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Oracle Tips by Burleson

General Oracle Auditing

Client Identifier

A user can set the value of a predefined application context attribute called client_identifier as shown below.

exec dbms_session.set_identifier (‘ARUP’);

This sets an application context attribute named client_identifier to the value ‘ARUP’. This is unique to a session and stays in the memory attached to that session as long as the session is active. This has nothing to do with any other attribute of the session – the username, the client IP address, the terminal, or any other details. The same user from another session can set another value of client_identifier to identify the session.

The session can check what the current value of the client_identifier is by issuing:

select sys_context(‘USERENV’,’CLIENT_IDENTIFIER’)
from dual

The result comes back as:


From another session, if we query the data dictionary view v$session for this session, we can see the client_identifier of that session as following:

select client_identifier
from v$session

We get:


The usefulness of client_identifier does not stop here. Its importance extends into auditing as well. In the aud$ table, there is a column labeled CLIENTID, which stores this context attribute. In order to understand how it works, let’s see an example.

First, we enable auditing on SELECT on table CLAIMS using the following query:

audit select on by access;

Then connecting as user APPUSER, we will select from the table CLAIMS.

select * from;

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