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What is the ORA-03113 error?

Oracle expert Brian Peasland explains how the ORA-3113 error means a network connection to the database was severed.

We have an Oracle 10g database and get the ORA-03113 error sporadically. This is a science application where we query time-series data from a vb.net application. We can query successfully all day with some parameters (location, variable identifier, and date range) but when the date range changes beyond a (arbitrary?) limit (e.g. 2003 to 2007 works every time, but 2002 to 2007 fails every time), this error appears. We get a similar error using Oracle's sqldeveloper, though the error message text is different. Where do we start looking for answers?
ORA-3113 errors mean that your network connection to the database was severed. In my experience, there are two problem areas. One, something in the network failed between the client and the database. Two, a bug in the database caused the session to be terminated and the client thinks a network error was the cause. If you are sure your network is fine, then it is probably a bug. Make sure you have the 10.2.0.3 patchset installed. After that, file a Service Request with Oracle Support. Only they will be able to help you with the ORA-3113 error.

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