1 Oracle Database Release 19c New Features

This chapter contains descriptions of all of the features that are new to Oracle Database Release 19c.

Application Development

Application Express

REST Enabled SQL Support

As opposed to creating Database Links, Oracle Application Express installations that utilize Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) 17.3 or later, can now execute any SQL through a REST endpoint. Developers can easily create REST Enabled SQL references by defining a name, the endpoint URL, and authentication information within Shared Components.

Oracle Application Express passes the SQL or PL/SQL query to ORDS over REST, and a self-describing JSON response is returned. The JSON object contains result set metadata, the result data, and pagination details.

REST Enabled SQL references can be used as the basis for all report types, such as interactive reports and classic reports, but not Interactive Grid regions. References can also be used with Calendars, JET Charts, Trees, and PL/SQL Processes.

Oracle Database Links are defined within each SQL statement and work over SQL*Net (or over the internet in cloud environments), and must open a session within the remote database for each SQL or PL/SQL executed. By contrast, REST Enabled SQL references are defined at the Oracle Application Express workspace-level, and work with JSON over HTTP and HTTPS which makes them easy to use in cloud environments or over the internet. References can also scale significantly better as ORDS utilizes a connection pool on the remote database.

Web Source Modules

Oracle Application Express introduces a new data source type called Web Source Modules, a declarative method to define references to external REST APIs and generic JSON data feeds. Web Source Modules store additional metadata about how to parse response data and map it as a virtual table with rows and columns. A module can contain one or many Web Source Operations which are the references to a concrete  external web service.

Web Source Modules can also include post-processing SQL which modifies the data before being processed by the Oracle Application Express component. This SQL can be used to apply functions, aggregations, or join with local tables.

Web Source Modules can be used as the basis for all report types, such as interactive reports and classic reports, but not Interactive Grid regions. These modules can also be used with Calendars, JET Charts, Trees, and PL/SQL Processes.

In earlier releases of Oracle Application Express, it was possible to define SOAP and REST Web services and then utilize them within limited Oracle Application Express components. Defining such services was manual, time consuming, and error prone. The new Web Source Modules are highly declarative as they use discovery to understand and define the incoming structure of the web service.

Improved Create Page Wizard

The revamped Create Page Wizard includes the following improvements:

  • New page type: Side by Side Master Detail - The left panel allows searching on the master record. The right panel displays the master record using a value pair report, and up to four detail reports using classic reports.
  • New page type: Dashboard - Select from different chart layouts that are based on sample data. The generated charts can easily be updated in Page Designer post-generation.
  • The ability to add common frameworks or features to an existing application, such as access control, activity reporting, theme selection, and more (providing the application is utilizing the Universal Theme).
  • The ability to add Email Reporting and Job Reporting (providing jobs are defined in the default schema).
  • The ability to create an Administration page for features, or select an existing page.

The improvements made to the Create Page Wizard are designed to easily deliver new page types, and incorporate powerful features into existing Oracle Application Express applications.

Improved Create Application Wizard

The completely revamped Create Application Wizard provides the following:

  • An all new low-code method of creating applications.
  • A new and improved user experience for creating applications.
  • Simpler and modernized wizards for creating pages.
  • The ability to create more advanced pages such as Dashboards and Master-Detail.
  • Support for adding common frameworks or features when creating an application such as access control, activity reporting, or theme selection.
  • The ability to customize user interface options such as Theme Style, the application icon, and page icons.

The primary benefits of utilizing this new wizard are the ability to quickly create new Oracle Application Express applications with zero coding, and more advanced pages.

Another key benefit is the ability to refine a previous wizard definition. Developers can go back into the Create Application Wizard, retrieve the definition from a previous wizard (blueprint), update the definitions and regenerate another application.

Social Sign-In Authentication

Social Sign-In preconfigured authentication scheme supports authentication with Google, Facebook, and other social network that supports OpenIDConnect or OAuth2 standards.

Social Sign-In authentication is primarily useful for the following use cases:

  • Your application is internet facing and you expect an unknown number of users from social networks to use your application.
  • Your company has standardized on one of these providers, Oracle Identity Cloud Service, an internal OpenIDConnect or OAuth2 system for authentication.

User credential verification is performed by these systems. Be aware that anyone who is registered at this provider can use your application, unless you use authorization schemes for protection.

New REST Workshop

Before release 18.1, the definitions of RESTful services created within Application Express were stored within the metadata tables of the core Application Express schema. Now Oracle Application Express can utilize the Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) repository, provided that Application Express is using ORDS 17.4 or above. Oracle recommends the migration of all RESTful services to the Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) repository.

Existing Application Express-based REST services can readily be migrated to the new ORDS repository. The Application Express-based REST services continue to work, however, you cannot create new or edit existing Application Express based RESTful services.

By utilizing the ORDS repository for REST services, it is far easier to manage RESTful services in a single place using a multitude of tools, including Application Express, SQL Developer, SQL Plus, and SQLcl.


Application Continuity for Java: New States Management

This feature introduces new session states including AL8KW_ERR_OVLAP, AL8KW_EDITION, AL8KW_SQL_TXLP, and AL8KW_ROW_ARCHIVAL, which are saved during normal activity and restored at failover, when FAILOVER_RESTORE is set and FAILOVER equals AUTO.

This feature enhances transparency in Application Continuity for Java.

Application Continuity for Java: Declarative Request Demarcation

With the introduction of this feature, when Application Continuity for Java is configured in AUTO mode (that is service FAILOVER_TYPE=AUTO), the JDBC driver injects a beginRequest call at runtime, after the creation of a JDBC connection with the Replay Datasource.

This feature ensures Zero Downtime for Java applications and third-party connection pools without the need to make code changes.

Oracle Network Log File Segmentation

The maximum size and number of text log files can be configured for Oracle Network components such as Oracle Net Listener, CMAN and GSM.

This feature prevents issues of ever-increasing log file sizes.

Easy Connect Plus

The Easy Connect syntax that applications use to connect to Oracle Database has improved functionality. The new version is called Easy Connect Plus.

Easy Connect Plus simplifies Oracle Database application configuration and deployment for common use cases. With Easy Connect Plus, you no longer need to configure Oracle Net parameter files such as tnsnames.ora and sqlnet.ora. Easy Connect Plus also no longer requires you to set the TNS_ADMIN environment variable.

