A consistent backup is one in which the files being backed up contain all changes up to the same system change number (SCN). This means that the files in the backup contain all the data taken from a same point in time. Unlike an inconsistent backup, a consistent whole database backup does not require recovery after it is restored.
An inconsistent backup is a backup of one or more database files that you make while the database is open or after the database has shut down abnormally.
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