I had asked for database(Oracle 11g) back-up files (for a particular date)from a third party vendor. The files I received were with the following extensions : .dbf , .svd , .arc , .ctl (PFA showing the files). Now my concern is to load the data from this file in ‘Toad for Oracle , Version‘ software – I usually use the same for working on this particular database . The purpose of loading this database is to run some select queries(along with lot of joins) so as to extract the data from the files which can be shared with the requestor . I am not very sure which file will have the complete data as there are files with various extensions . Also , not sure if ‘Toad for Oracle’ has the facility to open /load dbf or other aforementioned files . I don’t have DBA rights for this database as it is maintained by 3rd party vendor . Please let us know if Toad can be used for the same or a new software needs to be installed for this purpose . Also , what steps are required to be followed to do the above mentioned task .I do have the details related to schema name , username/schema and password to the database !Quick help on this is much appreciated

1 Answer 1


Toad cannot directly read Oracle data files, no. You would need to recover the database on a local server. Once you do that, you could connect to Oracle database on the local server from Toad and run whatever queries you'd like.

Assuming that what you've been given is a consistent cold backup of your database, you'd need, at a minimum, exactly the same version of Oracle (patchsets included) on exactly the same operating system that the third party vendor uses. Assuming that the vendor is vaguely competent about applying patches, that will likely require that you have a My Oracle Support account which would require that your organization has appropriate Oracle licenses. How you do that will depend on the operating system your Oracle server will be using.

Since it sounds like you are not a DBA and you're not particularly familiar with Oracle, assuming there is a reason that you can't simply access the existing database to run whatever queries you need to run, I would tend to suspect that you would be much better off requesting an export of the database (or potentially the tables you're interested in if you really care about a subset of the data) rather than a backup. Toad can't read an export directly either but it is a lot easier to import and export file into a database you create on your local server without worrying about matching the version and operating system that the vendor uses or going through the effort of doing a proper database restore.

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    +1: I suspect that the vendor chuckled when he sent these files over. This is possibly the most technically challenging method there is for passing data. May 20, 2013 at 11:32

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