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I need to backup two schemas in a Production database (Oracle11gR2) that are being accessed by an application and some other systems. These schemas are quite small and exp will be used for the export.

Are there any best practices or recommendations for backups using exp? I cannot afford to have the users face any interruption during these backups. For example, has anyone experienced the backup utility hang?

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"Are there any best practices or recommendations for backups using exp?" - yes, don't use it on 11g. Use expdp :-) –  Mat Jun 12 '13 at 16:19
    
Yes, you may take a "backup" of a schema when the instance is running. I assume you are using exp? If so, just do it... –  Niko Kiiskinen Jun 12 '13 at 19:51
    
Do you have a good reason for not backing up the whole database (or perhaps one or more tablespaces) and using RMAN? An export is not a backup. –  Jack Douglas Jun 12 '13 at 21:41
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This depends on the size of the export, the amount of UNDO generated while it is running and whether you need the export to be consistent or not. –  Jack Douglas Jun 12 '13 at 21:43
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exp is a legacy thing, it's only kept in 11g to be able to interact with from older systems (according to Oracle docs). One thing that exp was good for that you can't do with expdp without (AFAIK) expensive compression license is compress the dumps on the fly. Otherwise expdp simply has more features and will handle new Oracle features - until they come up with something else. –  Mat Jun 13 '13 at 10:25

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