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Oracle® Database Reference
10g Release 1 (10.1)

Part Number B10755-01
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Property Description
Parameter type String
Syntax INSTANCE_NAME = instance_id
Default value The instance's SID

Note: The SID identifies the instance's shared memory on a host, but may not uniquely distinguish this instance from other instances.

Modifiable No
Range of values Any alphanumeric characters
Basic No

In a Real Application Clusters environment, multiple instances can be associated with a single database service. Clients can override Oracle's connection load balancing by specifying a particular instance by which to connect to the database. INSTANCE_NAME specifies the unique name of this instance.

In a single-instance database system, the instance name is usually the same as the database name.