8 Managing Tablespaces

This chapter describes the various aspects of tablespace management, and contains the following topics:

Guidelines for Managing Tablespaces

Before working with tablespaces of an Oracle Database, familiarize yourself with the guidelines provided in the following sections:

Using Multiple Tablespaces

Using multiple tablespaces allows you more flexibility in performing database operations. When a database has multiple tablespaces, you can:

  • Separate user data from data dictionary data to reduce I/O contention.

  • Separate data of one application from the data of another to prevent multiple applications from being affected if a tablespace must be taken offline.

  • Store different the datafiles of different tablespaces on different disk drives to reduce I/O contention.

  • Take individual tablespaces offline while others remain online, providing better overall availability.

  • Optimizing tablespace use by reserving a tablespace for a particular type of database use, such as high update activity, read-only activity, or temporary segment storage.

  • Back up individual tablespaces.

Some operating systems set a limit on the number of files that can be open simultaneously. Such limits can affect the number of tablespaces that can be simultaneously online. To avoid exceeding your operating system limit, plan your tablespaces efficiently. Create only enough tablespaces to fulfill your needs, and create these tablespaces with as few files as possible. If you need to increase the size of a tablespace, add one or two large datafiles, or create datafiles with autoextension enabled, rather than creating many small datafiles.

Review your data in light of these factors and decide how many tablespaces you need for your database design.

Assigning Tablespace Quotas to Users

Grant to users who will be creating tables, clusters, materialized views, indexes, and other objects the privilege to create the object and a quota (space allowance or limit) in the tablespace intended to hold the object segment.

See Also:

Oracle Database Security Guide for information about creating users and assigning tablespace quotas.

Creating Tablespaces

Before you can create a tablespace, you must create a database to contain it. The primary tablespace in any database is the SYSTEM tablespace, which contains information basic to the functioning of the database server, such as the data dictionary and the system rollback segment. The SYSTEM tablespace is the first tablespace created at database creation. It is managed as any other tablespace, but requires a higher level of privilege and is restricted in some ways. For example, you cannot rename or drop the SYSTEM tablespace or take it offline.

The SYSAUX tablespace, which acts as an auxiliary tablespace to the SYSTEM tablespace, is also always created when you create a database. It contains information about and the schemas used by various Oracle products and features, so that those products do not require their own tablespaces. As for the SYSTEM tablespace, management of the SYSAUX tablespace requires a higher level of security and you cannot rename or drop it. The management of the SYSAUX tablespace is discussed separately in "Managing the SYSAUX Tablespace".

The steps for creating tablespaces vary by operating system, but the first step is always to use your operating system to create a directory structure in which your datafiles will be allocated. On most operating systems, you specify the size and fully specified filenames of datafiles when you create a new tablespace or alter an existing tablespace by adding datafiles. Whether you are creating a new tablespace or modifying an existing one, the database automatically allocates and formats the datafiles as specified.

To create a new tablespace, use the SQL statement CREATE TABLESPACE or CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE. You must have the CREATE TABLESPACE system privilege to create a tablespace. Later, you can use the ALTER TABLESPACE or ALTER DATABASE statements to alter the tablespace. You must have the ALTER TABLESPACE or ALTER DATABASE system privilege, correspondingly.

You can also use the CREATE UNDO TABLESPACE statement to create a special type of tablespace called an undo tablespace, which is specifically designed to contain undo records. These are records generated by the database that are used to roll back, or undo, changes to the database for recovery, read consistency, or as requested by a ROLLBACK statement. Creating and managing undo tablespaces is the subject of Chapter 10, "Managing the Undo Tablespace".

The creation and maintenance of permanent and temporary tablespaces are discussed in the following sections:

Locally Managed Tablespaces

Locally managed tablespaces track all extent information in the tablespace itself by using bitmaps, resulting in the following benefits:

  • Fast, concurrent space operations. Space allocations and deallocations modify locally managed resources (bitmaps stored in header files).

  • Enhanced performance

  • Readable standby databases are allowed, because locally managed temporary tablespaces do not generate any undo or redo.

  • Space allocation is simplified, because when the AUTOALLOCATE clause is specified, the database automatically selects the appropriate extent size.

  • User reliance on the data dictionary is reduced, because the necessary information is stored in file headers and bitmap blocks.

  • Coalescing free extents is unnecessary for locally managed tablespaces.

All tablespaces, including the SYSTEM tablespace, can be locally managed.

The DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package provides maintenance procedures for locally managed tablespaces.

See Also:

Creating a Locally Managed Tablespace

Create a locally managed tablespace by specifying LOCAL in the EXTENT MANAGEMENT clause of the CREATE TABLESPACE statement. This is the default for new permanent tablespaces, but you must specify the EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL clause if you want to specify either the AUTOALLOCATE clause or the UNIFORM clause. You can have the database manage extents for you automatically with the AUTOALLOCATE clause (the default), or you can specify that the tablespace is managed with uniform extents of a specific size (UNIFORM).

If you expect the tablespace to contain objects of varying sizes requiring many extents with different extent sizes, then AUTOALLOCATE is the best choice. AUTOALLOCATE is also a good choice if it is not important for you to have a lot of control over space allocation and deallocation, because it simplifies tablespace management. Some space may be wasted with this setting, but the benefit of having Oracle Database manage your space most likely outweighs this drawback.

If you want exact control over unused space, and you can predict exactly the space to be allocated for an object or objects and the number and size of extents, then UNIFORM is a good choice. This setting ensures that you will never have unusable space in your tablespace.

When you do not explicitly specify the type of extent management, Oracle Database determines extent management as follows:

  • If the CREATE TABLESPACE statement omits the DEFAULT storage clause, then the database creates a locally managed autoallocated tablespace.

  • If the CREATE TABLESPACE statement includes a DEFAULT storage clause, then the database considers the following:

    • If you specified the MINIMUM EXTENT clause, the database evaluates whether the values of MINIMUM EXTENT, INITIAL, and NEXT are equal and the value of PCTINCREASE is 0. If so, the database creates a locally managed uniform tablespace with extent size = INITIAL. If the MINIMUM EXTENT, INITIAL, and NEXT parameters are not equal, or if PCTINCREASE is not 0, the database ignores any extent storage parameters you may specify and creates a locally managed, autoallocated tablespace.

    • If you did not specify MINIMUM EXTENT clause, the database evaluates only whether the storage values of INITIAL and NEXT are equal and PCTINCREASE is 0. If so, the tablespace is locally managed and uniform. Otherwise, the tablespace is locally managed and autoallocated.

The following statement creates a locally managed tablespace named lmtbsb and specifies AUTOALLOCATE:

CREATE TABLESPACE lmtbsb DATAFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtbsb01.dbf' SIZE 50M

AUTOALLOCATE causes the tablespace to be system managed with a minimum extent size of 64K.

The alternative to AUTOALLOCATE is UNIFORM. which specifies that the tablespace is managed with extents of uniform size. You can specify that size in the SIZE clause of UNIFORM. If you omit SIZE, then the default size is 1M.

The following example creates a tablespace with uniform 128K extents. (In a database with 2K blocks, each extent would be equivalent to 64 database blocks). Each 128K extent is represented by a bit in the extent bitmap for this file.

CREATE TABLESPACE lmtbsb DATAFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtbsb01.dbf' SIZE 50M

You cannot specify the DEFAULT storage clause, MINIMUM EXTENT, or TEMPORARY when you explicitly specify EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL. If you want to create a temporary locally managed tablespace, use the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE statement.


When you allocate a datafile for a locally managed tablespace, you should allow space for metadata used for space management (the extent bitmap or space header segment) which are part of user space. For example, if specify the UNIFORM clause in the extent management clause but you omit the SIZE parameter, then the default extent size is 1MB. In that case, the size specified for the datafile must be larger (at least one block plus space for the bitmap) than 1MB.

Specifying Segment Space Management in Locally Managed Tablespaces

In a locally managed tablespace, there are two methods that Oracle Database can use to manage segment space: automatic and manual. Manual segment space management uses linked lists called "freelists" to manage free space in the segment, while automatic segment space management uses bitmaps. Automatic segment space management is the more efficient method, and is the default for all new permanent, locally managed tablespaces.

Automatic segment space management delivers better space utilization than manual segment space management. It is also self-tuning, in that it scales with increasing number of users or instances. In an Oracle Real Application Clusters environment, automatic segment space management allows for a dynamic affinity of space to instances. In addition, for many standard workloads, application performance with automatic segment space management is better than the performance of a well-tuned application using manual segment space management.

Although automatic segment space management is the default for all new permanent, locally managed tablespaces, you can explicitly enable it with the SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT AUTO clause.

The following statement creates tablespace lmtbsb with automatic segment space management:

CREATE TABLESPACE lmtbsb DATAFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtbsb01.dbf' SIZE 50M

The SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT MANUAL clause disables automatic segment space management.

The segment space management that you specify at tablespace creation time applies to all segments subsequently created in the tablespace. You cannot change the segment space management mode of a tablespace.


  • If you set extent management to LOCAL UNIFORM, then you must ensure that each extent contains at least 5 database blocks.

  • If you set extent management to LOCAL AUTOALLOCATE, and if the database block size is 16K or greater, then Oracle manages segment space by creating extents with a minimum size of 5 blocks rounded up to 64K.

Locally managed tablespaces using automatic segment space management can be created as single-file or bigfile tablespaces, as described in "Bigfile Tablespaces".

Altering a Locally Managed Tablespace

You cannot alter a locally managed tablespace to a locally managed temporary tablespace, nor can you change its method of segment space management. Coalescing free extents is unnecessary for locally managed tablespaces. However, you can use the ALTER TABLESPACE statement on locally managed tablespaces for some operations, including the following:

Bigfile Tablespaces

A bigfile tablespace is a tablespace with a single, but very large (up to 4G blocks) datafile. Traditional smallfile tablespaces, in contrast, can contain multiple datafiles, but the files cannot be as large. The benefits of bigfile tablespaces are the following:

  • A bigfile tablespace with 8K blocks can contain a 32 terabyte datafile. A bigfile tablespace with 32K blocks can contain a 128 terabyte datafile. The maximum number of datafiles in an Oracle Database is limited (usually to 64K files). Therefore, bigfile tablespaces can significantly enhance the storage capacity of an Oracle Database.

