Top 50 Oracle Goldengate Interview Questions To Get the Job!

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Top 50 Oracle Goldengate Interview Questions To Get the Job!

What type of Topology does Oracle Goldengate support?

GoldenGate supports the following topologies. More details can be found here.

  • Unidirectional
  • Bidirectional
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Broadcast
  • Consolidation
  • Cascasding

What are the main components of the Oracle Goldengate replication?

The replication configuration consists of the following processes.

  • Manager
  • Extract
  • Pump
  • Replicate

What database does Oracle GoldenGate support for replication?

  • Oracle Database
  • TimesTen
  • MySQL
  • IBM DB2
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Informix
  • Teradata
  • Sybase
  • Enscribe
  • SQL/MX

For the latest list, look here.

What transaction types does Oracle Goldengate support for Replication?

Goldengate supports both DML and DDL Replication from the source to target.

What are the supplemental logging pre-requisites?

The following supplemental logging is required.

  • Database supplemental logging
  • Object level logging

Why is Supplemental logging required for Replication?

When a transaction is committed on the source database, only new data is written to the Redo log. However for Oracle to apply these transactions on the destination database, the before image key values are required to identify the effected rows. This data is also placed in the trail file and used to identify the rows on the destination, using the key value the transactions are executed against them.

List important considerations for bi-directional replication?

The customer should consider the following points in an active-active replication environment.

  • Primary Key: Helps to identify conflicts and Resolve them.
  • Sequences: Are not supported. The work around is use to use odd/even, range or concatenate sequences.
  • Triggers: These should be disabled or suppressed to avoid using uniqueness issue
  • Data Looping: This can easy avoided using OGG itself
  • LAG: This should be minimized. If a customer says that there will not be any LAG due to network or huge load, then we don’t need to deploy CRDs. But this is not the case always as there would be some LAG and these can cause Conflicts.
  • CDR (Conflict Detection & Resolution): OGG has built in CDRs for all kind of DMLs that can be used to detect and resolve them.
  • Packaged Application: These are not supported as it may contain data types which are not support by OGG or it might not allow the application modification to work with OGG.

Are OGG binaries supported on ASM Cluster File System (ACFS)?

Yes, you can install and configure OGG on ACFS.

Are OGG binaries supported on the Database File System (DBFS)? What files can be stored in DBFS?

No, OGG binaries are not supported on DBFS. You can however store parameter files, data files (trail files), and checkpoint files on DBFS.

What is the default location of the GLOBALS file?

A GLOBALS file is located under Oracle GoldenGate installation directory (OGG HOME)

Where can filtering of data for a column be configured?

Filtering of the columns of a table can be set at the Extract, Pump or Replicat level.

Is it a requirement to configure a PUMP extract process in OGG replication?

A PUMP extract is an option, but it is highly recommended to use this to safe guard against network failures. Normally it is configured when you are setting up OGG replication across the network.

What are the differences between the Classic and integrated Capture?

Classic Capture:

  • The Classic Capture mode is the traditional Extract process that accesses the database redo logs (optionally archive logs) to capture the DML changes occurring on the objects specified in the parameter files.
  • At the OS level, the GoldenGate user must be a part of the same database group which owns the database redo logs.
  • This capture mode is available for other RDBMS as well.
  • There are some data types that are not supported in Classic Capture mode.
  • Classic capture can’t read data from the compressed tables/tablespaces.

Integrated Capture (IC):

  • In the Integrated Capture mode, GoldenGate works directly with the database log mining server to receive the data changes in the form of logical change records (LCRs).
  • IC mode does not require any special setup for the databases using ASM, transparent data encryption, or Oracle RAC.
  • This feature is only available for oracle databases in Version 11.2.0.3 or higher.
  •  It also supports various object types which were previously not supported by Classic Capture.
  • This Capture mode supports extracting data from source databases using compression.
  • Integrated Capture can be configured in an online or downstream mode.

List the minimum parameters that can be used to create the extract process?

The following are the minimium required parameters which must be defined in the extract parameter file.

