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11g DDL Limitations for Flashback Data Archive

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

Oracle 11g New Features Tips

A flashback archive guarantees the capture of all changes to customer data.  Therefore, all DDL operations which would invalidate the history data are not allowed for tables with flashback archiving enabled. These operations include:

  • Dropping the table

  • Truncating the table

  • Renaming the table

  • Dropping or removing columns of the table

In the flashback archive, there is a column mapping table which is used to map columns in the history table to columns in the original table.


----------   ------ ---   - ----------- ------  -------------------------
    910480                               COL1        NUMBER  COL1
    910480                               COL2        NUMBER  COL2

% The internal tables in the flashback archive cannot be dropped directly. They            are automatically dropped with a DROP FLASHBACK ARCHIVE statement.

% Dropping a flashback archive does not drop the tablespaces used by it. They            could also contain other data!

What's new about UNDO and transactions in 11g?

Optimized UNDO BACKUP with RMAN

Prior to Oracle database 11g, RMAN always backed up all undo with a full backup, including undo for committed transactions. However, in 11g, RMAN  is able to skip undo information for transactions which have already committed and which the undo_retention time has exceeded. RMAN can do this because the committed undo is not needed for a recovery operation. This makes backups of the undo tablespace a lot faster, though it does not have any impact on flashback operations.

% BACKUP UNDO OPTIMIZATION is an RMAN feature which is enabled            by DEFAULT  and cannot be switched off


As of Oracle 10g, DBAs were unable to apply undo on a whole transaction, despite advances in reading data from past points, and manually viewing undo sql with flashback table.  11g does bring the DBA the ability to flashback transaction.  Furthermore, using flashback data archive allows for UNDO data to no longer be time consuming by using dedicated tablespaces.  Due to increasing regulation of customer data in various organizations, flashback data archive offers automated transaction tracking over large spans of time.   To ensure a seamless process, in 11g startup FBDA is used automatically as a background process for flashback data archiver.  Furthermore, in 11g RMAN has also been improved when it comes to backing up, and undo commands. 

New 11g features covered in this chapter:

  • Transaction Backouts using PL/SQL

  • Transaction Backouts using OEM

  • Using Flashback Data Archive?UNDO and other 11g transactions
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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