  • Bigfile tablespaces can reduce the number of datafiles needed for a database. An additional benefit is that the DB_FILES initialization parameter and MAXDATAFILES parameter of the CREATE DATABASE and CREATE CONTROLFILE statements can be adjusted to reduce the amount of SGA space required for datafile information and the size of the control file.

  • Bigfile tablespaces simplify database management by providing datafile transparency. SQL syntax for the ALTER TABLESPACE statement lets you perform operations on tablespaces, rather than the underlying individual datafiles.

Bigfile tablespaces are supported only for locally managed tablespaces with automatic segment space management, with three exceptions: locally managed undo tablespaces, temporary tablespaces, and the SYSTEM tablespace.


  • Bigfile tablespaces are intended to be used with Automatic Storage Management (ASM) or other logical volume managers that supports striping or RAID, and dynamically extensible logical volumes.

  • Avoid creating bigfile tablespaces on a system that does not support striping because of negative implications for parallel query execution and RMAN backup parallelization.

  • Using bigfile tablespaces on platforms that do not support large file sizes is not recommended and can limit tablespace capacity. Refer to your operating system specific documentation for information about maximum supported file sizes.

Creating a Bigfile Tablespace

To create a bigfile tablespace, specify the BIGFILE keyword of the CREATE TABLESPACE statement (CREATE BIGFILE TABLESPACE ...). Oracle Database automatically creates a locally managed tablespace with automatic segment space management. You can, but need not, specify EXTENT MANAGEMENT LOCAL and SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT AUTO in this statement. However, the database returns an error if you specify EXTENT MANAGEMENT DICTIONARY or SEGMENT SPACE MANAGEMENT MANUAL. The remaining syntax of the statement is the same as for the CREATE TABLESPACE statement, but you can only specify one datafile. For example:

    DATAFILE '/u02/oracle/data/bigtbs01.dbf' SIZE 50G

You can specify SIZE in kilobytes (K), megabytes (M), gigabytes (G), or terabytes (T).

If the default tablespace type was set to BIGFILE at database creation, you need not specify the keyword BIGFILE in the CREATE TABLESPACE statement. A bigfile tablespace is created by default.

If the default tablespace type was set to BIGFILE at database creation, but you want to create a traditional (smallfile) tablespace, then specify a CREATE SMALLFILE TABLESPACE statement to override the default tablespace type for the tablespace that you are creating.

Altering a Bigfile Tablespace

Two clauses of the ALTER TABLESPACE statement support datafile transparency when you are using bigfile tablespaces:

  • RESIZE: The RESIZE clause lets you resize the single datafile in a bigfile tablespace to an absolute size, without referring to the datafile. For example:

  • AUTOEXTEND (used outside of the ADD DATAFILE clause):

    With a bigfile tablespace, you can use the AUTOEXTEND clause outside of the ADD DATAFILE clause. For example:


An error is raised if you specify an ADD DATAFILE clause for a bigfile tablespace.

Identifying a Bigfile Tablespace

The following views contain a BIGFILE column that identifies a tablespace as a bigfile tablespace:




You can also identify a bigfile tablespace by the relative file number of its single datafile. That number is 1024 on most platforms, but 4096 on OS/390.

Temporary Tablespaces

A temporary tablespace contains transient data that persists only for the duration of the session. Temporary tablespaces can improve the concurrency of multiple sort operations, reduce their overhead, and avoid Oracle Database space management operations. A temporary tablespace can be assigned to users with the CREATE USER or ALTER USER statement and can be shared by multiple users.

Within a temporary tablespace, all sort operations for a given instance and tablespace share a single sort segment. Sort segments exist for every instance that performs sort operations within a given tablespace. The sort segment is created by the first statement that uses a temporary tablespace for sorting, after startup, and is released only at shutdown. An extent cannot be shared by multiple transactions.

You can view the allocation and deallocation of space in a temporary tablespace sort segment using the V$SORT_SEGMENT view. The V$TEMPSEG_USAGE view identifies the current sort users in those segments.

You cannot explicitly create objects in a temporary tablespace.


The exception to the preceding statement is a temporary table. When you create a temporary table, its rows are stored in your default temporary tablespace. See "Creating a Temporary Table" for more information.

See Also:

Creating a Locally Managed Temporary Tablespace

Because space management is much simpler and more efficient in locally managed tablespaces, they are ideally suited for temporary tablespaces. Locally managed temporary tablespaces use tempfiles, which do not modify data outside of the temporary tablespace or generate any redo for temporary tablespace data. Because of this, they enable you to perform on-disk sorting operations in a read-only or standby database.

You also use different views for viewing information about tempfiles than you would for datafiles. The V$TEMPFILE and DBA_TEMP_FILES views are analogous to the V$DATAFILE and DBA_DATA_FILES views.

To create a locally managed temporary tablespace, you use the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE statement, which requires that you have the CREATE TABLESPACE system privilege.

The following statement creates a temporary tablespace in which each extent is 16M. Each 16M extent (which is the equivalent of 8000 blocks when the standard block size is 2K) is represented by a bit in the bitmap for the file.

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE lmtemp TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp01.dbf' 

The extent management clause is optional for temporary tablespaces because all temporary tablespaces are created with locally managed extents of a uniform size. The Oracle Database default for SIZE is 1M. But if you want to specify another value for SIZE, you can do so as shown in the preceding statement.

The AUTOALLOCATE clause is not allowed for temporary tablespaces.


On some operating systems, the database does not allocate space for the tempfile until the tempfile blocks are actually accessed. This delay in space allocation results in faster creation and resizing of tempfiles, but it requires that sufficient disk space is available when the tempfiles are later used. Please refer to your operating system documentation to determine whether the database allocates tempfile space in this way on your system.

Creating a Bigfile Temporary Tablespace

Just as for regular tablespaces, you can create single-file (bigfile) temporary tablespaces. Use the CREATE BIGFILE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE statement to create a single-tempfile tablespace. See the sections "Creating a Bigfile Tablespace" and "Altering a Bigfile Tablespace" for information about bigfile tablespaces, but consider that you are creating temporary tablespaces that use tempfiles instead of datafiles.

Altering a Locally Managed Temporary Tablespace


You cannot use the ALTER TABLESPACE statement, with the TEMPORARY keyword, to change a locally managed permanent tablespace into a locally managed temporary tablespace. You must use the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE statement to create a locally managed temporary tablespace.

Except for adding a tempfile, taking a tempfile offline, or bringing a tempfile online, as illustrated in the following examples, you cannot use the ALTER TABLESPACE statement for a locally managed temporary tablespace.

   ADD TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' SIZE 18M REUSE;



You cannot take a temporary tablespace offline. Instead, you take its tempfile offline. The view V$TEMPFILE displays online status for a tempfile.

However, the ALTER DATABASE statement can be used to alter tempfiles.

The following statements take offline and bring online tempfiles. They behave identically to the last two ALTER TABLESPACE statements in the previous example.

ALTER DATABASE TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' OFFLINE;
ALTER DATABASE TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' ONLINE;

The following statement resizes a temporary file:

ALTER DATABASE TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' RESIZE 18M;

The following statement drops a temporary file and deletes the operating system file:

ALTER DATABASE TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp02.dbf' DROP

The tablespace to which this tempfile belonged remains. A message is written to the alert log for the datafile that was deleted. If an operating system error prevents the deletion of the file, the statement still succeeds, but a message describing the error is written to the alert log.

It is also possible to use the ALTER DATABASE statement to enable or disable the automatic extension of an existing tempfile, and to rename (RENAME FILE) a tempfile. See Oracle Database SQL Reference for the required syntax.


To rename a tempfile, you take the tempfile offline, use operating system commands to rename or relocate the tempfile, and then use the ALTER DATABASE RENAME FILE command to update the database controlfiles.

Multiple Temporary Tablespaces: Using Tablespace Groups

A tablespace group enables a user to consume temporary space from multiple tablespaces. A tablespace group has the following characteristics:

  • It contains at least one tablespace. There is no explicit limit on the maximum number of tablespaces that are contained in a group.

  • It shares the namespace of tablespaces, so its name cannot be the same as any tablespace.

  • You can specify a tablespace group name wherever a tablespace name would appear when you assign a default temporary tablespace for the database or a temporary tablespace for a user.

You do not explicitly create a tablespace group. Rather, it is created implicitly when you assign the first temporary tablespace to the group. The group is deleted when the last temporary tablespace it contains is removed from it.

Using a tablespace group, rather than a single temporary tablespace, can alleviate problems caused where one tablespace is inadequate to hold the results of a sort, particularly on a table that has many partitions. A tablespace group enables parallel execution servers in a single parallel operation to use multiple temporary tablespaces.

The view DBA_TABLESPACE_GROUPS lists tablespace groups and their member tablespaces.

See Also:

Oracle Database Security Guide for more information about assigning a temporary tablespace or tablespace group to a user

Creating a Tablespace Group

You create a tablespace group implicitly when you include the TABLESPACE GROUP clause in the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE or ALTER TABLESPACE statement and the specified tablespace group does not currently exist.

For example, if neither group1 nor group2 exists, then the following statements create those groups, each of which has only the specified tablespace as a member:

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE lmtemp2 TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp201.dbf'
     SIZE 50M


Changing Members of a Tablespace Group

You can add a tablespace to an existing tablespace group by specifying the existing group name in the TABLESPACE GROUP clause of the CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE or ALTER TABLESPACE statement.

The following statement adds a tablespace to an existing group. It creates and adds tablespace lmtemp3 to group1, so that group1 contains tablespaces lmtemp2 and lmtemp3.

CREATE TEMPORARY TABLESPACE lmtemp3 TEMPFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtemp301.dbf'
     SIZE 25M

The following statement also adds a tablespace to an existing group, but in this case because tablespace lmtemp2 already belongs to group1, it is in effect moved from group1 to group2:


Now group2 contains both lmtemp and lmtemp2, while group1 consists of only tmtemp3.

