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...)

INSERT ALL caveat

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...)

Side-effect of ALTER SESSION SET CURRENT_SCHEMA

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:

ALTER SESSION SET CURRENT_SCHEMA = main_app_schema;

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...)

Also Extensions Created Because of SQL Plan Directives Can Invalidate Packages – Take Two

In a previous post I described a situation where the creation of an extension, independently of whether it’s carried out manually by a person or automatically by the database engine, can lead to the invalidation of PL/SQL objects. In this second post on that subject, I describe, with the help of an example (I love examples!) based on the extension_invalidate_pkg_remote.sql script, what can happen when the table on which the extension is created (more...)

Big Nodes, Concurrent Parallel Execution And High System/Kernel Time

This probably only is relevant for customers that run Oracle on big servers with lots of cores, like some of my clients that make use of the Exadata Xn-8 servers, like a X4-8 with 120 cores / 240 CPUs per node.

They recently came up with a re-write of a core application functionality. Part of this code did start the same code path for different data sets potentially several times concurrently ending up with many (more...)

DML Operations On Partitioned Tables Can Restart On Invalidation

It's probably not that well known that Oracle can actually rollback / re-start the execution of a DML statement should the cursor become invalidated. By rollback / re-start I mean that Oracle actually performs a statement level rollback (so any modification already performed by that statement until that point gets rolled back), performs another optimization phase of the statement on re-start (due to the invalidation) and begins the execution of the statement from scratch. Note (more...)

New Version Of XPLAN_ASH Utility

A new version 4.22 of the XPLAN_ASH utility is available for download.

As usual the latest version can be downloaded here.

This version primarily addresses an issue with 12c - if the HIST mode got used to pull ASH information from AWR in 12c it turned out that Oracle forgot to add the new "DELTA_READ_MEM_BYTES" columns to DBA_HIST_ACTIVE_SESS_HISTORY - although it got officially added to V$ACTIVE_SESSION_HISTORY in 12c. So now I had to implement (more...)

Also Extensions Created Because of SQL Plan Directives Can Invalidate Packages

The fact that an extension explicitly created by a user through DBMS_STATS can invalidate objects like packages is not new in 12c. It has been like that since the introduction of extensions in 11g. In my opinion, since such an invalidation takes place only when a developer or DBA triggers it, I do not consider it a major problem.

What is new in 12c is that a SQL plan directive can instruct DBMS_STATS to create (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 11.2.0.4

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...)

Auto SGA Management Impacts the Default Value of DB_FILE_MULTIBLOCK_READ_COUNT

The database engine determines the maximum disk I/O size used during multiblock reads (for example, full table scans or index fast full scans) by multiplying the values of the db_block_size and db_file_multiblock_read_count initialization parameters. The db_file_multiblock_read_count initialization parameter can be set explicitly, or, as of version 10.2, it’s also possible to instruct the database engine to automatically configure it. For the latter, simply don’t set it.

About the value which is automatically determined by (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...)

ORDIM – Oracle Multimedia – Invalid after upgrade

ORDIM – The Oracle Multimedia component might be in INVALID state after the database upgrade to 12c. While I was testing the upgrade on test server, received below errors after the catctl.pl completion.

Serial   Phase #:69 Files: 1 Use of uninitialized value $gsRTInclusion in concatenation (.) or string at catctl.pl line 1500.
    Time: 49s

------------------------------------------------------
Phases [0-73]         End Time:[2015_08_08 08:06:45]
------------------------------------------------------

Grand Total Time: 4848s

*** WARNING: ERRORS FOUND DURING UPGRADE ***

 (more...)

Foreign Keys and Library Cache Locks

In this post I would like to describe a behavior of Oracle Database that, at least for me, isn’t obvious at all. Actually, it’s something that I can’t explain why it works in that way.

Let’s start by setting the scene by describing the schema I’m using for the following tests. As you can see from the image, there are three tables: one table (PARENT) that is referenced by two other tables (CHILD1 and CHILD2). Schema used for the tests (more...)

Parallel Projection

A recent case at a client reminded me of something that isn't really new but not so well known - Oracle by default performs evaluation at the latest possible point in the execution plan.So if you happen to have expressions in the projection of a simple SQL statement that runs parallel it might be counter-intuitive that by default Oracle won't evaluate the projection in the Parallel Slaves but in the Query Coordinator - even (more...)