Lessons From OOW09 #3 – What’s New with Streams?

The big news with streams is the Golden Gate acquisition. Oracle acquired Golden Gate, a smaller company that has a solution very similar to what Oracle Streams is doing. During OpenWorld Oracle announced that Golden Gate is the new strategic direction and that future development will be towards integrating Streams with Golden Gate. Oracle will still support streams, fix bugs, etc – but don’t expect new features other than the Golden Gate integration.

I missed the session where Golden Gate explain what its all about, but I’m planning to invite Golden Gate representative to give us a presentation and explain exactly what they do.

In the mean while, interesting new stuff with the old streams:

  1. One to many replication should be faster and more reliable in 11gR2.
  2. New statement DML handlers – allows manipulating LCRs using SQL statements instead of the PL/SQL code used in the past. According to Oracle it should be 4 times faster this way. One common use case of DML handlers that can now be implemented with the statement handlers is converting “delete” statements into an update that marks a row as “deleted” by modifying a varchar in a column.
  3. Keep Columns – new rule based transformation that allows you to specify which columns should be preserved in an LCR. In the past you can specify columns to drop, but not which columns to keep.
  4. Built in script for recording changes in a log table. This is an incredibly common use case for Streams, and Oracle now has a single command that automatically sets up the necessary statement handles and keep columns. Just call DBMS_STREAMS_ADM.MAINTAIN_CHANGE_TABLE.
  5. XSTREAM – Oracle says its a new API for allowing external programs to insert and pull changes from streams. Its cool, but I’m not convinced its new, since I’ve heard about a similar feature in previous versions under a different name.
  6. Streams performance advisor – thats an 11gR1 feature, but I didn’t know about it. Its a PL/SQL package and a bunch of views that can be used to report on streams performance. It should also be able to detect your topology automatically. You use this by running DBMS_PERFORMANCE_ADVISOR_ADM.ANALYZE_CURRENT_PERFORMANCE and checking a bunch of views. Documented here.
  7. If I followed correctly, the new advisor package uses the UTL_SPADV package, that you can also use for performance analysis or monitoring.
  8. DBMS_COMPARISON – a package that can be used to compare tables between two servers (one should be 11g and the other 10g or 11g). Can be useful when troubleshooting streams.
  9. Streams cross DB tracing – allows tracking a message when trying to troubleshoot apply that doesn’t work properly. You enable message tracking in a session (set message tracking) and then you monitor the views to see the actions that happen to it.
  10. 11g has greatly improved and more detailed apply error messages. This is probably my favorite new feature🙂 Most of the time I no longer need to print the LCR to debug the issue.
  11. Not sure if this is 11gR1 or R2 – but apparently propagation is no longer managed by “jobs” but has now moved to the new scheduler, making it much more manageable.
  12. Bunch of nice improvements. I’m looking forward to seeing what Golden Gate is doing and why it is so much better.


2 Comments on “Lessons From OOW09 #3 – What’s New with Streams?”

  1. Narendra says:

    Chen,
    Interesting. At the shop where I am currently working, they are planning to implement streams in order to replicate data from production db to a data warehouse staging area. One of the concern was straems not being able to handle user-defined data types and people were hoping future versions might address this. But now reading your post, it seems streams may not be “improved” much going forward.

  2. Stojan says:

    Golden Gate is the strategic way forward because of the $$$ licensing costs….. classic Oracle ; )


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