  • EXTRACT NAME
  • USERID
  • EXTTRAIL
  • TABLE

What are macros?

Macro is an easier way to build your parameter file. Once a macro is written it can be called from different parameter files. Common parameters like username/password and other parameters can be included in these macros. A macro can either be another parameter file or a library.

Where can macros be invoked?

The macros can be called from the following parameter files.

  • Manager
  • Extract
  • Replicat
  • Gobals

How is a macro defined?

A macro statement consists of the following.

  • Name of the Macro
  • Parameter list
  • Macro body

Sample:
MACRO #macro_name
PARAMS (#param1, #param2, …)
BEGIN
< macro_body >
END;

I want to configure multiple extracts to write to the same exttrail file? Is this possible?

Only one Extract process can write to one exttrail at a time. So you can’t configure multiple extracts to write to the same exttrail.

What type of Encryption is supported in Oracle Goldengate?

Oracle Goldengate provides 3 types of Encryption.

  • Data Encryption using Blow fish.
  • Password Encryption.
  • Network Encryption.

What are the different password encrytion options available with OGG?

You can encrypt a password in OGG using

  • Blowfish algorithm and
  • Advance Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm

What are the different encryption levels in AES?

You can encrypt the password/data using the AES in three different keys

a) 128 bit
b) 192 bit and
c) 256 bit

Is there a way to check the syntax of the commands in the parameter file without actually running the GoldenGate process

Yes, you can place the SHOWSYNTAX parameter in the parameter file and try starting. If there is any error you will see it.

How can you increase the maximum size of the read operation into the buffer that holds the results of the reads from the transaction log?

If you are using the Classical Extract you may use the TRANSLOGOPTION ASMBUFSIZE parameter to control the read size for ASM Databases.

What information can you expect when there us data in the discard file?

When data is discarded, the discard file can contain:
1. Discard row details
2. Database Errors
3. Trail file number

What command can be used to switch writing the trail data to a new trail file?

You can use the following command to write the trail data to a new trail file.
SEND EXTRACT ext_name, ROLLOVER

How can you determine if the parameters for a process was recently changed

When ever a process is started, the parameters in the .prm file for the process is written to the process REPORT. You can look at the older process reports to view the parameters which were used to start up the process. By comparing the older and the current reports you can identify the changes in the parameters.

What are some of the key features of GoldenGate 12c?

The following are some of the more interesting features of Oracle GoldenGate 12c:

  • Support for Multitenant Database
  • Coordinated Replicat
  • Integrated Replicat Mode
  • Use of Credential store
  • Use of Wallet and master key
  • Trigger-less DDL replication
  • Automatically adjusts threads when RAC node failure/start
  • Supports RAC PDML Distributed transaction
  • RMAN Support for mined archive logs

What are the installation options available in OGG 12c?

You can install Oracle GoldenGate 12c using in 2 ways:

1) Interactive Installation with OUI – Graphical interface
2) Silent Installation with OUI – Command Interface

What is a Credential Store in OGG 12c?

OGG Crendential Store manages Encrypted Passwords and USERIDs that are used to interact with the local database and Associate them with an Alias. Instead of specifying actual USERID and Password in a command or a parameter file, you can use an alias. The Credential Store is implemented as an autologin wallet within the Oracle Credential Store Framework (CSF).

How to configure Credentail Store in OGG 12c?

Steps to configure Oracle Credential Store are as follows:

1) By Default Credential Store is is located under “dircrd” directory.
If you want to specify a different location use can specidy “CREDENTIALSTORELOCATION” parameter in GLOBALS file.
Example: CREDENTIALSTORELOCATION /u01/app/oracle/OGG_PASSWD
2) Goto OGG home and connect to GGSCI.
cd $OGG_HOME
./ggsci
GGSCI>

What command is used to create the credential store?

ADD CREDENTIALSTORE

How do you add credentials to the credential store?

ALTER CREDENTIALSTORE ADD USER userid,
[PASSWORD password]
[ALIAS alias]
[DOMAIN domain]
Example: GGSCI> ALTER CREDENTIALSTORE ADD USER GGS@orcl, PASSWORD oracle ALIAS extorcl DOMAIN Oracle GoldenGate

How do you retrieve information from the Oracle Credential Store?

