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Oracle ifile tips 

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 12, 2015

Question:  What is an Oracle ifile, and how is the ifile used within Oracle parameter files?

Answer:  The Oracle ifile ("include file") was introduced as a way to include a smaller parameter file within another Oracle parameter file.  For example, we can embed a common listener.ora parameter file inside a regular listener.ora file by adding the embedded code.  In this ifile example, we include a file in /tmp called listener_master.ora:


Oracle supports up to three levels of ifile nesting allowing you to have an ifile within an ifile, within an ifile.

The ifile is most commonly used in large environments when you want to include one tnsnames.ora file within many other tnsnames.ora files.

According to some Oracle experts, the ifile facility was designed for the init.ora file and ifile is not supported for the listener.ora, sqlnet.ora and protocol.ora files, but Oracle eBusiness Suite (EBS) release 11 uses ifile in their parameter files, ostensibly for reasons of customizations.  With a ifile, you can leave the original file intact and not wonder what was added later.

Further, there is little mention of the ifile facility on the Oracle documentation, but it does appear on the Oracle 10g release 2 documentation.

Personally, I do not use ifile, since most environments are static enough that the ifile is not worth the trouble.

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