Starting with the Oracle Database 21c release, an application can change its database passwords without an administrator having to schedule downtime. To accomplish this, a database administrator can associate a profile having a non-zero limit for the PASSWORD_ROLLOVER_TIME password profile parameter, new with this release, with an application schema. This allows the database password of the application used to be altered while allowing the older password to remain valid for the time specified by the PASSWORD_ROLLOVER_TIME limit. During the rollover period of time, the application instance can use either the old password or the new password to connect to the database server. When the rollover time expires, only the new password is allowed. It is an Oracle 21c feature backported to Oracle 19.12 RU.

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You now can control the size of the batch of heartbeats that use Oracle Key Vault or OCI KMS (OCI Vault) for centralized key management. The HEARTBEAT_BATCH_SIZE initialization parameter, new with this release, enables you to set the heartbeat batch size. The duration of the heartbeat period defaults to 3 seconds.

This enhancement benefits the situation where you have a very large deployment of PDBs (for example, 1000) that use Oracle Key Vault. By setting the heartbeat batch size, you can stagger the heartbeats across batches of PDBs to ensure that for each batch a heartbeat can be completed for each PDB within the batch during the heartbeat period, and also ensure that PDB keys can be reliably fetched from an Oracle Key Vault server and cached in the persistent state.

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