Data Pump

I might need to take the contents of my development database with me. How should I do that? Glad you asked. Since Oracle 10g, the answer is most likely Data Pump. This features consists of three parts:
  1. The clients expdp and impdp
  2. The Data Pump API - DBMS_DATAPUMP
  3. The MetaData API - DBMS_METADATA
The clients are similar to the original exp and imp utilities. They are not compatible with them. They just supersede them. The clients themselves use the Data Pump API internally. They programs are located in directory $ORACLE_HOME/bin. They can take a parameter file. You don't need to use these clients. You can use the API directly via the PL/SQL package.

DBA must create the directory objects used by Data Pump. You will need the following database privileges to take full advantage of the utility:
Data Pump will use either direct path or external tables to handle the data. It decides which on what data you are trying to move. Sounds a bit like  sqlldr to me. These utilities do not support XML schemas. The export and import occur on the server, unlike the predecessors exp and imp.

One master process is created per job. That process controls the worker processes. There is also a master table which tracks progress. It can be used to restart a job that did not complete. This table gets dropped after the run is successful. You can check on the progress with the V$SESSION_LONGOPS view.

Here are the types of files managed by Data Pump:
  • Dump files - the data
  • Log files - messages
  • SQL files - DDL to reconstruct
impdb is the Data Pump Inport. expdp is the Data Pump Export. They both use a dump file set, which are binary files containing the data. Do not run these as SYSDBA. Here are the modes in which these programs can operate:
  • Full
  • Schema
  • Table
  • Tablespace
  • Transportable tablespace