty much the same thing or at least pretty close.
Redo: Every Oracle database has a set of (two or more) redo log files. The redo log
records all changes made to data, including both uncommitted and committed
changes. In addition to the online redo logs Oracle also stores archive redo logs. All
redo logs are used in recovery situations.
Rollback: More specifically rollback segments. Rollback segments store the data as it
was before changes were made. This is in contrast to the redo log which is a record
of the insert/update/deletes.
Undo: Rollback segments. They both are really one in the same. Undo data is stored
in the undo tablespace. Undo is helpful in building a read consistent view of data.
Alert. log showing this error ORA-1109 signalled during: alter database close.
What is the reason behind it?
The ORA-1109 error just indicates that the database is not open for business. You'll
have to open it up before you can proceed.
It may be while you are shutting down the database, somebody trying to open the
database respectively. It is a failure attempt to open the database while shutdown is
progress.Wait for the time to successfully shutdown the database and open it again
for use. Alternatively you have to restart your oracle services on windows
environment.
Which factors are to be considered for creating index on Table? How to
select column for index?
Creation of index on table depends on size of table, volume of data. If size of table is
large and we need only few data for selecting or in report then we need to create
index. There are some basic reason of selecting column for indexing like cardinality
and frequent usage in where condition of select query. Business rule is also forcing
to create index like primary key, because configuring primary key or unique key
automatically create unique index.
It is important to note that creation of so many indexes would affect the
performance of DML on table because in single transaction should need to perform
on various index segments and table simultaneously.

What is Secure External password Store (SEPS)?


Through the use of SEPS you can store password credentials for connecting to
database by using a client side oracle wallet, this wallet stores signing credentials.
This feature introduced since oracle 10g. Thus the application code, scheduled job,
scripts no longer needed embedded username and passwords. This reduces risk
because the passwords are no longer exposed and password management policies
are more easily enforced without changing application code whenever username
and password change.
Differentiate DB file sequential read wait/DB File Scattered Read?
Sequential read associated with index read where as scattered read has to do with
full table scan. The sequential read, reads block into contiguous memory and DB
scattered read gets from multiple block and scattered them into buffer cache.
I install oracle 10g on windows 7 successfully. I found every thing working fine
except the toad is giving cannot load oci.dll error. Is this compatibility issue?
Read the toad user guide. You will get important information related to compatibility
issue. In fact toad works with both 32 bit and 64 bit oracle server where as toad
only work with 32 bit client. If you need 64 bit client for other applications, you can
install both 32 bit and 64 bit client on a single machine and just tell the toad to use
the 32 bit client.
What are the differences between Physical/Logical standby databases?
How would you decide which one is best suited for your environment?
Physical standby DB:
-->As the name, it is physically (datafiles, schema, other physical identity) same
copy of the primary database.
-->It synchronized with the primary database with Apply Redo to the standby DB.
Logical Standby DB:
-->As the name logical information is the same as the production database, it may
be physical structure can be different.
-->It synchronized with primary database though SQL Apply, Redo received from the
primary database into SQL statements and then executing these SQL statements on
the standby DB.
-->We can open physical stand by DB to read only and make it available to the
applications users (Only select is allowed during this period). we can not apply redo
logs received from primary database at this time.

-->We do not see such issues with logical standby database. We can open the
database in normal mode and make it available to the users. At the same time, we
can apply archived logs received from primary database.
-->For OLTP large transaction database it is better to choose logical standby
database.
How to re-organize schema?
We can use dbms_redefinition package for online re-organization of schema objects.
Otherwise using import/export and data pump utility you can recreate or re-organize
your schema.
To configure RMAN Backup for 100GB database? How we would estimate
backup size and backup time?
Check the actual size of your database. For rman backup size almost depends on
your actual size of database.
SELECT SUM(BYTES)/1024/1024/1024 FROM DBA_SEGMENTS;
Backup time depends on your hardware configuration of your server such as CPU,
Memory, and Storage.
Later you can also minimize the backup time by configuring multiple channels with
the backup scripts.
How can you control number of datafiles in oracle database?
The db_files parameter is a "soft limit " parameter that controls the maximum
number of physical OS files that can map to an Oracle instance. The maxdatafiles
parameter is a different - "hard limit" parameter. When issuing a "create database"
command, the value specified for maxdatafiles is stored in Oracle control files and
default value is 32. The maximum number of database files can be set with the init
parameter db_files.
Regardless of the setting of this parameter, maximum per database: 65533 (May be
less on some operating systems), Maximum number of datafiles per tablespace: OS
dependent = usually 1022
You can also by Limited size of database blocks and by the DB_FILES initialization
parameter for a particular instance. Bigfile tablespaces can contain only one file,
but that file can have up to 4G blocks.
What is Latches and why they are used in oracle?

A latch is a serialization mechanism. It is used to gain access to shared data


structure in order to latches the structure that will prevent others from modifying it
while you are modifying it.
Why it is not necessary to take UNDO backup?
In fact it is not necessary to take UNDO tablespace backup either with COLD or HOT
backup scripts but many of DBA include UNDO tablespace in their backup script.
You know when you do some transactions; redo entries will be generated and
accepted! Just like that other tablespace whenever any change happens to UNDO
tablespace or UNDO segments oracle will generate redo entries. So even you not
backed up the UNDO tablespace, you have the redo entries through which you can
recover or rollback the transactions.
What should be effect on DB performance if virtual memory used to store
SGA parameter?
For optimal performance in most systems, the entire SGA should fit in real memory.
If it does not, and if virtual memory is used to store parts of it, then overall database
system performance can decrease dramatically. The reason for this is that portions
of the SGA are paged (written to and read from disk) by the operating system.
What is the role of lock_sga parameter?
The LOCK_SGA parameter, when set to TRUE, locks the entire SGA into physical
memory. This parameter cannot be used with automatic memory management or
automatic shared memory management.
What is CSSCAN?
CSSCAN (Database Character Set Scanner) is a SCAN tool that allows us to see the
impact of a database character set change or assist us to correct an incorrect
database nls_characterset setup. This helps us to determine the best approach for
converting the database characterset.
Differentiate between co-related sub-query and nested query?
Co-related sub query is one in which inner query is evaluated only once and from
that result your outer query is evaluated where as Nested query is one in which
Inner query is evaluated for multiple times for getting one row of that outer query.
Example: Query used with IN() clause is Co-related query.
SELECT EMPLOYEE_NUMBER, LOAN_CODE, DOCUMENT_NUMBER, LOAN_AMOUNT
FROM PAY_LOAN_TRANS
WHERE EMPLOYEE_NUMBER IN (SELECT EMPLOYEE_NUMBER

