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Upgrades without exporting/importing entire database

How can I perform an upgrade from Oracle 7.3.4 to Oracle 9.2 in a HP-UX Unix environment, and one from 9.0.1.4 to 9.2 without exporting and importing the entire database? Considering some programs use rowids, how can I plan this and avoid problems during the process?

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I would not have much concern about migration from 9.0.1.4 to 9.2 since the ROWID format did not change. As long as you do not export and import, applications that rely on ROWID in 9.0.1.4 should not have problems with ROWIDs in 9.2. This is a pretty simple upgrade in my opinion, but still needs to be tested.

The 7.3.4 to 9.2 migration will definitely involve more testing since you're skipping quite a few releases and a lot has changed between your starting release and the target release. If the application (or at least the data access method, i.e. ODBC drivers) using the 7.3.4 database supports the 9.2 database, I would expect that the application will continue to function properly. If the application uses ODBC, for example, you'll need to make sure that the ODBC driver version on each client supports the 9.2 database. It appears from the release notes for the 8.1.7.8.0 ODBC driver that it supports 7.3.4.5.2 through 9.2.0.1.0 systems.

I don't think there's any silver bullet that will answer your questions. In any upgrade of this type, I'd always upgrade a copy of the production database and test the application as thoroughly as you can. There's no substitute for actually doing a test.

This was first published in March 2004

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