Oracle EM Cloud Control 12c and Change Management

By Michael New, Edward Whalen, Matthew Burke on October 30, 2015


Change management is an important part of lifecycle management. In previous releases of OEM Grid Control this capability was part of the Change Management Pack. This is now part of the Lifecycle Management Pack. Change management allows you to track and report changes that have been made to targets under management of Cloud Control. This includes both host and non-host targets.
Database change management is an important part of the lifecycle of the database. Databases do not remain constant. They tend to change over time, from both a software perspective and a schema perspective. It is important to keep track of these changes so that the systems can be properly upgraded and maintained. OEM Cloud Control has provided a number of tools to allow for detailed tracking and management of database changes, which include the following:
  • Schema Baseline   Allows for a point-in-time configuration of the database and schema objects to be captured for later comparison and browsing.
  • Schema Comparison   Allows for schema baselines to be compared both within the same target at different points in time or between different targets.
  • Schema Synchronization   Allows the process of taking changes that have been made to a schema on one target and propagating them to another target.
  • Schema Change Plans   Allows you to promote specific changes from one target to another target.
  • Data Comparison   Allows you to compare row data from one database target to another database target.
These tools are extremely valuable for the management of the database lifecycle and for maintaining a healthy database.

Schema Baselines

Schema baselines allow you to take a snapshot of the configuration of the database schema and parameters. This is valuable for recording the configuration at a specific point in time. The schema baseline can be used to compare itself against a later point in time or against other databases.
To take a schema baseline, select Change Management | Schema Baselines from the Schema menu within the Database Target screen or from within All Targets (by right-clicking on the database target). This will invoke the Schema Baselines utility. From this screen you can either import or create a schema baseline.
To create a schema baseline, click the Create button. This will invoke the Create Schema Baseline Wizard. The steps to create a schema baseline are as follows:
1.   Source Name the schema baseline and choose the source database. Optionally, provide a description.
2.   Objects Choose the baseline objects. You can choose non-schema objects, such as tablespaces, rollback segments, and so on, as well as schema objects and initialization parameters. Also select schemas to include.
3.   Job Options As with most tasks that we have seen in this book, the baseline creation process uses the Cloud Control job system.
4.   Review Review your options and configuration.
5.   Submit Click the Submit button to create the schema baseline.
Once the Schema Baseline Wizard has completed, you will see the Submit Job Successful message and you’ll be able to monitor the schema baseline creation process.

Schema Comparison

With a minimum of two schema baselines, you can perform a schema comparison operation. This allows you to view the differences between two target schemas. You can compare parameters, schema objects, and database structures such as tablespaces. The schema comparison operation is invoked by selecting Change Management | Schema Comparison from the Schema menu. This will invoke the Schema Comparison screen. Select Create to invoke the Schema Comparison Wizard.
Once the Schema Comparison Wizard has been invoked, follow these steps in order to compare two schema baselines:
1.   Left Source Name the schema comparison and choose the left source database from either an instance or a baseline. Optionally, provide a description.
2.   Right Source Choose the right source database from either an instance or a baseline.
3.   Objects Choose the comparison objects. You can choose non-schema objects, such as tablespaces, rollback segments, and so on, as well as schema objects and initialization parameters. Also select schemas to include.
4.   Rules Here you can choose to include or exclude things such as physical attributes, partitioning, statistics, and so on.
5.   Job Options As with most tasks that we have seen in this book, the baseline creation process uses the Cloud Control job system.
6.   Review Review your options and configuration.
7.   Submit Click the Submit button to create the schema baseline.
Once the Schema Comparison Wizard has completed, you will see the Submit Job Successful message and you’ll be able to monitor the schema comparison creation process.
Eventually, the schema comparison output will be available in the Schema Comparison screen. Click it and select View to see the results of the comparison.

Schema Synchronizations

The schema synchronization feature allows you to take a database target and synchronize another database with that schema. Synchronizations can occur from either an existing database instance, a baseline, or a change plan instance (discussed in the next section). This allows the target database to be synchronized with the source, ensuring that the schemas are identical.
The schema synchronization operation is invoked by selecting Change Management | Schema Synchronizations from the Schema menu. This will invoke the Schema Synchronizations screen. Select Create to invoke the Schema Synchronization Wizard.
Once the Schema Synchronization Wizard has been invoked, follow these steps to synchronize the target with the source:
1.   Source Choose the source database, baseline, or change plan instance to be used for the synchronization.
2.   Destination Choose the database target that is to be synchronized. This must be a database target.
3.   Objects Here you can choose to include or exclude things such as physical attributes, partitioning, statistics, and so on. You must include at least one schema.
4.   Rules Here you can choose to include or exclude things such as physical attributes, partitioning, statistics, and so on.
5.   Mode Here you can choose either unattended or Interactive mode. For unattended mode you must provide credentials.
6.   Job The baseline creation process uses the Cloud Control job system. This includes both source and target database credentials.
7.   Review Review your options and configuration.
8.   Submit Click the Submit button to create the schema synchronization.
Once the Schema Synchronization Wizard has completed, you will see the Submit Job Successful message and be able to monitor the schema synchronization creation process.
Eventually the schema comparison output will be available in the Schema Synchronization screen. Click it and select View to see the results of the synchronization.

Schema Change Plans

The schema change plan feature allows you to take a database target and update another database with specific schema objects. Once the change plan has been created, it can be used to synchronize the target database using the database synchronization feature described earlier in this section. This allows for the target database to be synchronized with the source, ensuring that the selected schema objects are identical.
The schema synchronization operation is invoked by selecting Change Management | Schema Change Plans from the Schema menu. This will invoke the Create Change Plan screen. Select Create from Comparison to invoke the Change Plan Wizard.
Once the Change Plan Wizard has been invoked, follow these steps in order to create the change plan:
1.   Comparison Choose the comparison from previously created schema comparisons to be used for the change plan. Here you can also choose to create the change plan from the left side of the comparison or the right side.
2.   Click OK to continue.
3.   View Once the change plan has been created, click View to edit the changes. The change plan includes Drop and Add values. Select ones that you do not want to execute and delete them.
4.   Create Synchronization from Change Plan Click the Create Synchronization from Change Plan button to create the schema synchronization.
You can then use this synchronization to synchronize a target database with this change plan.

Data Comparison

The Data Comparison feature allows you to compare row data between database targets. This is very useful for determining changes that have been made to the actual data in the database. Select Change Management | Data Comparisons from the Schema menu. This will invoke the Data Comparisons screen. Select Create from Data Comparisons to invoke the Create Data Comparison Wizard.
Once the Create Data Comparison Wizard has been invoked, follow these steps in order to create the data comparison:
1.   Create Data Comparison Name the Data Comparison and provide a description if desired. Choose the Reference Database and Candidate Database. Click OK to continue.
2.   Comparison Items Select the items to be compared either by selecting candidate pairs from the Actions menu or by adding schema mappings from the Schema Mappings section.
3.   Submit Comparison Job Once you have selected the comparison items, click the Submit Comparison Job from the Data Comparisons screen.
4.   View Results Once the job has completed, you can view the results by selecting the comparison and clicking the View Results button.
This feature is very useful if it is important to compare data and/or indexes in different incarnations or different schemas.

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