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Don Burleson Blog 







Smallfile tablespace tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 21, 2015


Question:  What is a smallfile tablespace?  How is a smallfile tablespace different from a bigfile tablespace?

Answer:  A smallfile tablespace is very different from a bigfile tablespace.   The smallfile tablespace is the "traditional" Oracle tablespace, and the distinction was only made in 10g with the introduction of the bigfile tablespace.

The default for tablespace types is a smallfile tablespace but the default can be changed at create database time:



While bigfile tablespaces suffer from limitations (must be locally managed tablespace (LMT) with automatic segment-space management (bitmap freelists)), the old-fashioned smallfile tablespaces the perfect for almost all types of Oracle data tables and indexes.

One of the greatest misconceptions about the smallfile tablespace is that is is only for small data files.  The "traditional" smallfile tablespaces can hold billions of bytes of data, and smallfile tablespaces should be used in all cases except true VLDB data warehouse system that require the specialized features of the bigfile tablespaces.


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