FROM PAY_EMPLOYEE_PERSONAL_INFO
WHERE EMPLOYEE_NUMBER BETWEEN 1 AND 100);
Example: Query used with = operator is Nested query
SELECT * FROM PARTIAL_PAYMENT_SEQUENCE
WHERE SEQCOD = (SELECT MAX(SEQCOD) FROM PARTIAL_PAYMENT_SEQUENCE);
One after noon suddenly you get a call from your application user and
complaining the database is slow then what will be your first step to solve
this issue?
High performance is common expectation for end user, in fact the database is never
slow or fast in most of the case session connected to the database slow down when
they receives unexpected hit. Thus to solve this issue you need to find those
unexpected hit. To know exactly what the second session is doing join your query
with v$session_wait.
SELECT NVL(s.username, '(oracle)') AS username, s.sid, s.serial#, sw.event,
sw.wait_time, sw.seconds_in_wait, sw.state
FROM v$session_wait sw, v$session s
WHERE s.sid = sw.sid and s.username = 'HRMS'
ORDER BY sw.seconds_in_wait DESC;
Check the events that are waiting for something, try to find out the objects locks for
that particular session. Follow the link: Find Locks : Blockers
Locking is not only the cause to effects the performance. Disk I/O contention is
another case. When a session retrieves data from the database datafiles on disk to
the buffer cache, it has to wait until the disk sends the data. The wait event shows
up for the session as db file sequential read (for index scan) or db file scattered
read (for full table scan). Query link: DB File Sequential Read Wait/ DB File
Scattered Read , DB Locks
When you see the event, you know that the session is waiting for I/O from the disk
to complete. To improve session performance, you have to reduce that waiting
period. The exact step depends on specific situation, but the first technique
reducing the number of blocks retrieved by a SQL statement almost always works.

Reduce the number of blocks retrieved by the SQL statement. Examine the
SQL statement to see if it is doing a full-table scan when it should be using an
index, if it is using a wrong index, or if it can be rewritten to reduce the
amount of data it retrieves.

Place the tables used in the SQL statement on a faster part of the disk.

Consider increasing the buffer cache to see if the expanded size will
accommodate the additional blocks, therefore reducing the I/O and the wait.

Tune the I/O subsystem to return data faster.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


DBA Interview Questions with Answer Part 16
What is Oracle database firewall?
The database firewall has the ability to analyze SQL statements sent from database
clients and determine whether to pass, block, log, alert or substitute SQL
statements, based on a defined policy. User can set whitelist and blacklist policy to
control the firewall. It can detect the injected SQLs and block them. The database
firewall can do the following:

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Monitor and block SQL traffic on the


network with whitelist, blacklist and exception list policies.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Protect against application bypass, SQL


injection and similar threats.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Report on database activity.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Supports other database as well MSSQL Server, IBM DB2 and Sybase.

However there are some key issues that it does not address. For Example privilege
user can login to the OS directly and make local connections to the database. This
bypasses the database firewall. For these issues, would need use of other security
options such as Audit Vault, VPD etc.
What is Oracle RAC One Node?
Oracle RAC one Node is a single instance running on one node of the cluster while
the 2nd node is in cold standby mode. If the instance fails for some reason then RAC
one node detect it and restart the instance on the same node or the instance is
relocate to the 2nd node incase there is failure or fault in 1st node. The benefit of
this feature is that it provides a cold failover solution and it automates the instance
relocation without any downtime and does not need a manual intervention. Oracle
introduced this feature with the release of 11gR2 (available with Enterprise Edition).
What are invalid objects in database?
Sometimes schema objects reference other objects such as a view contains a query
that reference table or other view and a PL/SQL subprogram invokes other
subprograms or may reference another tables or views. These references are
established at compile time and if the compiler cannot resolve them, the dependent
object being compiled is marked invalid.

An invalid dependent object must be recompiled against the new definition of a


referenced object before the dependent object can be used. Recompilation occurs
automatically when the invalid dependent object is referenced
How can we check DATAPUMP file is corrupted or not?
Sometimes we may be in situation, to check whether the dumpfile exported long
time back is VALID or not or our application team is saying that the dumpfile
provided by us is corrupted.
Use SQLFILE Parameter with import script to detect corruption. The use of this
parameter will read the entire datapump export dumpfile and will report if
corruption is detected.
impdp system/*** directory=dump_dir dumpfile=expdp.dmp
logfile=corruption_check.log sqlfile=corruption_check.sql
This will write all DDL statements (which will be executed if an import is performed)
into the file which we mentioned in the command.
How can we find elapsed time for particular object during Datapump or
Export?
We have an undocumented parameter metrics in DATAPUMP to check how much it
took to export different objects types.
Expdp system/oracle directory = dump_dir dumpfile = exp_full.dmp logfile =
exp_full.log full = y metrics = y;
How to check oracle database service is running in server?
DBA using this command on daily basis to find running oracle service on server
On Linux: ps -ef

On Windows: Tasklist /svc | find "oracle"

How can we find different OS block size?


In oracle we can say that database block size should be multiple of OS block size.
On Windows: fsutil fsinfo ntfsinfo c: | find /i "bytes"

On Linux: tune2fs -l
On Solaris: df -g /tmp
How to find location of OCR file when CRS is down?
If you need to find the location of OCR (Oracle Cluster Registry) but your CRS is
down.
When the CRS is down:
Look into ocr.loc file, location of this file changes depending on the OS:
On Linux: /etc/oracle/ocr.loc
On Solaris: /var/opt/oracle/ocr.loc
When CRS is UP:
Set ASM environment or CRS environment then run the below command:
ocrcheck
How can you Test your Standby database is working properly or not?
To test your standby database, make a change to particular table on the production
server, and commit the change. Then manually switch a logfile so those changes
are archived. Manually ship the newest archived redolog file, and manually apply it
on the standby database. Then open your standby database in read-only mode, and
select from your changed table to verify those changes are available. Once you
have done, shutdown your standby and startup again in standby mode.
What is Dataguard & what is the purpose of Data Guard?
Oracle Dataguard is a disaster recovery solution from Oracle Corporation that has
been utilized in the industry extensively at times of Primary site failure, failover,
switchover scenarios.
a) Oracle Data Guard ensures high availability, data protection, and disaster
recovery for enterprise data.
b) Data Guard provides a comprehensive set of services that create, maintain,
manage, and monitor one or more standby databases to enable production Oracle
databases to survive disasters and data corruptions.
c) With Data Guard, administrators can optionally improve production database