GGSCI> INFO CREDENTIALSTORE
OR
GGSCI> INFO CREDENTIALSTORE DOMAIN OracleGoldenGate

What are the different data encyption methods available in OGG 12c?

In OGG 12c you can encrypt data with the following 2 methods:

1) Encrypt Data with Master Key and Wallet
2) Encrypt Data with ENCKEYS

How do you enable Oracle GoldenGate for Oracle database 11.2.0.4?

The database services required to support Oracle GoldenGate capture and apply must be enabled explicitly for an Oracle 11.2.0.4 database. This is required for all modes of Extract and Replicat.

To enable Oracle GoldenGate, set the following database initialization parameter. All instances in Oracle RAC must have the same setting.

ENABLE_GOLDENGATE_REPLICATION=true

How does the Replicat works in a Coordinated Mode?

In a Coordinated Mode Replicat operates as follows:

  1. Reads the Oracle GoldenGate trail.
  2. Performs data filtering, mapping, and conversion.
  3. Constructs SQL statements that represent source database DML or DDL transactions (in committed order).
  4. Applies the SQL to the target through the SQL interface that is supported for the given target database, such as ODBC or the native database interface.

What is the difference between Classic and Coordinated Replicat?

The difference between classic mode and coordinated mode is that Replicat is multi-threaded in coordinated mode. Within a single Replicat instance, multiple threads read the trail independently and apply transactions in parallel. Each thread handles all of the filtering, mapping, conversion, SQL construction, and error handling for its assigned workload. A coordinator thread coordinates the transactions across threads to account for dependencies among the threads.

How do you create a COORDINATED REPLICATE in OGG 12c?

You can create the COORDINATED REPLICATE with the following OGG Command:

ADD REPLICAT rfin, COORDINATED MAXTHREADS 50, EXTTRAIL dirdat/et

If have created a Replicat process in OGG 12c and forgot to specify DISCARDFILE parameter. What will happen?

Starting with OGG 12c, if you don’t specify a DISCARDFILE OGG process now generates a dicard file with default values whenever a process is started with START command through GGSCI.

Is it possible to start OGG EXTRACT at a specific CSN?

Yes, Starting with OGG 12c you can now start Extract at a specific CSN in the transaction log or trail.
Example:
START EXTRACT fin ATCSN 12345
START EXTRACT finance AFTERCSN 67890

Can you talk about parallelism for replicats in Oracle 12c?

Yes. The database parallel process are leveraged on the target database for automatic dependency aware parallel apply.

This key enhancement makes it very easy to maintain throughput and reducing latency. Previously the Replicat process had to manually be broken down into multiple threads.

What are the changes at the pump level in 12c when using integrated delivery?

The trail generated by the extract process is read by Integrated Delivery and Logical Chase Records (LCR) are created. These LCR’S are then shipped over the network to the destination database.

What is the difference between Integrated delivery and Coordinated delivery?

Integrated delivery is the new 12c mechanism of sending extract trail to the destination in an Oracle enviornment. Coordinated delivery is the new mechanism to send data between now-Oracle databases.

List a few parameters which may help improve the Oracle GoldenGate replicat performance?

The parameters below can be used to improve the replicat performance:

  • BATCHSQL
  • GROUPTRANSOPS
  • INSERTAPPEND

What are the areas to monitor in Oracle Goldengate Replication?

The lag and checkpoint latency of the Extract, pump and Replicat processes are normally monitored.

What is the PASSTHRU mode used for?

In pass-through mode, the Extract process does not look up the table definitions, either from the database or from a data definitions file. This increases the throughput of the data pump, as the object definition look-up is bypassed.

What are the most common reasons of an Extract process slowing down?

Some of the possible reasons are:

  • Long running batch transactions on a table.
  • Insufficient memory on the Extract side. Uncommitted, long running transactions can cause writing of a transaction to a temporary area (dirtmp) on disk. Once the transaction is committed it is read from the temporary location on the file system and converted to trail files.
  • Slow or overburdened Network.

