Last updated on Feb 18, 2021



An agent plugin is a block of user–supplied logic which is executed by HVR during replication. An agent plugin can be an operating system command or a database procedure. Each time HVR executes an agent plugin it passes parameters to indicate what stage the job has reached (e.g. start of capture, end of integration etc.). If action AgentPlugin is defined on a specific table, then it affects the entire job including data from other tables for that location.

Since HVR 5.6.5/13, HVR will only execute binaries and scripts available inside $HVR_HOME/lib/agent or $HVR_HOME/lib/transform. So, it is recommended to save custom scripts/agent plugins in these directories.

HVR can also execute binaries and scripts available inside other directories if they are whitelisted. Directories can be whitelisted by defining the property Allowed_Plugin_Paths in file $HVR_HOME/lib/hvraccess.conf. For reference, the sample configuration file hvraccess.conf_example can be found in the same directory.


This section describes the parameters available for action AgentPlugin.






Name of the agent plugin command. This can be a script or an executable.

Scripts can be shell scripts on Unix and batch scripts on Windows or can be files beginning with a 'magic line' (shebang) containing the interpreter for the script e.g. #!perl.

Argument path can be an absolute or a relative pathname. If a relative pathname is supplied the agents should be located in $HVR_HOME/lib/agent or in a directory specified with parameter /Path.

/Command cannot be used with parameter /DbProc.



Call database procedure dbproc during replication jobs. The database procedures are called in a new transaction; changes that do not commit themselves will be committed after agent plugin invocation by the HVR job.

/DbProc cannot be used with parameters /Command, /ExecOnHub, and /Path.



Pass extra argument userarg to each agent plugin execution.


Execute agent plugin on hub machine instead of location's machine.

/ExecOnHub cannot be used with parameter /DbProc.



Order of executing the agent plugin.



Search directory dir for agent plugin.

/Path cannot be used with parameter /DbProc.

This parameter is not available since HVR version 5.6.5/13.



Action only applies if Refresh/Compare context matches

Agent Plugins in HVR Distribution

By default, HVR distribution contains the following agent plugins:

Agent Plugin Arguments

If an agent plugin is defined, it is called several times at different points of the replication job. On execution, the first argument that is passed indicates the position in the job, for example cap_begin for when the agent plugin is called before capture.

Argument mode is either cap_begincap_endinteg_begininteg_endrefr_read_beginrefr_read_endrefr_write_begin or refr_write_end depending on the position in the replication job where the agent plugin was called. Agent plugins are not called during HVR Compare.

Modes cap_end and integ_end are passed information about whether data was actually replicated.

Command agent plugins can use $HVR_TBL_NAMES or $HVR_FILE_NAMES and database procedure agent plugins can use parameter hvr_changed_tables. An exception if an integrate job is interrupted; the next time it runs it does not know anymore which tables were changed so it will set these variables to an empty string or -1.

Agent plugins specified with /Command are called as follows:

 agent mode chn_name loc_name userarg

Database procedure agents (specified in /DbProc) are called as follows:

  • In Ingres,

    execute procedure agent (hvr_agent_mode='mode', hvr_chn_name='chn', hvr_loc_name='locname', hvr_agent_arg='userarg', hvr_changed_tables=N);

  • In Oracle,

    agent (hvr_agent_mode$=>'mode', hvr_chn_name$=>'chn', hvr_loc_name$=>'locname', hvr_agent_arg$=>'userarg', hvr_changed_tables$=N);

  • In SQL Server,

    execute agent @hvr_agent_mode='mode', @hvr_chn_name='chn', @hvr_loc_name='locname', @hvr_agent_arg='userarg', @hvr_changed_tables=N;

The parameter hvr_changed_tables specifies the number (N) of tables that were changed.

Agent Plugin Interpreter

If the agent plugin is a script, HVR will consider its shebang line to execute it with an interpreter. It is recommended that only the interpreter program name is specified here (for example, #!perl or #!python). It is not required to specify the absolute path in the shebang line. HVR will automatically determine the path for the specified interpreter using the environment variable PATH.

Agent Plugin Environment

An agent plugin inherits the environment of its parent process. On the hub, the parent of the agent plugin's parent process is the HVR Scheduler. On a remote Unix machine it is the inetd daemon. On a remote Windows machine it is the HVR Remote Listener service. Differences with the environment of the parent process are as follows:

