Can We Read Export Dump File Without Actually Importing It ?

Most of the times, we would have the export dump file in hand. And would be required to import it to another database or schema. But before actually importing, we would like to just have a look at the contents of the dump file, to make sure we are importing the right dump file and that nothing goes wrong after importing.

Since the export dump file is a binary file, it cannot be actually read. So how can the contents be seen without importing?

We have a solution for this.

Using the SHOW parameter in the import, we can display the contents of an export file without actually importing it.

First, lets export a table.

exp user/pwd  file=exp.dmp log=exp.log tables=owner1.tablename statistics=none

Now for viewing the contents of exp.dmp, use the SHOW option in import as given below. This is very safe because it does not actually import the table but just lists the contents.

imp user/pwd file=exp.dmp fromuser=owner1 touser=owner2 show=y log=show.log

Import: Release – Production on Sat Aug 27 06:59:28 2011

Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to: Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release – 64bit Production
With the Partitioning, Real Application Clusters, OLAP, Data Mining
and Real Application Testing options

Export file created by EXPORT:V11.01.00 via conventional path
import done in UTF8 character set and AL16UTF16 NCHAR character set
import server uses JA16SJIS character set (possible charset conversion)


Import terminated successfully without warnings.

The log file provides the DDL of all the objects in the dump file. But to get the actual data, there is no other way, you will have to do the import.

Note that the SHOW parameter can be used only with the FULL=y, FROMUSER, TOUSER, or TABLES parameter.

Research and Article Contribution by : Divya