In general it is known that Function-Based Indexes (FBIs) can no longer be used by the optimizer if the expression contains literals and CURSOR_SHARING = FORCE / SIMILAR (deprecated) turns those literals into bind variables.
I finally got around preparing another part of the XPLAN_ASH video tutorial.
This part is about the main funcationality of XPLAN_ASH: SQL statement execution analysis using Active Session History and Real-Time SQL Monitoring.
In this video tutorial I'll explain what the output of XPLAN_ASH is supposed to mean when using the Active Session History functionality of the script. Before diving into the details of the script output using sample reports I provide some overview and introduction in this part that hopefully makes it simpler to understand how the output is organized and what it is supposed to mean.
This is the initial, general introduction part. More parts to follow.
When using Parallel Execution, depending on the plan shape and the operations used, Oracle sometimes needs to turn non-blocking operations into blocking operations, which means in this case that the row source no longer passes its output data directly to the parent operation but buffers some data temporarily in PGA memory / TEMP. This is either accomplished via the special HASH JOIN BUFFERED operation, or simply by adding BUFFER SORT operations to the plan.The reason for such a behaviour in parallel plans is the limitation of Oracle Parallel Execution that allows only a single data redistribution to be active concurrently.
When the optimizer has to estimate the data volume (the BYTES column in the plan output), it usually bases this information on the column statistics, if applicable and available (think of complex expressions).However, whenever there is a VIEW operator in an execution plan, that represents an unmerged view, the optimizer obviously "loses" this information and starts applying defaults that are based on the column definition.Depending on the actual content of the columns this can lead to dramatic differences in data volume estimates.Both, under- and overestimates are possible, because for character based columns these defaults seem to be based on an assumed 50% fill grade, so a VARCHAR2(100 BYTE) column counts as 50 bytes data volume.For multi-byte character sets the same rule applies based on the maximum width of a column using the "char" semantics, so a VARCHAR2(1000 CHAR) column counts as 2000 byte
The TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONE data type that got introduced a long time ago is known for some oddities, for example Tony Hasler has a nice summary of some of them here.Here is another oddity that shows up when trying to aggregate on such a data type. Have a look at the following simple example:
create table t
rownum as id
, date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as some_date
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp) as some_timestamp
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp with local time zone) as some_timestamp_with_local_tz
, cast(date '2000-01-01' + rownum - 1 as timestamp with time zone) as some_timestamp_with_timezone
A new major release (version 3.0) of my XPLAN_ASH tool is available for download.
In addition to many changes to the way the information is presented and many other smaller changes to functionality there is one major new feature: XPLAN_ASH now also supports S-ASH, the free ASH implementation.
If you run XPLAN_ASH in a S-ASH repository owner schema, it will automatically detect that and adjust accordingly.
XPLAN_ASH was tested against the latest stable version of S-ASH (2.3). There are some minor changes required to that S-ASH release in order to function properly with XPLAN_ASH. Most of them will be included in the next S-ASH release as they really are only minor and don't influence the general S-ASH functionality at all.
Here is an interesting limitation to Exadata Smart Scans - if more than 254 columns from a table (not HCC compressed, more on that in moment) need to be projected, Smart Scans for that particular segment will be disabled and Exadata will fall back to conventional I/O.