  • Environment variable $HVR_TBL_NAMES is set to a colon–separated list of tables for which the job is replicating (for example HVR_TBL_NAMES=tbl1:tbl2:tbl3). Also variable $HVR_BASE_NAMES is set to a colon–separated list of table 'base names', which are prefixed by a schema name if TableProperties /Schema is defined (for example HVR_BASE_NAMES=base1:sch2.base2:base3). For modes cap_end and integ_end these variables are restricted to only the tables actually processed. Environment variables $HVR_TBL_KEYS and $HVR_TBL_KEYS_BASE are colon–separated lists of keys for each table specified in $HVR_TBL_NAMES (e.g. k1,k2:k:k3,k4). The column list is specified in $HVR_COL_NAMES and $HVR_COL_NAMES_BASE.
  • Environment variable $HVR_CONTEXTS is defined with a comma–separated list of contexts defined with HVR Refresh or Compare (option –Cctx).
  • Environment variables $HVR_VAR_XXX are defined for each context variable supplied to HVR Refresh or Compare (option –Vxxx=val).
  • For database locations, environment variable $HVR_LOC_DB_NAME$HVR_LOC_DB_USER (unless no value is necessary).
  • For Oracle locations, the environment variables $HVR_LOC_DB_USER$ORACLE_HOME and $ORACLE_SID are set and $ORACLE_HOME/bin is added to the path.
  • For Ingres locations the environment variable $II_SYSTEM is set and $II_SYSTEM/ingres/bin is added to the path.
  • For SQL Server locations, the environment variables $HVR_LOC_DB_SERVER$HVR_LOC_DB_NAME$HVR_LOC_DB_USER and $HVR_LOC_DB_PWD are set (unless no value is necessary).
  • For file locations variables $HVR_FILE_LOC and $HVR_LOC_STATEDIR are set to the file location's top and state directory respectively. For modes cap_end and integ_end variable $HVR_FILE_NAMES is set to a colon–separated list of replicated files, unless this information is not available because of recovery. For mode integ_end, the following environment variables are also set: $HVR_FILE_NROWS containing colon-separated list of number of rows per file for each file specified in $HVR_FILE_NAMES (for example HVR_FILE_NROWS=1005:1053:1033); $HVR_TBL_NROWS containing colon-separated list of number of rows per table for each table specified in $HVR_TBL_NAMES$HVR_TBL_CAP_TSTAMP containing colon-separated list of first row's capture timestamp for each table specified in $HVR_TBL_NAMES$HVR_TBL_OPS containing colon-separated list of comma-separated hvr_op=count pairs per table for each table specified in $HVR_TBL_NAMES (for example HVR_TBL_OPS=1=50,2=52:1=75,2=26:1=256). If the number of files or tables replicated are extremely large then these values are abbreviated and suffixed with "...". If the values are abbreviated, refer to $HVR_LONG_ENVIRONMENT for the actual values.
  • Environment variables with too long values for operating system are abbreviated and suffixed with "...". If the values are abbreviated, HVR creates a temporary file containing original values of these environment variables. The format for this temporary file is a JSON map consisting of key value pairs and the absolute path of this file is set in $HVR_LONG_ENVIRONMENT.
  • Any variable defined by action Environment is also set in the agent plugin's environment.
  • The current working directory for local file locations (not FTP, SFTP, SharePoint/WebDAV, HDFS or S3) is the top directory of the file location. For other locations (e.g. database locations) it is $HVR_TMP, or $HVR_CONFIG/tmp if this is not defined.
  • stdin is closed and stdout and stderr are redirected (via network pipes) to the job's logfiles.

If a command agent plugin encounters a problem it should write an error message and return with exit code 1, which will cause the replication job to fail. If the agent does not want to do anything for a mode or does not recognize the mode (new modes may be added in future HVR versions) then the agent should return exit code 2, without writing an error message.


This section lists few examples of agent plugin scripts:

Example 1: An agent plugin script (in Perl), which prints "hello world"

 # Exit codes: 0=success, 1=error, 2=ignore_mode
 if($ARGV[0] eq "cap_begin") \{
     print "Hello World\n";
     exit 0;   
 else \{
     exit 2;   

Example 2: An agent plugin script (in Perl), which prints out arguments and environment at the end of every integrate cycle

 require 5;
 if ($ARGV[0] eq "integ_end")
    foreach $arg (@ARGV) \{
        print "$arg ";
    print ")\n";
    # print current working directory
    use Cwd;
    printf("cwd=%s\n", cwd());
    # print (part of the) environment
    exit 0; # Success
    exit 2; # Ignore mode

Example 3: An agent plugin script (in Python), which utilizes $HVR_LONG_ENVIRONMENT to print environment variables at the end of every integrate cycle


 import os
 import sys
 import json

 if __name__ == "__main__":
     if sys.argv[1] == 'integ_end':
         if 'HVR_LONG_ENVIRONMENT' in os.environ:
             with open(os.environ['HVR_LONG_ENVIRONMENT'], 'r') as f:
                 long_environment= json.loads(
             long_environment= \{\}  # empty dict

         # print (part of the) environment
         if 'HVR_FILE_NAMES' in long_environment:
             print 'HVR_FILE_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(long_environment['HVR_FILE_NAMES'])
         elif 'HVR_FILE_NAMES' in os.environ:
             print 'HVR_FILE_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(os.environ['HVR_FILE_NAMES'])
             print 'HVR_FILE_NAMES=<not set>'
         if 'HVR_TBL_NAMES' in long_environment:
             print 'HVR_TBL_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(long_environment['HVR_TBL_NAMES'])
         elif 'HVR_TBL_NAMES' in os.environ:
             print 'HVR_TBL_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(os.environ['HVR_TBL_NAMES'])
             print 'HVR_TBL_NAMES=<not set>'

         if 'HVR_BASE_NAMES' in long_environment:
             print 'HVR_BASE_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(long_environment['HVR_BASE_NAMES'])
         elif 'HVR_BASE_NAMES' in os.environ:
             print 'HVR_BASE_NAMES=\{0\}'.format(os.environ['HVR_BASE_NAMES'])
             print 'HVR_BASE_NAMES=<not set>'

         sys.exit(0)  # Success
         sys.exit(2)  # Ignore mode

Example 4: A database procedure agent plugin that populates table order_line after a refresh.

 create procedure [dbo].[refr_agent] (
    @hvr_agent_mode varchar(20),
    @hvr_chn_name varchar(20),
    @hvr_loc_name varchar(20),
    @hvr_agent_arg varchar(20),
    @hvr_changed_tables numeric
 ) as
    if @hvr_agent_mode = 'refr_write_begin'
        begin try
            delete from order_line
        end try
        begin catch
           -- ignore errors; nothing to delete
        end catch
    else if @hvr_agent_mode = 'refr_write_end'
        insert into order_line
            SELECT i.item_id,
              FROM items i, price p