SQL*Net: Auto-Detection of Support for Out-of-Band Breaks

Out-of-band breaks were enabled by default for UNIX platforms in past releases. However, this configuration causes numerous problems when network devices on the path between the client and the server do not allow out-of-band data to pass through. This data may either be dropped or inlined leading to server-side problems such as TNS errors or data corruption. These problems are often very hard to diagnose. The solution is to turn off usage of out-of-band data manually by setting a sqlnet.ora parameter.

The goal of this feature is to automatically probe the network path between the client and the server in order to determine the status of out-of-band support, and automatically enable or disable it.


Java Library for Reactive Streams Ingestion

This feature describes the new Java library for high speed ingestion of data streams with non-blocking back pressure. Java applications that use the provided APIs may continuously receive and ingest data from a large group of clients. The ingestion process is non-blocking and extremely fast through the direct path load into the database tables. Through the Universal Connection Pool (UCP), the ingestion process inherits Oracle RAC and Sharded database support, and furnishes high availability and scalability.

This feature enables implementing high-speed ingestion of streaming data with scalability and high availability.


JSON Update Operations

You can now update a JSON document declaratively using the new SQL function json_mergepatch. You can apply one or more changes to multiple documents by using a single statement.

This feature improves the flexibility of JSON update operations.

Materialized View Support for Queries containing JSON_TABLE

Materialized views query rewriting has been enhanced so that queries with JSON_EXISTS, JSON_VALUE and other functions can utilize a materialized view created over a query that contains a JSON_TABLE function.

This feature is particularly useful when the JSON documents in a table contain arrays. This type of materialized view provides fast performance for accessing data within those JSON arrays.

New SQL/JSON Function JSON_SERIALIZE and JSON Data Guide Support for GeoJSON Data

You can use the new SQL/JSON function json_serialize to serialize JSON data to text or to UTF-encoded BLOB data. The json_dataguide SQL aggregate function can now detect GeoJSON geographic data in your documents.

The json_serialize function is useful for extracting JSON values as text for printing or display. You can now use json_dataguide to create a view that projects such data as SQL data type SDO_GEOMETRY.

SQL/JSON Syntax Simplifications

Syntax simplifications are offered for SQL/JSON path expressions, SQL/JSON generation with the json_object function, and field projection with the SQL/JSON nested clause.

These features make the SQL interface for JSON processing easier to use for certain operations. For example, a query such as SELECT JSON_OBJECT(*) FROM emp can be used to construct a JSON representation for a row of table EMP.   The JSON NESTED clause can be used to succinctly map JSON values to table rows: SELECT * FROM customer NESTED jsonCol COLUMNS(first_name, last_name, address, state, zip).

JSON-Object Mapping

This feature enables the mapping of JSON data to and from SQL object types and collection types.

This feature makes it easier for programs that use SQL objects and collections to interact with JSON-based applications. 


DISTINCT option for LISTAGG aggregate

The LISTAGG aggregate function now supports duplicate elimination by using the new DISTINCT keyword.

The LISTAGG aggregate function orders the rows for each group in a query according to the ORDER BY expression and then concatenates the values into a single string. With the new DISTINCT keyword, duplicate values can be removed from the specified expression before concatenation into a single string. This removes the need to create complex query processing to find the distinct values before using the aggregate LISTAGG function. With the DISTINCT option, the processing to remove duplicate values can be done directly within the LISTAGG function.

The result is simpler, faster, more efficient SQL.



Dynamically change Fast-Start Failover (FSFO) target

Currently the DBA must disable Fast_Start Failover in order to change the FSFO Target standby. With the arrival of multiple FSFO targets in Oracle Database, this becomes even more important. This new command allows the user to dynamically change the FSFO Target standby to another standby in the target list without requiring that FSFO be disabled.

Forcing the user to disable FSFO to move to a new target standby exposes the configuration to a period where automatic failover cannot be used at all.

Observe only mode for Broker's Fast_Start Failover (FSFO)

When a database administrator configures Oracle Data Guard Broker's Fast Start Failover (FSFO) capability, they can now configure it to Observe only creating a test mode to see when a failover or other interaction would have occurred during normal production processing. This allows the user to tune the FSFO properties more precisely and to discover what circumstances in their environment would cause an automatic failover to occur. This makes it easier to justify using automatic failovers to reduce the recovery time for failovers.

This configuration allows users to test an automatic failover configuration without actually causing any impact to the production database. This improves on the existing failover validation that is already present in the Broker, and helps customers feel more at ease about FSFO automatic failover routines.

Simplified Database Parameter Management in a Broker Configuration

Users can now manage all Data Guard related parameter settings using the SQL*Plus ALTER SYSTEM commands or in DGMGRL with the new EDIT DATABASE ... SET PARAMETER command. Parameter changes made in the DGMGRL interface are immediately executed on the target database. In addition this new capability allows the user to modify a parameter on all databases in a Data Guard configuration using the ALL qualifier, eliminating the requirement to attach to each database and execute an ALTER SYSTEM command or set a Broker property for each database with multiple EDIT PROPERTY commands. The SHOW command has also been updated to show the current setting of a parameter in the target database.

This feature eliminates any inconsistency between a database's Data Guard parameter settings and the Data Guard Broker's Property settings, simplifying the Database Administrator management of the database parameters by allowing all parameter management through the SQL*Plus interface.

Propagate Restore Points from Primary to Standby site

Normal restore points or guaranteed restore points can be defined at the primary site to enable fast point-in-time recovery in the event of any logical corruption issues.  However, this restore point is stored in the control file and is not propagated to the standby database. In the event of a failover, the standby becomes the primary and the restore point information is lost. This feature ensures that the restore point is propagated from the primary to standby sites, so that the restore point is available even after a failover event.

The complexity of the restore and recovery process after a failover is simplified because the standby database is updated with the restore points created on the primary database. 

Flashback Standby database when Primary database is flashed back

Flashback Database moves the entire database to an older point in time and opens the database with RESETLOGS. In a Data Guard setup, if the primary database is flashed back, the standby site is no longer in sync with the primary. In previous releases, getting the secondary to the same point in time as the primary requires a manual procedure to flash back standby databases. A new parameter is introduced which enables the standby database to be flashed back automatically when Flashback Database is performed on the primary database.

