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January 2018

Licensed for Advanced Compression? Don’t forget the network

We often think of Advanced Compression being exclusively about compressing data “at rest”, ie, on some sort of storage device.  And don’t get me wrong, if we consider just that part of Advanced Compression, that still covers a myriad of opportunities that could yield benefits for your databases and database applications:

  • Heat maps
  • Automatic Data Optimization
  • XML, JSON and LOB compression (including de-duplication)
  • Compression on backups
  • Compression on Data Pump files
  • Additional compression options on indexes and tables
  • Compressed Flashback Data Archive storage
  • Storage snapshot compression

However, if you are licensed for the option, there are other things that you can also take advantage of when it comes to compression of data on the network.

Keep your orapw password file secure

This is a small demo I did when I’ve found a database password file (orapw) lying around in /tmp with -rw-rw-rw- permissions, to show how this is a bad idea. People think that the orapw file only contains hashes to validate a password given, and forget that it can be used to connect to a remote database without password.

I can easily imagine why the orapwd was there in /tmp. To build a standby database, you need to copy the password file to the standby server. If you don’t have direct access to the oracle user, but only a sudo access for ‘security reasons’, you can’t scp easily. Then you copy the file to /tmp, make it readable by all users, and you can scp with your user.

In this demo I don’t even have access to the host. I’ve only access to connect to a PDB with the SCOTT users, reated with utlsampl.sql, with those additional privileges, a read access on $ORACLE_HOME/dbs:


Following on from a Twitter reference and an update to an old posting about a side effect of  constraints on the work done inserting data, I decided to have a closer look at the more general picture of default values and inserts. Here’s a script that I’ve tested against,, and (original install, no patches applied in all cases):