Enabling Flashback – Be Cautions

Enabling flashback on database can take minutes and cause multiple database wait events degrading database performance.

On a quite busy system, during the low peak hours, I tried to enable flashback on version database and multiple sessions waited on

1. buffer exterminate
2. enq: SQ – contention
3. latch: cbc contention
4. SGA: allocation forcing component growth

PRAKANAN_DBA@:1> show parameter sga_target
NAME                           TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------ -----------  (more...)

Queue-based Concurrent Stats Prototype Implementation

This is just a prototype of a queue-based concurrent statistics implementation - using the same basic implementation I've used a a couple of years ago to create indexes concurrently.There are reasons why such an implementation might be useful - in 11.2.0.x the built-in Concurrent Stats feature might turn out to be not really that efficient by creating lots of jobs that potentially attempt to gather statistics for different sub-objects of the (more...)

"Cost Based Optimizer: Grundlagen – mit Update für Oracle 12c" Artikel (German)

Seit gestern steht auf der "Informatik Aktuell"-Seite mein Artikel "Cost Based Optimizer: Grundlagen – mit Update für Oracle 12c" zur Verfügung.

Er stimmt auch inhaltlich auf meinen Vortrag bei den IT-Tagen 2016 am 13. Dezember ein.

Sollte Sie das Thema interessieren, lade ich Sie hiermit also herzlich zu meinem Vortrag ein, bei dem ich das Thema auch mit Live-Demonstrationen vertiefen werde.

Statement-level PARALLEL Hint

From version 11.2 onward, the PARALLEL hint supports two syntaxes: object-level and statement-level. The object-level syntax, which is the only one available up to version 11.1, overrides the DOP associated to a tables. The statement-level syntax can not only override the PARALLEL_DEGREE_POLICY initialization parameter at the SQL statement level, but also force the utilization of parallel processing.

The statement-level PARALLEL hint supports the following values:

  • PARALLEL(DEFAULT) forces the default DOP. Note that the (more...)

Adaptive Cursor Sharing Fail

Here is another example (besides the fact that Adaptive Cursor Sharing only gets evaluated during a PARSE call (still valid in 12c) and supports a maximum of 14 bind variables) I've recently come across at a client site where the default implementation of Adaptive Cursor Sharing fails to create a more suitable execution plan for different bind variable values.Broken down to a bare minimum the query was sometimes executed using non-existing values for a (more...)

Nested Loop Join Physical I/O Optimizations

Having done my mini-series on Nested Loop join logical I/O optimizations a while ago I unfortunately never managed to publish anything regarding the Nested Loop join physical I/O optimizations, which are certainly much more relevant to real-life performance.Therefore the main purpose of this blog post is to point you to Nikolay Savvinov's (whose blog I can recommend in general) great mini-series covering various aspects of these optimizations:Part 1Part 2Part 3Summary (more...)

Comparing Columns Containing NULL Values

Prompted by a (not really that) recent discussion on the OTN forum I've decided to publish this note.Sometimes you have the task of comparing column values and handling the NULL value cases correctly makes this rather cumbersome for columns that are allowed to be NULL.The "official" SQL way of comparing two column values and to find out whether they are equal or not - under the assumption that having NULL in both columns (more...)

Outer Join with OR and Lateral View Decorrelation

Use of ANSI SQL is a personal thing.

Historically I have not been a fan apart from where it makes things easier/possible.

This reticence was mainly due to optimizer bugs and limitations in the earlier days.

Recently I have been using it much more because I find that the developers I interact with prefer it / understand it better.

You might/should be aware that Oracle will rewrite ANSI SQL to an Oracle syntax representation, this (more...)

New Version Of XPLAN_ASH Utility

A new version 4.23 of the XPLAN_ASH utility is available for download.

As usual the latest version can be downloaded here.

This version comes only with minor changes, see the change log below.

Here are the notes from the change log:

- Finally corrected the very old and wrong description of "wait times" in the script comments, where it was talking about "in-flight" wait events but that is not correct. ASH performs a "fix-up" (more...)

When CURSOR_SHARING=FORCE, Does Literal Replacement Always Take Place?

The concept of cursor sharing is simple. If an application executes SQL statements containing literals and if cursor sharing is enabled (i.e. CURSOR_SHARING=FORCE), the database engine automatically replaces the literals with bind variables. Thanks to these replacements, hard parses might be turned into soft parses for the SQL statements that differ only in the literals.