By automatically flashing back the standby database when the primary database is flashed back, time, effort, and human errors are reduced resulting in faster synchronization and reduced recovery time objective (RTO).

Oracle Data Guard Multi-Instance Redo Apply works with the In-Memory Column Store

The Oracle Database In-Memory Column Store and Data Guard  Multi-Instance Redo Apply can now be enabled at the same time on an Active Data Guard standby. Previously the two features were mutually exclusive.

You can now use the fastest redo apply technology (Multi-instance Redo Apply) and the fastest analytical query technology (In-Memory Column Store) on the same Oracle Active Data Guard standby to gain the best of both features. Multi-Instance Redo Apply uses information in the In-Memory Column Store on the Active Data Guard standby to increase apply speed where possible.

Active Data Guard DML Redirection

Active Data Guard DML Redirection allows for incidental DML to be issued on an Active Data Guard standby database. When DML is executed, the update is passed to the Primary database where it is executed and the resulting redo of the transaction will update the standby after which control will be returned to the application. The DML is executed preserving all ACID properties of the transaction. 

DML redirection allows more applications to benefit from an Active Data Guard standby database when some writes are required. 

Clear Flashback logs periodically for increased FRA size predictability

Customers have many databases that all use the Fast Recovery Area (FRA). They usually subscribe to FRA by using the recovery_dest_size initialization parameter. Difficulties arise when flashback logs are not cleared until space pressure requires it. In many cases, the only remedy is to turn off flashback logging and turn it back on. This feature makes flashback space usage become predictable from a storage management perspective, since flashback uses no more space than is required by retention. This feature also allows users to control cumulative space pressure by adjusting the flashback retention.

The FRA is critical for databases because it stores backups, online redo logs, archived redo logs, and flashback logs. When the FRA becomes full, it affects all the databases. By automatically ensuring that flashback logs do not overutilize the space needed for retention, storage management improves and the health of the database is increased.

PDB Recovery catalog

Pluggable databases (PDBs) are supported as a target database and a virtual private catalog (VPC) user can be used to more granularly control permissions to perform backup and restore operations at a PDB level. Metadata view is also limited, so a VPC user can view only data for which the user has been granted permission. In previous releases, connections to the recovery catalog when the target database is a PDB was not supported.

Oracle Database 19c provides complete backup and recovery flexibility for container database (CDB) and PDB level backups and restores, including recovery catalog support.

New Parameters for Tuning Automatic Outage Resolution with Data Guard

Oracle Data Guard has several processes on the Primary and Standby databases that handle redo transport and archiving which communicate with each other over the network. In certain failure situations, network hangs, disconnects, and disk I/O issues, these processes can hang potentially causing delays in redo transport and gap resolution. Data Guard has an internal mechanism to detect these hung processes and terminate them allowing the normal outage resolution to occur. In Oracle Database 19c, the DBA can tune the amount of wait time for this detection period by using two new parameters, DATA_GUARD_MAX_IO_TIME and DATA_GUARD_MAX_LONGIO_TIME. These parameters allow the waits times to be tuned for a specific Data Guard configuration based on the user network and Disk I/O behavior.

Users can now tune Oracle Data Guard automatic outage resolution to fit their specific needs.

Finer granularity Supplemental Logging

Supplemental logging was designed and implemented for Logical Standby or full database replication requirements. This adds unnecessary overhead in environments where only a subset of tables is being replicated. Fine-grained supplemental logging provides a way for partial database replication users to disable supplemental logging for uninteresting tables so that even when supplemental logging is enabled in database or schema level, there is no supplemental logging overhead for uninteresting tables.

Use of this feature can significantly reduce the overhead in terms of resource usage and redo generation in case when only some of the tables in the database require supplemental logging, such as in a GoldenGate partial replication configuration.


Propagation of Parameter Settings Across Shards

Before Oracle Database 19c, database administrators had to configure ALTER SYSTEM parameter settings on each shard in a sharded database.

This feature allows administrators to centrally manage and propagate parameter settings from the shard catalog to all of the database shards, improving ease of manageability.

Support for Multiple PDB Shards in the Same CDB

Oracle Sharding with Oracle Database 18c supported one pluggable database (PDB) shard in a CDB. In Oracle Database 19c, Oracle Sharding enables you to use more than one PDB in a CDB for shards or shard catalog databases, with certain restrictions. For example, this feature allows a CDB to contain shard PDBs from different sharded databases, each with its own separate shard catalog database.

When you have multiple PDBs in a CDB, customers and applications that require separate sharded databases can share the same system resources for and ease of management.

Support for Multi-Shard Query Coordinators on Shard Catalog Standby Databases

Before Oracle Database 19c, only the primary shard catalog database could be used as the multi-shard query coordinator. In Oracle Database 19c, you can also enable the multi-shard query coordinator on the shard catalog's Oracle Active Data Guard standby databases.

Oracle Database 19c improves the scalability and availability of a multi-shard query workload.

Multiple Table Family Support for System-Managed Sharding

The Oracle Sharding feature for Oracle Database 18c supported only one table family (a set of related tables sharing the same sharding key) for each sharded database. In Oracle Database 19c, Oracle Sharding allows a sharded database to support multiple table families, each of which can be sharded with a different sharding key. Data from different table families reside in the same chunks. This feature applies to system-managed sharded databases only.

Different applications that access different table families can now be hosted on one sharded database.

Generation of Unique Sequence Numbers Across Shards

Before Oracle Database 19c, if you needed a unique number across shards you had to manage it yourself. In Oracle Database 19c, Oracle Sharding allows you to generate globally unique sequence numbers across shards. You can use this functionality to generate globally unique sequence numbers for non-primary key columns with unique constraints, or any other case in which a Sequence object must be a single logical object across all shards of a sharded database.

Customers often need to generate unique IDs for non-primary key columns, such as order_id, when the customer_id is the sharding key. In this case and others, this feature lets you generate unique sequence numbers across shards, while not requiring you to manage the global uniqueness of a given non-primary key column in your application.

