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Don Burleson Blog 









Case Sensitive Passwords and Database Upgrade to 11g

Oracle 11g New Features Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 29, 2015

Oracle 11g New Features Tips

An upgrade to a new release always makes a lot of testing necessary. This is especially the case if you upgrade to 11g and want to use the case sensitive passwords feature.

As we have already seen the parameter sec_case_sensitive_login must be set to TRUE explicitly to enable the feature after  a manual upgrade.

When upgrading from 10g to 11g with the upgrade assistant (DBUA) the passwords of all user accounts are case insensitive until they are changed the next time.

DBCA as well as DBUA allow you to choose if you want to enable the new security features or if you want to start with the Pre 11g functionalities and enable the new 11g security features later on.

How to enable the ORACLE 11g EXCLUSIVE MODE

Oracle 10g utilities which use the OCI drivers including SQL*PLUS, Forms, ODBC, .NET are compatible with Oracle 11g EXCLUSIVE MODE. This mode can be enabled in after making an upgrade to 11g database.


This parameter defines the minimum client version that is allowed to connect to the database instance.

% Before enabling EXCLUSIVE MODE after upgrading to 11g make sure that            all clients are compatible with this mode

% The default for sqlnet.allowed_logon_versions is 8

After this it is necessary to remove all old password hashes from the database. You must be connected as sysdba:

LUTZ AS SYSDBA @ orcl SQL> UPDATE sys.user$ SET password=NULL;
LUTZ AS SYSDBA @ orcl SQL> DELETE FROM user_history$;

% JDBC (thin) versions prior to Oracle 11g cannot use the enhanced 11g Oracle            password algorithm or the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) driver prior to Oracle           10g.

Test carefully before you use case sensitive passwords in production! 
           There might be a number of pitfalls waiting for you with hard coded passwords            for logons

Case sensitive passwords are a very good feature but on the other hand they can also cause a lot of problems especially if you upgrade to 11g since many applications use hard coded passwords in scripts and routines which cannot be easily changed.

Especially database links in pre 11g databases which logon to release 11g databases with case sensitive passwords must be taken care of. The passwords for those database links must be recreated in upper case because Oracle stores these passwords in upper case even if the original password in the 11g database is created in lower or mixed case.

% It might be necessary to disable case sensitive passwords if it is not possible to            modify scripts and routines which log on to an 11g database or use database            links until all necessary changes to all scripts have been applied.

Keep in mind that the parameter sec_case_sensitive_login is a dynamic parameter and that it is possible to change it to TRUE any time with an ALTER SYSTEM command.

%  In 11g it is possible to check if a password is a case sensitive password. The            data dictionary view dba_users has been added the new column            password_versions.

           The value 10g indicates a user account which still uses the old case insensitive            password.

           The value 10g 11g indicates an user account with a case sensitive password.

SYSTEM @ orcl111 SQL> SELECT username, password_versions AS versions,
                       FROM dba_users; 

USERNAME                       VERSIONS
------------------------------ --------
MGMT_VIEW                      10G 11G 
SYS                            10G 11G 
SYSTEM                         10G 11G 
DBSNMP                         10G 11G 
SYSMAN                         10G 11G 
LUTZ                           10G  
OUTLN                          10G 11G 
FLOWS_FILES                    10G 11G 
EXFSYS                         10G 11G 
WMSYS                          10G 11G 
XDB                            10G 11G 
FLOWS_030000                   10G 11G 
DIP                            10G 11G 
APEX_PUBLIC_USER               10G 11G 
ORACLE_OCM                     10G 11G 
TSMSYS                         10G 11G 
XS$NULL                        10G 11G 

19 rows selected.


This is an excerpt from the new book Oracle 11g New Features: Expert Guide to the Important New Features by John Garmany, Steve Karam, Lutz Hartmann, V. J. Jain, Brian Carr.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off.


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