What is the endian format in Oracle databases?

What is Endian?

Endian is the storage method of multi-byte data types in memory. In other words, it determines the byte order of the data. There are two kinds of endian, Little and Big.

Little Endian

The data is stored little end first. That is, the firs byte is the biggest.

Big Endian

The data is stored big end first. That is, the first byte is the smallest.

For example ;

Assume that an integer is stored as 4 bytes (32 bits), then a variable with a value of 0x01234567 (Hexadecimal decimal representation) will be stored in the form of 0x01, 0x23, 0x45, 0x67. In systems with big endian, this data is stored in this order while in small endian systems it is stored in reverse order.

Difference Between Little Endian and Big Endian

The following figure shows the big and little endian difference.

In Oracle databases, endian format is determined by the endian information in the environment in which it works. The endian format in the databases tells us which environments the related database can be moved to. It is not possible to move the database with normal methods between different endian environments. For example, you cannot transfer a database with Data Guard to a system with Big Endian from a Little Endian system.

You can see the current endian format in your database with the following query.

The following queries show other environments where your existing database can be moved.

Big Endian Format (IBM AIX)

Little Endian Format (Linux x86)

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