External Database Service

You can manage and monitor Oracle Databases that are located outside of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) using OCI's External Database service. External Database allows you use cloud-based tools such as Database Management with your external databases. External Database can be used with both single-instance Oracle Databases and Oracle RAC instances.

Associated Services Available for External Databases

External databases can utilize services including Database Management and Operations Insights for analysis and management of Oracle Databases located outside of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Database Management Service

As a database administrator, you can use the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Database Management service to monitor and manage your Oracle Databases. Database Management supports Oracle Database versions and later. Using Database Management you can:

  • Monitor the key performance and configuration metrics of your fleet of Oracle Databases. You can also compare and analyze database metrics over a selected period of time.
  • Group your critical Oracle Databases, which reside across compartments into a Database Group, and monitor them.
  • Create SQL jobs to perform administrative operations on a single Oracle Database or a Database Group.
  • Use Performance Hub to monitor database performance and diagnose performance issues such as determining the causes of wait time, performance degradation, and changes in database performance. For detailed information, see Using Performance Hub to Analyze Database Performance.

For complete documentation on the Database Management service, see Database Management.

Operations Insights Service

Operations Insights provides 360-degree insight into the resource utilization and capacity of databases and hosts. You can easily analyze CPU and storage resources, forecast capacity issues, and proactively identify SQL performance issues across your database fleet. See the Operations Insights documentation for complete details.

How the External Database Service Works

To manage an external database using OCI's External Database service, you create an OCI resource known as a "handle" that represents the external database within your tenancy. After creating a handle for your database, you create a second resource called a database connection. The connection stores the information required for your OCI tenancy to connect to the external database. After creating the connection resource and connecting the OCI handle to your external database instance, you can enable the Database Management service to monitor the health and performance of your database.

The OCI External Database Handle

You can create an OCI external database handle for the following types of external databases:

  • External container databases
  • External pluggable databases
  • External non-container databases

The handle stores a few pieces of metadata that allow you to manage your database instance within OCI. This metadata includes the following information related to managing the handle in OCI:

  • An OCID, which allows the external database instance to be identified and managed within OCI.
  • An OCI display name
  • Compartment assignment information (optional)
  • Tags (optional)

In addition to the OCI-related metadata, the handle stores metadata derived from the database instance. This includes the database unique name, the Oracle Database software edition and version, and other details. All of this information stored by the handle can be viewed in the OCI Console or retrieved using the API. Metadata derived from the external database instance (such as database unique name) is only populated in the handle after a database connection is established between the handle and the instance.

Scanning an External Container Database to Discover Pluggable Databases

After you create and connect an external container database handle, you can use the handle to scan the external container database and discover pluggable databases that have not been connected to OCI. If any pluggable databases are discovered that are not connected to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, the connection details for these databases are listed in the work request generated by the scan operation. See To scan an external container database for pluggable databases for more information.

The OCI Database Connection Resource

The OCI database connection resource stores details about how a specific handle connects to an external Oracle Database instance. These details include the following:

  • Connection strings information, including the following:
    • DNS hostname, single-client access name (SCAN), or virtual IP (VIP) address
    • Port
    • Service name
    • Network protocol
  • Connection type and OCI agent ID
  • User credentials and role


To use the External Database service, you will need the following:

  • An Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) tenancy. See Setting Up Your Tenancy for information if you do not currently use OCI.
  • One or more external databases located outside of OCI. The External Database service supports container databases, pluggable databases, and non-container databases that use the following Oracle Database software versions: 11gR2, 12cR1, 12cR2, 18c, and 19c. You can use the External Database service with database clones and with high-availability / disaster recovery databases standby databases.
  • A Management Agent Cloud Service agent with source credentials. See the Management Agent documentation for details on creating this resource in OCI.