19c EM Express (aka Oracle Cloud Database Express)

Franck Pachot
Apr 7, 2019 · 4 min read

Oracle has a long history of interactive tools for DBA and, as usual, the name has changed at each evolution for marketing reasons.

OEM in Oracle7 #nostalgia

SQL*DBA had a Menu mode for text terminals. You may also remember DBA Studio. Then called Oracle Enterprise Manager with its SYSMAN repository and also referred to as OEM or EM. The per-database version has been called OEM “Database Control” and then “EM Express” in 12c. The multi-database version has been called according to the marketing tag “Grid Control” in 11g, and “Cloud Control” in 12c.

I hate those names because they are wrong. A central console has nothing to do with “grid” or “cloud” and the only all-targets view is the ‘DB Load Map’ page. Something is wrong when a customer talks about “The Grid” and you don’t know if it is about the administration console (OEM) or the clusterware Grid Infrastructure (GI). Even worse with a one-database only GUI.

19c EM Express login screen when connecting to CDB port

But marketing always wins. And in 19c this small single-database graphical interface, mostly used by small companies having few databases hosted in their premises, is called “Oracle Cloud Database Express”.

Remember that you need to define the port where EM Express runs. It runs with XDB, and the syntax to set is not easy to remember: underscores for package name, but no underscores for the http/https function name):

SQL> exec dbms_xdb_config.sethttpsport(5500);PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.


As you can see in the login screenshot, there’s no way to mention that I want to connect ‘as sysdba’ so let’s try with different users to see if the role is chosen autonomously:

grant create session,sysdba to c##sysdba identified by "oracle" container=all;
grant create session,sysoper to c##sysoper identified by "oracle" container=all;
grant dba to c##dba identified by "oracle" container=all;
grant sysdba,sysoper,dba to c##all identified by "oracle" container=all;

Actually, I was able to connect with SYS but not with my own SYSDBA users. Here are the only successful connections:

C##DBA (role DBA) and SYS can connect, but not my SYSDBA custom users

It is probably not a big problem for the moment, given the very limited features that are there. No need for SYSDBA to read performance statistics and kill sessions. I’ll update this post when I have more information about this.


As you can see in the login screenshot, I can mention a container name, the default being the CDB root. However, when I try to do so I get the XDB login popup (same as when I forgot the /em in the URL) and ‘Invalid Container’.

The workaround is to open a port for each PDB and connect directly to it.


You remember how the move from the 11g dbconsole to 12c EM Express removed many items in the menus. Here is the 19c database express one:

There’s only one item in the 19.2 menu: Performance/ Performance Hub

One item only in a menu… my guess (and hope) is that this one is still work-on-progress. 19c is currently for Exadata only and Ican imagine that all installations are managed by Oracle Enterprise Manager. Or maybe SQL Developer Web will become the replacement for this console.

HTML5, ASH Analytics,…

There’s one awesome news here: end of Flash. This Performance Hub is nice and responsive. No Adobe Flex anymore, but the same idea with an HTML that contains the data (XML) and calls an online script to display it:

SQL Monitor shows the predicates on the same tab as execution statistics:

There’s a tab to go directly to the execution plan operation which is the busier:

EM Express (I’ll continue to call it like this) can be used on Data Guard as well and can monitor the recovery on the read-only CDB$ROOT:

I can kill a session but not (yet?) cancel a running SQL statement:

The activity tab is similar to the ASH Analytics where I can choose the dimensions displayed:

and I can also remove the time dimension to show three other dimensions:

Update 24-JUN-2019

Thanks to Jeff Smith who has read the release notes:

there’s a way to revert to the Flash EM Express:

?/rdbms/admin/execemx emx

and you can rever back with ‘omx’.

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