Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Oracle Streams in Brief

Capture Process
A capture process is an Oracle background process that scans the database redo log to capture DML and DDL changes made to database objects. A capture process formats these changes into messages called Logical Change Records (LCRs) and enqueues them into a queue.

There are two types of LCRs:
row LCRs contain information about a change to a row in table resulting from a DML operation, and DDL LCRs contain information about a DDL change to a database object. Rules determine which changes are captured.

You can configure change capture locally at a source database or remotely at a downstream database. A local capture process runs at the source database and
captures changes from the local source database redo log.

The following types of configurations are possible for a downstream capture process:

A real-time downstream capture configuration means that the log writer process (LGWR) at the source database sends redo data from the online redo log to the downstream database. At the downstream database, the redo data is stored in the standby redo log, and the capture process captures changes from the standby redo log.

An archived-log downstream capture configuration means that archived redo log files from the source database are copied to the downstream database, and the capture process captures changes in these archived redo log files.

A capture process does not capture some types of DML and DDL changes, and it does not capture changes made in the SYS, SYSTEM, or CTXSYS schemas.

Message Staging and Propagation
Streams uses queues to stage messages for propagation or consumption. Propagations send messages from one queue to another, and these queues can be in the same database or in different databases. The queue from which the messages are propagated is called the source queue, and the queue that receives the messages is called the destination queue. There can be a one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many relationship between source and destination queues.

Directed Networks
Streams enables you to configure an environment in which changes are shared through directed networks. In a directed network, propagated messages pass through one or more intermediate databases before arriving at a destination database where they are consumed. The messages might or might not be consumed at an intermediate database in addition to the destination database. Using Streams, you can choose which messages are propagated to each destination database, and you can specify the route
messages will traverse on their way to a destination database.

Explicit Enqueue and Dequeue of Messages
User applications can enqueue messages into a queue explicitly. The user applications can format these user-enqueued messages as LCRs or user messages, and an apply process, a messaging client, or a user application can consume these messages.
Messages that were enqueued explicitly into a queue can be propagated to another queue or explicitly dequeued from the same queue.

Apply Process
An apply process is an Oracle background process that dequeues messages from a queue and either applies each message directly to a database object or passes the message as a parameter to a user-defined procedure called an apply handler. Apply handlers include message handlers, DML handlers, DDL handler, precommit handlers, and error handlers.

Typically, an apply process applies messages to the local database where it is unning, but, in a heterogeneous database environment, it can be configured to apply messages at a remote non-Oracle database.

Messaging Client
A messaging client consumes user-enqueued messages when it is invoked by an application or a user. Rules determine which user-enqueued messages are dequeued by a messaging client. These user-enqueued messages can be LCRs or user messages.

Automatic Conflict Detection and Resolution
An apply process detects conflicts automatically when directly applying LCRs in a replication environment. A conflict is a mismatch between the old values in an LCR
and the expected data in a table. Typically, a conflict results when the same row in he source database and destination database is changed at approximately the same time.

When a conflict occurs, you need a mechanism to ensure that the conflict is resolved in accordance with your business rules. Streams offers a variety of prebuilt conflict handlers. Using these prebuilt handlers, you can define a conflict resolutio system
for each of your databases that resolves conflicts in accordance with your business rules. If you have a unique situation that prebuilt conflict resolution handlers cannot resolve, then you can build your own conflict resolution handlers.