A hidden Oracle utility is not a utility that is
physically hidden in the Oracle software. Rather, a hidden utility is an
executable or PL/SQL package that is either undocumented or is included
such that the documentation is difficult to find. For example, some
PL/SQL packages are never loaded by the Oracle installer, yet their
definitions remain in the operating system files.
The main directories where Oracle utilities reside are here:
- $ORACLE_HOME/bin -- This contains the binary executables used by
the Oracle server. Most of the tools discussed in the Oracle
Utilities book reside in this directory.
- $ORACLE_HOME/plsql/demo -- This contains a useful collection of
SQL scripts related to many utilities, including the
- $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin -- This contains many SQL scripts used
for creating PL/SQL packages and their required environments.
- $ORACLE_HOME/sqlplus/admin -- This contains scripts used with
autotrace and other utilities.
- $ORACLE_HOME/otrace/admin -- This is the administration
directory for the Oracle Trace diagnostic tool.
- $ORACLE_HOME/otrace/sysman -- This is used by utilities such as
oemctl and the Oracle Management Server (OMS).
- $ORACLE_HOME/otrace/lib -- This contains facility files used
with the oerr utility.
Many of these undocumented utilities such as TKPROF have surfaced
from the obscure and entered mainstream Oracle toolkits while others
remain hidden inside the O/S.
Finding hidden Oracle utilities
The easiest way to find hidden utilities is to look for new packages
within Oracle. The following query compares the packages in Oracle10g
with new packages in Oracle11g, using a database link between two
instances, each on a different release of Oracle:
owner = 'SYS'
object_type = 'PACKAGE BODY'
owner = 'SYS'
object_type = 'PACKAGE BODY';
This query will quickly display all package bodies owned by SYS that
exist in Oracle11g but not in Oracle10g.
Finding hidden Oracle executable utilities
Discovering new binaries entails comparing two directories in the
operating system and ignoring the duplicates entries. The dircmp
UNIX command can be used to find only new entries within two
dircmp -- s
Here we compare the bin directory of 9i with Oracle 10.2.
Again, these are just a small sample of the hidden
utilities with Oracle. For a complete expert discussion of these
advanced Oracle utilities, see the book "Advanced
Oracle Utilities: The Definitive Reference".