performance by offloading resource-intensive backup and reporting operations to


standby systems.
What is role of Redo Transport Services in Dataguard?
It controls the automated transfer of redo data from the production database to one
or more archival destinations. The redo transport services perform the following
tasks:
a) Transmit redo data from the primary system to the standby systems in the
configuration.
b) Manage the process of resolving any gaps in the archived redo log files due to a
network failure.
c) Automatically detect missing or corrupted archived redo log files on a standby
system and automatically retrieve replacement archived redo log files from the
primary database or another standby database.
Is Opatch (utility) is also another type of patch?
OPatch is utility from oracle corp. (Java based utility) that helps you in applying
interim patches to Oracle's software and rolling back interim patches from Oracle's
software. Opatch also able to Report already installed interim patch and can detect
conflict when already interim patch has been applied. This program requires Java to
be available on your system and requires installation of OUI. Thus from the above
discussion coming to your question it is not ideal to say OPATCH is another patch.
When we applying single Patch, can you use opatch utility?
Yes, you can use Opatch incase of single patch. The only type of patch that cannot
be used with OPatch is a patchset
When you applying Patchsets, You can use OUI.
Yes, Patcheset uses OUI. A patch set contains a large number of merged patches, to
change the version of the product or introduce new functionality. Patch sets are
cumulative bug fixes that fix all bugs and consume all patches since the last base
release. Patch sets and the Patch Set Assistant are usually applied through OUIbased product specific installers.
Can you Apply OPATCH without downtime?
As you know for apply patch your database and listener must be down. When you
apply OPTACH it will update your current ORACLE_HOME. Thus coming to your
question to the point in fact it is not possible without or zero downtime in case of
single instance but in RAC you can Apply Opatch without downtime as there will be
more separate ORACLE_HOME and more separate instances (running once instance
on each ORACLE_HOME).

You have collection of patch (nearly 100 patches) or patchset. How can
you apply only one patch from it?
With Napply itself (by providing patch location and specific patch id) you can apply
only one patch from a collection of extracted patch. For more information check the
opatch util NApply help. It will give you clear picture.
For Example:
opatch util napply <patch_location> -id 9 -skip_subset -skip_duplicate
This will apply only the patch id 9 from the patch location and will skip duplicate and
subset of patch installed in your ORACLE_HOME.
If both CPU and PSU are available for given version which one, you will
prefer to apply?
From the above discussion it is clear once you apply the PSU then the recommended
way is to apply the next PSU only. In fact, no need to apply CPU on the top of PSU as
PSU contain CPU (If you apply CPU over PSU will considered you are trying to
rollback the PSU and will require more effort in fact). So if you have not decided or
applied any of the patches then, I will suggest you to go to use PSU patches. For
more details refer: Oracle Products [ID 1430923.1], ID 1446582.1
PSU is superset of CPU then why someone choose to apply a CPU rather
than a PSU?
CPUs are smaller and more focused than PSU and mostly deal with security issues.
It seems to be theoretically more consecutive approach and can cause less trouble
than PSU as it has less code changing in it. Thus any one who is concerned only with
security fixes and not functionality fixes, CPU may be good approach.
Will Patch Application affect System Performance?
Sometimes applying certain patch could affect Application performance of SQL
statements. Thus it is recommended to collect a set of performance statistics that
can serve as a baseline before we make any major changes like applying a patch to
the system.
What is your day to day activity as an Apps DBA?
As an Apps DBA we monitor the system for different alerts (Entreprise Manager or
third party tools used for configuring the Alerts) Tablespace Issues, CPU
consumption, Database blocking sessions etc., Regular maintenance activities like
cloning, patching, custom code migrations (provided by developers) and Working
with user issues.
How often do you use patch in your organization?
Usually for non-production the patching request comes around weekly 4-6 and the
same patches will be applied to Production in the outage or maintenance window.

Production has weekly maintenance window (eg. Sat 6PM to 9PM) where all the
changes (patches) will applied on production.
How often do you use cloning in your organization?
Cloning happens weekly or monthly depending on the organization requirement.
Generally when we need to perform major task such as oracle financial annual
closing etc.

Monday, 24 June 2013


DBA Interview Questions with Answer Part17
What are the common Tasks or Responsibilities for a Core DBA?
DBA responsibilities are varied from organization to organization. It depends on the
organization nature of work. Following are the overall responsibility for a DBA:
User Management: Create new user, remove existing user and provide the rights as
per the requirement.
Manage database storage (Timely space management of Tablespace or datafile)
Administrator users and security.
Manage Schema object.
Monitor and Manage database performance.
Perform backup and recovery.
Schedule and automate jobs.
Taking database snapshot or health report.
Working with user issues for managing overall smooth running of database.
What are your day to day activities as an APPS DBA?
In compare to Core DBA Apps DBA include all the responsibilities of Core DBA Plus
Upgrade, Cloning and Patching. As an Apps DBA we monitor the system for different
alerts (EM or third party tools used for configuring the Alerts), Tablespace issues,
CPU consumption, Database blocking session etc. Regular maintenance activities
like cloning, patching and custom code migration (provided by developer), working
with user issues.
What type of failure occurs when oracle fails due to OS or Hardware
failure?
Instance Failure
An Oracle system change number (SCN):
is a value that is incremented whenever a dirty read occurs.
is incremented whenever a deadlock occurs.
is a value that keeps track of explicit locks

is a value that is incremented whenever database changes are made?


Answer: D
Which process read/write data from datafiles?
There is no background process which reads data from datafiles or database buffer.
Oracle creates server process to handle request from connected user processes. A
server process communicates with the user process and interacts with oracle to
carry out request from the associated user process.
For example: If a user queries some data not already in database buffer of the SGA,
then the associated server process reads the proper data block from the datafiles
into the SGA.
DBWR background process is responsible to writes modified (dirty block from buffer
cache to the datafiles) block permanently to disk.
Why RMAN incremental backup fails even though full backup exists?
If you have taken the RMAN full backup using the command Backup database,
where as a level 0 backup is physically identical to a full backup. The only difference
is that the level 0 backup is recorded as an incremental backup in the RMAN
repository so it can be used as the parent for a level 1 backup. Simply the full
backup without level 0 can not be considered as a parent backup from which you
can take level 1 backup.
How can you change or rename the database name?
SQL> ALTER DATABASE BACKUP CONTROLFILE TO TRACE;
The above command will create a text control file in user_dump_dest directory and
change name of the database in above file and also in init.ora file.
Now startup your database in nomount phase using the modified pfile and then run
the modified controlfile script.
SQL> STARTUP NOMOUNT;
SQL> @D:\Backup\controlfile.txt
SQL> ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS;
You can use DBNEWID utility NID for this purpose. For more information: DBNEWID,
Changing DBNAME
Temp Tablespace is 100% FULL and there is no space available to add datafiles to
increase temp tablespace. What can you do in that case to free up TEMP
tablespace?