You can remove a tablespace from a group as shown in the following statement:


Tablespace lmtemp3 no longer belongs to any group. Further, since there are no longer any members of group1, this results in the implicit deletion of group1.

Assigning a Tablespace Group as the Default Temporary Tablespace

Use the ALTER DATABASE...DEFAULT TEMPORARY TABLESPACE statement to assign a tablespace group as the default temporary tablespace for the database. For example:


Any user who has not explicitly been assigned a temporary tablespace will now use tablespaces lmtemp and lmtemp2.

If a tablespace group is specified as the default temporary tablespace, you cannot drop any of its member tablespaces. You must first remove the tablespace from the tablespace group. Likewise, you cannot drop a single temporary tablespace as long as it is the default temporary tablespace.

Specifying Nonstandard Block Sizes for Tablespaces

You can create tablespaces with block sizes different from the standard database block size, which is specified by the DB_BLOCK_SIZE initialization parameter. This feature lets you transport tablespaces with unlike block sizes between databases.

Use the BLOCKSIZE clause of the CREATE TABLESPACE statement to create a tablespace with a block size different from the database standard block size. In order for the BLOCKSIZE clause to succeed, you must have already set the DB_CACHE_SIZE and at least one DB_nK_CACHE_SIZE initialization parameter. Further, and the integer you specify in the BLOCKSIZE clause must correspond with the setting of one DB_nK_CACHE_SIZE parameter setting. Although redundant, specifying a BLOCKSIZE equal to the standard block size, as specified by the DB_BLOCK_SIZE initialization parameter, is allowed.

The following statement creates tablespace lmtbsb, but specifies a block size that differs from the standard database block size (as specified by the DB_BLOCK_SIZE initialization parameter):

CREATE TABLESPACE lmtbsb DATAFILE '/u02/oracle/data/lmtbsb01.dbf' SIZE 50M

See Also:

Controlling the Writing of Redo Records

For some database operations, you can control whether the database generates redo records. Without redo, no media recovery is possible. However, suppressing redo generation can improve performance, and may be appropriate for easily recoverable operations. An example of such an operation is a CREATE TABLE...AS SELECT statement, which can be repeated in case of database or instance failure.

Specify the NOLOGGING clause in the CREATE TABLESPACE statement if you wish to suppress redo when these operations are performed for objects within the tablespace. If you do not include this clause, or if you specify LOGGING instead, then the database generates redo when changes are made to objects in the tablespace. Redo is never generated for temporary segments or in temporary tablespaces, regardless of the logging attribute.

The logging attribute specified at the tablespace level is the default attribute for objects created within the tablespace. You can override this default logging attribute by specifying LOGGING or NOLOGGING at the schema object level--for example, in a CREATE TABLE statement.

If you have a standby database, NOLOGGING mode causes problems with the availability and accuracy of the standby database. To overcome this problem, you can specify FORCE LOGGING mode. When you include the FORCE LOGGING clause in the CREATE TABLESPACE statement, you force the generation of redo records for all operations that make changes to objects in a tablespace. This overrides any specification made at the object level.

If you transport a tablespace that is in FORCE LOGGING mode to another database, the new tablespace will not maintain the FORCE LOGGING mode.

See Also:

Altering Tablespace Availability

You can take an online tablespace offline so that it is temporarily unavailable for general use. The rest of the database remains open and available for users to access data. Conversely, you can bring an offline tablespace online to make the schema objects within the tablespace available to database users. The database must be open to alter the availability of a tablespace.

To alter the availability of a tablespace, use the ALTER TABLESPACE statement. You must have the ALTER TABLESPACE or MANAGE TABLESPACE system privilege.

See Also:

"Altering Datafile Availability" for information about altering the availability of individual datafiles within a tablespace

Taking Tablespaces Offline

You may want to take a tablespace offline for any of the following reasons:

  • To make a portion of the database unavailable while allowing normal access to the remainder of the database

  • To perform an offline tablespace backup (even though a tablespace can be backed up while online and in use)

  • To make an application and its group of tables temporarily unavailable while updating or maintaining the application

  • To rename or relocate tablespace datafiles

    See "Renaming and Relocating Datafiles" for details.

When a tablespace is taken offline, the database takes all the associated files offline.

You cannot take the following tablespaces offline:


  • The undo tablespace

  • Temporary tablespaces

Before taking a tablespace offline, consider altering the tablespace allocation of any users who have been assigned the tablespace as a default tablespace. Doing so is advisable because those users will not be able to access objects in the tablespace while it is offline.

You can specify any of the following parameters as part of the ALTER TABLESPACE...OFFLINE statement:

Clause Description
NORMAL A tablespace can be taken offline normally if no error conditions exist for any of the datafiles of the tablespace. No datafile in the tablespace can be currently offline as the result of a write error. When you specify OFFLINE NORMAL, the database takes a checkpoint for all datafiles of the tablespace as it takes them offline. NORMAL is the default.
TEMPORARY A tablespace can be taken offline temporarily, even if there are error conditions for one or more files of the tablespace. When you specify OFFLINE TEMPORARY, the database takes offline the datafiles that are not already offline, checkpointing them as it does so.

If no files are offline, but you use the temporary clause, media recovery is not required to bring the tablespace back online. However, if one or more files of the tablespace are offline because of write errors, and you take the tablespace offline temporarily, the tablespace requires recovery before you can bring it back online.

IMMEDIATE A tablespace can be taken offline immediately, without the database taking a checkpoint on any of the datafiles. When you specify OFFLINE IMMEDIATE, media recovery for the tablespace is required before the tablespace can be brought online. You cannot take a tablespace offline immediately if the database is running in NOARCHIVELOG mode.


If you must take a tablespace offline, use the NORMAL clause (the default) if possible. This setting guarantees that the tablespace will not require recovery to come back online, even if after incomplete recovery you reset the redo log sequence using an ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS statement.

Specify TEMPORARY only when you cannot take the tablespace offline normally. In this case, only the files taken offline because of errors need to be recovered before the tablespace can be brought online. Specify IMMEDIATE only after trying both the normal and temporary settings.

The following example takes the users tablespace offline normally:


Bringing Tablespaces Online

You can bring any tablespace in an Oracle Database online whenever the database is open. A tablespace is normally online so that the data contained within it is available to database users.

If a tablespace to be brought online was not taken offline "cleanly" (that is, using the NORMAL clause of the ALTER TABLESPACE OFFLINE statement), you must first perform media recovery on the tablespace before bringing it online. Otherwise, the database returns an error and the tablespace remains offline.

See Also:

Depending upon your archiving strategy, refer to one of the following books for information about performing media recovery:

The following statement brings the users tablespace online:


Using Read-Only Tablespaces

Making a tablespace read-only prevents write operations on the datafiles in the tablespace. The primary purpose of read-only tablespaces is to eliminate the need to perform backup and recovery of large, static portions of a database. Read-only tablespaces also provide a way to protecting historical data so that users cannot modify it. Making a tablespace read-only prevents updates on all tables in the tablespace, regardless of a user's update privilege level.


Making a tablespace read-only cannot in itself be used to satisfy archiving or data publishing requirements, because the tablespace can only be brought online in the database in which it was created. However, you can meet such requirements by using the transportable tablespace feature, as described in "Transporting Tablespaces Between Databases".

You can drop items, such as tables or indexes, from a read-only tablespace, but you cannot create or alter objects in a read-only tablespace. You can execute statements that update the file description in the data dictionary, such as ALTER TABLE...ADD or ALTER TABLE...MODIFY, but you will not be able to utilize the new description until the tablespace is made read/write.

Read-only tablespaces can be transported to other databases. And, since read-only tablespaces can never be updated, they can reside on CD-ROM or WORM (Write Once-Read Many) devices.

The following topics are discussed in this section:

Making a Tablespace Read-Only

All tablespaces are initially created as read/write. Use the READ ONLY clause in the ALTER TABLESPACE statement to change a tablespace to read-only. You must have the ALTER TABLESPACE or MANAGE TABLESPACE system privilege.

Before you can make a tablespace read-only, the following conditions must be met.

  • The tablespace must be online. This is necessary to ensure that there is no undo information that needs to be applied to the tablespace.

  • The tablespace cannot be the active undo tablespace or SYSTEM tablespace.

  • The tablespace must not currently be involved in an online backup, because the end of a backup updates the header file of all datafiles in the tablespace.

For better performance while accessing data in a read-only tablespace, you can issue a query that accesses all of the blocks of the tables in the tablespace just before making it read-only. A simple query, such as SELECT COUNT (*), executed against each table ensures that the data blocks in the tablespace can be subsequently accessed most efficiently. This eliminates the need for the database to check the status of the transactions that most recently modified the blocks.

The following statement makes the flights tablespace read-only:


You can issue the ALTER TABLESPACE...READ ONLY statement while the database is processing transactions. After the statement is issued, the tablespace is put into a transitional read-only state. No transactions are allowed to make further changes (using DML statements) to the tablespace. If a transaction attempts further changes, it is terminated and rolled back. However, transactions that already made changes and that attempt no further changes are allowed to commit or roll back.

When there are transactions waiting to commit, the ALTER TABLESPACE...READ ONLY statement does not return immediately. It waits for all transactions started before you issued the ALTER TABLESPACE statement to either commit or rollback.


This transitional read-only state only occurs if the value of the initialization parameter COMPATIBLE is 8.1.0 or greater. If this parameter is set to a value less than 8.1.0, the ALTER TABLESPACE ...READ ONLY statement fails if any active transactions exist.

If you find it is taking a long time for the ALTER TABLESPACE statement to complete, you can identify the transactions that are preventing the read-only state from taking effect. You can then notify the owners of those transactions and decide whether to terminate the transactions, if necessary.

The following example identifies the transaction entry for the ALTER TABLESPACE...READ ONLY statement and note its session address (saddr):

        AND SQL_TEXT LIKE 'alter tablespace%'; 

SQL_TEXT                                 SADDR   
---------------------------------------- --------
alter tablespace tbs1 read only          80034AF0

The start SCN of each active transaction is stored in the V$TRANSACTION view. Displaying this view sorted by ascending start SCN lists the transactions in execution order. From the preceding example, you already know the session address of the transaction entry for the read-only statement, and you can now locate it in the V$TRANSACTION view. All transactions with smaller start SCN, which indicates an earlier execution, can potentially hold up the quiesce and subsequent read-only state of the tablespace.


