Oracle Database 19c | Convert non CDB Database to PDB

We’ve our Oracle EBS instance hosted from Linux environment. However I post much for the Windows OS as I see there are not many articles targeting Oracle on Windows. I think for better view counts, I should consider posting the articles for both OS.

In my last post about restoring 1g RMAN online backup to 19c non CDB database, I said my ultimate goal was to convert the upgraded database from non CDB to PDB, that is plugged on to an existing CDB. Let us see how to achieve this goal this time.

Before start, there are few mandatory checks you must do to insure a successful migration from Non CDB to PDB. I will list few of them those came as hurdles for me.

  1. Character Set. Make sure that your CDB and the Non CDB database have the same character set. There are few possible conversions. Please check 12c Multitenant Container Databases (CDB) and Pluggable Databases (PDB) Character set restrictions / ORA-65116/65119: incompatible database/national character set ( Character set mismatch: PDB character set CDB character set ) (Doc ID 1968706.1) for more details. My CDB was using Arabic character set and the upgraded non CDB database was using a noncompatible set. So I dropped the CDB and created a new CDB without PDB(s). Dropping a CDB will not be always possible because other PDBs are attached to it.
  2. Available storage space. This could be a real concern incase if you are planning to create a PDB, cross verify & then delete the non CDB database. You will need approximately the same size of your non CDB datafiles size storage available to do this activity. My database was less than 5 GB in size, hence it never occurred to me. If your database has a bigger size, plan accordingly.

Let’s do it now.

From and elevated command prompt (Windows Terminal is not yet matured enough to handle such “heavy” tasks) source the non CDB. Shutdown and startup mount exclusive.

C:\Windows\system32>set ORACLE_SID=KAZEMA
C:\Windows\system32>sqlplus / as sysdba
SQL> shu immediate
SQL> startup mount exclusive
SQL> alter database open read only;

Create manifest file for the non CDB now.

SQL> exec dbms_pdb.describe (pdb_descr_file=>'D:\Oracle19c\kazema_manifest_file.xml');
SQL> shu immediate

Source the CDB now.

C:\Windows\system32>set ORACLE_SID=KAZEMACDB
C:\Windows\system32>sqlplus / as sysdba


Now, we need to see whether non CDB meets the compatibility requirements. There could be multiple elements those you may have to fix before, the non CDB is ready for a successful migration as PDB. You will have to refer PDB_PLUG_IN_VIOLATIONS view for these details. Go ahead, execute the below code block.

       (pdb_descr_file => 'D:\Oracle19c\kazema_manifest_file.xml')
       ELSE 'NO'

My case I didn’t have incompatibilities blocking possible migration. Your case could be different. If the output is “NO”, run the following query (use SQL Developer for better view)

select * from PDB_PLUG_IN_VIOLATIONS where name='<your non CDB name>';

Fix each and every other ERROR & you can safely ignore the “WARNINGS” for now.

Proceed with creating a new PDB from the manifest file that we have created in the 1st step.


Pluggable database created.

SQL> show pdbs;

    CON_ID CON_NAME                       OPEN MODE  RESTRICTED
---------- ------------------------------ ---------- ----------
         2 PDB$SEED                       READ ONLY  NO
         3 KAZEMA                         MOUNTED

Once the PDB has been created, confirm the same & proceed with balance activities. Run “noncdb_to_pdb.sql”

SQL> alter session set container=KAZEMA;

Session altered.

SQL> @$ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/noncdb_to_pdb.sql

Based on the resource available, this might take a while for the script to complete execution. Once completed you can try to open the PDB. Check for Errors and Warnings in the PDB_PLUG_IN_VIOLATIONS view. If there are new ERRORS & WARNINGS fix them.

A typical scenario could list you many things like this (reference image only)

After fix attempts, I am still left with one Warning about sys lock issues. This is mainly due to the password file format 12.2. I hope to find a solution soon for it. Status column states whether the Error/Warning was taken care off.

SQL> alter pluggable database open;

Pluggable database altered.

SQL> SELECT name, open_mode FROM v$pdbs;


1 row selected.

SQL> show pdbs;

    CON_ID CON_NAME                       OPEN MODE  RESTRICTED
---------- ------------------------------ ---------- ----------
         3 KAZEMA                         READ WRITE NO

Now you have a non CDB and PDB with the same SID. You can proceed with dropping the non CDB database after cross verifying the concerns.

Reference documents:

Foot Note: If you are plugging a database that was hosted in another server/computer after converting, make sure to verify the “local_listener” parameter for the PDB exist.

D:\Oracle19c>sqlplus / as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Sun Apr 10 11:18:33 2022

Copyright (c) 1982, 2021, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 19c Enterprise Edition Release - Production

SQL> show parameter local_listener

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
local_listener                       string      LISTENER_KAZEMACDB
SQL> alter session set container="KAZEMA";

Session altered.

SQL> show parameter local_listener

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- ------------------------------
local_listener                       string      LISTENER_KAZEMACDB

If the local listener is not reachable, PDB level services will fail to register with listener and the applications those depend on such services will fail to establish connections. This applies mostly to Oracle E-Business Suite environments and could be mapped to sophisticated applications that use specific service names to establish connections to the database.

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