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The Core Performance Fundamentals Of Oracle Data Warehousing – Set Processing vs Row Processing

[back to Introduction] In over six years of doing data warehouse POCs and benchmarks for clients there is one area that I frequently see as problematic: “batch jobs”.  Most of the time these “batch jobs” take the form of some PL/SQL procedures and packages that generally perform some data load, transformation, processing or something similar.  The reason these are so problematic is that developers have hard-coded “slow” into them.  I’m generally certain these developers didn’t know they had done this when they coded their PL/SQL, but none the less it happened. So How Did “Slow” Get Hard-Coded Into My PL/SQL? Generally “slow” gets hard-coded into PL/SQL because the PL/SQL developer(s) took the business requirements and did a “literal translation” of each rule/requirement one at a time instead of looking at the “before picture” and the “after picture” and determining the most efficient way to make those data changes.  Many times this can surface as cursor based row-by-row processing, but it also can appear as PL/SQL just running a series of often poorly thought out SQL commands. Hard-Coded Slow Case Study The following is based on a true story. Only the facts names have been changed to protect the innocent. Here is [...]

XMLDB Whitepapers and Tooling about Design, Performance and Selectivity

From time to time the main Oracle XML DB page gets updated with new whitepapers, tooling or Oracle By Example/ Hands-on Lab examples. “Lately” some cool and interesting new whitepapers and updated tooling content were created on this main Oracle XML DB page. The following items and content are really worth reading. Small issue, though, is that you need a bit more than basic understanding to put all this “lessons learned from the last one, two years” into context, but its worth it and otherwise a small reprise on the Oracle XML DB Developers Guide is always useful. A bit like re-reading the Oracle Concepts Manual.

The “Ease of Use Tools” ( tool set) for handling XMLType Object Relational storage has been updated and is now applicable on Oracle 10.x and 11.x. No specific to be installed versioned tool set needed anymore. This prepacked tool set on PL/SQL packages is installable on both versions. The zip file also contains a whitepaper that describes some of the (performance) lessons learned while using XMLType Object Relational storage.

Oracle OpenWorld 2010: The Oracle Real-World Performance Group

Now that Oracle OpenWorld 2010 is just under 70 days away I thought I would take a moment to mention that the Oracle Real-World Performance Group will again be hosting three sessions.   This year I think we have a very exciting and informative lineup of sessions that are a must-attend for those wanting to see and hear Oracle Database performance insight right from Oracle’s own performance engineers.  Hope to see you there! And for those who are interested, there will likely be many discussions about the Oracle Database Machine and Oracle Exadata.  Very hot stuff! Session ID: S317164 (Monday 2:00PM) Session Title: The Latest Real World Performance Challenges Session Abstract: Oracle’s Real-World Performance Group — the group that first presented at Oracle OpenWorld parallel query techniques with partitions, the index-less database, cardinality challenges with the optimizer, over-processed databases and connection storms — this year presents the performance issues before you experience them and how to plan for future projects with success. All topics discussed in this session come from the Real-World Performance Group’s observations and problem solving. Session ID: S317166 (Monday 5:00PM) Session Title: Real-World Performance Panel Session Session Abstract: This session is your chance, via written questions, to ask a [...]

Fully Exploiting Exadata

As a member of the Real-World Performance Group at Oracle I have participated in quite a number of Exadata POCs over the past two years. Often times those POCs are constrained in a number of ways: time, schema/app modifications, etc., because the objective is a proof, not a full blown migration. As a result there is often significant performance that is left on the table just waiting to be fully exploited — the kind of performance that really makes a database performance engineer excited — mind blowing performance. This includes, but is not limited to, data model changes, SQL query modifications and re-engineering batch processes. The reason these types of modifications get me so excited is that design decisions are often influenced by the then current deployment platform and with the Exadata powered Oracle Database Machine those restrictions are frequently lifted. You see, with Exadata the rules change, and so should your design decisions. Sure, you could just pluck-and-plop an existing Oracle data warehouse database onto an Oracle Database Machine and it would likely run much faster than it does on your current system, and you will be wowed, but you very well may shouting four letter expletives describing how [...]

Oracle datafile IO latency – Part 1

On my post about observing the Exadata V1 I had an interesting comment posted by Mark Seger (author of collectl and collectl utilities) about the correlation of activities across a system, the sample and snap time, and seeing the state of the subsystem before and after

Subquery Factoring (3)

From time to time I’ve warned people that subquery factoring should be used with a little care if all you’re trying to do is make a query more readable by extracting parts of the SQL into “factored subqueries” (or Common Table Expressions – CTEs – if you want to use the ANSI term for them). [...]

The “Not a Problem” Problem and other related stuff

It’s been a while since I visited the Sun Video RSS feed and I found some interesting videos related to performance that are worth sharing and something you could watch over a big cup of coffee..

First is titled Performance: The “Not a Problem” Problem which I could also relate when doing performance analysis for example…


The following question came up in an email conversation a little while ago: Are you aware of any problems a large oltp site might have with running index coalesce during production hours, as opposed to doing index rebuilds in a maintenance window? The main overhead with index coalesce is that it generates a lot of [...]

How to kill performance with 16MB table

If you think 16MB tables are so small that can’t be root cause of significant performance problems with SELECT queries, then read about my today’s headache – a story of 16MB table worth something like 270 seconds of response time. It began mostly as usual: an application web page didn’t show up within 5 minutes. [...]

Aanmelden AMIS Query: “An Evening with Doug Burns”

Doug BurnsOp donderdag 17 juni, vanaf 18:00 uur, zal Oracle Database Expert en Oracle ACE Director Doug Burns(Schotland), een kennisavond vullen met live demo’s op basis van de Oracle Enterprise Manager Diagnostic en Tuning Pack.

Deze bijzondere avond, geheel zonder slides, met de naam “How I Learned to Love Pictures – Oracle 10g/11g Performance Analysis Using OEM” zal alle in en outs van de Oracle Enterprise Manager Diagnostic en Tuning pack in geur en kleur, de valkuilen en de verstopte juweeltjes van de Oracle Enterprise Manager, demonstreren gebruik makend van onder andere Swingbench. Voor meer informatie, over Doug Burns of de inhoud van deze presentatie, zie de volgende blog posts en URL’s:

Wil je er bij zijn dan kun je je aanmelden voor deze AMIS Query, via de volgende URL: