Infrastructure at your Service

By Franck Pachot

The OCM exam advice says:
Be prepared to use the non-searchable documentation during the exam, to help you with correct syntax.
I’ve checked that I can find quickly the documentation related with each topic listed. Here it is

As in the previous posts, I write that before taking the exam, from only the list of topics, and I may be completely wrong. You are not supposed to go to documentation for every topic during the exam or you will probably be short on time. There are a lot of things we can do directly because it’s things we do in our daily job life. For the exam, remember to use the right tools and that may be different from what you use in real life. For example, in your job you may do everything from command line because you have the syntax on your procedure documents, or from a quick Google search. At the exam, you may favor the tools that have enough online help, checkboxes or autocompletion.

Anyway, if there are some points where you have a doubt and still have time to open documentation, it’s good to know where to find syntax or examples to copy/paste.

General Database and Network Administration, and Backup Strategy

Create and manage pluggable databases

Database Administration
Administrator’s Guide
Part VI Managing a Multitenant Environment
38 Creating and Removing PDBs with SQL*Plus
There are many alternatives depending on the tools: sqlplus, sqldev, dbca, OEM, etc.

Create and manage users, roles, and privileges

Security Guide
Part I Managing User Authentication and Authorization
2 Managing Security for Oracle Database Users
Creation of a Common User or a Local User
4 Configuring Privilege and Role Authorization
Managing Commonly and Locally Granted Privileges
Here the main 12c thing is about common or local roles / privileges / grants, etc.

Configure the network environment to allow connections to multiple databases

Database Administration
Network Management
Net Services Administrator’s Guide
8 Configuring Naming Methods
Configuring the Local Naming Method
Rather than checking syntax from doc, we can use netca, netmgr, and samples files

Protect the database from loss of data due to any kind of failure

High Availability
Backup and Recovery
Database Backup and Recovery User’s Guide
9 Backing Up the Database
Backing Up Database Files with RMAN
Backup the database, the spfile, the controlfile, etc…

Create and manage database configuration files

Database Administration
SQL Language Reference
I suppose it’s about instance parameters here, that can be set at CDB or PDB levels

Data and Performance Management

Modify materialized views

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
Data Warehousing Guide
Part II Optimizing Data Warehouses
5 Basic Materialized Views
Refresh Options
7 Refreshing Materialized Views
Fast Refresh
8 Synchronous Refresh
There are a lot of things we can do on Materialized views… Fast Refresh and Query Rewrite are the main features that may need us to modify them

Create a plugged-in tablespace by using the transportable tablespace feature

Database Administration
Database Administrator’s Guide
15 Transporting Data
Transporting Tablespaces Between Databases
In 12c we can transport a whole database or pluggable database with impdp FULL=Y. It’s good to know that RMAN can convert between endianness.

Create partitioned tables

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
VLDB and Partitioning Guide
3 Partitioning for Availability, Manageability, and Performance
The 12c new feature is: Creating Interval-Reference Partitioned Tables

Configure the database to retrieve all previous versions of the table rows

Application Development
Database Development Guide
Part IV Advanced Topics for Application Developers
16 Using Oracle Flashback Technology
Using Flashback Data Archive
There are other ways to find previous versions (flashback query, restore table, etc)

Configure the Resource Manager

Database Administration
Database Administrator’s Guide
27 Managing Resources with Oracle Database Resource Manager
Creating a Simple Resource Plan
In 12c Resource Manager has more possibilites, at CDB and PDB levels

Tune SQL statements

SQL Tuning Guide
Part VIII Automatic SQL Tuning
20 Analyzing SQL with SQL Tuning Advisor
Running SQL Tuning Advisor On Demand
This topic is a large one…

Perform real application testing

Database Administration
Database Testing Guide
Part II Database Replay
RAT is quite straightforward in OEM.

Create SQL Plan baselines

SQL Tuning Guide
23 Managing SQL Plan Baselines
Loading SQL Plan Baselines
There are several ways to create SQL Plan baselines: capture, load, etc.

Data Guard

Create a physical standby database

High Availability
Data Guard Concepts and Administration
3 Creating a Physical Standby Database
E Creating a Standby Database with Recovery Manager
Using the DUPLICATE Command to Create a Standby Database
OEM can be a nice alternative here even if I never use it to create physical standby in production (prefer command line – easier to put in documentation that lot of screenshots)

Make the standby database available for testing, Restore the standby database to its normal function

High Availability
Data Guard Concepts and Administration
10 Managing Physical and Snapshot Standby Databases
10.7 Managing a Snapshot Standby Database

Configure fast start failover

High Availability
Data Guard Broker
4.8 Managing Fast-Start Failover
5 Switchover and Failover Operations
5.5 Fast-Start Failover
5.5.2 Enabling Fast-Start Failover

Grid Infrastructure and Real Application Clusters

Install Oracle Grid Infrastructure
Configure Oracle Flex ASM
Create ASM disk groups
Create and manage an ASM instance
Create ACFS
Start, stop, configure, and administer Oracle Grid Infrastructure
Install the Oracle Database 12c software
Create RAC databases
Configure services

I’ll not detail all points for the GI / RAC for 3 reasons

  • the first step involves installation, and while installation is running you have time to search for the right documents
  • In my opinion, there is enough information in the GUI (installer, asmca) or command line help (asmcmd, crsctl, srvctl)
  • from the topics, it looks like common operations we do on RAC databases. If you don’t use RAC at work, try to practice on your laptop:

All documentation is under ‘Clustering’ or ‘Grid Computing’ section


  • eric says:

    good input! thank you Franck.
    How about your preparation progress?
    when will u attend the exam?

  • Hi Eric,
    Thanks for your feedback.
    Actually, exam is done… I’m waiting for the results. So no more blog posts about it because of NDA.

  • Hi Eric,
    Thanks not was not successful this time. I don’t think it’s lack of preparation, but time is so short that anything not going fluently can make things very hard…
    About preparation, it really depends. There are points that I’m doing often and don’t need lot of preparation. Just know where is the doc in case of unexpected question. And there are things I don’t do a lot and then prepare for all variations that can happen.
    My method is: test small topics on occasion during months before the exam. And focus on topics the 1 or 2 months before, taking about 5 hours a week.

  • Eric says:


    I collected following from web:

    part 1: general database 120 mins
    part 2: data and performance manage 90 mins
    part 3: data guard 90 mins
    part 4: rac 165 mins

    hope help to others.

  • Arjun says:

    Hi Franck,
    Very useful information for preparation of 12c OCM. Did you attend Oracle Database 12c: OCM Exam Preparation Workshop Ed 1, and if yes. On practicing the activity guide of the course will ensure to pass the 12 OCM exam?

    • Hi Arjun,
      I did not attend any Oracle Education preparation workshop. I think it can be useful, but not required. And nothing ensures to pass the exam. Even with a good preparation, you may encounter something you didn’t think about, or you may run out of time.

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Oracle Team
Oracle Team