The question raised by the title of this post is: in case cursor sharing is enabled, does literal replacement (more...)

Combining Features – Wrong Results With Scalar Subquery Caching

Quite often you can get into trouble with Oracle when you start combining different features.In this case of one my clients it is the combination of user-defined PL/SQL functions that can raise exceptions (think of currency conversion and a non-existent currency code gets passed into the function), DML error logging and attempting to improve performance by wrapping the PL/SQL function call into a scalar subquery to benefit from the built-in scalar subquery caching feature (more...)


Why you might want to think twice about using INSERT ALL.

One of those things I knew and then forgot.

So, let’s say you’ve got three tables or a partitioned table or something like that.

Let’s use regional tables for simplicity.

drop table t1_r1;
drop table t1_r2;
drop table t1_r3;

create table t1_r1
(col1 varchar2(2) not null
,col2 number not null
,check( col1 in ('R1')));

create table t1_r2
(col1 varchar2(2) not null
,col2 number not  (more...)

Oracle ASMLib

This blog post is more of a note for myself on configuring ASMLib.

ASMLib is an optional utility that can be used on Linux systems to manage Oracle ASM devices.

ASMLib consists of the following components:

An open source (GPL) kernel module package: kmod-oracleasm
An open source (GPL) utilities package: oracleasm-support
A closed source (proprietary) library package: oracleasmlib

On my Oracle VMBox, I performed the below steps –

1. Check the installed packages related to (more...)


For most of our database set-ups we use a different TEMP space for application users than for end-user/support/developer/reporting usage.
The intention is to minimise the potential impact of a rogue ad-hoc query on the main applicaiton.

However, turns out this is ineffective IF you use:


This is documented but I wasn’t previously aware.
No surprise that this learning opportunity was presented as a direct result of a rogue query (more...)

Did it really fix it 2: Plan flip, unprofileable, baseline OFE round 2 and “stability”

Snappy title, huh?

Aka: Why a sql plan baseline may be no guarantee of stability.

The other day, a problematic plan flip…

Tangent 1:
Cue much discussion about plan flips etc.
My thoughts on stability are that the priority for most application owners is stability and predictability but that does not tally with the defaul CBO behaviour and potentially you have to turn off a helluva lot to even get close.

Tangent 2:
I have (more...)

Did it really fix it 1: OFE & nasty FIRST_ROWS plan on

Plan degradations on upgrade are normal.

This one’s no different.

On further investigation, turned out application was setting optimizer_mode = first_rows somewhere.

First point about this is that first_rows really shouldn’t be used either as a hint or as an optimizer_mode.

What does FIRST_ROWS mean?
From 11g doco:

The optimizer uses a mix of costs and heuristics to find a best plan for fast delivery of the first few rows.

If any sort of (more...)

SQL Tuning: Thinking in Sets / How and When to be Bushy

Below is a SQL statement from a performance problem I was looking at the other day.

This is a real-world bit of SQL which has slightly simplified and sanitised but, I hope, without losing the real-worldliness of it and the points driving this article.

You don’t really need to be familiar with the data or table structures (I wasn’t) as this is a commentary on SQL structure and why sometimes a rewrite is the best (more...)

What AWR isn’t telling you

It is well-known that AWR, and Statspack before, take snapshots of V$ views (or rather the underlying objects) to produce the data in AWR.

It is also well-known that, when considering sql and its statistics in the shared pool, if something big hitting happens but the big-hitter is no longer in the shared pool by the time of the snapshot, then it can’t be recorded in your AWR picture of activity.

But like many things (more...)

Quick Cross-Period AWR Time Model Comparison

Here’s a query which I find useful in order to have a very quick comparison across AWR snapshots of the high level time model statistics.
The numbers should match those in the associated section in the AWR report.

If you feel compulsed, obsessively, with tuning then you may see some blips here and there which then encourage you to dive into the AWR detail for that snapshot.

Or quite often I get in in the (more...)

latch: cache buffers chains and rollback

I had an interesting encounter with latch: cbc contention early this week. During my oncall I received page for Load of 206.81 exceeded threshold of 150. After I logged into server , the server load average was continously increasing and all the top PIDs were of oracle processes. After logging into database, I saw multiple sessions waiting on latch: cache buffer chains wait event

load average: 258.52, 244.27, 226.15

select username,sql_id,event,count(*)  (more...)