Continuous Query Notification (CQN)

Continuous Query Notification (CQN) allows applications to receive notifications when a table changes, such as when rows have been updated, regardless of the user or the application that made the change. This can be useful in many circumstances, such as near real-time monitoring, auditing applications, or for such purposes as mid-tier cache invalidation. A cache might hold some values that depend on data in a table. If the data in the table changes, the cached values must then be updated with the new information.

CQN notification behavior is widely configurable. Choices include specifying what types of SQL should trigger a notification, whether notifications should survive database loss, and control over unsubscription. You can also choose whether notification messages will include ROWIDs of affected rows.

By default, object-level (previously known as Database Change Notification) occurs and the Python notification method is invoked whenever a database transaction is committed that changes an object that a registered query references, regardless of whether the actual query result changed. However if the subscription option qos is cx_Oracle.SUBSCR_QOS_QUERY then query-level notification occurs. In this mode, the database notifies the application whenever a transaction changing the result of the registered query is committed.

CQN is best used to track infrequent data changes.


Before using CQN, users must have appropriate permissions:


To use CQN, connections must have events mode set to True, for example:

connection = cx_Oracle.connect(userName, password, "", events=True)

The default CQN connection mode means the database must be able to connect back to the application using cx_Oracle in order to receive notification events. Alternatively, when using Oracle Database and Oracle client libraries 19.4, or later, subscriptions can set the optional clientInitiated parameter to True, see Connection.subscribe() below.

The default CQN connection mode typically means that the machine running cx_Oracle needs a fixed IP address. Note Connection.subscribe() does not verify that this reverse connection is possible. If there is any problem sending a notification, then the callback method will not be invoked. Configuration options can include an IP address and port on which cx_Oracle will listen for notifications; otherwise, the database chooses values.

Creating a Subscription

Subscriptions allow Python to receives notifications for events that take place in the database that match the given parameters.

For example, a basic CQN subscription might be created like:


See Connection.subscribe() for details on all of the parameters.

See Operation Codes for the types of operations that are supported.

See Subscription Quality of Service for the quality of service values that are supported.

See Subscription Namespaces and Subscription Protocols for the namespaces and protocols that are supported.

See Subscription Object for more details on the subscription object that is created.

When using Oracle Database and Oracle client libraries 19.4, or later, the optional subscription parameter clientInitiated can be set:

connection.subscribe(namespace= . . ., callback=MyCallback, clientInitiated=True)

This enables CQN “client initiated” connections which internally use the same approach as normal cx_Oracle connections to the database, and do not require the database to be able to connect back to the application. Since client initiated connections do not need special network configuration they have ease-of-use and security advantages.

Registering Queries

Once a subscription has been created, one or more queries must be registered by calling Subscription.registerquery(). Registering a query behaves similarly to Cursor.execute(), but only queries are permitted and the args parameter must be a sequence or dictionary.

An example script to receive query notifications when the ‘CUSTOMER’ table data changes is:

def CQNCallback(message):
    for query in message.queries:
        for tab in query.tables:
            print("Operation:", tab.operation)
            for row in tab.rows:
                if row.operation & cx_Oracle.OPCODE_INSERT:
                    print("INSERT of rowid:", row.rowid)
                if row.operation & cx_Oracle.OPCODE_DELETE:
                    print("DELETE of rowid:", row.rowid)

subscr = connection.subscribe(namespace=cx_Oracle.SUBSCR_NAMESPACE_DBCHANGE,
        operations=cx_Oracle.OPCODE_INSERT | cx_Oracle.OPCODE_DELETE,
        qos = cx_Oracle.SUBSCR_QOS_QUERY | cx_Oracle.SUBSCR_QOS_ROWIDS)
subscr.registerquery("select * from regions")
input("Hit enter to stop CQN demo\n")

Running the above script, shows the initial output as:

Hit enter to stop CQN demo

Use SQL*Plus or another tool to commit a change to the table:

insert into regions values(120, 'L');

When the commit is executed, a notification will be received by the callback which should print something like the following:

Hit enter to stop CQN demo
Operation: 2

See GitHub Samples for a runnable CQN example.