Big Data and Data Warehousing


SQL Diagnostics and Repair Enhancements

The SQL diagnostics and repair tools, such as SQL Test Case Builder and SQL Repair Advisor have been enhanced to provide better diagnosis and repair capabilities for managing problematic SQL statements.

These enhancements enable more effective diagnosis and repair of problematic SQL statements.

Automatic Indexing

The automatic indexing feature automates index management tasks, such as creating, rebuilding, and dropping indexes in an Oracle database based on changes in the application workload.

This feature improves database performance by managing indexes automatically in an Oracle database.

Bitmap based count distinct SQL Function

New bitvector SQL operators can be used to speed up COUNT DISTINCT operations within a SQL query. To compute COUNT(DISTINCT) for numeric expressions, you can create a bitvector representation of the expressions and aggregate them before the final bit count. The resulting bitvector can be materialized, such as in a materialized view.

You can construct bitvectors by further grouping on a larger set of GROUP BY keys than targeted queries, so that one materialized view can be used to rewrite multiple GROUP BY queries with COUNT(DISTINCT) expressions by using ROLLUP.

In most scenarios, bitvector SQL functions combined with materialized views can provide significant performance improvements for queries with COUNT(DISTINCT) operations, which are common in data warehousing environments. The new operators are naturally evaluated in parallel and take advantage of hardware optimized bitmap operations. By creating materialized views with bitvectors at lower-level aggregation levels, the same materialized view can be reused to rewrite queries at higher level of aggregation levels by using ROLLUP.

Big Data and Performance Enhancements for In-Memory External Tables

In-Memory external tables add support for ORACLE_HIVE and ORACLE_BIGDATA drivers, parallel query, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Active Data Guard, and on-demand population.

By using the new Big Data drivers, you avoid the cost and complexity of materializing data before populating it into the In-Memory Column Store (IM column store). You can use the SQL analytical capabilities of Oracle Database and Database In-Memory to analyze both internal and external data. Support for parallel query and full scan population means applications have fewer limitations when accessing data that resides outside the database.

Automatic Resolution of SQL Plan Regressions

SQL plan management searches for SQL statements in the Automatic Workload Repository (AWR). Prioritizing by highest load, it looks for alternative plans in all available sources, adding better-performing plans to the SQL plan baseline. Oracle Database also provides a plan comparison facility and improved hint reporting.

Automatic SQL plan management resolves plan regressions without user intervention. For example, if high-load statements are performing suboptimally, then SQL plan management evolve advisor can locate the statements automatically, and then test and accept the best plans.

Real-Time Statistics

Oracle Database automatically gathers online statistics during conventional DML operations.

Statistics can go stale between execution of DBMS_STATS statistics gathering jobs. By gathering some statistics automatically during DML operations, the database augments the statistics gathered by DBMS_STATS. Fresh statistics enable the optimizer to produce more optimal plans.

High-Frequency Automatic Optimizer Statistics Collection

You can configure a lightweight, high-frequency automatic task that periodically gathers optimizer statistics for stale objects.

Statistics can go stale between executions of DBMS_STATS jobs. By gathering statistics more frequently, the optimizer can produce more optimal plans.

Hybrid Partitioned Tables

The Hybrid Partition Tables feature extends Oracle Partitioning by enabling partitions to reside in both Oracle Database segments and in external files and sources. This feature significantly enhances the functionality of partitioning for Big Data SQL where large portions of a table can reside in external partitions.

Hybrid Partition Tables enable you to easily integrate internal partitions and external partitions into a single partition table. With this feature, you can also easily move non-active partitions to external files, such as Oracle Data Pump files, for a cheaper storage solution.

Database Overall

Automated install, config, and patch

Focus area for database and GI installation, configuration and patching

Ability to Create a Duplicate of an Oracle Database Using DBCA in Silent Mode

You can now create a duplicate of an Oracle database by using the createDuplicateDB command of DBCA in silent mode.

This feature enables developers to work on identical copies of an Oracle database.

Ability to Relocate a PDB to Another CDB Using DBCA in Silent Mode

You can now relocate a PDB to another CDB by using the relocatePDB command of DBCA in silent mode.

This feature enables automating the PDB life cycle operation of relocating a PDB using DBCA in silent mode.

Ability to Create a PDB by Cloning a Remote PDB Using DBCA in Silent Mode

You can now create a PDB by cloning a remote PDB using the createFromRemotePDB parameter of the createPluggableDatabase command of DBCA in silent mode.

This feature enables automating the PDB life cycle operation of cloning a PDB using DBCA in silent mode.

Simplified Image Based Oracle Database Client Installation

Starting with Oracle Database 19c, the Oracle Database Client software is available as an image file for download and installation. You must extract the image software into a directory where you want your Oracle home to be located, and then run the runInstaller script to start the Oracle Database Client installation. Oracle Database Client installation binaries continue to be available in the traditional format as non-image zip files.

As with Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure image file installations, Oracle Database Client image installations simplify Oracle Database Client installations and ensure best practice deployments.

Root Scripts Automation Support for Oracle Database Installation

Starting with Oracle Database 19c, the database installer, or setup wizard, provides options to set up permissions to run the root configuration scripts automatically, as required, during a database installation. You continue to have the option to run the root configuration scripts manually.

Setting up permissions for root configuration scripts to run without user intervention can simplify database installation and help avoid inadvertent permission errors.

Support for Dry-Run Validation of Oracle Clusterware Upgrade

Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c, the Oracle Grid Infrastructure installation wizard (gridSetup.sh) enables you to perform a dry-run mode upgrade to check your system’s upgrade readiness.

In dry-run upgrade mode, the installation wizard performs all of the system readiness checks that it would perform in an actual upgrade and enables you to verify whether your system is ready for upgrade before you start the upgrade. This mode does not perform an actual upgrade. It helps anticipate potential problems with the system setup and avoid upgrade failures.

AutoUpgrade and Database Utilities

Focus area to include database upgrade, all types of database migration, and utilities such as SQL*Loader and external tables

AutoUpgrade for Oracle Database

AutoUpgrade enables you to upgrade one or many Oracle Database instances at the command-line, using a single command, and a single configuration file.