What are the most common reasons of the Replicat process slowing down?

Some of the possible reasons are:

  • Large amount of transactions on a particular table.
  • Blocking sessions on the destination database where non-Goldengate transactions are also taking place on the same table as the replicat processing.
  • If using DBFS, writing & reading of trail files may be slow if SGA parameters are not tuned.
  • For slow Replicat’s, latency may be due to missing indexes on target.
  • Replicat having to process Update, delete of rows in very large tables.

My extract was running fine for a long time. All of a sudden it went down. I started the extract processes after 1 hour. What will happen to my committed transactions that occurred in the database during last 1 hour?

OGG checkpoint provides the fault tolerance and make sure that the transaction marked for committed is capture and captured only once. Even if the extract went down abnormally, when you start the process again it reads the checkpoint file to provide the read consistency and transaction recovery.

I have configured Oracle GoldenGate integrated capture process using the default values. As the data load increases I see that extract starts lagging behind by an hour (or more) and database performance degrades. How you will resolve this performance issue?

When operating in integrated capture mode, you must make sure that you have assigned sufficient memory to STREAMS_POOL_SIZE. An undersized STREAMS_POOL_SIZE or limiting the streams pool to use a specific amount of memory can cause troubles.

The best practice is to allocate STREAMS_POOL_SIZE at the instance level and allocate the MAX. SGA at GG process level as below:
SQL> alter system set STREAMS_POOL_SIZE=3G

TRANLOGOPTIONS INTEGRATEDPARAMS (MAX_SGA_SIZE 2048, PARALLELISM 4)

Why would you segregate the tables in a repllication configuration? How would you do it?

In OGG you can configure replicat at the data at the schema level or at the table level using TABLE parameter of extract and MAP parameter of replicat.

For replicating the entire database you can list all the schemas in the database in the extract/replicat parameter file.

Depending the amount of redo generation you can split the tables in a schema in multiple extracts and replicats to improve the performance of data replication. Alternatively youcan also group a set of tables in the confiuration by the application functionality.

Alternatively you may need to remove tables which have long running transactions in a seperate extract process to eliminte lag on the other tables.

Let’s say that you have a schema named SCOTT and it has 100 hundred tables.

Out of these hundred tables, 50 tables are heavily utilized by application.

To improve the overall replication performance you create 3 extract and 3 replicats as follows:

Ext_1/Rep_1 –> 25 tables
Ext_2/Rep_2 –> 25 tables
Ext_3/Rep_3 –> 50 tables
Ext_1/Rep_1 and Ext_2/Rep_2 contains 25 table each which are heavily utilized or generate more redo.
Ext_3/Rep_3 contains all the other 50 tables which are least used.

How can we report on long running transactions?

The WARNLONGTRANS parameter can be specified with a threshold time that a transaction can be open before Extract writes a warning message to the ggs error log.

Example: WARNLONGTRANS 1h, CHECKINTERVAL 10m

What command can be used to view the checkpoint information for the extract process?

Use the following command to view the Extract checkpoint information.
GGSCI> info extract , showch
GGSCI> info extract ext_fin, showch

How is the RESTARTCOLLISION parameter different from HANDLECOLLISIONS?

The RESTARTCOLLISION parameter is used to skip ONE transaction only in a situation when the GoldenGate process crashed and performed an operation (INSERT, UPDATE & DELETE) in the database but could not checkpoint the process information to the checkpoint file/table. On recovery it will skip the transaction and AUTOMATICALLY continue to the next operation in the trail file.

When using HANDLECOLLISION GoldenGate will continue to overwritten and process transactions until the parameter is removed from the parameter files and the processes restarted.

How do you view the data which has been extracted from the redo logs?

The logdump utility is used to open the trail files and look at the actual records that have been extracted from the redo or the archive log files.

What does the RMAN-08147 warning signify when your environment has a GoldenGate Capture Processes configured?

