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How Oracle Snapshots Work

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

Distributed Oracle Data Warehouses


For snapshots small enough to be totally repopulated, the following steps are necessary. Note that it is possible to do a REFRESH COMPLETE or a REFRESH FORCE rather than a cron job, but using a cron is a simple way to guarantee that the replicated table will be fully repopulated. (A cron job is a method of scheduling tasks inside UNIX) Oracle also allows the REFRESH FAST option as an alternative from fully re-populating the replicated table. With REFRESH FAST, Oracle keeps copies of all of the table changes and moves them to the replicated table a specific intervals that are specified when the snapshot is created. To avoid the REFRESH FAST option with a Unix cron, the following two steps are required:

1. Create the snapshot with the REFRESH COMPLETE option.

2. Alter oracle.cron to drop and re-create the snapshot.

For snapshots on large tables, you may want to use the REFRESH FAST option. For REFRESH FAST, the following three steps are required:

1. On the destination system--Create the snapshot with the REFRESH FAST option signed on as user SYS. (Be sure to define a database link with CONNECT TO XXX IDENTIFIED BY ZZZ and ensure that user XXX has select privileges against the master table.

2. On the master system --Create a snapshot log on each master table.

3. Bounce the DESTINATION SYSTEM to begin the refreshes based on the interval specified in the CREATE SNAPSHOT statement.

Listing 9.1 shows

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing", copyright 1997.
If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the book Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference , with over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

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