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12cR2

Indexing Null Values - Part 2

In the previous post I've demonstrated that Oracle has some problems to make efficient use of B*Tree indexes if an IS NULL condition is followed by IN / OR predicates also covered by the same index - the predicates following are not used to navigate the index structure efficiently but are applied as filters on all index entries identified by the IS NULL.

In this part I'll show what results I got when repeating the same exercise using Bitmap indexes - after all they include NULL values anyway, so no special tricks are required to use them for an IS NULL search. Let's start again with the same data set (actually not exactly the same but very similar) and an index on the single expression that gets searched for via IS NULL - results are again from 18.3.0:

Indexing Null Values - Part 1

Indexing null values in Oracle is something that has been written about a lot in the past already. Nowadays it should be common knowledge that Oracle B*Tree indexes don't index entries that are entirely null, but it's possible to include null values in B*Tree indexes when combining them with something guaranteed to be non-null, be it another column or simply a constant expression.

Jonathan Lewis not too long ago published a note that showed an oddity when dealing with IS NULL predicates that in the end turned out not to be a real threat and looked more like an oddity how Oracle displays the access and filter predicates when accessing an index and using IS NULL together with other predicates following after.

Compression Restrictions - Update: Wide Table Compression In 12.1 And Later

I do have a very old post that used to be rather popular here that listed various restrictions related to compression. One of the most obvious restrictions in older versions was that the basic / OLTP (Advanced Row) heap table compression based on symbol tables / de-duplication was limited to tables with 254 columns or less - or probably more general to rows with single row pieces.

This limitation was lifted with Oracle 12c which started to support this compression type with tables having more than 254 columns / multiple row pieces - and there is a new internal parameter called "_widetab_comp_enabled" that defaults to TRUE.

I/O Benchmark Minor Update

I've recently published a new version 1.03 of the I/O benchmark scripts on #333333;">my #336699;">github repository#333333;"> (ideally pick the #336699;">IO_BENCHMARK.ZIP containing all the scripts#333333; font-family: "verdana" , "arial" , sans-serif;">).

Bloom Filter Efficiency And Cardinality Estimates

I've recently came across an interesting observation I've not seen documented yet, so I'm publishing a simple example here to demonstrate the issue.

In principle it looks like that the efficiency of Bloom Filter operations are dependent on the cardinality estimates. This means that in particular cardinality under-estimates of the optimizer can make a dramatic difference how efficient a corresponding Bloom Filter operation based on such a cardinality estimate will work at runtime. Since Bloom Filters are crucial for efficient processing in particular when using Exadata or In Memory column store this can have significant impact on the performance of affected operations.

Chinar Aliyev's Blog

Chinar Aliyev has recently started to pick up on several of my blog posts regarding Parallel Execution and the corresponding new features introduced in Oracle 12c.

It is good to see that obviously Oracle has since then improved some of these and added new ones as well.

Here are some links to the corresponding posts:

New automatic Parallel Outer Join Null Handling in 18c

Improvements regarding automatic parallel distribution skew handling in 18c

Chinar has also put some more thoughts on the HASH JOIN BUFFERED operation:

Partition-Wise Operations – New Features in 12c and 18c

Partition-wise operations are not something new. I do not remember when they were introduced, but at that time the release number was still a single digit. Anyway, the aim of this post is not to describe the basics, but only to describe what is new in that area in 12c and 18c.

The new features can be grouped in three categories:

  • Partition-wise GROUP BY enhancements available as of version 12.2
  • Partition-wise DISTINCT enhancements available as of version 12.2
  • Partition-wise windowing functions enhancements available as of version 18.1

Before looking at the new features, here are the SQL statements I executed to create a partitioned table that I use through the examples. You can download the script here.

TKPROF’s Argument PDBTRACE

If you run TKPROF without arguments, you get a complete list of its arguments with a short description for each of them (here the output generated by version 18.1.0):

No Asynchronous I/O When Using Shared Server (Also Known As MTS)

I've recently had a case at a client where it was questioned why a particular application was seemingly not making full use of the available I/O capabilities - in comparison to other databases / applications using similar storage.

Basically it ended up in a kind of finger pointing between the application vendor and the IT DBA / storage admins, one side saying that the infrastructure used offers insufficient I/O capabilities (since the most important application tasks where dominated by I/O waits in the database), and the other side saying that the application doesn't make use of the I/O capabilities offered - compared to other databases / applications that showed a significantly higher IOPS rate and/or I/O throughput using the same kind of storage.