Hitting Max Users

My boss called me up this morning. The customer had a high priority issue. Our software was not allowing them to create new users in the system. The only lead I had was that our software reported a -1985 error. Now I know that number is not one of our internal error numbers. So it had to be an Oracle error. ORA-01985 means we have reached LICENSE_MAX_USERS. Oh boy.

I could not interrogate the production database. No rights. A DBA eventually got on and found that the parameter was set to 2001. Whoa. We have more than 2k users? Well the solution is to bump up the parameter. Initially the boss man said we could rev this param value up to 5000. Then after hearing the current value was 2001, he thought 3001 was a good new number.

I played around in a development database. Figured someone could issue an ALTER SYSTEM SET LICENSE_MAX_USERS = 1. Luckily a DBA came on and added a SCOPE BOTH to the end of that command to ensure it sticks after the database is rebooted. I am not a DBA. So I don't know much about the server parameter file (spfile). I just know that when we makes changes like this, it needs to stick immediately and permanently. That must be what SCOPE BOTH controls.