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DataPump Import (IMPDP) Can Fail With Error ORA-31696 If ACCESS_METHOD=DIRECT_PATH Is Manually Specified (Doc ID 469439.1)

Last updated on AUGUST 01, 2019

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version and later
Oracle Database Cloud Schema Service - Version N/A and later
Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine - Version N/A and later
Oracle Database Exadata Express Cloud Service - Version N/A and later
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Database Service - Version N/A and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.


The following situation:

1. Perform DataPump export
2. Change table structure by adding/removing columns.
3. Perform DataPump import

This does not work when the chosen ACCESS_METHOD is EXTERNAL_TABLES, because this method is checking the table metadata. This situation cannot be fixed in 10g and several workarounds have been indicated, such as:

- import the data to a temporary table and then use INSERT/SELECT to include it to the actual table
- use ACCESS_METHOD=DIRECT_PATH to import the data, as this access method does not check the table metadata before import. However, using this method, impdp is sometimes failing with ORA-31696 errors. Why?


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