How to do a point in time restore of one pluggable database with multiples

By | In Oracle | February 08th, 2017

This post will show how to do a Point in Time Restore of one pluggable database in a container with multiple pluggable databases.

In this scenario we are fixing the following mistake: You dropped a table in your pluggable databases PDB1 and PDB2. But oops! You only meant to drop the table in PDB1. So now you need to do a point in time restore on PDB2 to right before you dropped the table.

Requirements: In order do to a point in time restore, you need to have a backup.  You also need to have an auxiliary dest configured in RMAN.


1. Login and show the list of pluggable databases

2. Create a table in three different pluggable databases

3. Backup database

4. Drop the table in PDB1 and PDB2

5. Restore pluggable database PDB2 to point in time before the tables are dropped

6. Show the table has been restored on PDB2, but is still missing from PDB1, which is is the goal of this test scenario.

7. Conclusion


1. Login and show the list of pluggable databases

Set your environment on your server – I use a shell script.

List names of all all containers:


2. Create a table in three different pluggable databases

Switch a few log files – this must be done from the root container

Check that the tables exist in each pluggable database:

3. Create an RMAN backup

4. Drop the table in PDB1 and PDB2

Check the time

Look for your tables.  Oops you only meant to drop one of them, and now it is missing from two pluggable databases!

6. Show the table has been restored on PDB2, but is still missing from PDB1, which is is the goal of this test scenario.


Voila.  Restore to a point in time is successful and your table has reappeared.

7. Conclusion

With an RMAN backup you can restore one pluggable database while leaving others as they are. This would be very handy in situations where you have DEV, TEST and QA as pluggable databases on the same server. Each can be restored or refreshed independently. The caveat is that if you are using flashback database, you will not be able to flashback any pluggable to a point in time before your restore.

Make sure you have an auxiliary destination setup in RMAN. This will probably not be an issue in a real life situation, but you may run across it testing this in a lab. The auxiliary destination allows RMAN to create some temporary files (Control file and sysaux table space) that are used for the restore and then deleted.

Go forth and test, and then be ready to use this process when you need it.


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Megan Elphingstone
Senior Oracle Database Administrator
Megan has been working with Oracle databases for over 15 years, including 10 years as an Oracle Database Administrator. Megan has supported over 200 production databases - performing upgrades, infrastructure moves to the cloud, tuning, performance testing, implementing high availability solutions, including moves to ASM, Data Guard, RAC, and Golden Gate. Megan’s favorite part of being a DBA is helping customers and users solve problems and implementing solutions that are automated, stable, and reliable. When she isn’t working, Megan is biking or snowboarding with her family.

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