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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 particular bind variable, but other times these values were existing and very popular. There were two suitable candidate indexes and one of them appeared to the optimizer more attractive in case of the "non-existing" value case.

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 of the SQL runtime engine.As long as the scalar subquery didn't get used everything worked as expected, but after adding the scalar subquery after some while it became obvious that wrong results occurred - in that particular case here it meant rows that should have been rejected and written to the error logging table due to the exception raised in the user-defined PL/SQL function suddenly showed up in the target table, and what was even more worrying - they included a co

Is SLOB AWR Generation Really, Really, Really Slow on Oracle Database Yes, Unless…

If you are testing SLOB against and find that the AWR report generation phase of is taking an inordinate amount of time (e.g., more than 10 seconds) then please be aware that, in the SLOB/awr subdirectory, there is a remedy script rightly called 11204-awr-stall-fix.sql.

Simply execute this script when connected to the instance with sysdba privilege and the problem will be solved. 

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

The following is probably only relevant for customers that run Oracle on big servers with lots of cores in single instance mode (this specific problem here doesn't reproduce in a RAC environment, see below for an explanation why), like one of my clients that makes use of the Exadata Xn-8 servers, for example a X4-8 with 120 cores / 240 CPUs per node (but also reproduced on older and smaller boxes with 64 cores / 128 CPUs per node).

Video Tutorial: XPLAN_ASH Active Session History - Introduction

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.


Now that I've shown in the previous post in general that sometimes Parallel Execution plans might end up with unnecessary BUFFER SORT operations, let's have a look what particular side effects are possible due to this.

What would you say if someone tells you that (s)he just did a simple, straightforward "SELECT * FROM TABLE" that took several minutes to execute without returning, only to then error out with "ORA-01652 unable to extend temp segment", and the TABLE in question is actually nothing but a simple, partitioned heap table, so no special tricks, no views, synonyms, VPD etc. involved, it's really just a plain simple table?

Unnecessary BUFFER SORT Operations - Parallel Concatenation Transformation

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.

Heuristic TEMP Table Transformation

There are at least three different ways how the Oracle optimizer can come up with a so called TEMP table transformation, that is materializing an intermediate result set:- As part of a star transformation the repeated access to dimensions can be materialized- As part of evaluating GROUPING SETs intermediate result sets can be materialized- Common Subquery/Table Expressions (CTE, WITH clause)Probably the most common usage of the materialization is in conjunction with the WITH clause.This is nothing new but since I came across this issue several times recently, here's a short demonstration and a reminder that this so called "TEMP Table Transformation" - at least in the context of the WITH clause - isn't really cost-based, in contrast to most other optimizer transformations nowadays - although the unnest transformation of subqueries also has a "no-brainer" variant where costing isn't considered.The logic simp

Warning: Problems with 9.2 clients connecting to databases patched to…

I mentioned this a couple of days ago on Twitter, but I’ve only just go round to posting here…

I recently had to back out some patches because the patch seems to cause problems with Oracle 9.2 client connections where worked fine. I’m not sure how widespread the problem is. All I can tell you is we had two separate occasions (services) where this happened, so we’ve put a halt on patching to until we can identify and upgrade the old clients.

Why are there 9.2 clients lurking around? In some cases it’s due to certification of legacy apps. In other cases it’s because the service owner has been working on a, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, basis. I guess now it’s broke, we gotta fix it. :)

If you have legacy client installations lurking around, you might want to tread carefully when testing this patch.

Good luck!