This occurs when the V$ARCHIVED_LOG.NEXT_CHANGE# is greater than the SCN required by the GoldenGate Capture process and RMAN is trying to delete the archived logs. The RMAN-08147 error is raised when RMAN tries to delete these files.

When the database is open it uses the DBA_CAPTURE values to determine the log files required for mining. However if the database is in the mount state the V$ARCHIVED_LOG. NEXT_CHANGE# value is used.

See MetaLink note: 1581365.1

How would you look at a trail file using logdump, if the trail file is Encrypted?

You must use the DECRYPT option before viewing data in the Trail data.

List few useful Logdump commands to view and search data stored in OGG trail files.

Below are few logdump commands used on a daily basis for displaying or analyzing data stored in a trail file.

$ ./logdump – to connect to the logdump prompt
logdump> open /u01/app/oracle/dirdat/et000001 – to open a trail file in logdump
logdump> fileheader on – to view the trail file header
logdump> ghdr on – to view the record header with data
logdump> detail on – to view column information
logdump> detail data – to display HEX and ASCII data values to the column list
logdump> reclen 200 – to control how much record data is displayed
logdump> pos 0 – To go to the first record
logdump> next (or simply n) – to move from one record to another in sequence
logdump> count – counting records in a trail

Why should I upgrade my GoldenGate Extract processes to Integrated Extract?

Oracle is able to provide faster integration of the new database features by moving the GoldenGate Extraction processes into the database. Due to this, the GoldenGate Integrated Extract has a number of features like Compression which are not supported in the traditional Extract. You can read more about how to upgrade to Integrated Extract and more about Integrated Delivery. Going forward preference should be give to create new extracts as Integrated Extracts and also to upgrade existing traditional Extracts.

What is the minimum Database version which supports Integrated Delivery?

Oracle 11.2.0.4 is the the minimum required database version which supports both Integrated extract and Integrated Reaplicat.

What databases supports GoldenGate Integrated Delivery?

Oracle Integrated Delivery is only available for Oracle Databases.

With Integrated Delivery, where can we look for the performance stats?

Yes with 12c, performance statistics are collected in the AWR repository and the data is available via the normal AWR reports.

What are the steps required to add a new table to an existing replication setup?

The steps to be executed would be the following:

  • Include the new table to the Extract & pump process.
  • Obtain starting database SCN and Copy the source table data to the target database
  • Start Replicat on target at the source SCN database point.

What does the GoldenGate CSN equate to, in the Oracle Database?

It is equivalent of the Oracle database SCN transaction number.

How do you create a CSV file from the Extracted data?

You will have to use the CSV Flat File Adaptor to create CSV files. The source would be the extract trail files which use the configuration of the adaptor settings to generate CSV files.

What is the purpose of the DEFGEN utility?

When the source and the target schema objects are not the same (different DDL’s) the Replicat process needs to know the source definition of the objects. The output from the DEFGEN utility is used in conjunction with the trail data to determine which column value in the trail belongs to which column.

We want to setup one-way data replication for my online transaction processing application. However there are compressed tables in the environment. Please suggest how I can achieve it.

You must use OGG 11.2 and configure GoldenGate Integrated Capture process to extract data from compressed tables.

Note: Pre OGG 11.2 doesn’t support extracting data from compressed tables

We want to setup one-way data replication using Integrated Extract for my Oracle database running 10.2.0.4. Please suggest the best architecture to achieve it.

Oracle GoldenGate Integrated Capture process supports Oracle databases 10.2 and higher. But if you are running Oracle database 10.2 and want to you Oracle GoldenGate Integrated Capture process then you must configure downstream topology.

I am migrating my Oracle database from non-exadata to exadata but my source OGG software and target OGG software versions are different (Say Source is running OGG 11.1 and target is running OGG 11.2). How can I configure my OGG process to work in such configuration?

It is recommended that all instances of Oracle GoldenGate be the same version to take advantage of the new functionality, but this is not possible all the time and is not required. In this scenario, OGG provides a parameter called ‘FORMAT RELEASE’ which allows customers to use different versions of Oracle GoldenGate Extract, trail files, and Replicat together.

