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Oracle RAC Cluster Tips by Burleson Consulting

This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters.  To get immediate access to the code depot of working RAC scripts, buy it directly from the publisher and save more than 30%.

The purpose of the CONVERT clause is to convert the format of a transport set from one platform to another to allow a quick transport of a tablespace across different platforms. Content providers can now publish structured data as transportable tablespaces and distribute it to customers who can quickly integrate this data into Oracle, regardless of their current platform within compatibility limits.

Data from a large data warehouse server can be distributed to data marts on smaller computers, such as Windows 2000 workstations.

Example uses of the command are:

CONVERT Clause Syntax:

CONVERT [TABLESPACE 'tablespace_name'[,]| DATAFILE 'filename'[,]] convert_optionList ;
[[FROM|TO] PLATFORM [=] {identifier|quoted_string}]|
[FORMAT [=] formatSpec]|
[DB_FILE_NAME_CONVERT [=] ( 'string_pattern'[,])]|
[PARALLELISM [=] integer]]

Keywords and Parameters

TABLESPACE tablespace_name

The TABLESPACE keyword specifies the name of a tablespace in the source database to be transported to the destination database on a different platform. CONVERT TABLESPACE can only be used when connected to the source database, not from the destination database. This is because, until the tablespace transport has been completed, the destination database has no way of recognizing the tablespace name for use with the CONVERT TABLESPACE statement.

DATAFILE datafile_name

This specifies the name of a to-be-converted data file that is to be transported into the destination database.

If the decision is made to convert at the destination database instead of at the source, CONVERT DATAFILE must be used instead of CONVERT TABLESPACE, and each data file that is being converted must be named. This is because the files have not yet been imported into the destination database, so RMAN does not yet know which files belong to the tablespace being converted.

To convert a single data file at a time, the DATAFILE argument can be used in place of the TABLESPACE argument on the source platform, though it is more convenient to use the TABLESPACE argument and do all data files at one time for a specific tablespace.

FROM PLATFORM = platform_name

This parameter specifies the name of the source platform as it is displayed in a select from the v$transportable_platform.platform_name column.

TO PLATFORM = platform_name

This parameter specifies the name of the destination platform as displayed in a select from the v$transportable_platform.platform_name column.

FORMAT formatSpec

This parameter specifies the name template for the output files.


This parameter accepts filename pairs where the first name in the pair is the converted filename, performs the required substitutions, and places the converted files in the new location after the substitution. As many pairs of replacement strings as required can be specified. Single or double quotation marks can be used around the entries.

Restrictions and Usage Notes

* The read-only tablespaces can be transported across the platforms.

* Both source and destination databases must be running Oracle Database 10g with the initialization parameter compatible set to 10.0 or higher.

* A tablespace must have been made read-write at least once in Oracle Database 10g before it can be transported to any other platform. Therefore, any read-only tablespaces or currently existing transported tablespaces that exist from a version prior to Oracle Database Oracle10g must be made read-write first on the platform where they were created, before they can be transported to a different platform.

* RMAN cannot process user data types that require endian conversions. If it is necessary to transport objects built on underlying types that store data in a platform-specific format, such as endian, then Oracle's Data Pump feature should be used.

* Query the view v$transportable_platform to determine the platforms supported by the RMAN CONVERT command. Cross-platform tablespace transport is only supported when both the source and destination platforms are contained in this view. In Oracle Database 10g, the CONVERT command is only required when transporting between platforms for which the value in v$transportable_platform.endian_format is different. If the endian_format column is the same, the files can simply be copied from the source to the destination machine, no conversion is required.

* If conversion is needed, the CONVERT command must be run either on the source host, using CONVERT TO and identifying the destination platform, or on the destination host, where the FROM parameter is not needed because the source platform is noted in the datafile, and where the TO parameter is not needed because conversion will default to the platform RMAN is running on. CONVERT does not convert the datafiles in-place; instead, it creates an output file that is readable on the specified platform.

The following are the supported data types for the CONVERT command:


















* Native numbers


* Media Types (ORDSYS.ORDAudio, ORDSYS.ORDImage, RDSYS.ORDVideo)

In releases prior to Oracle Database 10g, Oracle created CLOBs in a variable-width character set and stored them in an endian-dependent format. The CONVERT command will not perform conversions on these CLOBs. Instead, RMAN will capture the endian format of each LOB column and propagate it to the target database. Subsequent reads of this data by the SQL layer will interpret the data correctly, based on either of the endian formats, then write it out in an endian-independent way if the tablespace is writeable. If new CLOBs are created in an Oracle Database 10g or later release, RMAN creates the CLOB in character set AL16UTF16, which is platform independent.

This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters, Rampant TechPress, by Mike Ault and Madhu Tumma.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


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