AutoUpgrade runs preupgrade tasks, performs automated fix-ups where needed, processes the database upgrade, and finishes the upgrade by completing post-upgrade tasks. It includes automatic retry and fallback, the option to schedule upgrades for future points in time, and the ability to set, change, or remove initialization parameters as desired.

AutoUpgrade significantly reduces the manual effort associated with database upgrades. It enables a single DBA to upgrade multiple databases at the same time. It can even take care of routine upgrades for databases that are not actively managed by skilled DBAs. By reducing the effort needed for upgrades, and by implementing recommended practices automatically during the upgrade process, AutoUpgrade makes the database upgrade process easier to complete, and reduces risk.

Oracle Data Pump Ability to Exclude ENCRYPTION Clause on Import

A new transform parameter, OMIT_ENCRYPTION_CLAUSE is introduced that causes Data Pump to suppress any encryption clauses associated with objects using encrypted columns.

Better Oracle Cloud migrations are now possible for non-cloud databases that have encrypted columns.

Oracle Data Pump Allows Tablespaces to Stay Read-Only During TTS Import

A new option allows the user to restore pre-12.2 default behavior, such that tablespace data files can be read-only during the Transportable Tablespace (TTS) import process. The benefit is that this allows a tablespace data file to be mounted on two databases, so long as it remains read-only. However, using this option requires that the source and target databases have exactly the same daylight savings time (DST) version because TIMESTAMP WITH TIMEZONE data will not be adjusted upon import. Also, if this parameter is specified then the database does not automatically rebuild tablespace bitmaps to reclaim space during import. This can make the import process faster at the expense of regaining free space within the tablespace datafiles.

You can now import tablespace files mounted on two different databases as long as the files are set as read-only.

Oracle Data Pump Support for Resource Usage Limitations

The Oracle Data Pump parameter MAX_DATAPUMP_JOBS_PER_PDB is updated, and there is a new parameter, MAX_DATAPUMP_PARALLEL_PER_JOB.

MAX_DATAPUMP_JOBS_PER_JOB has been modified to provide more control over the number of jobs that can be started in a multitenant container database environment: Default: 100, Range: 0 to 250 or Auto - 50% of SESSIONS. The MAX_DATAPUMP_PARALLEL_PER_JOB parameter enables you to obtain more control over the number of parallel workers that can be used for an individual Data Pump job. These parameters provide you with more control over resource utilization when there are multiple users performing data pump jobs in a database environment.

Oracle Data Pump Test Mode for Transportable Tablespaces

Test Mode for Transportable Tablespaces performs a metadata-only export test using Transportable Tablespaces or Full Transportable Export/Import. It also removes the requirement for the source database tablespaces to be in read-only mode.

Now DBAs can more easily determine how long an export takes, and discover unforeseen issues not reported by the closure check.

Oracle Data Pump Prevents Inadvertent Use of Protected Roles

Oracle Data Pump prevents inadvertent use of protected roles during export and import with the new command-line parameter ENABLE_SECURE_ROLES.

Some Oracle roles require authorization. If you need to use these roles with Oracle Data Pump export and import you must explicitly enable them. The new ENABLE_SECURE_ROLES parameter is available for expdp and impdp clients, and for the Oracle Data Pump PL/SQL API. Starting with Oracle Database 19c, the default is NO.

Oracle Data Pump Loads Partitioned Table Data One Operation

Oracle Data Pump can import table data in all partitions of a table as one operation instead of separate operations for each partition.

GROUP_PARTITION_TABLE_DATA, a new value for the Import DATA_OPTIONS command line parameter, changes Oracle Data Pump default behavior by importing table data in all partitions of a table as one operation. This parameter is useful when you do not want the default Import behavior that imports each table partition as a separate operation. Import chooses the default. For instance, you can use this parameter when there is a possibility that a table could move to a different partition as part of loading a table. The default is also used when the table was not created by the Import operation. 

Oracle Data Pump Allows Wildcards for Dumpfile in Object Store

Oracle Data Pump simplifies importing multiple dumpfiles into Oracle Autonomous Database by allowing wildcards for URL-based dumpfile names.

When you need to import multiple dumpfiles from the object store service, wildcards in URL-based dump file name can simplify the import command for Oracle Autonomous Database. It can reduce typing and lessen the possibility of a misspelled a dump file name. A wildcard character can not be used in the bucket-name component.

Oracle Data Pump import supports more object store credentials

Oracle Data Pump import supports object store credentials beyond the default_credential with a new CREDENTIAL parameter for Oracle Autonomous Database.

Oracle Data Pump import is no longer constrained to using the default_credential in Oracle Autonomous Database. Starting with Oracle Database 19c (and backported to release 18.3) the new impdp client CLI CREDENTIAL parameter accepts any Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Object Storage credential created in the Oracle Autonomous Database. Data Pump validates whether the credential exists and the user has access to read the credential.  Any errors are returned back to the impdp client.



Oracle Trace File Analyzer Support for Using an External SMTP Server for Notifications

In earlier releases, Oracle Trace File Analyzer required monitored hosts to have local sendmail or SMTP support in order to deliver email notifications of alerts. Starting in this release, you can configure an external SMTP server to receive these notifications from Oracle Trace File Analyzer and alert the administrators.

Oracle Trace File Analyzer's ability to alert administrators immediately when it detects an anomaly or issue is essential to maintain availability and rapidly recover from problems. By extending email notification support to Oracle Trace File Analyzer deployments that cannot send email locally, these deployments can minimize downtime and maximize availability.

Oracle Cluster Health Advisor Integration into Oracle Trace File Analyzer

Oracle Trace File Analyzer now integrates with Oracle Cluster Health Advisor and consumes the problem events that Oracle Cluster Health Advisor detects. When Oracle Cluster Health Advisor detects a problem event, Oracle Trace File Analyzer automatically triggers the relevant diagnostic collection and sends an email notification. You can configure email notification through the standard Oracle Trace File Analyzer notification process.

Oracle Cluster Health Advisor provides early warnings for Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) database and cluster node performance issues. By delivering email notifications with root cause analysis and corrective recommendations through Oracle Trace File Analyzer's daemon, operations and database administrators can proactively prevent application performance and availability issues.