-------- ----------
800352A0       3621   --> waiting on this txn
80035A50       3623   --> waiting on this txn
80034AF0       3628   --> this is the ALTER TABLESPACE statement
80037910       3629   --> don't care about this txn

After making the tablespace read-only, it is advisable to back it up immediately. As long as the tablespace remains read-only, no further backups of the tablespace are necessary, because no changes can be made to it.

See Also:

Depending upon your backup and recovery strategy, refer to one of the following books for information about backing up and recovering a database with read-only datafiles:

Making a Read-Only Tablespace Writable

Use the READ WRITE keywords in the ALTER TABLESPACE statement to change a tablespace to allow write operations. You must have the ALTER TABLESPACE or MANAGE TABLESPACE system privilege.

A prerequisite to making the tablespace read/write is that all of the datafiles in the tablespace, as well as the tablespace itself, must be online. Use the DATAFILE...ONLINE clause of the ALTER DATABASE statement to bring a datafile online. The V$DATAFILE view lists the current status of datafiles.

The following statement makes the flights tablespace writable:


Making a read-only tablespace writable updates the control file entry for the datafiles, so that you can use the read-only version of the datafiles as a starting point for recovery.

Creating a Read-Only Tablespace on a WORM Device

Follow these steps to create a read-only tablespace on a CD-ROM or WORM (Write Once-Read Many) device.

  1. Create a writable tablespace on another device. Create the objects that belong in the tablespace and insert your data.

  2. Alter the tablespace to make it read-only.

  3. Copy the datafiles of the tablespace onto the WORM device. Use operating system commands to copy the files.

  4. Take the tablespace offline.

  5. Rename the datafiles to coincide with the names of the datafiles you copied onto your WORM device. Use ALTER TABLESPACE with the RENAME DATAFILE clause. Renaming the datafiles changes their names in the control file.

  6. Bring the tablespace back online.

Delaying the Opening of Datafiles in Read-Only Tablespaces

When substantial portions of a very large database are stored in read-only tablespaces that are located on slow-access devices or hierarchical storage, you should consider setting the READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED initialization parameter to TRUE. This speeds certain operations, primarily opening the database, by causing datafiles in read-only tablespaces to be accessed for the first time only when an attempt is made to read data stored within them.

Setting READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED=TRUE has the following side-effects:

  • A missing or bad read-only file is not detected at open time. It is only discovered when there is an attempt to access it.

  • ALTER SYSTEM CHECK DATAFILES does not check read-only files.

  • ALTER TABLESPACE...ONLINE and ALTER DATABASE DATAFILE...ONLINE do not check read-only files. They are checked only upon the first access.

  • V$RECOVER_FILE, V$BACKUP, and V$DATAFILE_HEADER do not access read-only files. Read-only files are indicated in the results list with the error "DELAYED OPEN", with zeroes for the values of other columns.

  • V$DATAFILE does not access read-only files. Read-only files have a size of "0" listed.

  • V$RECOVER_LOG does not access read-only files. Logs they could need for recovery are not added to the list.

  • ALTER DATABASE NOARCHIVELOG does not access read-only files.It proceeds even if there is a read-only file that requires recovery.


    • RECOVER DATABASE and ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS continue to access all read-only datafiles regardless of the parameter value. If you want to avoid accessing read-only files for these operations, those files should be taken offline.

    • If a backup control file is used, the read-only status of some files may be inaccurate. This can cause some of these operations to return unexpected results. Care should be taken in this situation.

Renaming Tablespaces

Using the RENAME TO clause of the ALTER TABLESPACE, you can rename a permanent or temporary tablespace. For example, the following statement renames the users tablespace:


When you rename a tablespace the database updates all references to the tablespace name in the data dictionary, control file, and (online) datafile headers. The database does not change the tablespace ID so if this tablespace were, for example, the default tablespace for a user, then the renamed tablespace would show as the default tablespace for the user in the DBA_USERS view.

The following affect the operation of this statement:

  • The COMPATIBLE parameter must be set to 10.0 or higher.

  • If the tablespace being renamed is the SYSTEM tablespace or the SYSAUX tablespace, then it will not be renamed and an error is raised.

  • If any datafile in the tablespace is offline, or if the tablespace is offline, then the tablespace is not renamed and an error is raised.

  • If the tablespace is read only, then datafile headers are not updated. This should not be regarded as corruption; instead, it causes a message to be written to the alert log indicating that datafile headers have not been renamed. The data dictionary and control file are updated.

  • If the tablespace is the default temporary tablespace, then the corresponding entry in the database properties table is updated and the DATABASE_PROPERTIES view shows the new name.

  • If the tablespace is an undo tablespace and if the following conditions are met, then the tablespace name is changed to the new tablespace name in the server parameter file (SPFILE).

    • The server parameter file was used to start up the database.

    • The tablespace name is specified as the UNDO_TABLESPACE for any instance.

    If a traditional initialization parameter file (PFILE) is being used then a message is written to the alert log stating that the initialization parameter file must be manually changed.

Dropping Tablespaces

You can drop a tablespace and its contents (the segments contained in the tablespace) from the database if the tablespace and its contents are no longer required. You must have the DROP TABLESPACE system privilege to drop a tablespace.


Once a tablespace has been dropped, the data in the tablespace is not recoverable. Therefore, make sure that all data contained in a tablespace to be dropped will not be required in the future. Also, immediately before and after dropping a tablespace from a database, back up the database completely. This is strongly recommended so that you can recover the database if you mistakenly drop a tablespace, or if the database experiences a problem in the future after the tablespace has been dropped.

When you drop a tablespace, the file pointers in the control file of the associated database are removed. You can optionally direct Oracle Database to delete the operating system files (datafiles) that constituted the dropped tablespace. If you do not direct the database to delete the datafiles at the same time that it deletes the tablespace, you must later use the appropriate commands of your operating system to delete them.

You cannot drop a tablespace that contains any active segments. For example, if a table in the tablespace is currently being used or the tablespace contains undo data needed to roll back uncommitted transactions, you cannot drop the tablespace. The tablespace can be online or offline, but it is best to take the tablespace offline before dropping it.

To drop a tablespace, use the DROP TABLESPACE statement. The following statement drops the users tablespace, including the segments in the tablespace:


If the tablespace is empty (does not contain any tables, views, or other structures), you do not need to specify the INCLUDING CONTENTS clause. Use the CASCADE CONSTRAINTS clause to drop all referential integrity constraints from tables outside the tablespace that refer to primary and unique keys of tables inside the tablespace.

To delete the datafiles associated with a tablespace at the same time that the tablespace is dropped, use the INCLUDING CONTENTS AND DATAFILES clause. The following statement drops the users tablespace and its associated datafiles:


A message is written to the alert log for each datafile that is deleted. If an operating system error prevents the deletion of a file, the DROP TABLESPACE statement still succeeds, but a message describing the error is written to the alert log.

Managing the SYSAUX Tablespace

The SYSAUX tablespace was installed as an auxiliary tablespace to the SYSTEM tablespace when you created your database. Some database components that formerly created and used separate tablespaces now occupy the SYSAUX tablespace.

If the SYSAUX tablespace becomes unavailable, core database functionality will remain operational. The database features that use the SYSAUX tablespace could fail, or function with limited capability.

Monitoring Occupants of the SYSAUX Tablespace

The list of registered occupants of the SYSAUX tablespace are discussed in "Creating the SYSAUX Tablespace". These components can use the SYSAUX tablespace, and their installation provides the means of establishing their occupancy of the SYSAUX tablespace.

You can monitor the occupants of the SYSAUX tablespace using the V$SYSAUX_OCCUPANTS view. This view lists the following information about the occupants of the SYSAUX tablespace:

  • Name of the occupant

  • Occupant description

  • Schema name

  • Move procedure

  • Current space usage

View information is maintained by the occupants.

See Also:

Oracle Database Reference for a detailed description of the V$SYSAUX_OCCUPANTS view

Moving Occupants Out Of or Into the SYSAUX Tablespace

You will have an option at component install time to specify that you do not want the component to reside in SYSAUX. Also, if you later decide that the component should be relocated to a designated tablespace, you can use the move procedure for that component, as specified in the V$SYSAUX_OCCUPANTS view, to perform the move.

For example, assume that you install Oracle Ultra Search into the default tablespace, which is SYSAUX. Later you discover that Ultra Search is using up too much space. To alleviate this space pressure on SYSAUX, you can call a PL/SQL move procedure specified in the V$SYSAUX_OCCUPANTS view to relocate Ultra Search to another tablespace.

The move procedure also lets you move a component from another tablespace into the SYSAUX tablespace.

Controlling the Size of the SYSAUX Tablespace

The SYSAUX tablespace is occupied by a number of database components (see Table 2-2), and its total size is governed by the space consumed by those components. The space consumed by the components, in turn, depends on which features or functionality are being used and on the nature of the database workload.

The largest portion of the SYSAUX tablespace is occupied by the Automatic Workload Repository (AWR). The space consumed by the AWR is determined by several factors, including the number of active sessions in the system at any given time, the snapshot interval, and the historical data retention period. A typical system with an average of 30 concurrent active sessions may require approximately 200 to 300 MB of space for its AWR data. You can control the size of the AWR by changing the snapshot interval and historical data retention period. For more information on managing the AWR snapshot interval and retention period, please refer to Oracle Database Performance Tuning Guide.

Another major occupant of the SYSAUX tablespace is the embedded Enterprise Manager (EM) repository. This repository is used by Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Control to store its metadata. The size of this repository depends on database activity and on configuration-related information stored in the repository.

Other database components in the SYSAUX tablespace will grow in size only if their associated features (for example, Oracle UltraSearch, Oracle Text, Oracle Streams) are in use. If the features are not used, then these components do not have any significant effect on the size of the SYSAUX tablespace.

