52.  What is an Oracle Instance?

The Oracle system processes, also known as Oracle background processes, provide functions for the user processes—functions that would otherwise be done by the user processes themselves

Oracle database-wide system memory is known as the SGA, the system global area or shared global area. The data and control structures in the SGA are shareable, and all the Oracle background processes and user processes can use them.

The combination of the SGA and the Oracle background processes is known as an Oracle instance

 

53.  What are the four Oracle system processes that must always be up and running for the database to be useable

            The four Oracle system processes that must always be up and running for the database to be useable include DBWR (Database Writer), LGWR (Log Writer), SMON (System Monitor), and PMON (Process Monitor).

 

54.  What are database files, control files and log files. How many of these files should a database have at least? Why?

Database Files

The database files hold the actual data and are typically the largest in size. Depending on their sizes, the tables (and other objects) for all the user accounts can go in one database file—but that’s not an ideal situation because it does not make the database structure very flexible for controlling access to storage for different users, putting the database on different disk drives, or backing up and restoring just part of the database.

You must have at least one database file but usually, more than one files are used. In terms of accessing and using the data in the tables and other objects, the number (or location) of the files is immaterial.

The database files are fixed in size and never grow bigger than the size at which they were created

Control Files

The control files and redo logs support the rest of the architecture. Any database must have at least one control file, although you typically have more than one to guard against loss. The control file records the name of the database, the date and time it was created, the location of the database and redo logs, and the synchronization information to ensure that all three sets of files are always in step. Every time you add a new database or redo log file to the database, the information is recorded in the control files.

Redo Logs

Any database must have at least two redo logs. These are the journals for the database; the redo logs record all changes to the user objects or system objects. If any type of failure occurs, the changes recorded in the redo logs can be used to bring the database to a consistent state without losing any committed transactions. In the case of non-data loss failure, Oracle can apply the information in the redo logs automatically without intervention from the DBA.

The redo log files are fixed in size and never grow dynamically from the size at which they were created.

 

55.  What is ROWID?

            The ROWID is a unique database-wide physical address for every row on every table. Once assigned (when the row is first inserted into the database), it never changes until the row is deleted or the table is dropped.

The ROWID consists of the following three components, the combination of which uniquely identifies the physical storage location of the row.

Ø      Oracle database file number, which contains the block with the rows

Ø      Oracle block address, which contains the row

Ø      The row within the block (because each block can hold many rows)

The ROWID is used internally in indexes as a quick means of retrieving rows with a particular key value. Application developers also use it in SQL statements as a quick way to access a row once they know the ROWID

 

56.  What is Oracle Block? Can two Oracle Blocks have the same address?

            Oracle “formats” the database files into a number of Oracle blocks when they are first created—making it easier for the RDBMS software to manage the files and easier to read data into the memory areas.

The block size should be a multiple of the operating system block size. Regardless of the block size, the entire block is not available for holding data; Oracle takes up some space to manage the contents of the block. This block header has a minimum size, but it can grow.

These Oracle blocks are the smallest unit of storage. Increasing the Oracle block size can improve performance, but it should be done only when the database is first created.

Each Oracle block is numbered sequentially for each database file starting at 1. Two blocks can have the same block address if they are in different database files.

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