Try to close some of the idle sessions connected to the database will help you to
free some TEMP space. Otherwise you can also use Alter Tablespace PCTINCREASE
1 followed by Alter Tablespace PCTINCREASE 0
What is the use of setting GLOBAL_NAMES equal to true?
Setting GLOBAL_NAMES indicates how you might connect to the database. This
variable is either true or false. If it is set to true enforces database link to have
same link as the remote database to which they are linking.
What is the purpose of fact and dimension table? What type of index is
used with fact table?
Fact and dimension tables are involved in producing a star schema. A fact table
contains measurements while dimension table will contain data that will help to
describe the fact table. A Bitmap index is used with fact table.
If you got complain application is running very slow from your application
user. Where do you start looking first?
Below are some of very important step to identify the root cause of slowness in
Application database.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Run TOP command in Linux to check


CPU usage.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Run VMSTAT, SAR, PRSTAT command to


get more information on CPU, memory usage and possible blocking.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Run STATSPACK report to identify TOP 5


Events and Resource Intensive SQL statement.

-->If found poor written statements then run EXPLAIN PLAN on these
statements and see whether new index or use of HINT brings the cost of SQL
down.

How do you add second or subsequent BLOCK SIZE to an existing


database?
In fact the block size in an oracle database cannot be changed after the database is
created. The reason is because oracle track lot of information based on block
number. If you change the block size all the block number is changed and basically
the database would have to re-create. But in the case when you need to add second
or subsequent BLOCK_SIZE for particular datafile then you have to re-create the
CONTROLFILE to specify the new block size for specific datafiles or Take the
database OFFLINE, and then bring back online with a new BLOCK SIZE specification.

You need to restore from backup and do not have any control files. What
will be your step to recover the database?
Create a text based control files, saved on the disk same location where all the
datafiles are located then issue the recover command by using backup control file
clause.
Shutdown abort; -- if db still open
Startup nomount;
create controlfile
database <name>
logfile '<online redo log groups>'
noresetlogs|resetlogs
maxlogfiles 10
maxlogmembers <your value>
datafile '<names of all data files>'
maxdatafiles 254
archivelog;
SQL> alter database mount;
recover database [until cancel] [using backup controlfile];
alter database open [noresetlogs/resetlogs];
Use alter database open if you created the control file with NORESETLOGS and
have performed no recovery or a full recovery (without until cancel).
Use alter database open noresetlogs if you created the control file with
NORESETLOGS and performed a full recovery despite the use of the until cancel
option.
Use alter database open resetlogs if you created the control file with RESETLOGS
or when you performed a partial recovery.
In below list which SQL phrase is NOT supported by oracle?
ON DELETE CASCADE
ON UPDATE CASCADE
CREATE SEQUENCE [SequenceName]
DROP SEQUENCE [SequenceName]
Answer: B

What is the effect on working with Report when flex/confine mode are ON?
When flex mode is ON, reports automatically resize the parent when the child is
resized.
When the confine mode is ON, the object cannot be moved outside its parent in
layout.
How will you enforce security using stored procedure?
Dont grant user access directly to tables within the application. Instead grant the
ability to access the procedure that accesses the tables. When procedure execute it
will execute the privilege of procedures owner. Users cannot access except via the
procedure.
What is RAC? What is the benefit of RAC over single instance database?
In Real Application Clusters environments, all nodes concurrently execute
transactions against the same database. Real Application Clusters coordinates each
node's access to the shared data to provide consistency and integrity.
Benefits:
-->Improve response time
-->Improve throughput
-->High availability
-->Transparency
Can you configure primary server and standby server on different OS?
NO, Standby database must be on same version of database and same version of
OS.
If you want users will change their passwords after every 60 days then
how you will enforce this?
Oracle password security is implemented through oracle PROFILES which are
assigned to users. PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME parameter limits the number of days the
same password can be used for authentication.
You have to first create database PROFILE and then assign each user to this profile
or if you have already having PROFILE then you need to just alter the above
parameter.
create profile Sadhan_users

limit
PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME 60
PASSWORD_GRACE_TIME 10
PASSWORD_REUSE_TIME UNLIMITED
PASSWORD_REUSE_MAX 0
FAILED_LOGIN_ATTEMPTS 3
PASSWORD_LOCK_TIME UNLIMITED;
Then create user or already created user assigned to this profile.
SQL> Create user HRMS identified by oracle profile sadhan_users;
If you have already assigned profile then you can directly modify the profile
parameter:
SQL> Alter profile sadhan_users set PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME = 90;
What happens actually in case of instance Recovery?
While Oracle instance fails, Oracle performs an Instance Recovery when the
associated database is being re-started. Instance recovery occurs in two steps:
Cache recovery: Changes being made to a database are recorded in the database
buffer cache as well as redo log files simultaneously. When there are enough data in
the database buffer cache, they are written to data files. If an Oracle instance fails
before these data are written to data files, Oracle uses online redo log files to
recover the lost data when the associated database is re-started. This process is
called cache recovery.
Transaction recovery: When a transaction modifies data in a database (the before
image of the modified data is stored in an undo segment which is used to restore
the original values in case the transaction is rolled back). At the time of an instance
failure, the database may have uncommitted transactions. It is possible that
changes made by these uncommitted transactions have gotten saved in data files.
To maintain read consistency, Oracle rolls back all uncommitted transactions when
the associated database is re-started. Oracle uses the undo data stored in undo
segments to accomplish this. This process is called transaction recovery.
What is the main purpose of CHECKPOINT in oracle database?
A checkpoint is a database event, which synchronize the database blocks in
memory with the datafiles on disk. It has two main purposes: To establish a data

consistency and enable faster database Recovery. For more information: Discussion
on Checkpoint and SCN
Can you change the Characterset of database?
No, you can not change the character set of database, you will need to re-create the
database with appropriate characterset.
What is Cascading standby database?
A CASCADING STANDBY is a standby database that receives its REDO information
from another standby database (not from primary database).
What the use of ANALYZE command?
To collect statistics about object used by the optimizer and store them in the data
dictionary, delete statistics about the object, validate the structure of the object and
identify migrated and chained rows of the table or cluster.
How will you check active shared memory segment?
ipcs -a
How will you check paging swapping in Linux?
vmstat s
prstat s
swap l
sar p
How do you check number of CPU installed on Linux server?
psrinfot v
When you moved oracle binary files from one ORACLE_HOME server to another
server then which oracle utility will be used to make this new ORACLE_HOME
usable?
Relink all
In which months oracle release CPU patches?
JAN, APR, JUL, OCT
Oracle version 9.2.0.4.0 what does each number refers to?
Oracle version number refers:

9 Major database release number


2 Database Maintenance release number
0 Application server release number
4 Component Specific release number
0 Platform specific release number
What does database do during the mounting process?
While mounting the database oracle reads the data from controlfile which is used
for verifying physical database files during sanity check. Background processes are
started before mounting the database only.
When having multiple oracle homes on a single server or client what is the
parameter that points all Oracle installs at one TNSNAMES.ORA file.
TNS_ADMIN
How to implement the multiple controlfile for existing database?
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->Edit init.ora file, set controlfiles parameter
with multiple location
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. <!--[endif]-->Shutdown immediate
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3. <!--[endif]-->Copy controlfile to multiple locations &
confirm from init.ora contolfiles parameter
<!--[if !supportLists]-->4. <!--[endif]-->Start the database.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->5. <!--[endif]-->Use the below query for changes
confirmation
select name from v$controlfile;