Diagnosing and Repairing Locally Managed Tablespace Problems

Oracle Database includes the DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package, which is a collection of aids for diagnosing and repairing problems in locally managed tablespaces.

DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN Package Procedures

The following table lists the DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package procedures. See Oracle Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference for details on each procedure.

Procedure Description
ASSM_SEGMENT_VERIFY Verifies the integrity of segments created in tablespaces that have automatic segment space management enabled. Outputs a dump file named sid_ora_process_id.trc to the location specified in the USER_DUMP_DEST initialization parameter.

Use SEGMENT_VERIFY for tablespaces with manual segment space management.

ASSM_TABLESPACE_VERIFY Verifies the integrity of tablespaces that have automatic segment space management enabled. Outputs a dump file named sid_ora_process_id.trc to the location specified in the USER_DUMP_DEST initialization parameter.

Use TABLESPACE_VERIFY for tablespaces with manual segment space management.

SEGMENT_CORRUPT Marks the segment corrupt or valid so that appropriate error recovery can be done
SEGMENT_DROP_CORRUPT Drops a segment currently marked corrupt (without reclaiming space)
SEGMENT_DUMP Dumps the segment header and bitmap blocks of a specific segment to a dump file named sid_ora_process_id.trc in the location specified in the USER_DUMP_DEST initialization parameter. Provides an option to select a slightly abbreviated dump, which includes segment header and includes bitmap block summaries, without percent-free states of each block.
SEGMENT_VERIFY Verifies the consistency of the extent map of the segment
TABLESPACE_FIX_BITMAPS Marks the appropriate DBA range (extent) as free or used in bitmap
TABLESPACE_FIX_SEGMENT_STATES Fixes the state of the segments in a tablespace in which migration was stopped
TABLESPACE_MIGRATE_FROM_LOCAL Migrates a locally managed tablespace to dictionary-managed tablespace
TABLESPACE_MIGRATE_TO_LOCAL Migrates a dictionary-managed tablespace to a locally managed tablespace
TABLESPACE_REBUILD_BITMAPS Rebuilds the appropriate bitmaps
TABLESPACE_REBUILD_QUOTAS Rebuilds quotas for a specific tablespace
TABLESPACE_RELOCATE_BITMAPS Relocates the bitmaps to the specified destination
TABLESPACE_VERIFY Verifies that the bitmaps and extent maps for the segments in the tablespace are synchronized

The following scenarios describe typical situations in which you can use the DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package to diagnose and resolve problems.


Some of these procedures can result in lost and unrecoverable data if not used properly. You should work with Oracle Support Services if you have doubts about these procedures.

See Also:

Oracle Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference for details about the DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package

Scenario 1: Fixing Bitmap When Allocated Blocks are Marked Free (No Overlap)

The TABLESPACE_VERIFY procedure discovers that a segment has allocated blocks that are marked free in the bitmap, but no overlap between segments is reported.

In this scenario, perform the following tasks:

  1. Call the SEGMENT_DUMP procedure to dump the ranges that the administrator allocated to the segment.

  2. For each range, call the TABLESPACE_FIX_BITMAPS procedure with the TABLESPACE_EXTENT_MAKE_USED option to mark the space as used.

  3. Call TABLESPACE_REBUILD_QUOTAS to rebuild quotas.

Scenario 2: Dropping a Corrupted Segment

You cannot drop a segment because the bitmap has segment blocks marked "free". The system has automatically marked the segment corrupted.

In this scenario, perform the following tasks:

  1. Call the SEGMENT_VERIFY procedure with the SEGMENT_VERIFY_EXTENTS_GLOBAL option. If no overlaps are reported, then proceed with steps 2 through 5.

  2. Call the SEGMENT_DUMP procedure to dump the DBA ranges allocated to the segment.

  3. For each range, call TABLESPACE_FIX_BITMAPS with the TABLESPACE_EXTENT_MAKE_FREE option to mark the space as free.

  4. Call SEGMENT_DROP_CORRUPT to drop the SEG$ entry.

  5. Call TABLESPACE_REBUILD_QUOTAS to rebuild quotas.

Scenario 3: Fixing Bitmap Where Overlap is Reported

The TABLESPACE_VERIFY procedure reports some overlapping. Some of the real data must be sacrificed based on previous internal errors.

After choosing the object to be sacrificed, in this case say, table t1, perform the following tasks:

  1. Make a list of all objects that t1 overlaps.

  2. Drop table t1. If necessary, follow up by calling the SEGMENT_DROP_CORRUPT procedure.

  3. Call the SEGMENT_VERIFY procedure on all objects that t1 overlapped. If necessary, call the TABLESPACE_FIX_BITMAPS procedure to mark appropriate bitmap blocks as used.

  4. Rerun the TABLESPACE_VERIFY procedure to verify that the problem is resolved.

Scenario 4: Correcting Media Corruption of Bitmap Blocks

A set of bitmap blocks has media corruption.

In this scenario, perform the following tasks:

  1. Call the TABLESPACE_REBUILD_BITMAPS procedure, either on all bitmap blocks, or on a single block if only one is corrupt.

  2. Call the TABLESPACE_REBUILD_QUOTAS procedure to rebuild quotas.

  3. Call the TABLESPACE_VERIFY procedure to verify that the bitmaps are consistent.

Scenario 5: Migrating from a Dictionary-Managed to a Locally Managed Tablespace

Use the TABLESPACE_MIGRATE_TO_LOCAL procedure to migrate a dictionary-managed tablespace to a locally managed tablespace. This operation is done online, but space management operations are blocked until the migration has been completed. This means that you can read or modify data while the migration is in progress, but if you are loading a large amount of data that requires the allocation of additional extents, then the operation may be blocked.

Assume that the database block size is 2K and the existing extent sizes in tablespace tbs_1 are 10, 50, and 10,000 blocks (used, used, and free). The MINIMUM EXTENT value is 20K (10 blocks). Allow the system to choose the bitmap allocation unit. The value of 10 blocks is chosen, because it is the highest common denominator and does not exceed MINIMUM EXTENT.

The statement to convert tbs_1 to a locally managed tablespace is as follows:


If you choose to specify an allocation unit size, it must be a factor of the unit size calculated by the system.

Migrating the SYSTEM Tablespace to a Locally Managed Tablespace

Use the DBMS_SPACE_ADMIN package to migrate the SYSTEM tablespace from dictionary-managed to locally managed. The following statement performs the migration:


Before performing the migration the following conditions must be met:

  • The database has a default temporary tablespace that is not SYSTEM.

  • There are no rollback segments in the dictionary-managed tablespace.

  • There is at least one online rollback segment in a locally managed tablespace, or if using automatic undo management, an undo tablespace is online.

  • All tablespaces other than the tablespace containing the undo space (that is, the tablespace containing the rollback segment or the undo tablespace) are in read-only mode.

  • The system is in restricted mode.

  • There is a cold backup of the database.

All of these conditions, except for the cold backup, are enforced by the TABLESPACE_MIGRATE_TO_LOCAL procedure.


After the SYSTEM tablespace is migrated to locally managed, any dictionary-managed tablespaces in the database cannot be made read/write. If you want to be able to use the dictionary-managed tablespaces in read/write mode, then Oracle recommends that you first migrate these tablespaces to locally managed before migrating the SYSTEM tablespace.

Transporting Tablespaces Between Databases

This section describes how to transport tablespaces between databases, and contains the following topics:


You must be using the Enterprise Edition of Oracle8i or later to generate a transportable tablespace set. However, you can use any edition of Oracle8i or later to import a transportable tablespace set into an Oracle Database on the same platform. To import a transportable tablespace set into an Oracle Database on a different platform, both databases must have compatibility set to at least 10.0. Please refer to "Compatibility Considerations for Transportable Tablespaces" for a discussion of database compatibility for transporting tablespaces across release levels.

Introduction to Transportable Tablespaces

You can use the Transportable Tablespaces feature to copy a set of tablespaces from one Oracle Database to another.


This method for transporting tablespaces requires that you place the tablespaces to be transported in read-only mode until you complete the transporting process. If this is undesirable, you can use the Transportable Tablespaces from Backup feature, described in Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide.

The tablespaces being transported can be either dictionary managed or locally managed. Starting with Oracle9i, the transported tablespaces are not required to be of the same block size as the target database standard block size.

Moving data using transportable tablespaces is much faster than performing either an export/import or unload/load of the same data. This is because the datafiles containing all of the actual data are just copied to the destination location, and you use an export/import utility to transfer only the metadata of the tablespace objects to the new database.


The remainder of this chapter assumes that Data Pump is the import/export utility used. However, the transportable tablespaces feature supports both Data Pump and the original import and export utilities, IMP and EXP, with one caveat: you must use IMP and EXP for tablespaces containing XMLTypes. Refer to Oracle Database Utilities for more information on these utilities and to Oracle XML DB Developer's Guide for more information on XMLTypes.

The transportable tablespace feature is useful in a number of scenarios, including:

  • Exporting and importing partitions in data warehousing tables

  • Publishing structured data on CDs

  • Copying multiple read-only versions of a tablespace on multiple databases

  • Archiving historical data

  • Performing tablespace point-in-time-recovery (TSPITR)

These scenarios are discussed in "Using Transportable Tablespaces: Scenarios".

There are two ways to transport a tablespace:

  • Manually, following the steps described in this section. This involves issuing commands to SQL*Plus, RMAN, IMP/EXP and Data Pump.