Oracle Trace File Analyzer REST API Support

Oracle Trace File Analyzer now includes REST support, allowing invocation and query over HTTPS. To help develop and test this REST support, Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) are included within the installation. REST supports printing details, starting a diagnostic collection, and downloading collections.

Business that automate their data center operations require remote management and automation. The REST interface is an industry standard that supports remote management. Oracle Trace File Analyzer operation through REST APIs supports easy integration into customer operations frameworks, improving diagnostic efficiency and reducing recovery time.

Oracle Trace File Analyzer Search Extended to Support Metadata Searches

In earlier releases, Oracle Trace File Analyzer's search function was limited to log and trace file strings. Starting in this release, all metadata stored in the Oracle Trace File Analyzer index is searchable using tfactl. Oracle Trace File Analyzer searches log and trace file metadata using JSON-formatted name-value pairs representing datatypes and events.

The ability to search log and trace file metadata is essential to minimize downtime and maximize availability and to efficiently diagnose and triage issues, especially recurring issues across instances and nodes.

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk REST Support

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk now include REST support, allowing invocation and query over HTTPS. To facilitate this REST support, Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) is included within the installation.

Business that automate their data center operations require remote management and automation. The REST interface is an industry standard that supports remote management. Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk operation through REST APIs supports easy integration into customer operations frameworks, improving diagnostic efficiency and reducing recovery time.

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk Support for Encrypting Collection Files

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk diagnostic collection files may contain sensitive data. Starting in this release, you can encrypt and decrypt diagnostic collection ZIP files and protect them with a password. This feature is available only on Linux and Solaris platforms.

Companies are increasingly concerned about the leakage of sensitive data. Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk collections and their reports can include such data. When these reports are transferred to repositories or emailed, it's critical that such data is viewed only by the intended recipients. To prevent leaks, you can restrict access to sensitive data by encrypting the diagnostic collections and protecting them with a password.

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk Support for Remote Node Connections without Requiring Passwordless SSH

In earlier releases, remotely running Oracle ORAchk or Oracle EXAchk required configuration of passwordless SSH between the remote nodes. Starting in this release, you can configure Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk to autogenerate the private key files for the remote nodes. Alternatively, you can provide a private key.

To centrally manage many database servers or clusters, it is more efficient to perform operations remotely. In many cases, corporate policies prevent passwordless SSH configuration. Using private key authentication, you can run Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk remotely in these deployments and improve operational efficiency.

Oracle ORAchk and Oracle EXAchk Now Show Only the Most Critical Checks by Default

By default, only the most critical checks are shown in the report output. The critical checks are those that Oracle judges to have the most severe potential effect. All other checks are still run and are available in the report. You can view them by selecting the appropriate option under the "Show checks with the following status" control.

In earlier versions, Oracle EXAchk and Oracle ORAchk reports included over a hundred checks and made analysis more time-consuming. When only the most critical checks are included, analyzing the reports becomes more efficient, and you can more quickly resolve critical problems to prevent downtime or performance issues.

Oracle Trace File Analyzer Supports New Service Request Data Collections

Service Request Data Collections (SRDCs) simplify the collection of required logs and data for specific issues. This release adds additional database SRDCs that cover more ORA errors and problems in infrastructure such as Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM), Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System (ACFS), Listeners, auditing, and Recovery Manager (RMAN).

When operations or Oracle Database issues occur that require Oracle Support Services, it is essential to send all the data and logs necessary to diagnose and resolve the issue in one compact complete archive. Oracle Trace File Analyzer's SRDCs provide this functionality while minimizing the steps required to compile and send the archive efficiently. This improves recovery time while improving the administrator's efficiency.



SQL Quarantine

SQL statements that are terminated by Oracle Database Resource Manager due to their excessive consumption of CPU and I/O resources can be automatically quarantined. The execution plans associated with the terminated SQL statements are quarantined to prevent them from being executed again.

This feature protects an Oracle database from performance degradation by preventing execution of SQL statements that excessively consume CPU and I/O resources.

Resource Manager Automatically Enabled for Database In-Memory

When INMEMORY_SIZE is greater than 0, Oracle Database Resource Manager is automatically enabled.

The Resource Manager is required to take advantage of In-Memory Dynamic Scans. Because the Resource Manager is automatically enabled when Database In-Memory is enabled, customers receive the benefits of enhanced performance and automatic management for CPU resource allocation.

Database In-Memory Wait on Populate

The DBMS_INMEMORY_ADMIN.POPULATE_WAIT function waits until objects at the specified priority have been populated to the specified percentage.

The new function ensures that the specified In-Memory objects have been populated before allowing application access. For example, a database might contain a number of In-Memory tables with a variety of priority settings. In a restricted session, you can use the POPULATE_WAIT function to ensure that every In-Memory table is completely populated. Afterward, you can disable the restricted session so that the application is guaranteed to query only In-Memory representations of the tables.

Memoptimized Rowstore - Fast Ingest

The Memoptimized Rowstore's fast ingest functionality enables fast data inserts into an Oracle database from applications, such as Internet of Things (IoT) applications that ingest small, high volume transactions with a minimal amount of transactional overhead. The insert operations that use fast ingest temporarily buffer the data in the large pool before writing it to disk in bulk in a deferred, asynchronous manner.

Using Oracle Database's rich analytical features, you can now perform data analysis more effectively by easily integrating data from high-frequency data streaming applications with your existing application data.

Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor (ADDM) Support for Pluggable Databases (PDBs)

You can now use ADDM analysis for PDBs in a multitenant environment.

ADDM analysis at a PDB level enables you to tune a PDB effectively for better performance.

Real-Time SQL Monitoring for Developers

Database users without SELECT_CATALOG_ROLE can generate and view SQL Monitor reports for their own SQL statements, including the execution plans and performance metrics.

A primary responsibility of database developers is to write and tune SQL statements. Access to SQL Monitor reports enables developers to perform these duties without requiring database administrator privileges.

Workload Capture and Replay in a PDB

Oracle Real Application Testing was designed to capture and replay multitenant databases at the root container database (CDB) level. Starting with Oracle Database Release 19c, you can capture and replay the workload from within an individual pluggable database (PDB).

