When Oracle performs a checkpoint:
a) Is there a way to receive control when the checkpoint has completed and the datafiles are in a consistent state?
b) If yes, is there a way to force this state for a period of time?
A checkpoint is performed under a variety of scenarios, i.e. a log switch occurs or the LOG_CHECKPOINT_INTERVAL has been reached. There is no native way of knowing when the checkpoint starts and ends. The easiest way is to check when your online redo logs switch. This starts a checkpoint, but it doesn't give you an indication of when that checkpoint has been completed. It also doesn't let you know when a checkpoint has been started with something like the ALTER SYSTEM CHECKPOINT command.
For most people, they aren't too concerned with making sure the datafiles are in a consistent state. As long as the database is in ARCHIVELOG mode, you can always recover a datafile to a consistent state by applying redo.
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