  • Using the Transport Tablespaces Wizard in Enterprise Manager

    To run the Transport Tablespaces Wizard:

    1. Log in to Enterprise Manager with a user that has the EXP_FULL_DATABASE role.

    2. Click the Maintenance link to go to the Maintenance tab.

    3. Under the heading Move Database Files, click Transport Tablespaces.

See Also:

Oracle Database Data Warehousing Guide for information about using transportable tablespaces in a data warehousing environment

About Transporting Tablespaces Across Platforms

Starting with Oracle Database 10g, you can transport tablespaces across platforms. This functionality can be used to:

  • Allow a database to be migrated from one platform to another

  • Provide an easier and more efficient means for content providers to publish structured data and distribute it to customers running Oracle Database on different platforms

  • Simplify the distribution of data from a data warehouse environment to data marts, which are often running on smaller platforms

  • Enable the sharing of read-only tablespaces between Oracle Database installations on different operating systems or platforms, assuming that your storage system is accessible from those platforms and the platforms all have the same endianness, as described in the sections that follow

Many, but not all, platforms are supported for cross-platform tablespace transport. You can query the V$TRANSPORTABLE_PLATFORM view to see the platforms that are supported, and to determine each platform's endian format (byte ordering). The following query displays the platforms that support cross-platform tablespace transport:


----------- -------------------------------- --------------
          1 Solaris[tm] OE (32-bit)          Big
          2 Solaris[tm] OE (64-bit)          Big
          7 Microsoft Windows IA (32-bit)    Little
         10 Linux IA (32-bit)                Little
          6 AIX-Based Systems (64-bit)       Big
          3 HP-UX (64-bit)                   Big
          5 HP Tru64 UNIX                    Little
          4 HP-UX IA (64-bit)                Big
         11 Linux IA (64-bit)                Little
         15 HP Open VMS                      Little
          8 Microsoft Windows IA (64-bit)    Little
          9 IBM zSeries Based Linux          Big
         13 Linux 64-bit for AMD             Little
         16 Apple Mac OS                     Big
         12 Microsoft Windows 64-bit for AMD Little
         17 Solaris Operating System (x86)   Little
16 rows selected.

If the source platform and the target platform are of different endianness, then an additional step must be done on either the source or target platform to convert the tablespace being transported to the target format. If they are of the same endianness, then no conversion is necessary and tablespaces can be transported as if they were on the same platform.

Before a tablespace can be transported to a different platform, the datafile header must identify the platform to which it belongs. In an Oracle Database with compatibility set to 10.0.0 or later, you can accomplish this by making the datafile read/write at least once.

Limitations on Transportable Tablespace Use

Be aware of the following limitations as you plan to transport tablespaces:

  • The source and target database must use the same character set and national character set.

  • You cannot transport a tablespace to a target database in which a tablespace with the same name already exists. However, you can rename either the tablespace to be transported or the destination tablespace before the transport operation.

  • Objects with underlying objects (such as materialized views) or contained objects (such as partitioned tables) are not transportable unless all of the underlying or contained objects are in the tablespace set.

  • Beginning with Oracle Database 10g Release 2, you can transport tablespaces that contain XMLTypes, but you must use the IMP and EXP utilities, not Data Pump. When using EXP, ensure that the CONSTRAINTS and TRIGGERS parameters are set to Y (the default).

    The following query returns a list of tablespaces that contain XMLTypes:

    select distinct p.tablespace_name from dba_tablespaces p, 
      dba_xml_tables x, dba_users u, all_all_tables t where
      t.table_name=x.table_name and t.tablespace_name=p.tablespace_name
      and x.owner=u.username

    See Oracle XML DB Developer's Guide for information on XMLTypes.

    Transporting tablespaces with XMLTypes has the following limitations:

    • The target database must have XML DB installed.

    • Schemas referenced by XMLType tables cannot be the XML DB standard schemas.

    • Schemas referenced by XMLType tables cannot have cyclic dependencies.

    • Any row level security on XMLType tables is lost upon import. This is because the access control lists (ACLs) that implement the row level security cannot be imported, as the target database may not have the same set of users as the source database.

    • If the schema for a transported XMLType table is not present in the target database, it is imported and registered. If the schema already exists in the target database, an error is returned unless the ignore=y option is set.

Additional limitations include the following:

Advanced Queues Transportable tablespaces do not support 8.0-compatible advanced queues with multiple recipients.

SYSTEM Tablespace Objects You cannot transport the SYSTEM tablespace or objects owned by the user SYS. Some examples of such objects are PL/SQL, Java classes, callouts, views, synonyms, users, privileges, dimensions, directories, and sequences.

Opaque Types Types whose interpretation is application-specific and opaque to the database (such as RAW, BFILE, and the AnyTypes) can be transported, but they are not converted as part of the cross-platform transport operation. Their actual structure is known only to the application, so the application must address any endianness issues after these types are moved to the new platform. Types and objects that use these opaque types, either directly or indirectly, are also subject to this limitation.

Floating-Point Numbers  BINARY_FLOAT and BINARY_DOUBLE types are transportable using Data Pump but not the original export utility, EXP.

Compatibility Considerations for Transportable Tablespaces

When you create a transportable tablespace set, Oracle Database computes the lowest compatibility level at which the target database must run. This is referred to as the compatibility level of the transportable set. Beginning with Oracle Database 10g, a tablespace can always be transported to a database with the same or higher compatibility setting, whether the target database is on the same or a different platform. The database signals an error if the compatibility level of the transportable set is higher than the compatibility level of the target database.

The following table shows the minimum compatibility requirements of the source and target tablespace in various scenarios. The source and target database need not have the same compatibility setting.

Table 8-1 Minimum Compatibility Requirements

Transport Scenario Minimum Compatibility Setting
Source Database Target Database

Databases on the same platform



Tablespace with different database block size than the target database



Databases on different platforms



Transporting Tablespaces Between Databases: A Procedure and Example

The following steps summarize the process of transporting a tablespace. Details for each step are provided in the subsequent example.

  1. For cross-platform transport, check the endian format of both platforms by querying the V$TRANSPORTABLE_PLATFORM view.

    Ignore this step if you are transporting your tablespace set to the same platform.

  2. Pick a self-contained set of tablespaces.

  3. Generate a transportable tablespace set.

    A transportable tablespace set (or transportable set) consists of datafiles for the set of tablespaces being transported and an export file containing structural information (metadata) for the set of tablespaces. You use Data Pump or EXP to perform the export.


    If any of the tablespaces contain XMLTypes, you must use EXP.

    If you are transporting the tablespace set to a platform with different endianness from the source platform, you must convert the tablespace set to the endianness of the target platform. You can perform a source-side conversion at this step in the procedure, or you can perform a target-side conversion as part of step 4.


    This method of generating a transportable tablespace requires that you temporarily make the tablespace read-only. If this is undesirable, you can use the alternate method known as transportable tablespace from backup. See Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide for details.
  4. Transport the tablespace set.

    Copy the datafiles and the export file to a place that is accessible to the target database.

    If you have transported the tablespace set to a platform with different endianness from the source platform, and you have not performed a source-side conversion to the endianness of the target platform, you should perform a target-side conversion now.

  5. Import the tablespace set.

    Invoke the Data Pump utility or IMP to import the metadata for the set of tablespaces into the target database.


    If any of the tablespaces contain XMLTypes, you must use IMP.


The steps for transporting a tablespace are illustrated more fully in the example that follows, where it is assumed the following datafiles and tablespaces exist:

Tablespace Datafile
sales_1 /u01/oracle/oradata/salesdb/sales_101.dbf
sales_2 /u01/oracle/oradata/salesdb/sales_201.dbf

Step 1: Determine if Platforms are Supported and Endianness

This step is only necessary if you are transporting the tablespace set to a platform different from the source platform.

If you are transporting the tablespace set to a platform different from the source platform, then determine if cross-platform tablespace transport is supported for both the source and target platforms, and determine the endianness of each platform. If both platforms have the same endianness, no conversion is necessary. Otherwise you must do a conversion of the tablespace set either at the source or target database.

If you are transporting sales_1 and sales_2 to a different platform, you can execute the following query on each platform. If the query returns a row, the platform supports cross-platform tablespace transport.


The following is the query result from the source platform:

------------------------- --------------
Solaris[tm] OE (32-bit)   Big

The following is the result from the target platform:

------------------------- --------------
Microsoft Windows NT      Little

You can see that the endian formats are different and thus a conversion is necessary for transporting the tablespace set.

Step 2: Pick a Self-Contained Set of Tablespaces

There may be logical or physical dependencies between objects in the transportable set and those outside of the set. You can only transport a set of tablespaces that is self-contained. In this context "self-contained" means that there are no references from inside the set of tablespaces pointing outside of the tablespaces. Some examples of self contained tablespace violations are:

  • An index inside the set of tablespaces is for a table outside of the set of tablespaces.


    It is not a violation if a corresponding index for a table is outside of the set of tablespaces.
  • A partitioned table is partially contained in the set of tablespaces.

    The tablespace set you want to copy must contain either all partitions of a partitioned table, or none of the partitions of a partitioned table. If you want to transport a subset of a partition table, you must exchange the partitions into tables.

  • A referential integrity constraint points to a table across a set boundary.

    When transporting a set of tablespaces, you can choose to include referential integrity constraints. However, doing so can affect whether or not a set of tablespaces is self-contained. If you decide not to transport constraints, then the constraints are not considered as pointers.

  • A table inside the set of tablespaces contains a LOB column that points to LOBs outside the set of tablespaces.

  • An XML DB schema (*.xsd) that was registered by user A imports a global schema that was registered by user B, and the following is true: the default tablespace for user A is tablespace A, the default tablespace for user B is tablespace B, and only tablespace A is included in the set of tablespaces.

To determine whether a set of tablespaces is self-contained, you can invoke the TRANSPORT_SET_CHECK procedure in the Oracle supplied package DBMS_TTS. You must have been granted the EXECUTE_CATALOG_ROLE role (initially signed to SYS) to execute this procedure.

When you invoke the DBMS_TTS package, you specify the list of tablespaces in the transportable set to be checked for self containment. You can optionally specify if constraints must be included. For strict or full containment, you must additionally set the TTS_FULL_CHECK parameter to TRUE.

The strict or full containment check is for cases that require capturing not only references going outside the transportable set, but also those coming into the set. Tablespace Point-in-Time Recovery (TSPITR) is one such case where dependent objects must be fully contained or fully outside the transportable set.

For example, it is a violation to perform TSPITR on a tablespace containing a table t but not its index i because the index and data will be inconsistent after the transport. A full containment check ensures that there are no dependencies going outside or coming into the transportable set. See the example for TSPITR in the Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide.


The default for transportable tablespaces is to check for self containment rather than full containment.

The following statement can be used to determine whether tablespaces sales_1 and sales_2 are self-contained, with referential integrity constraints taken into consideration (indicated by TRUE).