This enhancement enables you to capture and replay workloads at the PDB level. This leads to better testing, less downtime, and more effective and efficient change control.

RAC and Grid


Parity Protected Files

The REDUNDANCY file type property specifies the redundancy for a file group. The PARITY value specifies single parity for redundancy. The parity setting is intended for write-once files, such as archive logs and backup sets.

A great deal of space is consumed when two or three way ASM mirroring is used for files associated with database backup operations. Backup files are write-once files, and this feature allows parity protection for protection rather than conventional mirroring. Considerable space savings are the result.

Zero-Downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching

Zero-Downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching enables patching of Oracle Grid Infrastructure without interrupting database operations. Patches are applied out-of-place and in a rolling fashion, with one node being patched at a time, while the database instances on the node remain operational. Zero-downtime Oracle Grid Infrastructure Patching supports Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) databases on clusters with two or more nodes. 

Zero-Downtime Grid Infrastructure Patching significantly increases database availability by allowing customers to perform a rolling patch of Oracle Grid Infrastructure without interrupting database operations on the node being patched and without impacting capacity or performance on those database instances.

Automated Transaction Draining for Oracle Grid Infrastructure Upgrades

Automated Transaction Draining for Oracle Grid Infrastructure Upgrades provides automatic draining of transactions against the database instances, one node at a time, in a rolling fashion, according to the database service configurations. Transaction draining capabilities are an integral part of the database service design and are now automatically integrated into the application of rolling Oracle Grid Infrastructure patches.

Automated and coordinated draining of database transactions during rolling patch applications, using Fleet Patching and Provisioning, reduces the impact of patching operations. Once user transactions are drained, patching operations for a particular node on a cluster can be completed. The instance and services are then restarted locally and new connections are established before the patching operation rolls on to the next node in the cluster.

Oracle Restart Patching and Upgrading

Use Fleet Patching and Provisioning to patch and upgrade Oracle Restart. In previous releases, Oracle Restart environments required the user to perform patching and upgrade operations, often involving manual intervention. Fleet Patching and Provisioning automates these procedures.

Using Fleet Patching and Provisioning to patch and upgrade Oracle Restart automates and standardizes the processes that are implemented in Oracle RAC database installations. This also reduces operational demands and risks, especially for large numbers of Oracle Restart deployments.

Automated PDB Relocation

In Oracle Grid Infrastructure, you can use Fleet Patching and Provisioning to automate relocation of a PDB from one CDB to another.

This allows individual PDBs to be patched more quickly and without exposing other PDBs to the changes that a patch would bring.

Secure Cluster Communication

Secure Cluster Communication protects the cluster interconnect from common security threats when used together with Single Network Support. Secure Cluster Communication includes message digest mechanisms, protection against fuzzing, and uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to provide privacy and data integrity between the cluster members.

The increased security for the cluster interconnect is invoked automatically as part of a new Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c deployment or an upgrade to Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c. Database administrators or cluster administrators do not need to make any configuration changes for this feature.

Colocation Tag for Client Routing

The COLOCATION_TAG parameter is an alphanumeric string that you can use with the CONNECT_DATA parameter of the TNS connect string. When you set the COLOCATION_TAG parameter, it attempts to route clients with the same COLOCATION_TAG to the same database instance.

Colocation of sessions on the same instance can help decrease inter-instance communication and thereby increase performance for workload that benefits from being executed in the same instance.

Optional Install for the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository

Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c, the Grid Infrastructure Management Repository (GIMR) is optional for new installations of Oracle Standalone Cluster. Oracle Domain Services Clusters still require the installation of a GIMR as a service component. 

The data contained in the GIMR is the basis for preventative diagnostics based on applied Machine Learning and can help to increase the availability of Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) databases. Having an optional installation for the GIMR allows for more flexible storage space management and faster deployment, especially during the installation of test and development systems. 

Resupport of Direct File Placement for OCR and Voting Disks

Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c, the desupport for direct OCR and voting disk file placement on shared file systems is rescinded for Oracle Standalone Clusters. For Oracle Domain Services Clusters, the requirement to place OCR and voting files in Oracle Automatic Storage Management (Oracle ASM) on top of files hosted on shared file systems and used as Oracle ASM disks remains. 

In Oracle Grid Infrastructure 12c Release 2 (12.2), Oracle announced that it would no longer support the placement of the Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) and voting files for Oracle Grid Infrastructure directly on a shared file system. This desupport is now rescinded. Starting with Oracle Grid Infrastructure 19c (19.3), with Oracle Standalone Clusters, you can again place OCR and voting disk files directly on shared file systems.

Dynamic Services Fallback Option

For a dynamic database service that is placed using "preferred" and "available" settings users can now specify that this service should fall back to a "preferred" instance when it becomes available and once it was failed over to an available instance with the last preferred instance going down. 

The Dynamic Services Fallback Option allows for more control in placing dynamic database services and ensures that a given service is available on a preferred instance as long as possible. 




The ALTER SYSTEM clause FLUSH PASSWORDFILE_METADATA_CACHE refreshes the metadata cache with the latest details of the database password file. The latest details of the database password file can be retrieved by querying the V$PASSWORDFILE_INFO view.

This functionality is useful when the database password file name or location is changed, and the metadata cache needs to be refreshed with the details of the updated database password file.

Transparent Online Conversion Support for Auto-Renaming in Non-Oracle-Managed Files Mode

Starting with this release, in a Transparent Data Encryption online conversion in non-Oracle-managed files mode, you are no longer forced to include the FILE_NAME_CONVERT clause in the ADMINISTER KEY MANAGEMENT SQL statement. The file name retains its original name.

This enhancement helps prevent you from having to rename files to the original name, sometimes missing files.

Support for Additional Algorithms for Offline Tablespace Encryption

In previous releases, only the AES128 encryption algorithm was supported for offline tablespace encryption. This release adds support for the AES192 and AES256 encryption algorithms, as well as for the ARIA, GOST, and 3DES encryption algorithms for offline tablespace encryption.

This enhancement helps in scenarios in which you have concerns about auxiliary space usage required by online tablespace encryption.

Key Management of Encrypted Oracle-Managed Tablespaces in Transparent Data Encryption

In this release, a closed TDE encryption keystore has no impact on internal operations to Oracle-managed tablespaces.


