Recover limits

The recovery of a database by applying all online and archived redo generated since the restored backup is called complete recovery. Typically, you perform complete media recovery when media failure damages one or more datafiles or control files. You fully recover the damaged files using all redo generated since the restored backup was taken.

RMAN allows you to perform recovery of the whole database to a specified non-current time, SCN, or log sequence number. This type of recovery is called incomplete recovery.

Incomplete recovery differs in several ways from complete recovery. The most important difference is that incomplete recovery requires you to open the database with the RESETLOGS option. Using this option gives the online redo logs a new timestamp and SCN, thereby eliminating the possibility of corrupting your datafiles by the application of obsolete archived redo logs.

Because you must open RESETLOGS after performing incomplete recovery, you have to recover all datafiles. You cannot recover some datafiles before the RESETLOGS and others after the RESETLOGS. In fact, Oracle prevents you from resetting the logs if a datafile is offline. The only exception is if the datafile is offline normal or read-only.

By selecting Recover to last committed transaction, RMAN applies all online and archived redo generated since the restored backup.

Selecting Recover to a point-in-time limited by recovers the database to a non-current time.

The limit may be specified by time, SCN, or log sequence number, as follows:


Specifies a time as an upper limit

System Change Number

Specifies an SCN as an upper limit

Log sequence number

Specifies a redo log sequence number as an upper limit


Indicates the thread number for the redo log in question