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


DBA Interview Questions with Answer Part 18
How would you decide your backup strategy and timing for backup?
In fact backup strategy is purely depends upon your organization business need. If
no downtime then database must be run on archivelog mode and you have to take
frequently or daily backup. If sufficient downtime is there and loss of data would not
affect your business then you can run your database in archivelog mode and backup
can be taken in-frequently or weekly or monthly.
In most of the case in an organization when no downtime then frequent inconsistent
backup needed (daily backup), multiplex online redo log files (multiple copies),
different location for redo log files, database must run in archivelog mode and
dataguard can be implemented for extra bit of protection (to make less downtime
during recovery).
What is Jinitiator and what its purpose?
It is a java virtual machine provided for running web based oracle forms applications
inside a client web browser. It is implemented as a plug-in or ActiveX object, allows
you to specify the use of oracle certified JVM instead of relying on default JVM
provided by browser. It is automatically downloaded to a client machine from the
application. Its installation and update is performed by standard plug-in mechanism
provided by the browser.
What is the use of large pool, which case you need to set the large pool?
You need to set large pool if you are using: MTS (Multi thread server) and RMAN
Backups. Large pool prevents RMAN & MTS from competing with other sub system
for the same memory. RMAN uses the large pool for backup & restore when you set
the DBWR_IO_SLAVES or BACKUP_TAPE_IO_SLAVES parameters to simulate
asynchronous I/O. If neither of these parameters is enabled, then Oracle allocates
backup buffers from local process memory rather than shared memory. Then there
is no use of large pool.
How can you audit system operations?
Sys connection can be audited by setting init.ora parameter
AUDIT_SYS_OPERATIONS=TRUE
How can you implement Encryption in database?
Data with database can be encrypted and decrypted using package:
DBMS_OBFUSCATION_TOOLKIT
How do you list the folder files with hidden file in Linux

s ltra
How to execute Linux command in Background?
Use the "&" at the end of command or use nohup command
What Linux command will control the default permission when file are
created?
Umask
Give the command to display space usage on the LINUX file system?
df lk
What is the use of iostat/vmstat/netstat command in Linux?
Iostat reports on terminal, disk and tape I/O activity.
Vmstat reports on virtual memory statistics for processes, disk, tape and CPU
activity.
Netstat reports on the contents of network data structures.
What are the steps to install oracle on Linux system. List two kernel
parameter that effect oracle installation?
Initially set up disks and kernel parameters, then create oracle user and DBA group,
and finally run installer to start the installation process. The SHMMAX & SHMMNI two
kernel parameter required to set before installation process.
__________ Parameter change will decrease Paging/Swapping?
Answer: Decrease_Shared_Pool_size
_______ Command is used to see the contents of SQL* Plus buffer
Answer: LIST
Transaction per rollback segment is derived from ________
Answer: Processes
LGWR process writes information into ___________
Answer: Redo log files.
A database over all structure is maintained in a file __________
Answer: Control files

What is the use of NVL function?


The NVL function is used to replace NULL values with another or given value.
For Example: NVL (Value, replace value);
What is WITH CHECK OPTION?
The WITH CHECK option clause specifies check level to be done in DML statements.
It is used to prevent changes to a view that would produce results that are not
included in the sub query.
The concepts are different than previous concept in fact. In that case you can
access the some of the concept in your mind to achieve the target.
How can you track the password change for a user in oracle?
Oracle only tracks the date that the password will expire based on when it was
latest changed. Thus listing the view DBA_USERS.EXPIRY_DATE and subtracting
PASSWORD_LIFE_TIME you can determine when password was last changed. You can
also check the last password change time directly from the PTIME column in USER$
table (on which DBA_USERS view is based). But If you have PASSWORD_REUSE_TIME
and/or PASSWORD_REUSE_MAX set in a profile assigned to a user account then you
can reference dictionary table USER_HISTORY$ for when the password was changed
for this account.
SELECT user$.NAME, user$.PASSWORD, user$.ptime, user_history$.password_date
FROM SYS.user_history$, SYS.user$
WHERE user_history$.user# = user$.user#;
What is the difference between a data block/extent/segment?
A data block is the smallest unit of logical storage for a database object. As objects
grow they take chunks of additional storage that are composed of contiguous data
blocks. These groupings of contiguous data blocks are called extents. All the extents
that an object takes when grouped together are considered the segment of the
database object.
What is the difference between SQL*loader and Import utilities?
Both these utilities are used for loading the data into the database. The difference is
that the import utility relies on the data being produced by another oracle utility
Export while SQL*Loader is a high speed data loading mechanism allows data to be
loaded that has been produced by other utilities from different data source. Import
is mainly used reading and writing operating system files.
Can you list the Step how to create Standby database?

Take a full hot backup of Primary database


Create standby control file
Transfer full backup, init.ora, standby control file to standby node.
Modify init.ora file on standby node.
Restore database
Recover Standby database
(Alternatively, RMAN DUPLICATE DATABASE FOR STANDBY DO RECOVERY can be
also used)
Setup FAL_CLIENT and FAL_SERVER parameters on both sides
Put Standby database in Managed Recover mode
How would you activate Physical Standby database in oracle 9i?
Perform below on primary database if available to transfer all pending archive logs
to standby:
SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SWITCH LOGFILE;
SQL> ALTER SYSTEM SWITCH LOGFILE;
Now perform below on STANDBY database:
SQL> ALTER DATABASE ACTIVATE STANDBY DATABASE;
SQL> SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE;
SQL> STARTUP;
Note: Once you start the Standby DB, your relation between primary databases to
standby database has been lost and at this time your standby database becomes
primary database.
How to Switch from Primary to Physical Standby database?
Perform below step on Primary Database:
SQL> ALTER DATABASE COMMIT TO SWITCHOVER TO PHYSICAL STANDBY WITH
SESSION SHUTDOWN;
SQL> SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE;
SQL> STARTUP NOMOUNT;

SQL> ALTER DATABASE MOUNT STANDBY DATABASE;


SQL> RECOVER MANAGED STANDBY DATABASE DICONNECT FROM SESSION;
SQL> ALTER SYSEM SET LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_2_STATUS= DEFER SCOPE=SPFILE;
Perform below steps on Secondary Database:
SQL> ALTER DATABASE COMMIT TO SWITCHOVER TO PRIMARY;
SQL> SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE;
SQL> STARTUP;
SQL> ALTER SYSEM SET LOG_ARCHIVE_DEST_2_STATUS= ENABLE SCOPE=SPFILE;
How will you list only the empty lines in a file (using GREP)
GREP "^$" filename.txt
How will you shutdown your database if SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE command
is already tried and failed to shutdown the database?
Kill the SMON process.
What is log switch?
The point at which oracle ends writing to one online redo log file and begins writing
to another is called a log switch. Sometimes you can force the log switch by using
the command: ALTER SYSTEM LOG SWITCH.
How can you pass the HINTS to the SQL processor?
Using comment line with (+) sign you can pass the HINTS to the SQL engine: For
Example: /* +PARALLEL() */
Give Example of available DB administrator utilities with their
functionality?
SQL * DBA It allows DBA to monitor and control an oracle database.
SQL * Loader It loads data from standard OS files or flat file in oracle database
tables.
Export/Import It allows moving existing data in oracle format to and from oracle
database.
Can you built indexes online?