After invoking this PL/SQL package, you can see all violations by selecting from the TRANSPORT_SET_VIOLATIONS view. If the set of tablespaces is self-contained, this view is empty. The following example illustrates a case where there are two violations: a foreign key constraint, dept_fk, across the tablespace set boundary, and a partitioned table, jim.sales, that is partially contained in the tablespace set.


Constraint DEPT_FK between table JIM.EMP in tablespace SALES_1 and table
JIM.DEPT in tablespace OTHER
Partitioned table JIM.SALES is partially contained in the transportable set

These violations must be resolved before sales_1 and sales_2 are transportable. As noted in the next step, one choice for bypassing the integrity constraint violation is to not export the integrity constraints.

See Also:

Step 3: Generate a Transportable Tablespace Set

Any privileged user can perform this step. However, you must have been assigned the EXP_FULL_DATABASE role to perform a transportable tablespace export operation.


This method of generating a transportable tablespace requires that you temporarily make the tablespace read-only. If this is undesirable, you can use the alternate method known as transportable tablespace from backup. See Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide for details.

After ensuring you have a self-contained set of tablespaces that you want to transport, generate a transportable tablespace set by performing the following actions:

  1. Make all tablespaces in the set you are copying read-only.

    Tablespace altered.
    Tablespace altered.
  2. Invoke the Data Pump export utility on the host system and specify which tablespaces are in the transportable set.


    If any of the tablespaces have XMLTypes, you must use EXP instead of Data Pump. Ensure that the CONSTRAINTS and TRIGGERS parameters are set to Y (the default).
    $ EXPDP system/password DUMPFILE=expdat.dmp DIRECTORY=dpump_dir 
            TRANSPORT_TABLESPACES = sales_1,sales_2

    You must always specify TRANSPORT_TABLESPACES, which determines the mode of the export operation. In this example:

    • The DUMPFILE parameter specifies the name of the structural information export file to be created, expdat.dmp.

    • The DIRECTORY parameter specifies the default directory object that points to the operating system or Automatic Storage Management location of the dump file. You must create the DIRECTORY object before invoking Data Pump, and you must grant the READ and WRITE object privileges on the directory to PUBLIC. See Oracle Database SQL Reference for information on the CREATE DIRECTORY command.

    • Triggers and indexes are included in the export operation by default.

    If you want to perform a transport tablespace operation with a strict containment check, use the TRANSPORT_FULL_CHECK parameter, as shown in the following example:

    EXPDP system/password DUMPFILE=expdat.dmp DIRECTORY = dpump_dir 

    In this example, the Data Pump export utility verifies that there are no dependencies between the objects inside the transportable set and objects outside the transportable set. If the tablespace set being transported is not self-contained, then the export fails and indicates that the transportable set is not self-contained. You must then return to Step 1 to resolve all violations.


    The Data Pump utility is used to export only data dictionary structural information (metadata) for the tablespaces. No actual data is unloaded, so this operation goes relatively quickly even for large tablespace sets.
  3. When finished, exit back to SQL*Plus:

    $ EXIT

    See Also:

    Oracle Database Utilities for information about using the Data Pump utility

If sales_1 and sales_2 are being transported to a different platform, and the endianness of the platforms is different, and if you want to convert before transporting the tablespace set, then convert the datafiles composing the sales_1 and sales_2 tablespaces:

  1. From SQL*Plus, return to the host system:

  2. The RMAN CONVERT command is used to do the conversion. Start RMAN and connect to the target database:

    Recovery Manager: Release 
    Copyright (c) 1995, 2003, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    connected to target database: salesdb (DBID=3295731590)
  3. Convert the datafiles into a temporary location on the source platform. In this example, assume that the temporary location, directory /temp, has already been created. The converted datafiles are assigned names by the system.

    RMAN> CONVERT TABLESPACE sales_1,sales_2 
    2> TO PLATFORM 'Microsoft Windows NT'
    3> FORMAT '/temp/%U';
    Starting backup at 08-APR-03
    using target database control file instead of recovery catalog
    allocated channel: ORA_DISK_1
    channel ORA_DISK_1: sid=11 devtype=DISK
    channel ORA_DISK_1: starting datafile conversion
    input datafile fno=00005 name=/u01/oracle/oradata/salesdb/sales_101.dbf
    converted datafile=/temp/data_D-10_I-3295731590_TS-ADMIN_TBS_FNO-5_05ek24v5
    channel ORA_DISK_1: datafile conversion complete, elapsed time: 00:00:15
    channel ORA_DISK_1: starting datafile conversion
    input datafile fno=00004 name=/u01/oracle/oradata/salesdb/sales_101.dbf
    converted datafile=/temp/data_D-10_I-3295731590_TS-EXAMPLE_FNO-4_06ek24vl
    channel ORA_DISK_1: datafile conversion complete, elapsed time: 00:00:45
    Finished backup at 08-APR-03

    See Also:

    Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Reference for a description of the RMAN CONVERT command
  4. Exit Recovery Manager:

    RMAN> exit
    Recovery Manager complete.

Step 4: Transport the Tablespace Set

Transport both the datafiles and the export file of the tablespaces to a place that is accessible to the target database.

If both the source and destination are files systems, you can use:

  • Any facility for copying flat files (for example, an operating system copy utility or ftp)

  • The DBMS_FILE_TRANSFER package

  • RMAN

  • Any facility for publishing on CDs

If either the source or destination is an Automatic Storage Management (ASM) disk group, you can use:


Exercise caution when using the UNIX dd utility to copy raw-device files between databases. The dd utility can be used to copy an entire source raw-device file, or it can be invoked with options that instruct it to copy only a specific range of blocks from the source raw-device file.

It is difficult to ascertain actual datafile size for a raw-device file because of hidden control information that is stored as part of the datafile. Thus, it is advisable when using the dd utility to specify copying the entire source raw-device file contents.

If you are transporting the tablespace set to a platform with endianness that is different from the source platform, and you have not yet converted the tablespace set, you must do so now. This example assumes that you have completed the following steps before the transport:

  1. Set the source tablespaces to be transported to be read-only.

  2. Use the export utility to create an export file (in our example, expdat.dmp).

Datafiles that are to be converted on the target platform can be moved to a temporary location on the target platform. However, all datafiles, whether already converted or not, must be moved to a designated location on the target database.

Now use RMAN to convert the necessary transported datafiles to the endian format of the destination host format and deposit the results in /orahome/dbs, as shown in this hypothetical example:

2> '/hq/finance/work/tru/tbs_31.f',
3> '/hq/finance/work/tru/tbs_32.f',
4> '/hq/finance/work/tru/tbs_41.f'
5> TO PLATFORM="Solaris[tm] OE (32-bit)"
8> "/hq/finance/work/tru/", "/hq/finance/dbs/tru"

You identify the datafiles by filename, not by tablespace name. Until the tablespace metadata is imported, the local instance has no way of knowing the desired tablespace names. The source and destination platforms are optional. RMAN determines the source platform by examining the datafile, and the target platform defaults to the platform of the host running the conversion.

See Also:

"Copying Files Using the Database Server" for information about using the DBMS_FILE_TRANSFER package to copy the files that are being transported and their metadata

Step 5: Import the Tablespace Set


If you are transporting a tablespace of a different block size than the standard block size of the database receiving the tablespace set, then you must first have a DB_nK_CACHE_SIZE initialization parameter entry in the receiving database parameter file.

For example, if you are transporting a tablespace with an 8K block size into a database with a 4K standard block size, then you must include a DB_8K_CACHE_SIZE initialization parameter entry in the parameter file. If it is not already included in the parameter file, this parameter can be set using the ALTER SYSTEM SET statement.

See Oracle Database Reference for information about specifying values for the DB_nK_CACHE_SIZE initialization parameter.

Any privileged user can perform this step. To import a tablespace set, perform the following tasks:

  1. Import the tablespace metadata using the Data Pump Import utility, impdp:


    If any of the tablespaces contain XMLTypes, you must use IMP instead of Data Pump.
    IMPDP system/password DUMPFILE=expdat.dmp DIRECTORY=dpump_dir
       REMAP_SCHEMA=(dcranney:smith) REMAP_SCHEMA=(jfee:williams)

    In this example we specify the following:

    • The DUMPFILE parameter specifies the exported file containing the metadata for the tablespaces to be imported.

    • The DIRECTORY parameter specifies the directory object that identifies the location of the dump file.

    • The TRANSPORT_DATAFILES parameter identifies all of the datafiles containing the tablespaces to be imported.

    • The REMAP_SCHEMA parameter changes the ownership of database objects. If you do not specify REMAP_SCHEMA, all database objects (such as tables and indexes) are created in the same user schema as in the source database, and those users must already exist in the target database. If they do not exist, then the import utility returns an error. In this example, objects in the tablespace set owned by dcranney in the source database will be owned by smith in the target database after the tablespace set is imported. Similarly, objects owned by jfee in the source database will be owned by williams in the target database. In this case, the target database is not required to have users dcranney and jfee, but must have users smith and williams.

    After this statement executes successfully, all tablespaces in the set being copied remain in read-only mode. Check the import logs to ensure that no error has occurred.

    When dealing with a large number of datafiles, specifying the list of datafile names in the statement line can be a laborious process. It can even exceed the statement line limit. In this situation, you can use an import parameter file. For example, you can invoke the Data Pump import utility as follows:

    IMPDP system/password PARFILE='par.f'

    where the parameter file, par.f contains the following:


    See Also:

    Oracle Database Utilities for information about using the import utility
  2. If required, put the tablespaces into read/write mode as follows:


Using Transportable Tablespaces: Scenarios

The following sections describe some uses for transportable tablespaces:

Transporting and Attaching Partitions for Data Warehousing

Typical enterprise data warehouses contain one or more large fact tables. These fact tables can be partitioned by date, making the enterprise data warehouse a historical database. You can build indexes to speed up star queries. Oracle recommends that you build local indexes for such historically partitioned tables to avoid rebuilding global indexes every time you drop the oldest partition from the historical database.

