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Oracle file group repository overview

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson


Question:  I want to make incremental backups every night and track the relative generation of my backup data files.


I remember that IBM mainframes had generation data groups (GDG's), and I need to find a similar tool for Oracle where I can treat a groups of related files together and track their relative generation.  What is the equivalent if a GDG in Oracle, for tracking generations of related files?  I know about the RMAN retention


Answer: Starting in 10gr2 we see a push toward information provisioning tools and the new "file group repository" features which is very similar to a GDG, especially for the versioning of related datasets.  The new file group repository (FGR) allows you to create groups of related data (using the DBMS_FILE_GROUP package) and then track and version the data. 


This allows the Oracle DBA to use the file group repository to create incarnations of related files and manage them over time, as a single unit, dubbed a "version".


The Oracle documentation on information provisioning notes that the file group repository has special uses for Oracle Streams:

"Some data must be shared as it is created or changed, rather than occasionally shared in bulk.


Oracle Streams can stream data between databases, nodes, or blade farms in a grid and can keep two or more copies synchronized as updates are made."

The Oracle docs on information provisioning note the file group repository architecture with this simple example"

"In this scenario, a business sells books and music over the internet. The business runs weekly reports on the sales data in the database and stores these reports in two HTML files on a computer file system.


The book_sales.htm file contains the report for book sales, and the music_sales.htm file contains the report for music sales.


The business wants to store these weekly reports in a file group repository at the remote database.


Every week, the two reports are generated on the database, transferred to the computer system running the database, and added to the repository as a file group version.


The file group repository stores all of the file group versions that contain the reports for each week."


Description of Figure 16-5 follows


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