YES. You can create and rebuild indexes online. This enables you to update base
tables at the same time you are building or rebuilding indexes on that table. You can
perform DML operations while the index building is taking place, but DDL operations
are not allowed. Parallel execution is not supported when creating or rebuilding an
index online.
CREATE INDEX emp_name ON emp (mgr, emp1, emp2, emp3) ONLINE;
If an oracle database is crashed? How would you recover that transaction
which is not in backup?
If the database is in archivelog we can recover that transaction otherwise we cannot
recover that transaction which is not in backup.
What is the benefit of running the DB in archivelog mode over no
archivelog mode?
When a database is in no archivelog mode whenever log switch happens there will
be a loss of some redoes log information in order to avoid this, redo logs must be
archived. This can be achieved by configuring the database in archivelog mode.
What is SGA? Define structure of shared pool component of SGA?
The system global area is a group of shared memory area that is dedicated to oracle
instance. All oracle process uses the SGA to hold information. The SGA is used to
store incoming data and internal control information that is needed by the
database. You can control the SGA memory by setting the parameter db_cache_size,
shared_pool_size and log_buffer.
Shared pool portion contain three major area: Library cache (parse SQL statement,
cursor information and execution plan), dictionary cache (contain cache, user
account information, privilege user information, segments and extent information,
buffer for parallel execution message and control structure.
You have more than 3 instances running on the Linux box? How can you
determine which shared memory and semaphores are associated with
which instance?
Oradebug is undocumented oracle supplied utility by oracle. The oradebug help
command list the command available with oracle.
SQL>oradebug setmypid
SQL>oradebug ipc
SQL>oradebug tracfile_name
How would you extract DDL of a table without using a GUI tool?
Select dbms_metadata.get_ddl('OBJECT','OBJECT_NAME') from dual;

If you are getting high Busy Buffer waits then how can you find the
reason behind it?
Buffer busy wait means that the queries are waiting for the blocks to be read into
the db cache. There could be the reason when the block may be busy in the cache
and session is waiting for it. It could be undo/data block or segment header wait.
Run the below two query to find out the P1, P2 and P3 of a session causing buffer
busy wait
then after another query by putting the above P1, P2 and P3 values.
SQL> Select p1 "File #",p2 "Block #",p3 "Reason Code" from v$session_wait Where
event = 'buffer busy waits';
SQL> Select owner, segment_name, segment_type from dba_extents
Where file_id = &P1 and &P2 between block_id and block_id + blocks -1;
Can flashback work on database without UNDO and with rollback
segments?
No, flashback query enable us to query our data as it existed in a previous state. In
other words, we can query our data from a point in time before any other users
made permanent changes to it.
Can we have same listener name for two databases?
No

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Discussion on SCN and Checkpoint in Oracle
What is SCN and why it is used? What happens if the SCN in datafile
header is not matching with the Control file?
The system change number (SCN) is Oracle's clock, every time we commit the clock
increments. The SCN just marks a consistent point in time in the database. The
checkpoint SCN in datafile headers are updated after checkpoint. The SCN is
incremented whenever a transaction commits. Suppose i do update in one table
which is stored in two different datafiles it will update all datafiles header & write
information in control file after commit. Before opening the database SMON will
check the control file & datafile headers for the same SCN. If the SCN in datafile
header is not matching with the Control file that means datafile need recovery.
How to find Current SCN?
SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number from dual; VER. Oracle 9i
SQL> select to_char(current_scn) from v$database; VER. Oracle 10g
What is checkpoint? Is checkpoint is related to SCN? Why checkpoint
numbers get increased non sequence to higher value?
LGWR or CKPT writes the redo log sequence to the datafile headers and control files
and tells the DBWR to write dirty buffers from the dirty buffer write queue (buffer
cache) to disk. It is a record indicating the point in the redo log where all DB
changes prior to this point have been saved in the datafiles.
The database ALWAYS has transactions going on, ALWAYS. SMON and many other
background processes are always doing work, the database (unless it is opened
read only) is always doing transactions. Now, since the database never sleeps. Most
of those other programs do transactions and commit. SQL>select username,
program from v$session;
The justification against the question, is SCN number, is it a number to
identify a committed transaction? or is it a number just to identify the
sequence of statements executed against the database ?
SQL> create table s ( x int );
Table created.
SQL> Select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;
SCN
----------

79178265
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 1000
Loop
insert into s values ( i );
end loop;
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number - &SCN from dual;
DBMS_FLASHBACK.GET_SYSTEM_CHANGE_NUMBER-79178265
-----------------------------------------------5
It only advanced by 5 - but we did over 1,000 DML statements thus the SCN is not
assigned to a SQL statement. The SCN is incremented upon commit.
SQL>
SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;
SCN
---------79178271
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 1000
loop
insert into s values ( i );
COMMIT;
end loop;
end;
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number - &SCN from dual;


DBMS_FLASHBACK.GET_SYSTEM_CHANGE_NUMBER-79178271
-----------------------------------------------1016
See, now if you COMMIT 1,000 times, the SCN does jump by 1,000 (the other jumps
are the background processes, they are always doing stuff - SMON, MMON, PMON,
etc. they do SQL all of the time - the database never rests
Is there a limitation on the number of SCN that can be generated in a
second?
It is depends upon number of commit you are doing
How can we check precision of SCN Timing?
SQL> select time_mp,time_dp, scn_wrp, scn_bas from smon_scn_time;
It is internally done if you look at that table all of the columns - there is a field
TIM_SCN_MAP, it is hidden in there, by using the APIs you can access that
information.
SQL>select scn_to_timestamp(scn) ts, min(scn), max(scn)
from (
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number()-level scn
from dual
connect by level <= 100
)
Group by scn_to_timestamp(SCN);
Order by scn_to_timestamp(SCN);
What if the transaction is rolled-back? Does the SCN again increase?
Yes it is, check out this Example
SQL> CREATE TABLE S1 (ENO NUMBER(4), ENAME VARCHAR2(20));
Table created.
SQL> Select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;

SCN
---------8806085
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 1000
loop
insert into S1 values ( 1, 'SHAAN' );
rollback;
end loop;
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL> select scn, scn-8806085 from (
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual
);
SCN SCN-8806085
---------- ------------8806085 2014
SQL> Select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;
SCN
---------8806085
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 10000
loop
insert into S1 values ( 1, 'SHAAN' );

rollback;
end loop;
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL> select scn, scn-8806085 from (
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual
);
SCN SCN-8806085
---------- ------------155317184 20180
Even more than if you do not rollback but commit instead
SQL> Create table S2 ( eno number(4));
Table created.
SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;
SCN
---------8828432
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 1000
loop
insert into s2 values ( i );
commit;
end loop;
end;
/

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.