Internal processes can access a keystore when the keystore is closed, which allows the internal process to continue and successfully complete by using an intermediate key that is derived from the TDE master encryption key, while the TDE keystore is closed or is otherwise unavailable.

Closing the TDE keystore has no effect on queries of an encrypted SYSTEM, SYSAUX, TEMP, and UNDO tablespace, unlike queries of a user-created tablespace, which continue to return an ORA-28365 wallet is not open error when the TDE keystore is closed.

User-initiated operations such as decrypt on any encrypted Oracle-managed tablespace still require the TDE keystore to be in the OPEN state.

Support for Host Name-Based Partial DN Matching for Host Certificates

This new support for partial DN matching adds the ability for the client to further verify the server certificate.

The earlier ability to perform a full DN match with the server certificate during the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) handshake is still supported. The client supports both full and partial DN matching. If the server DN matching is enabled, then partial DN matching is the default.

Allowing partial and full DN matching for certificate verification enables more flexibility based on how the certificates were created.

New PDB_GUID Audit Record Field for SYSLOG and the Windows Event Viewer

The audit record fields for SYSLOG and the Windows Event Viewer now include a new field, PDB_GUID, to identify the pluggable database associated with a unified audit trail record.

In a multitenant database deployment, the pluggable database that generated a unified audit trail record must be identified in the audit trail. Starting with this release, the new field captures this information. The data type is VARCHAR2.


The new EVENT_TIMESTAMP_UTC column appears in the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL view. Query the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL view based on the EVENT_TIMESTAMP_UTC column in the WHERE clause. The new column helps partition pruning, improving the read performance of the UNIFIED_AUDIT_TRAIL view.

Passwords Removed from Oracle Database Accounts

Most of the Oracle Database supplied schema-only accounts now have their passwords removed to prevent users from authenticating to these accounts.

This enhancement does not affect the sample schemas. Sample schemas are still installed with their default passwords.

Administrators can still assign passwords to the default schema-only accounts. Oracle recommends changing the schemas back to a schema-only account afterward.

The benefit of this feature is that administrators no longer have to periodically rotate the passwords for these Oracle Database-provided schemas. This feature also reduces the security risk of attackers using default passwords to hack into these accounts.

Signature-Based Security for LOB Locators

Starting with this release, you can configure signature-based security for large object (LOB) locators.

This feature strengthens the security of Oracle Database LOBs, particularly when instances of LOB data types (CLOB and BLOB) are used in distributed environments.

LOB signature keys can be in both multitenant PDBs or in standalone, non-multitenant databases. You can enable the encryption of the LOB signature key credentials by executing the ALTER DATABASE DICTIONARY ENCRYPT CREDENTIALS SQL statement; otherwise, the credentials are stored in obfuscated format. If you choose to store the LOB signature key in encrypted format, then the database or PDB must have an open TDE keystore.

Unified Auditing Top-Level Statements

The unified auditing top-level statements feature enables you to audit top-level user (direct user) activities in the database without collecting indirect user activity audit data.

You can use this feature to audit only the events generated by top-level users, without the overhead of creating audit records for indirect SQL statements. Top-level statements are SQL statements that users directly issue. These statements can be important for both security and compliance. Often SQL statements that run from within PL/SQL procedures or functions are not considered top level, so they may be less relevant for auditing purposes.

Privilege Analysis Now Available in Oracle Database Enterprise Edition

Privilege analysis is now available as part of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition.

Privilege analysis runs dynamic analysis of users and applications to find privileges and roles that are used and unused. Privilege analysis reduces the work to implement least privilege best practices by showing you exactly what privileges are used and not used by each account. Privilege analysis is highly performant and is designed to work in test, development, and production development databases.

As part of this change, the documentation for privilege analysis has moved from the Oracle Database Vault Administrator's Guide to the Oracle Database Security Guide.

Support for Oracle Native Encryption and SSL Authentication for Different Users Concurrently

In previous releases, Oracle Database prevented the use of Oracle native encryption (also called Advanced Networking Option or ANO encryption) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) authentication together.

For example, if you set both the SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_CLIENT parameter on the client and the SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_SERVER parameter on the server to REQUIRED, and a TCPS listener is used, then you receive the ORA-12696 Double Encryption Turned On, login disallowed error. Starting with this release, you can set the new SQLNET.IGNORE_ANO_ENCRYPTION_FOR_TCPS parameter to TRUE. This setting ignores the SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_CLIENT or SQLNET.ENCRYPTION_SERVER when a TCPS client is used and either of these two parameters are set to required.

Ability to Grant or Revoke Administrative Privileges to and from Schema-Only Accounts

Administrative privileges such as SYSOPER and SYSBACKUP can now be granted to schema-only (passwordless) accounts.

Unused and rarely accessed database user accounts with administrative privileges can now become schema-only accounts. This enhancement prevents administrators from having to manage the passwords of these accounts.

Automatic Support for Both SASL and Non-SASL Active Directory Connections

Starting with this release, both Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) binds are supported for Microsoft Active Directory connections.

For centrally managed users, the Oracle database initially tries to connect to Active Directory using SASL bind. If the Active Directory server rejects the SASL bind connection, then the Oracle database automatically attempts the connection again without SASL bind but still secured with TLS.

The Active Directory administrator is responsible for configuring the connection parameters for Active Directory server, but does not need to configure the database to match this new Active Directory connection enhancement. The database automatically adjusts from using SASL to not using SASL bind.

Database Vault Operations Control for Infrastructure Database Administrators

In a multitenant database, you can now use Oracle Database Vault to block common users (infrastructure DBAs, for example) from accessing local data in pluggable databases (PDBs).

This enhancement prevents common users from accessing local data that resides on a PDB. It enables you to store sensitive data for your business applications and to allow operations to manage the database infrastructure without having to access sensitive customer data.

Database Vault Command Rule Support for Unified Audit Policies

You can now create Oracle Database Vault command rules for unified audit policies.

You can use command rules to differentiate which users can enable and disable unified audit policies under specific conditions. For example, the HR auditor can enable or disable the HR Unified Audit policy, while the Finance auditor can do the same for the Finance Unified Audit policy without being able to modify the other policy.