Data replication process cannot decompress a compressed row image

There are known situations that may occur which result in a data replication solution being unable to successfully decompress a log record with a compressed row image. For transient (temporary) errors, the SQL code returned will correspond to the cause of the error, while a permanent error is typically signalled by a SQL0204N notification. Only transient error situations might result in a subsequent successful decompression of a row image in a log record. The db2ReadLog API will continue processing other log records even if it cannot decompress a log record.


It is possible that the log reader may encounter transient and permanent errors while reading log records that contain compressed user data. Here are non-exhaustive example lists of the two classes of errors that may be encountered while reading log records with compressed data (row images).
Transient errors:
  • Table space access not allowed
  • Unable to access the table (lock timeout)
  • Out of memory (to load and store the required dictionary)
Permanent errors:
  • Table space in which the table resides does not exist
  • Table or table partition to which the log record belongs does not exist
  • A dictionary does not exist for the table or table partition
  • The log record contains row images compressed with a dictionary older than the dictionaries in the table


It is possible that a replication solution, or any other log reader, may fall behind database activities and receive an error reading a log record which contains compressed user data (see Scenario 1). Such a case could arise if the log record being read contains compressed user data that was compressed by an older compression dictionary than what is available in the table (at the time of the log read).

Similarly, if a table is dropped, the dictionaries associated with the table will also be removed. Compressed row images for the table cannot be decompressed in this case (see Scenario 2). Note that this restriction does not apply to row images that are not in a compressed state, as these row images can still be read and replicated even if the table is dropped.

For any one table, there can be only one active data compression dictionary and one historical dictionary.

Scenario 1:

Table t6 has compression enabled. The DATA CAPTURE CHANGES attribute, for replication purposes, is enabled for the table. The table is being replicated by a data replication application and the log reader is reading log records that contain compressed data (row images). A client log reader, using the db2ReadLog API, is reading the first log record for the first INSERT statement as a LOAD operation is performed on table t6, after a REORG TABLE command has been issued (causing the table's dictionary to be rebuilt).

The following statements are executed against table t6, which already contains a compression dictionary and has the DATA CAPTURE CHANGES attribute is enabled:
-> db2 alter table t6 data capture changes
-> db2 insert into t6 values (...)
-> db2 insert into t6 values (...)

Since a data compression dictionary already exists for table t6, the two INSERTs after the ALTER will be compressed (using Table t6's compression dictionary). At this point, the log reader has not yet reached the first INSERT statement.

The following REORG TABLE command causes a new compression dictionary to be built for table t6, and the current compression dictionary is kept as the historical dictionary, thus making the log reader one dictionary behind the current compression dictionary (however, the historical dictionary is not loaded into memory after the REORG):
-> db2 reorg table t6 resetdictionary
As the log reader is reading the INSERT log for the INSERT statements, which now requires the historical dictionary to be read in memory, the table t6 is undergoing a LOAD operation:
-> db2 load from data.del of del insert into table t6 allow no access

When the LOAD is executed on the source table, table t6 will be Z-locked due to the specified ALLOW NO ACCESS option. The log reader must load the historical dictionary into memory to decompress row images found in the INSERT log records, however, fetching the dictionary requires an IN table lock. In this case, the log reader will fail to acquire the lock. This results in the sqlcode member of the db2ReadLogFilterData structure to return SQL code SQL2048N. This corresponds to a transient error (that is, the log record might be decompressed if the API is called again). The log reader will return the compressed row image in the log record and continue on reading the next log record.

Scenario 2:

Table t7 has the DATA CAPTURE CHANGES attribute enabled. Compression is enabled for the table in order to reduce storage costs. The table is being replicated by a data replication application, however, the log reader has fallen behind on the source table activity and the data compression dictionary has already been rebuilt twice before the log reader reads from the log records again.

The following statements are executed against Table t7, with the DATA CAPTURE CHANGES attribute already enabled, table compression is enabled, and a new dictionary is built:
-> db2 alter table t7 compress yes
-> db2 reorg table t7 resetdictionary
-> db2 insert into t7 values (...)
A client log reader, using the db2ReadLog API, is about to read the next log corresponding to the first INSERT statement in the following statements:
-> db2 insert into t7 values (...)
-> db2 reorg table t7 resetdictionary
-> db2 insert into t7 values (...)
-> db2 reorg table t7 resetdictionary

The db2ReadLog API will not be able to decompress the contents of the log record in this case, because the log reader has fallen behind two or more REORG RESETDICTIONARY operations. The dictionary required to decompress the row image in the log record would not be found in the table; only the compression dictionary of the second REORG and the compression dictionary of the last REORG is stored with the table. However, the db2ReadLog API would not fail with an error. Instead, the uncompressed row image will be returned in the user buffer, and, in the db2ReadLogFilterData structure preceding the log record, the sqlcode member will return SQL code SQL0204N. This code corresponds to a permanent error (that is, the log record cannot ever be decompressed).


This failure to successfully decompress a compressed log record, due to a missing old compression dictionary, can occur on any platform on which a data replication solution uses the db2ReadLog API and the DATA CAPTURE CHANGES attribute is set for the table.

Resolving the problem

For transient errors, it may be possible to reissue the read request and successfully read the log. For example, if the log record belongs to a table residing in a table space and access to the table is not allowed, the dictionary may not be accessible to decompress the log record (see Scenario 1). The table space may become available at a later time, and reissuing the log read request at that time may successfully decompress the log record.
  • If a transient error is returned (see Scenario 1), read the error information in order to take appropriate action. This may include waiting for the table operation to complete, which could allow a re-read of the log record and decompression to be successful.
  • If a permanent error occurs (see Scenario 2), the row image in the log record cannot be decompressed since the compression dictionary, which was used to compress the row image, is no longer available. For this case, replication solutions may need to re-initialize the affected (target) table.