Oracle: Online backups w/o using rmanΒΆ

Title:Oracle: Online backups w/o using rman
Author:Douglas O’Leary <>
Description:Oracle: Online backups w/o using rman
Date created:07/20/2010
Date updated:07/20/2010
Disclaimer:Standard: Use the information that follows at your own risk. If you screw up a system, don’t blame it on me...

Certain oracle based applications (like SAP!) don’t use rman for their backup interface. They still use the old style hot backup mode. The generic process for that is as follows:

  1. alter tablespace ${tablespace} begin backup for each tablespace to put them in hot backup mode. Alternatively, you can use alter database begin backup to do the whole thing in one swell foop.
  2. Backup the datafiles
  3. alter tablespace ${tablespace} end backup for each tablespace in hot backup mode to revert it to normal function. If you used the alter database above, alter database end backup.
  4. Force an online redo log switch via alter system switch logfile
  5. When complete, backup the archived log files.

A little more flexible and robust than the physical backups; however, still a lot of scripting and more detailed knowledge of the database internals is required. rman takes care of a lot of that for you.