SQL> select scn, scn-8828432 from (
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual
);
SCN SCN-8828432
---------- ------------8830391 1959
SQL> select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual;
SCN
---------8830447
SQL> begin
for i in 1 .. 1000
loop
insert into s2 values ( i );
commit;
end loop;
end;
/
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.
SQL> select scn, scn-8830447 from (
select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual
);
SCN SCN-8830447
---------- ------------8842825 12378

Is there any difference between select CURRENT_SCN from v$database and


select dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number scn from dual?
For a "normal" database (not standby) they are for all intents and purposes the
same. They could be a LITTLE different if you do something like:
SQL>select current_scn, dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number from
v$database; since they would be evaluated at two slightly different points in time,
but consider them "the same"
What is the difference or similarity between SCN and ORA_ROWSCN?
Where does oracle store SCN?
The SCN is like a clock - it is always advancing (use the command
dbms_flashback.get_system_change_number and wait for few seconds, print it
again, it will have advanced). So, just think of the SCN like a ticker, like time - every
time a transaction ends - another unit of time is added, like adding seconds to time
where as ora_rowscn is an observed point in time. The ora_rowscn is a value
associated to a block or a row on a block that represents the time the block/row
was last modified.
When alter system checkpoint command is used?
When we have few dirty buffers of one table in the buffer cache and we issue the
command
The checkpoint SCN of the data block is updated and ITL is also updated as:
Itl Xid Uba Flag Lck Scn/Fsc
0x01 0x0005.020.00002b46 0x00c00235.0d0f.15 --U- 3 fsc 0x0000.00ddffee
0x02 0x0001.012.00002088 0x00c0021d.0b70.07 --U- 1 fsc 0x0000.00df1407
But the header block (after we dump and see) of the file still contains the same SCN
as before irrespective of the change in the data block
Where the SCN number resides? Does archive and redo logs also contain
SCN numbers?
SCN doe not really reside anywhere, it is like time itself. A value of the SCN, taken at
various times, representing the time something happened is stored in many places,
sort of like a timestamp would be. Datafiles have SCNs associated with them (times
of various operations) control files have them (times of various operations) log files
have them (to record times of various operations) undo segments have them (......)
they are littered all over the place, they are like timestamps.
Overview DATA DICTIONARY: CHECKPOINT

V$INSTANCE_RECOVERY, V$LOG, V$LOG_HISTORY


V$INSTANCE_RECOVERY: lowest value in last four columns controls checkpoints
redo log file size, log_checkpoint_timeout, log_checkpoint_interval,
fast_start_io_target
init parameter: log_checkpoint_interval, log_checkpoint_timeout,
log_checkpoints_to_alert
log_checkpoint_interval
redo log blocks (OS blocks not DB blocks) written before a checkpoint
If set greater than redo log file size, checkpoints occur at log switches
Ignored if set to zero.
log_checkpoint_timeout
number of seconds since last checkpoint before another is performed
ignored if set to zero
default = 1800 seconds (30 minutes)
log_checkpoints_to_alert if true, write checkpoints to alert log
To decrease checkpoints:
set log_checkpoint_interval larger than the size of the online redo logs
eliminate time-based checkpoints by setting log_checkpoint_timeout = 0
increase size of online redo logs
Note: checkpoints DO NOT cause log switches, but log switches cause checkpoints.
For Manual check point use alter system checkpoint.

Monday, 6 May 2013


Question with Answer on Oracle database Patches
Patches are a small collection of files copied over to an existing
installation. They are associated with particular versions of Oracle
products.
The discussion will especially help for those beginners who are preparing for
interview and inexperienced to apply the patches. In this article you will find all
those things briefly with an example. For more details please study the oracle
documentation and try to search with separate topics on this blog.
What are different Types of Patches?
Regular Patcheset: To upgrade to higher version we use database patchset. Please
do not confuse between regular patchests and patch set updates (PSU). Consider
the regular patchset is super set of PSU. Regular Patchset contain major bug fixes.
In comparison to regular patch PSU will not change the version of oracle binaries
such as sqlplus, import/export etc. The importance of PSU is automatically
minimized once a regular patchset is released for a given version. It is mainly
divided into two types:
Security or Critical Patch Update (CPU): Critical patch update quarterly delivered by
oracle to fix security issues.
Patch set updated (PSU): It include CPU and bunch of other one-off patches. It is
also quarterly delivered by oracle.
Interim (one-off) Patch: It is also known as patchset exception or one-off patch or
interim patch. This is usually a single fix for single problem or enhancement. It
released only when there is need of immediate fix or enhancement that cannot wait
until for next release of patchset or bundle patch. It is applied using OPATCH utility
and is not cumulative.
Bundle Patches: Bundle Patches includes both the quarterly security patches as well
as recommended fixes (for Windows and Exadata only). When you try to download
this patch you will find bundle of patches (different set of file) instead of single
downloaded file (usually incase patchset).
Is Opatch (utility) is also another type of patch?
OPatch is utility from oracle corp. (Java based utility) that helps you in applying
interim patches to Oracle's software and rolling back interim patches from Oracle's
software. Opatch also able to Report already installed interim patch and can detect
conflict when already interim patch has been applied. This program requires Java to

be available on your system and requires installation of OUI. Thus from the above
discussion coming to your question it is not ideal to say OPATCH is another patch.

When we applying single Patch, can you use OPATCH utility?