Suppose every month you would like to load one month of data into the data warehouse. There is a large fact table in the data warehouse called sales, which has the following columns:

CREATE TABLE sales (invoice_no NUMBER,
   sale_year  INT NOT NULL,
   sale_month INT NOT NULL,
   sale_day   INT NOT NULL)
   PARTITION BY RANGE (sale_year, sale_month, sale_day)
     (partition jan98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 2, 1),
      partition feb98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 3, 1),
      partition mar98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 4, 1),
      partition apr98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 5, 1),
      partition may98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 6, 1),
      partition jun98 VALUES LESS THAN (1998, 7, 1));

You create a local non-prefixed index:

CREATE INDEX sales_index ON sales(invoice_no) LOCAL;

Initially, all partitions are empty, and are in the same default tablespace. Each month, you want to create one partition and attach it to the partitioned sales table.

Suppose it is July 1998, and you would like to load the July sales data into the partitioned table. In a staging database, you create a new tablespace, ts_jul. You also create a table, jul_sales, in that tablespace with exactly the same column types as the sales table. You can create the table jul_sales using the CREATE TABLE ... AS SELECT statement. After creating and populating jul_sales, you can also create an index, jul_sale_index, for the table, indexing the same column as the local index in the sales table. After building the index, transport the tablespace ts_jul to the data warehouse.

In the data warehouse, add a partition to the sales table for the July sales data. This also creates another partition for the local non-prefixed index:


Attach the transported table jul_sales to the table sales by exchanging it with the new partition:


This statement places the July sales data into the new partition jul98, attaching the new data to the partitioned table. This statement also converts the index jul_sale_index into a partition of the local index for the sales table. This statement should return immediately, because it only operates on the structural information and it simply switches database pointers. If you know that the data in the new partition does not overlap with data in previous partitions, you are advised to specify the WITHOUT VALIDATION clause. Otherwise, the statement goes through all the new data in the new partition in an attempt to validate the range of that partition.

If all partitions of the sales table came from the same staging database (the staging database is never destroyed), the exchange statement always succeeds. In general, however, if data in a partitioned table comes from different databases, it is possible that the exchange operation may fail. For example, if the jan98 partition of sales did not come from the same staging database, the preceding exchange operation can fail, returning the following error:

ORA-19728: data object number conflict between table JUL_SALES and partition JAN98 in table SALES

To resolve this conflict, move the offending partition by issuing the following statement:


Then retry the exchange operation.

After the exchange succeeds, you can safely drop jul_sales and jul_sale_index (both are now empty). Thus you have successfully loaded the July sales data into your data warehouse.

Publishing Structured Data on CDs

Transportable tablespaces provide a way to publish structured data on CDs. A data provider can load a tablespace with data to be published, generate the transportable set, and copy the transportable set to a CD. This CD can then be distributed.

When customers receive this CD, they can add the CD contents to an existing database without having to copy the datafiles from the CD to disk storage. For example, suppose on a Windows NT machine D: drive is the CD drive. You can import a transportable set with datafile catalog.f and export file expdat.dmp as follows:

IMPDP system/password DUMPFILE=expdat.dmp DIRECTORY=dpump_dir

You can remove the CD while the database is still up. Subsequent queries to the tablespace return an error indicating that the database cannot open the datafiles on the CD. However, operations to other parts of the database are not affected. Placing the CD back into the drive makes the tablespace readable again.

Removing the CD is the same as removing the datafiles of a read-only tablespace. If you shut down and restart the database, the database indicates that it cannot find the removed datafile and does not open the database (unless you set the initialization parameter READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED to TRUE). When READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED is set to TRUE, the database reads the file only when someone queries the transported tablespace. Thus, when transporting a tablespace from a CD, you should always set the READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED initialization parameter to TRUE, unless the CD is permanently attached to the database.

Mounting the Same Tablespace Read-Only on Multiple Databases

You can use transportable tablespaces to mount a tablespace read-only on multiple databases. In this way, separate databases can share the same data on disk instead of duplicating data on separate disks. The tablespace datafiles must be accessible by all databases. To avoid database corruption, the tablespace must remain read-only in all the databases mounting the tablespace.

The following are two scenarios for mounting the same tablespace read-only on multiple databases:

  • The tablespace originates in a database that is separate from the databases that will share the tablespace.

    You generate a transportable set in the source database, put the transportable set onto a disk that is accessible to all databases, and then import the metadata into each database on which you want to mount the tablespace.

  • The tablespace already belongs to one of the databases that will share the tablespace.

    It is assumed that the datafiles are already on a shared disk. In the database where the tablespace already exists, you make the tablespace read-only, generate the transportable set, and then import the tablespace into the other databases, leaving the datafiles in the same location on the shared disk.

You can make a disk accessible by multiple computers in several ways. You can use either a cluster file system or raw disk. You can also use network file system (NFS), but be aware that if a user queries the shared tablespace while NFS is down, the database will hang until the NFS operation times out.

Later, you can drop the read-only tablespace in some of the databases. Doing so does not modify the datafiles for the tablespace. Thus, the drop operation does not corrupt the tablespace. Do not make the tablespace read/write unless only one database is mounting the tablespace.

Archiving Historical Data Using Transportable Tablespaces

Since a transportable tablespace set is a self-contained set of files that can be imported into any Oracle Database, you can archive old/historical data in an enterprise data warehouse using the transportable tablespace procedures described in this chapter.

See Also:

Oracle Database Data Warehousing Guide for more details

Using Transportable Tablespaces to Perform TSPITR

You can use transportable tablespaces to perform tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR).

See Also:

Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide for information about how to perform TSPITR using transportable tablespaces

Moving Databases Across Platforms Using Transportable Tablespaces

You can use the transportable tablespace feature to migrate a database to a different platform by creating a new database on the destination platform and performing a transport of all the user tablespaces. See Oracle Database Backup and Recovery Advanced User's Guide for more information.

You cannot transport the SYSTEM tablespace. Therefore, objects such as sequences, PL/SQL packages, and other objects that depend on the SYSTEM tablespace are not transported. You must either create these objects manually on the destination database, or use Data Pump to transport the objects that are not moved by transportable tablespace.

Viewing Tablespace Information

The following data dictionary and dynamic performance views provide useful information about the tablespaces of a database.

View Description
V$TABLESPACE Name and number of all tablespaces from the control file.
DBA_TABLESPACES, USER_TABLESPACES Descriptions of all (or user accessible) tablespaces.
DBA_TABLESPACE_GROUPS Displays the tablespace groups and the tablespaces that belong to them.
DBA_SEGMENTS, USER_SEGMENTS Information about segments within all (or user accessible) tablespaces.
DBA_EXTENTS, USER_EXTENTS Information about data extents within all (or user accessible) tablespaces.
DBA_FREE_SPACE, USER_FREE_SPACE Information about free extents within all (or user accessible) tablespaces.
V$DATAFILE Information about all datafiles, including tablespace number of owning tablespace.
V$TEMPFILE Information about all tempfiles, including tablespace number of owning tablespace.
DBA_DATA_FILES Shows files (datafiles) belonging to tablespaces.
DBA_TEMP_FILES Shows files (tempfiles) belonging to temporary tablespaces.
V$TEMP_EXTENT_MAP Information for all extents in all locally managed temporary tablespaces.
V$TEMP_EXTENT_POOL For locally managed temporary tablespaces: the state of temporary space cached and used for by each instance.
V$TEMP_SPACE_HEADER Shows space used/free for each tempfile.
DBA_USERS Default and temporary tablespaces for all users.
DBA_TS_QUOTAS Lists tablespace quotas for all users.
V$SORT_SEGMENT Information about every sort segment in a given instance. The view is only updated when the tablespace is of the TEMPORARY type.
V$TEMPSEG_USAGE Describes temporary (sort) segment usage by user for temporary or permanent tablespaces.

The following are just a few examples of using some of these views.

See Also:

Oracle Database Reference for complete description of these views

Example 1: Listing Tablespaces and Default Storage Parameters

To list the names and default storage parameters of all tablespaces in a database, use the following query on the DBA_TABLESPACES view:


----------  -----------  --------  -------   -------    ------------ 
RBS             1048576   1048576        2        40               0
SYSTEM           106496    106496        1        99               1
TEMP             106496    106496        1        99               0
TESTTBS           57344     16384        2        10               1
USERS             57344     57344        1        99               1

Example 2: Listing the Datafiles and Associated Tablespaces of a Database

To list the names, sizes, and associated tablespaces of a database, enter the following query on the DBA_DATA_FILES view:


FILE_NAME                                      BLOCKS  TABLESPACE_NAME
------------                               ----------  -------------------
/U02/ORACLE/IDDB3/DBF/RBS01.DBF                  1536  RBS
/U02/ORACLE/IDDB3/DBF/SYSTEM01.DBF               6586  SYSTEM
/U02/ORACLE/IDDB3/DBF/TEMP01.DBF                 6400  TEMP
/U02/ORACLE/IDDB3/DBF/TESTTBS01.DBF              6400  TESTTBS
/U02/ORACLE/IDDB3/DBF/USERS01.DBF                 384  USERS

Example 3: Displaying Statistics for Free Space (Extents) of Each Tablespace

To produce statistics about free extents and coalescing activity for each tablespace in the database, enter the following query:

   COUNT(*)    "PIECES",
   MAX(blocks) "MAXIMUM",
   MIN(blocks) "MINIMUM",
   AVG(blocks) "AVERAGE",
   SUM(blocks) "TOTAL"

----------    -------  ------   -------    -------  -------   ------
RBS                 2       1       955        955      955      955
SYSTEM              1       1       119        119      119      119
TEMP                4       1      6399       6399     6399     6399
TESTTBS             5       5      6364          3     1278     6390
USERS               3       1       363        363      363      363

PIECES shows the number of free space extents in the tablespace file, MAXIMUM and MINIMUM show the largest and smallest contiguous area of space in database blocks, AVERAGE shows the average size in blocks of a free space extent, and TOTAL shows the amount of free space in each tablespace file in blocks. This query is useful when you are going to create a new object or you know that a segment is about to extend, and you want to make sure that there is enough space in the containing tablespace.