Index Compression

Richard Foote has published a couple of articles in the last few days on the new (licensed under the advanced compression option) compression mechanism in 12.2 for index leaf blocks. The second of these pointed out that the new “high compression” mechanism was even able to compress single-column unique indexes – a detail that doesn’t make sense and isn’t allowed for the older style “leading edge deduplication” mechanism for index compression.

In 12.2 (more...)

Extended Stats

After my Masterclass on indexes at the UKOUG Tech2016 conference this morning I got into a conversation about creating extended stats on a table. I had pointed out in the masterclass that each time you dropped an index you really ought to be prepared to create a set of extended stats (specifically a column group) on the list of columns that had defined the index just in case the optimizer had been using the distinct_keys (more...)

Histogram Upgrade

I’ve written notes in the past about the improvements 12c introduces for histograms – particularly the frequency and top-N histograms which can be generated “free of charge” while the basic “approximate NDV” scans are taking place to gather stats. Gathering histograms in 12c is much safer than it used to be in earlier versions of Oracle even in the case of the new hybrid histograms (which are still sampled on a very small sample and (more...)

Delete/Insert #2

In the previous post I threw out a couple of options for addressing the requirement to transfer data from one table to another (“cut and paste” rather than just “copy”) without running into odd inconsistency errors. This triggered of a wonderful comment trail of alternatives based on how large the volume might be, how relaxed the concurrency requirements might be, and so on.

A comment by SydOracle1 picked up on my failure to get Oracle (more...)


Many of the questions that appear on OTN are deceptively simple until you start thinking carefully about the implications; one such showed up a little while ago:

What i want to do is to delete rows from table where it matches condition upper(CATEGORY_DESCRIPTION) like ‘%BOOK%’.

At the same time i want these rows to be inserted into other table.

The first problem is this: how carefully does the requirement need to be stated before (more...)

Distributed Trap

Here’s an interesting (and potentially very useful) observation from an OTN database forum thread that appeared at the end of last week. It concerns the problems of pulling data from remote systems, and I’ll start by building some data:

rem     Script:         remote_insert_2.sql
rem     Author:         Jonathan Lewis
rem     Dated:          Nov 2016
rem     Last tested

create table t1
with generator as (


A current question on the OTN database forum asks: “What’s the difference between object and tablespace reorganization?” Here’s an analogy to address the question.

I have three crates of Guiness in the boot (trunk) of my car, one crate has 4 bottles left, one has 7 bottles left and one has 2 bottles. I also have two cases of Louis Roederer Brut NV champagne, one case has 2 bottles left and one has only (more...)

Filter Subquery

There’s a current thread on the OTN database forum showing an execution plan with a slightly unusual feature. It looks like this:

| Id  | Operation                                |  Name                          | Rows  | Bytes |TempSpc| Cost  | Pstart| Pstop |  
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                         |                                |   137K|    27M|       |   134K|       |       |  
|*  1 |  HASH JOIN                               |                                |   137K|    27M|    27M|   134K|       |       |  
|*  2 |   HASH JOIN                              |                                |   140K|    26M|   (more...)

So Long ACED

… and thanks for all the fish.

Today I removed myself from the OTN ACED program. This isn’t a reflection on the anything to do with the ACE program – quite the reverse, in fact – it’s because they’re introducing steps to ensure that the ACE Directors can justify their titles. Unfortunately, as anyone who has gone through (e.g.) ISO 9001 certification can tell you, quality assurance tends to translate into paperwork and (more...)

Anniversary OICA

Happy anniversary to me!

On this day 10 years ago I published the first article in my blog. It was about the parameter optimizer_index_cost_adj (hence OICA), a parameter that has been a  source of many performance problems and baffled DBAs over the years and, if you read my first blog posting, a parameter that should be

It seems appropriate to mention it today because I recently found a blog posting (dated 3rd May 2013 (more...)