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September 2015

Histogram Tip

I’ve just responded to the call for items for the “IOUG Quick Tips” booklet for 2015 – so it’s probably about time to post the quick tip that I put into the 2014 issue. It’s probably nothing new to most readers of the blog, but sometimes an old thing presented in a new way offers fresh insights or better comprehension.

Histogram Tips

A histogram, created in the right way, at the right time, and supported by the correct client-side code, can be a huge benefit to the optimizer; but if you don’t create and use them wisely they can easily become a source of inconsistent performance, and the automatic statistics gathering can introduce an undesirable overhead during the overnight batch. This note explains how you can create histograms very cheaply on the few columns where they are most likely to have a beneficial effect.

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 In my case every table is owned by a different schema (P, C1 and C2 respectively). But, the behavior I describe is independent from that fact (i.e. it works in the same way if all tables are owned by the same schema). If you are interested, here is the SQL*Plus script I used to create them.

Speaking in Portland at NWOUG Monday Sept 14

Looking forward to speaking at

Please come join me !

I lived in Portland between 2006-2008 and love city. It will be fun being back.

8:15 – 9:00 Keynote “EBS Strategy and Roadmap” – Vanessa Paskill

Updating the Raspberry Pi Vbox Image

So one of the things I like to do is test out a lot of my python gaming code, (as far as for the coding and syntax) on my Oracle Virtualbox image of my Raspberry Pi.  Another great thing about building games on the Raspberry Pi, is a built in module called Pygame.

Oracle Midlands : Event #11 – Summary

oracle-midlandsLast night was Oracle Midlands event #11 with Chris Antognini.

The lead up to this event was not the best for me. I had been on the verge of a headache all day. By 14:00 I gave up, went home and went to sleep for a couple of hours. It wasn’t great, but it was just enough to take the edge off, so when the time came, I felt sort-of OK to head out for the event. The drive started to convince me this wasn’t the best move, but once I got to the event and sat down I figured I was going to make it. :)

Chris did two talks at the event.


Here’s a simple data set – I’m only interested in three of the columns in the work that follows, but it’s a data set that I use for a number of different models:

Index Usage – 4

Here’s a thought that came to me while I was writing up a note about identifying redundant indexes a few minutes ago. Sometimes you end up supporting applications with unexpected duplication of data and indexes and need to find ways to reduce overheads. Here’s some code modelling a scenario that I’ve seen more often than I like (actually, just once would be more often than I’d like):

Index Usage – 3

In my last note on index usage I introduced the idea of looking at v$segstat (or v$segment_statistics) and comparing the “logical reads” statistic with the “db block changes” statistic as an indicator of whether or not the index was used in execution plans. This week I’ll explain the idea and show you some results – with a little commentary – from a production system that was reported on the OTN database forum.