There was a question on OTN a few days ago asking the following question:
Here’s a query that ran okay on 11g, but crashed with Oracle error “ORA-01843: not a valid month” after upgrade to 12c; why ?
The generically correct answer, of course, is that the OP had been lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) on 11g – and I’ll explain that answer in another blog posting.
That isn’t the point of this posting, though. This posting is a test of observation and deduction. One of the respondants in the thread had conveniently supplied a little bit of SQL that I copied and fiddled about with to demonstrate a point regarding CPU costing, but as I did so I thought I’d show you the following and ask a simple question.’
I’m not very keen on bending the rules on production systems, I’d prefer to do things that look as if they could have happened in a completely legal fashion, but sometimes it’s necessary to abuse the system and here’s an example to demonstrate the point. I’ve got a simple SQL statement consisting of nothing more than an eight table join where the optimizer (on the various versions I’ve tested, including 12c) examines 5,040 join orders (even though _optimizer_max_permutations is set to the default of 2,000 – and that might come as a little surprise if you thought you knew what that parameter was supposed to do):
While creating a POC of a SQL rewrite recently I received a little surprise as I switched my query from serial execution to parallel execution and saw the optimizer’s estimated cost increase dramatically. I’ll explain why in a moment, but it made me think it might be worth setting up a very simple demonstration of the anomaly. I created a table t1 by copying view all_source – which happened to give me a table with about 100,000 rows and 1117 blocks – and then ran the query ‘select max(line) from t1;’ repeating the query with a /*+ parallel(t1 2) */ hint. From 18.104.22.168 here are the two execution plans I got:
That’s data that isn’t there until you look for it, sort of, from the optimizer’s perspective.
Here’s some code to create a sample data set:
create table t1 as with generator as ( select --+ materialize rownum id from dual connect by level <= 1e4 ) select rownum id, mod(rownum-1,200) mod_200, mod(rownum-1,10000) mod_10000, lpad(rownum,50) padding from generator v1, generator v2 where rownum <= 1e6 ; begin dbms_stats.gather_table_stats( ownname => user, tabname =>'T1', method_opt => 'for all columns size 1' ); end; /
Now derive the execution plans for a couple of queries noting, particularly, that we are using queries that are NOT CONSISTENT with the current state of the data (or more importantly the statistics about the data) – we’re querying outside the known range.
I was in Munich a few weeks ago running a course on Designing Optimal SQL and Troubleshooting and Tuning, but just before I flew in to Munich one of the attendees emailed me with an example of a statement that behaved a little strangely and asked me if we could look at it during the course. It displays an odd little feature, and I thought it might be interesting to write up what I did to find out what was going on. We’ll start with the problem query and execution plan:
A fairly important question, and a little surprise, appeared on Oracle-L a couple of days ago. Running 22.214.171.124 a query completed quickly on the first execution then ran very slowly on the second execution because Oracle had used cardinality feedback to change the plan. This shouldn’t really be entirely surprising – if you read all the notes that Oracle has published about cardinality feedback – but it’s certainly a little counter-intuitive.
No, not the 10th posting about first_rows() this week – whatever it may seem like – just an example that happens to use the “calculate costs for fetching the first 10 rows” optimizer strategy and does it badly. I think it’s a bug, but it’s certainly a defect that is a poster case for the inherent risk of using anything other than all_rows optimisation. Here’s some code to build a couple of sample tables:
Here’s a little puzzle that came up on OTN recently. (No prizes for following the URL to find the answer) (Actually, no prizes anyway). There’s more in the original code sample than was really needed, so although I’ve done a basic cut and paste from the original I’ve also eliminated a few lines of the text:
Following on from the short note I published about the first_rows optimizer mode yesterday here’s a note that I wrote on the topic more than 2 years ago but somehow forgot to publish.
I can get quite gloomy when I read some of the material that gets published about Oracle; not so much because it’s misleading or wrong, but because it’s clearly been written without any real effort being made to check whether it’s true. For example, a couple of days ago [ed: actually some time around May 2012] I came across an article about optimisation in 11g that seemed to be claiming that first_rows optimisation somehow “defaulted” to first_rows(1) , or first_rows_1, optimisation if you didn’t supply a final integer value.
I received an email earlier on this year asking me my opinion of the first_rows option for the optimizer mode. My correspondent was looking at a database with the following settings:
He felt that first_rows was a very old optimizer instruction that might cause suboptimal execution plans in it’s attempt to avoid blocking operations. As for the cost ratio, no-one seemed to be able to explain why it was there.