Oracle Database DATAPATCH Parameters and Pre-requisite Check (sanity_checks)

Oracle database patching is one of the major processes/actions if you are a DBA/System Admin handling huge oracle database platform…patching is a must to protect your organizations data as serious security vulnerabilities will be fixed/mitigated with these patches.  Oracle releases quarterly patches (every 3 months) and they are called RU (release updates) and they are cumulative patches.  So, if you “miss”one the next one will contain fixes from previous patches. And recently Oracle release MRP’s (Monthly Recommended Patches) on top of your base RU for fixing operational bugs that you might face afterwards.

For Non-DBA readers the process of patching takes two phases:

Phase 1: Patching the database on binary level

Phase 2: Patching the database it-self from SQL level

Of course there are pre-requisite steps such as downloading the patch itself,  downloading the latest OPatch utility (java based utility)…I have blogged many times about “patching process”and you can check my old posts about this topic:

The new thing I want to shed-light about in this blog/article is the datapatch parameters (really useful) that most technical analysts are not aware of….since by default and based on standard procedure in “Phase 2” we run the following datapatch command while the database is up and running:


./datapatch -verbose

Instead run the help command:

./datapatch –help

And there is a long list of parameters with their explanation….one parameter that is really helpful and interesting is sanity_checks

It will report to you if your database environment is ready for SQL patching or not….this is great to know in advance before any maintenance window you are planning to patch your database system in.


./datapatch -sanity_checks

A long list of output will be generated and displayed and will report to you warning messages …for example in my sandbox environment PDB2 pluggable database is in “mount”state :

Interesting part also, it will check third party security products that are used as for multiple purposes such as DAM (database activity monitoring) and VA (Vulnerability Assessment Scans) and they are IBM Guardium and Imperva


Oracle Database Listener Log Rotation

Oracle database listener is the TCP/IP communication protocol that end-connections from different sources (Applications, Services, Client Apps….etc) use to connect to the back-end Oracle database system.

The listener logs every authentication taking place in a listener log file (XML, and TEXT) formats. The listener log text format accumulates in size over time and with the growth of the size of this file this… might impact your database authentication performance. In addition, Listener log file is a good source for “forensic” investigation . So, it must be retained some time based on your internal policies and needs.

How to rotate your listener log file ?

Add the following 2 parameters in your listener.ora file ( located traditional in the following path $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin )



Reference Documentation for further insights:

Its worth stating that database listener will not rotate automatically….A listener restart is required (not reload).

Oracle data patch error Archived patch directory is empty

After you apply patches on the binary-level, the next step is to run “data patch” to apply the patches on SQL-level. However, I faced a situation where when running “data patch” an error was raised as shown below with full output:

Interim patch 33808367 (OJVM RELEASE UPDATE: (33808367)):

Binary registry: Installed

SQL registry: Not installed

Current state of release update SQL patches:

Binary registry: Release_Update 220703022223: Installed

SQL registry:

Applied Release_Update 220331125408 successfully on 27-MAY-22 AM

Adding patches to installation queue and performing prereq checks…done

Installation queue:

The following interim patches will be rolled back:

33561310 (OJVM RELEASE UPDATE: (33561310))

Patch 34133642 (Database Release Update : (34133642)):

Apply from Release_Update 220331125408 to Release_Update 220703022223

The following interim patches will be applied:

33808367 (OJVM RELEASE UPDATE: (33808367))

Error: prereq checks failed!

patch 33561310: Archived patch directory is empty

Prereq check failed, exiting without installing any patches.

Please refer to MOS Note 1609718.1 and/or the invocation log


for information on how to resolve the above errors.

Why This Happened ?

when you apply JAVA Patch (JVM) the tool will automatically roll-back the previous patch first and then apply the new one, the tool couldn’t find metadata information regarding previous patch for JVM component under sqlpatch directory (it seems it was deleted !) so the error thrown was:

Archived patch directory is empty

so what should you in this case ?

my recommendation is to roll-back the current java patch that is installed on the binary-level (you can check that using $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory command to find the patch id OR using dba_registry_sqlpatch view)

after that run the rollback-command:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch rollback -id xxxxxx

Then, re-apply the “old” JVM patch, and the new JVM together at one shot on the binary level (of course applying the old JVAM patch on the binary level will the create the missing metadata directory under “sqlpatch”) ……after that re-run data patch:


./datapatch -verbose

I Hope This Helps !

Installing Workspace Manager in Oracle 19c

**** Installation Step:

sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/owminst.plb

**** Installation Verification:

SQL> select dbms_wm.getWorkspace from dual;




SQL> select comp_name,status from dba_registry where comp_name like ‘%Workspace%’;





Oracle Workspace Manager


Oracle 19c Spatial and ORA-600 [kdsgrp1-kdsgrp] error

if your database system is based on Oracle 19c version (which should be by now since 19c is the long term supported release) and your database system is using Oracle Spatial component (to check if its installed is through querying DBA_REGISTERY view) you might be hitting ORA-600 error.

if you check your alert log and trace files you might be hitting: ORA-600 [kdsgrp1-kdsgrp]

Oracle is releasing “Spatial patch bundles” that gets released AFTER the regular RU (Release Update) that gets released on quarterly basis.