Yes, you can use Opatch incase of single patch. The only type of patch that cannot
be used with OPatch is a patchset
When you applying Patchsets, You can use OUI.
Yes, Patcheset uses OUI. A patch set contains a large number of merged patches, to
change the version of the product or introduce new functionality. Patch sets are
cumulative bug fixes that fix all bugs and consume all patches since the last base
release. Patch sets and the Patch Set Assistant are usually applied through OUIbased product specific installers.
Can you Apply OPATCH without downtime?
As you know for apply patch your database and listener must be down. When you
apply OPTACH it will update your current ORACLE_HOME. Thus coming to your
question to the point in fact it is not possible in case of single instance but in RAC
you can Apply Opatch without downtime as there will be more separate
ORACLE_HOME and more separate instances (running once instance on each
ORACLE_HOME).
You have collection of patch (nearly 100 patches) or patchset. How can
you apply only one patch from patcheset or patch bundle at
ORACLE_HOME?
With Napply itself (by providing patch location and specific patch id) you can apply
only one patch from a collection of extracted patch. For more information check the
opatch util NApply help. It will give you clear picture.
For Example:
opatch util napply <patch_location> -id 9 -skip_subset -skip_duplicate
This will apply only the patch id 9 from the patch location and will skip duplicate and
subset of patch installed in your ORACLE_HOME.
How can you get minimum/detail information from inventory about
patches applied and components installed?
You can try below command for minimum and detail information from inventory
C:\ORACLE_HOME\Opatch\opatch lsinventory invPtrLoc location of oraInst.loc file
$ORACLE_HOME\OPatch\opatch lsinventory -detail -invPtrLoc location of oraInst.loc
file
Differentiate Patcheset, CPU and PSU patch? What kind of errors usually
resolved from them?

Critical Patch Update (CPU) was the original quarterly patches that were released by
oracle to target the specific security fixes in various products. CPU is a subset of
patchset updates (PSU). CPU are built on the base patchset version where as PSU
are built on the base of previous PSU
Patch Set Updates (PSUs) are also released quarterly along with CPU patches are a
superset of CPU patches in the term that PSU patch will include CPU patches and
some other bug fixes released by oracle. PSU contain fixes for bugs that contain
wrong results, Data Corruption etc but it doe not contain fixes for bugs that that
may result in: Dictionary changes, Major Algorithm changes, Architectural changes,
Optimizer plan changes
Regular patchset: Please do not confuse between regular patchests and patch set
updates (PSU). Consider the regular patchset is super set of PSU. Regular Patchset
contain major bug fixes. The importance of PSU is minimizing once a regular
patchset is released for a given version. In comparison to regular patch PSU will not
change the version of oracle binaries such as sqlplus, import/export etc.
If both CPU and PSU are available for given version which one, you will
prefer to apply?
From the above discussion it is clear once you apply the PSU then the recommended
way is to apply the next PSU only. In fact, no need to apply CPU on the top of PSU as
PSU contain CPU (If you apply CPU over PSU will considered you are trying to
rollback the PSU and will require more effort in fact). So if you have not decided or
applied any of the patches then, I will suggest you to go to use PSU patches. For
more details refer: Oracle Products [ID 1430923.1], ID 1446582.1
PSU is superset of CPU then why someone choose to apply a CPU rather
than a PSU?
CPUs are smaller and more focused than PSU and mostly deal with security issues.
It seems to be theoretically more consecutive approach and can cause less trouble
than PSU as it has less code changing in it. Thus any one who is concerned only with
security fixes and not functionality fixes, CPU may be good approach.
How can you find the PSU installed version?
PSU references at 5th place in the oracle version number which makes it easier to
track such as (e.g. 10.2.0.3.1). To determine the PSU version installed, use OPATCH
utility:
OPATCH lsinv -bugs_fixed | grep -i PSU
To find from the database:

Select substr(action_time,1,30) action_time, substr(id,1,10) id, substr(action,1,10)


action,substr(version,1,8) version, substr(BUNDLE_SERIES,1,6) bundle,
substr(comments,1,20) comments from registry$history;
Note: You can find the details from the above query if you already executed the
catbundle.sql
Click to Check Existing Oracle Database Patch Status
Will Patch Application affect System Performance?
Sometimes applying certain patch could affect Application performance of SQL
statements. Thus it is recommended to collect a set of performance statistics that
can serve as a baseline before we make any major changes like applying a patch to
the system.

Can you stop applying a patch after applying it to a few nodes? What are
the possible issues?
Yes, it is possible to stop applying a patch after applying it to a few nodes. There is a
prompt that allows you to stop applying the patch. But, Oracle recommends that
you do not do this because you cannot apply another patch until the process is
restarted and all the nodes are patched or the partially applied patch is rolled back.
How you know impact of patch before applying a patch?
OPATCH <option> -report
You can use the above command to know the impact of the patch before actually
applying it.
How can you run patching in scripted mode?
opatch <option> -silent
You can use the above command to run the patches in scripted mode.
Can you use OPATCH 10.2 to apply 10.1 patches?
No, Opatch 10.2 is not backward compatible. You can use Opatch 10.2 only to apply
10.2 patches.
What you will do if you lost or corrupted your Central Inventory?
In that case when you lost or corrupted your Central Inventory and your
ORACLE_HOME is safe, you just need to execute the command with
attachHomeflag, OUI automatically setup the Central Inventory for attached home.
What you will do if you lost your Oracle home inventory (comps.xml)?
Oracle recommended backup your ORACLE_HOME before applying any patchset. In
that case either you can restore your ORACLE_HOME from the backup or perform
the identical installation of the ORACLE_HOME.
When I apply a patchset or an interim patch in RAC, the patch is not
propagated to some of my nodes. What do I do in that case?
In a RAC environment, the inventory contains a list of nodes associated with an
Oracle home. It is important that during the application of a patchset or an interim
patch, the inventory is correctly populated with the list of nodes. If the inventory is
not correctly populated with values, the patch is propagated only to some of the
nodes in the cluster.
OUI allows you to update the inventory.xml with the nodes available in the cluster
using the -updateNodeList flag in Oracle Universal Installer.

When I apply a patch, getting the following errors:


"Opatch Session cannot load inventory for the given Oracle Home
<Home_Location> Possible causes are: No read or write permission to
ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage; Central Inventory is locked by another OUI instance;
No read permission to Central Inventory; The lock file exists in
ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage; The Oracle Home does not exist in Central
Inventory". What do I do?
This error may occur because of any one or more of the following reasons:
-->The ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage may not have read/write permissions. Ensure
that you give read/write permissions to this folder and apply the patch again.
-->There may be another OUI instance running. Stop it and try applying the patch
again.
-->The Central Inventory may not have read permission. Ensure that you have given
read permission to the Central Inventory and apply the patch again.
-->The ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage directory might be locked. If this directory is
locked, you will find a file named patch_locked inside this directory. This may be due
to a previously failed installation of a patch. To remove the lock, restore the Oracle
home and remove the patch_locked file from the ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage
directory.
-->The Oracle home may not be present in the Central Inventory. This may be due
to a corrupted or lost inventory or the inventory may not be registered in the
Central Inventory.
We should check for the latest security patches on the Oracle metalink website
http://metalink.oracle.com/ and we can find the regular security alert at the location
http://technet.oracle.com/deploy/security/alert.htm
Caution: It is not advisable to apply the patches directly into the production server.
The ideal solution is to apply or test the patches in test server before being moved
into the production system.