DBA Tips Archive for Oracle


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by Michael New, MichaelNew@earthlink.net, Gradation LLC



Starting with Oracle9i Release 2, the UTL_FILE_DIR init.ora parameter can be made obsolete.

Pre Oracle9i R2 (9.2)

Each directory to be accessed by UTL_FILE must be listed (comma separated) in the UTL_FILE_DIR init.ora parameter. This cannot be done with ALTER SYSTEM (ORA-02095) - you have to bounce the database. The directory must be explicitly specified again in UTL_FILE.FOPEN. And the number of directories that can be listed is limited by the 255 character buffer size.

From Oracle9i R2 (9.2)

Each directory to be accessed by UTL_FILE can be specified via the CREATE DIRECTORY command. And specified via this level of indirection in UTL_FILE.FOPEN.

It is the responsibility of the system and database administrators to implement appropriate file and directory security on the database host. UTL_FILE won't attempt to check for permission before executing an open/read/write/delete request. We expect that the operating system will deny the request where appropriate. UTL_FILE will blindly issue any action requested and look for success or failure return status from the operating system.

By default UTL_FILE will have no file access because it will have no directory access, until granted access by CREATE DIRECTORY by SYS or SYSTEM or a user with DBA privileges. Since access privileges are granted on a per directory basis, the DBA can control directory access by either:

  1. creating separate directories for users with differing access requirements
  2. use operating system utilities and features for controling read and write access by users

Example Basic Usage

sqlplus /nolog set echo on spool crdir02.lis !mkdir /tmp/public_access CONNECT sys/change_on_install AS sysdba; DROP USER crdir02 CASCADE; CREATE USER crdir02 IDENTIFIED BY crdir02; GRANT connect, resource TO crdir02; GRANT public TO crdir02; CREATE OR REPLACE DIRECTORY public_access AS '/tmp/public_access'; GRANT read, write ON DIRECTORY public_access TO public; CONNECT crdir02/crdir02; DECLARE f1 UTL_FILE.FILE_TYPE; BEGIN f1 := UTL_FILE.FOPEN('PUBLIC_ACCESS','exists.dat','w'); UTL_FILE.FCLOSE(f1); END; /

About the Author

Jeffrey Hunter is an Oracle Certified Professional, Java Development Certified Professional, Author, and an Oracle ACE. Jeff currently works as a Senior Database Administrator for The DBA Zone, Inc. located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work includes advanced performance tuning, Java and PL/SQL programming, developing high availability solutions, capacity planning, database security, and physical / logical database design in a UNIX / Linux server environment. Jeff's other interests include mathematical encryption theory, tutoring advanced mathematics, programming language processors (compilers and interpreters) in Java and C, LDAP, writing web-based database administration tools, and of course Linux. He has been a Sr. Database Administrator and Software Engineer for over 20 years and maintains his own website site at: http://www.iDevelopment.info. Jeff graduated from Stanislaus State University in Turlock, California, with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Mathematics.

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Last modified on
Friday, 17-Sep-2010 21:06:56 EDT
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