Oracle Database 12cR1 and 12cR2 A Comprehensive Overview for 11gR2 Administrators

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Oracle Database is a powerful and widely used database management system that provides robust features and functionalities for enterprise applications. In this article, we will be discussing the new features introduced in Oracle Database 12cR1 and 12cR2, and how these enhancements have made it even more powerful and efficient.

Oracle Database 12cR1: A Game Changer

Oracle Database 12cR1, released with more than 500 new features, was a major leap forward in terms of performance, scalability, and ease of use. One of the key features introduced in this release was the concept of pluggable databases (PDBs) within a container database (CDB). This architecture allowed for easy provisioning, management, and consolidation of multiple databases within a single container. It eliminated the need for separate instances and reduced administrative overhead.

Some of the notable features introduced in 12cR1 include:
– Redirection policy: This feature enabled the restoration of a specific table without the need to restore the entire database.
– Partition online move: Allowed for the movement of partitions online, providing greater flexibility and reducing downtime.
– Database archiving: Introduced the capability to mark or delete data instead of immediate deletion, providing a safer and more controlled data deletion process.

Oracle Database 12cR2: Taking it to the Next Level

Building on the success of 12cR1, Oracle Database 12cR2 came with even more enhancements and new features that made it even more awesome. One of the major additions was the In-Memory column store, which improved the performance of analytical queries by storing data in memory for faster retrieval.

Key features introduced in 12cR2 include:
– Pluggable Database Refresher: This feature allowed for the easy cloning of pluggable databases without the need to put them in read-only mode, providing greater flexibility and efficiency in database cloning.
– Application Containers: Introduced the concept of application containers, which allowed for the isolation and consolidation of multiple applications within a single container, improving resource utilization and simplifying administration.
– In-Memory Column Store on Standby: Enabled the In-Memory column store to run on an active standby database, providing high availability and faster analytics on the standby database.

Multi-tenant Architecture in Detail

The multi-tenant architecture, introduced in Oracle Database 12cR1, revolutionized the way databases are managed and provisioned. It allows for the creation of multiple pluggable databases within a single container database, providing a more efficient and scalable approach to managing multiple databases.

Some key features of the multi-tenant architecture are:
– Self-contained PDBs: Each pluggable database is self-contained, allowing applications to remain unchanged while benefiting from the flexibility and scalability of the multi-tenant architecture.
– Granular Control: With the multi-tenant architecture, administrators can manage multiple databases as one, or individually control each pluggable database.
– Shared Memory and Background Processes: The multi-tenant architecture allows for greater resource utilization by sharing memory and background processes across multiple pluggable databases.

Creating and managing pluggable databases is made easy with the Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA), which provides a simple and intuitive interface for creating and managing container databases and pluggable databases.

Cloning Pluggable Databases

Cloning pluggable databases is an essential task for database administrators. In Oracle Database 12cR1, cloning a pluggable database required putting it in read-only mode, which limited its availability during the cloning process. However, in Oracle Database 12cR2, hard cloning was introduced, which eliminated the need for read-only mode during cloning.

To clone a pluggable database in 12cR1, the source pluggable database needed to be in read-only mode, while in 12cR2, the source pluggable database can remain open for read-write access during the cloning process. This provides greater flexibility and availability during the cloning process.

In-Memory Enhancements

Oracle Database 12cR2 introduced several enhancements to the In-Memory column store, improving its performance and functionality. One notable enhancement was the support for JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) documents in memory, allowing for faster access and querying of JSON data.

Additionally, the In-Memory column store can now run on active standby databases, providing high availability and improved analytical capabilities on the standby database.


Oracle Database 12cR1 and 12cR2 have brought significant enhancements and new features to the table, making it even more powerful and efficient for enterprise applications. The multi-tenant architecture, In-Memory column store, and other advanced features have transformed the way databases are managed and provisioned, providing greater scalability, performance, and ease of use.

As an Oracle Database administrator, it is crucial to keep up with these advancements and leverage their benefits to optimize your database environment. By staying updated with the latest features and functionalities, you can ensure the smooth operation and performance of your Oracle databases.