Example: RmtTrail /u01/app/oracle/dirdat, Format Release 11.1

Note: The input and output trails of a data pump must have the same trail file version.

What are the different OGG Initial load methods available?

OGG has 2 functionalities, one it is used for Online data Replication and second for Initial Loading.

If you are replicating data between 2 homogeneous databases then the best method is to use database specific method (Exp/Imp, RMAN, Transportable tablespaces, Physical Standby and so on). Database specific methods are usually faster than the other methods.

—If you are replicating data between 2 heterogeneous databases or your replicat involves complex transformations, then the database specific method can’t be used. In those cases you can always use Oracle GoldenGate to perform initial load.

Within Oracle GoldenGate you have 4 different ways to perform initial load.

  • Direct Load – Faster but doesn’t support LOB data types (12c include support for LOB)
  • Direct Bulk Load – Uses SQL*LOAD API for Oracle and SSIS for MS SQL SERVER
  • File to replicat – Fast but the rmtfile limit is 2GB. If the table can’t be fit in 1 rmtfile you can use maxfiles but the replicat need to be registered on the target OGG home to read the rmtfiles from source.
  • File to Database utility – depending on the target database, use SQL*LOAD for Oracle and SSIS for MS SQL SERVER and so on.

Oracle GoldenGate initial loading reads data directly from the source database tables without locking them. So you don’t need downtime but it will use database resources and can cause performance issues. Take extra precaution to perform the initial load during the non-peak time so that you don’t run into resource contention.

I have a table called ‘TEST’ on source and target with same name, structure and data type but in a different column order. How can you setup replication for this table?

OGG by default assumes that the sources and target tables are identical. A table is said to be identical if and only if the table structure, data type and column order are the same on both the source and the target.

If the tables are not identical you must use the parameter ‘SOURCEDEFS’ pointing to the source table definition and ‘COLMAP’ parameter to map the columns from source to target.

What is the best practice to delete the extract files in OGG?

Use the manager process to delete the extract files after they are consumed by the extract/replicat process

PURGEOLDEXTRACTS /u01/app/oracle/dirdat/et*, USECHECKPOINTS, MINKEEPHOURS 2

What parameters can be used to configure Oracle GoldenGate to extract data from Archived Redo log files only?

Use the TRANLOGOPTIONS ARCHIVEDLOGONLY option in the parameter file.

I have a one-way replication setup. The system administration team wants to apply an OS patch to both the OGG source host and the target servers. Provide the sequence of steps that you will carry before and after applying this patch.

Procedure:

  • Check to make sure that the Extract has processed all the records in the data source (Online Redo/archive logs)
    GGSCI> send extract , logend
    (The above command should print YES)
  • Verify the extract, pump and replicat has zero lag.
    GGSCI> send extract , getlag
    GGSCI> send extract , getlag
    GGSCI> send replicat , getlag
    (The above command should pring “At EOF, no more records to process.”)
  • Stop all application and database activity.
  • Make sure that the primary extract is reading the end of the redolog and that there is no LAG at all for the processes.
  • Now proceed with stopping the processes:

Source:

  1. Stop the primary extract
  2. Stop the pump extract
  3. Stop the manager process
  4. Make sure all the processes are down.

Target:

  1. Stop replicat process
  2. Stop mgr
  3. Make sure that all the processes are down.
  4. Proceed with the maintenance
  5. After the maintenance, proceed with starting up the processes:

Source:

  1. Start the manager process
  2. Start the primary extract
  3. Start the pump extract
    (Or simply all the extract processes as GGSCI> start extract *)
  4. Make sure all that the processes are up.

Target:

  1. Start the manager process
  2. Start the replicat process.
  3. Make sure that all the processes are up.

What are the basic resources required to configure Oracle GoldenGate high availability solution with Oracle Clusterware?

There are 3 basic resources required:

  • Virtual IP
  • Shared storage
  • Action script

How would you comment out a line in the parameter file?

You can use the “–” character to comment out a line.


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