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What are database files, control files and log files. How many of these files should a database have at least? Why?

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posted Sep 15, 2013 by Vinay Shukla

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1 Answer

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Database Files

The database files hold the actual data and are typically the largest in size. Depending on their sizes, the tables (and other objects) for all the user accounts can go in one database file-but that's not an ideal situation because it does not make the database structure very flexible for controlling access to storage for different users, putting the database on different disk drives, or backing up and restoring just part of the database.

You must have at least one database file but usually, more than one files are used. In terms of accessing and using the data in the tables and other objects, the number (or location) of the files is immaterial.

The database files are fixed in size and never grow bigger than the size at which they were created

Control Files

The control files and redo logs support the rest of the architecture. Any database must have at least one control file, although you typically have more than one to guard against loss. The control file records the name of the database, the date and time it was created, the location of the database and redo logs, and the synchronization information to ensure that all three sets of files are always in step. Every time you add a new database or redo log file to the database, the information is recorded in the control files.

Redo Logs

Any database must have at least two redo logs. These are the journals for the database,the redo logs record all changes to the user objects or system objects. If any type of failure occurs the changes recorded in the redo logs can be used to bring the database to a consistent state without losing any committed transactions. In the case of non-data loss failure, Oracle can apply the information in the redo logs automatically without intervention from the DBA.The redo log files are fixed in size and never grow dynamically from the size at which they were created.

answer Sep 16, 2013 by Arvind Singh

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