I am thinking on what mysqldump or pg_dump are doing. So, they dump an active database into a textual file containing the SQL queries, which reproduce this whole database. In MySQL and in PostgreSQL, this is the normal database dump format.

Does it exist on Oracle? How can it be done?

It is absolutely not a problem if it is not a standard Oracle thing. I need a solution to the problem. Exporting single tables is not enough, I am asking for the dump of a whole DB.

It is a reduced developer environment of a big project (with multi-million row DB), but still having hundreds of tables and a very complex structure. And, I want to play with it fast. While I am playing with it, I also need to be able to execute tricky modifications on that. On a binary dump I can't do that, on a textual I can.


There is no such thing in the database itself.

You can perform something similar in SQL Developer, with the Database Export tool.

How to Export Data using SQL Developer

With the Tools / Database Export tool, you can specify the objects you want to export, then SQL Developer generates an SQL file for recreating them, with the data as insert statements.

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  • This is okay for one-at-a-time, interactive use, but not useful for scripting. – Andrew Schulman Mar 3 '17 at 17:57
  • @Andrew Schulman Because such thing should not be scripted. We have Data Pump for moving data, and that does this more effectively. – Balazs Papp Mar 3 '17 at 21:30
  • I have a need to script it. If Data Pump is the right tool to do that, then that would be a useful answer. – Andrew Schulman Mar 7 '17 at 14:31

Does it exist on Oracle?

Similar utility exists in Oracle environment called Data Pump.

How can it be done?

Use expdp command line tool to perform full database export.


expdp hr DIRECTORY=dpump_dir2 DUMPFILE=expfull.dmp FULL=YES NOLOGFILE=YES

Then can use impdp to import it in another database.


impdp hr DUMPFILE=dpump_dir1:expfull.dmp FULL=YES LOGFILE=dpump_dir2:full_imp.log

If you specify DUMPFILE parameter it writes a binary file called dump file. With the SQLFILE parameter(SQLFILE=/my/file/name.sql) you can get all of the SQL DDL that Import would have executed.

More on it depends upon the requirements.

Oracle Documentation explains more than I can here.

Overview of Oracle Data Pump

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As the exact requirements are vague, I'll post this: You could also write the data you want to external tables. This would give you the data in (for example) CSV format which you could use to import using another database's import functionality.

Be aware that just getting the data as DDL/DML statements might not be enough to do what I suspect you're trying to do. There are differences in data types, lengths, formats and more which could cause problems if you're migrating from one instance type to another.

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In some case tools like Flyway or Liquebase can be helpful for you, i think. Seems they can make dump in SQL, XML and maybe something else. This tools aren't very easy to use, but looks much more flexible then SQL Developer. For example if you need to filter data before uploading.

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  • I don't disagree with what's said, but to me this is not helpful as the reason for looking up this question in the first place is to get a dmp into a format that liquibase can load. – xenoterracide May 18 '18 at 19:55

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