This error ORA-600 [kdsgrp1-kdsgrp] is an indication of potential index corruption (domain index). So you will need t apply the latest Spatial Patch bundle associated with your current version and then rebuild indexes.

of course its always a good idea to open a case with Oracle with ORA-600 related errors, and for reference: Doc ID 2514624.1

How to View/List All ORA-XXXX Errors in your Oracle Database System

As you might know Oracle database system throws exception through ORA-XXXX message formats which has a meaning for the problem/issue you are facing.

Ever wondered how can you view/list all of these predefined exceptions in Oracle….I will show you by giving you an example of account being in a Locked state and trying to authenticate/connect against it you will face the famous ORA-28000 error exception:

The list of ORA-XXXX errors are defined in a file called “oraus.msg” under $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/mesg directory:

Oracle Database Immutable Tables

Immutable tables is a new Oracle database feature introduced in 19c lately and they are “read-only” tables that prevent unauthorized data modifications. The objective of having immutable tables is to have “insert only” table to protect against insider threat (someone with access attempting to modify data) and external hackers. Moreover, immutable table must have retention period both for the immutable table and for rows within the immutable table. Rows become obsolete after the specified row retention period. Only obsolete rows can be deleted from the immutable table.

If you are wondering by now what is the difference between Blockchain tables and Immutable Tables, you can first read my blog post about blockchain tables here :

Also, Oracle has a good summarized table comparison:

Example of creating immutable table (that can’t be dropped for 15 days, and inserted row can’t be deleted until 20 days are past from the time of insertion):

SQL> CREATE IMMUTABLE TABLE HR.trade_ledger (id NUMBER, luser VARCHAR2(40), value NUMBER)



SQL> insert into HR.trade_ledger values (‘100′,’Emad’,’2210′);

SQL> commit;

If you attempt to delete records from the table, as expected an error will be thrown:

SQL> delete from HR.trade_ledger ;

ORA-05715: operation not allowed on the blockchain or immutable table

You can change/modify retention period of a table to a “higher” value:


Oracle datapump error ORA-39077: unable to subscribe agent KUPC$A_1_083325450472000

In an Oracle 19c database, I noticed export datapump is failing…after inspecting the logs, the following were the errors:

Oracle datapump error ORA-39077: unable to subscribe agent KUPC$A_1_083325450472000

Connected to: Oracle Database 19c Enterprise Edition Release – Production

ORA-31626: job does not exist

ORA-31638: cannot attach to job HOT_DB_EXPORT for user SYS

ORA-06512: at “SYS.KUPV$FT”, line 1142

ORA-06512: at “SYS.KUPV$FT”, line 1744

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_SYS_ERROR”, line 95

ORA-06512: at “SYS.KUPV$FT_INT”, line 498

ORA-39077: unable to subscribe agent KUPC$A_1_083325450472000 to queue “KUPC$C_1_20220308083324_0”

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_SYS_ERROR”, line 95

ORA-06512: at “SYS.KUPC$QUE_INT”, line 294

ORA-00972: identifier is too long

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_AQADM_SYS”, line 9306

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_PRVTAQIS”, line 1873

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_PRVTAQIS”, line 3802

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_RULE_ADM”, line 296

ORA-06512: at “SYS.DBMS_RULEADM_INTERNAL”, line 106

The solution is to recreate datapump related catalogs manually:

connect to the database as SYSDB

sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/catdph.sql

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/prvtdtde.plb

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/catdpb.sql

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/dbmspump.sql

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/utlrp.sql

Oracle 19c Upgrade Error ORA-00119: invalid specification for system parameter DISPATCHERS

After upgrading many databases to Oracle 19c, I have faced an interesting error when I reached to the step of switch my environment variables to 19c binaries and starting the database in upgrade mode:

sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL> startup upgrade;

ORA-00119: invalid specification for system parameter DISPATCHERS

ORA-00109: invalid value for attribute PRESENTATION: oracle.aurora.server.SGiopServer

after checking I found out that currently this is the parameter vaule:

SQL> show parameter dispatchers

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE

———————————— ———– ——————————

dispatchers                          string      (PROTOCOL=TCP)(PRE=oracle.auro


basically DISPATCHERS configures dispatcher processes in the shared server architecture:

in 19c the expected value is ‘(PROTOCOL=TCP)

so, either use alter system command or update your init.ora file and startup the database again in upgrade mode !


Oracle 21c New Feature in SQL*Plus – set jsonprint

New sqlplus feature is introduced in Oracle 21c release sql plus for json output format, to illustrate:

SQL> show jsonprint

jsonprint NORMAL

SQL> select json(‘[{fname:”Emad”},{lname:”al-mousa”}]’) from dual;




SQL> set jsonprint pretty

SQL> show jsonprint

jsonprint PRETTY

SQL> select json(‘[{fname:”Emad”},{lname:”al-mousa”}]’) from dual;





    “fname” : “Emad”



    “lname” : “al-mousa”