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Oracle GoldenGate Extract Internals, Part III

This is the third post in Oracle GoldenGate Extract Internals series (links to part I and part II).

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at various queries that the Extract process uses against the database. As before, we will start by examining the strace output:

nanosleep({1, 0}, NULL)                 = 0
read(20, "\1\"\0\0\255\1\0\0\217\0\0\0H\200\366\256\5\24\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0"..., 1024000) = 1024000
write(16, "\0$\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\3N'\7\0\0\0\2\0\0\0`\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\7\0011"..., 36) = 36
read(17, "\0\351\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\6\1\"\375\2\0\0\0\0\0\2\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0"..., 8208) = 233
write(16, "\0 \0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\3N(\10\0\0\0\2\0\0\0`\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\7\0011", 32) = 32
read(17, "\0\343\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\6\1\"\7\1\0\0\0\0\0\2\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0"..., 8208) = 227
write(16, "\0K\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\3N)\t\0\0\0\2\0\0\0`\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\7,/"..., 75) = 75
read(17, "\0\341\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\6\1\"\375\1\0\0\0\0\0\2\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\0"..., 8208) = 225
write(16, "\0Q\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\3N*\n\0\0\0\2\0\0\0`\0\0\0\0\0\0\0\7,/"..., 81) = 81
read(17, "\0\254\0\0\6\0\0\0\0\0\4\1\0\0\0)\0\1\0\0\0\0{\5\0\0\0\0\n\0\0\0"..., 8208) = 172
lseek(20, 227328, SEEK_SET)             = 227328
nanosleep({1, 0}, NULL)                 = 0

File descriptors 16 and 17 are the pipes for one of the bequeath connections we have with the database. There are four queries being submitted each cycle (following the same order as those being sent to a database):

SELECT DECODE(archived, 'YES', 1, 0), status  FROM v$log WHERE thread# = :ora_thread AND sequence# = :ora_seq_no
SELECT MAX(sequence#)  FROM v$log WHERE thread# = :ora_thread AND status in ('INVALIDATED', 'CURRENT', 'ACTIVE')
SELECT DECODE(status, 'STALE', 1, 0) FROM v$logfile WHERE member = :log_name

The purpose of these statements is to constantly keep an eye on what’s happening inside the database by regularly polling the contents of the above views. What’s worth mentioning about the above queries is that all of them will cause extra I/O to the controlfile. On my test database, that equaled 640KB each cycle (40 I/O requests, 16KB each). In most cases, this is nothing to worry about–just keep the additional I/O in mind in case your controfile is already a hot spot.

The redo log stores object identifiers (a number), which means that when the Extract process encounters a supported operation, it needs a way to find out more details. This is achieved by a couple of statements against the data dictionary. The following statement will be issued first:

SELECT,, o.dataobj#, o.type#, (SELECT bitand(, 1) FROM$ t WHERE t.obj# = :ora_object_id) FROM sys.obj$ o, sys.user$ u WHERE o.obj# = :ora_object_id  AND decode(bitand(o.flags, 128), 128, 'YES', 'NO') = 'NO'  AND o.owner# = u.user# AND decode(bitand(o.flags, 16), 0, 'N', 16, 'Y', 'N') = 'N' AND (o.type# in (1, 19, 20, 34) OR EXISTS (SELECT 'x' FROM$ t WHERE t.obj# = :ora_object_id))

In case the object turns out to be a table, it will be checked whether it is an overflow segment for an IOT:

SELECT nvl(iot_name, 'NULL')   FROM all_tables WHERE owner = :owner AND table_name = :object_name

This allows the Extract process to figure out whether it needs to process changes, in case the overflow segment belongs to an IOT from which we’re capturing the data. In case the object in question turns out to be an index, a corresponding check will be made to see whether it’s an underlying index for an IOT:

SELECT table_owner, table_name FROM all_indexes WHERE index_name = :object_name AND         owner = :owner AND index_type = 'IOT - TOP'

This is required so that the changes made to an IOT can be captured, in case it belongs to an interested tables list.

The above queries will be executed regardless of whether or not you’re interested in capturing changes from the particular object, because the queries are required before you can make that decision. In case this is something we’re interested in, additional information will be requested:

select object_type, object_name, subobject_name from dba_objects where object_id = :ora_object_id

The above statement is necessarily in case we’re dealing with the partitioned object and, depending on the result, one of the following two statements will be executed:

select ts.bigfile from dba_tablespaces ts,  all_tables t  where t.table_name = :ora_object_name and  t.tablespace_name = ts.tablespace_name and rownum = 1
select t.bigfile from dba_tablespaces t,  all_tab_partitions p  where p.partition_name = :ora_subobject_name and   p.tablespace_name = t.tablespace_name and rownum=1

There is obviously an issue with the above two statements. Neither of them specify the object owner and, in case you have two (or more) objects with the same name but in different schemas, the above statements may return incorrect information, if these objects are located in different tablespace types.

It’s interesting how the issue is shoved away using rownum = 1 condition. What could the potential impact be? One thought that immediately comes to mind is that the way ROWIDs are organized is different between small- and big-file tablespaces (the part being used for a relative data file number in a small file tablespace is used for a block number in case of a big file tablespace), so some functionality that potentially relies on that could be affected. I’ve got a couple of ideas, but I’ll hold these until I do some testing.

What else is interesting? The big thing is that none of the information on columns is being resolved. All I’m going to say right now is that column information will be fetched by the Replicat process using the destination system’s data dictionary. Combine this with the fact that an online data dictionary does not store historical information about an object’s metadata, and you have a perfect recipe to get yourself into various nasty situations (which is exactly the reason why Oracle Streams relies on MVDD instead of the online data dictionary). But more on that when we get to the Replicat process internals series.

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