What is oraInventory ?
oraInventory is repository (directory) which store/records oracle software products & their oracle_homes location on a machine. This Inventory now a days in XML format and called as XML Inventory where as in past it used to be in binary format & called as binary Inventory.
There are basically two kind of Inventory Global Inventory (also called as Central Inventory) and Local Inventory also called as Oracle Home Inventory.
Global Inventory ?
Global Inventory holds information about Oracle Products on a Machine. These products can be various oracle components like database, oracle application server, collaboration suite, soa suite, forms & reports or discoverer server . This global Inventory location will be determined by file oraInst.loc in /etc (on Linux) or /var/opt/oracle (solaris). If you want to see list of oracle products on machine check for file inventory.xml under ContentsXML in oraInventory (Please note if you have multiple global Inventory on machine check all oraInventory directories)
You will see entry like
HOME NAME="ORA10g_HOME" LOC="/u01/oracle/10.2.0/db" TYPE="O" IDX="1"/
Inventory inside each Oracle Home is called as local Inventory or oracle_home Inventory. This Inventory holds information to that oracle_home only.
Can I have multiple Global Inventory on a machine ?
Quite common questions is that can you have multiple global Inventory and answer is YES you can have multiple global Inventory but if your upgrading or applying patch then change Inventory Pointer oraInst.loc to respective location. If you are following single global Inventory and if you wish to uninstall any software then remove it from Global Inventory as well.
What to do if my Global Inventory is corrupted ?
No need to worry if your global Inventory is corrupted, you can recreate global Inventory on machine using Universal Installer and attach already Installed oracle home by option
./runInstaller -silent -attachHome -invPtrLoc $location_to_oraInst.loc
Do I need to worry about oraInventory during oracle Apps 11i cloning ?
No, Rapid Clone will update both Global & Local Inventory with required information , you don't have to worry about Inventory during Oracle Apps 11i cloning.
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