Carlos Sierra's Tools and Tips

Tools and Tips for Oracle Performance and SQL Tuning

How to diagnose a SQLTXPLAIN installation failure

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SQLTXPLAIN is easy to install. Yes, unless you hit a rock! So, if you are trying to install SQLT and you do not see the message that reads “SQCREATE completed. Installation completed successfully.” then something went bad. First, you have to identify if the reason was captured by SQLT or not. In other words, if it was captured by SQLT you will see in your screen that your session ended normally. If it was not trapped by SQLT you will see an error like ORA-07445 or ORA-03113 and a statement that says something like “end-of-file on communication channel”. In such case SQLT could not trap the error.

Session ends normally

If you do not see an “end-of-file on communication channel” and your session were you were installing SQLT seems to have exited normally (but without displaying  “SQCREATE completed. Installation completed successfully.”) , then look at your current SQL*Plus directory (“HOS ls” OR “HOS dir”)and look for a log file “YYMMDDHH24MISS_NN_%.log”. This file should contain your error. In some cases you have to look also at the most recent file(s) inside the SQLT archive which is generated into same local directory. Typical cases of an error of this type are:

  • Invalid Tablespace name was indicated
  • Tablespace running out of space
  • A SYS owned package is missing or its execute grants are missing: DBMS_METADATA and UTL_FILE are the most common ones
  • UTL_FILE_DIR has a value but it does not include the path for traces (USER_DUMP_DEST)

In any case, once you locate the error it is just a matter of taking a corrective action and re-installing SQLT. But if you see a package body has errors but the error is not displayed in any of the log file (specially on the one with name like 130515065531_08_sqcpkg.log) then you may need to do this: unlock and reset pwd for SQLTXADMIN then try an alter package compile connected as SQLTXADMIN. Once you see the error then you can fix it.

Session disconnects abnormally

This kind of problem is a bit more complicated. If you see an ORA-07445 or ORA-03113 or “end-of-file on communication channel” then it means SQLT could not trap the error and you have to look for it inside the alert log. It also means that your problem is not derived from SQLT, but SQLT is simply a victim of it. You may find more information in your alert log, and you will see references to some traces. Look for those traces and review the upper part of those files. They should show a stack of calls and some keywords associated to your error. You can either research for those keywords on your own, or report to Oracle the errors you see in the alert log. Again, at this point the problem is not SQLT but something else in your server code that happens to affect SQLT. Since the skills to diagnose a server problem are not the same as those needed to diagnose a SQLT installation issue, be sure to document clearly what is the problem you see. This type of disconnect is a server problem, the former is a SQLT problem.

I do not have a typical list for this type since possibilities are many. You may find an ORA-00600 or something else. What I have seen recently are problems around the use of NATIVE for plsql_code_type. This change was introduced a few SQLT versions back and some customers have reported installation issues. If you see on your errors something that suggests PLSQL, then you may want to modify line 29 of the sqlt/install/sqcommon1.sql script, removing the “–” at the beginning of this line: DEF plsql_code_type = ‘INTERPRETED’;. In other words, un-comment this command. Then re-install SQLT. This action would reverse the use of plsql_code_type to less efficient INTERPRETED mode, but may workaround your plsql error.

Last resource

If you have don’t your best effort to locate the error and to fix the root cause, but nothing seems to work, then you have two more options:

  1. If SQLT was requested by someone else, please contact that requester (it could be Oracle Support or a business partner) and report the issue. This person may be able to help you directly; OR
  2. If you are the requester mentioned above, or there is no one else to go, then look in the sqlt/sqlt_instructions.html file for the primary and secondary contacts for this tool (documented starting on version of the tool).

SQLT installs with no issues most of the times, but if it fails to install in a particular system, you are not on your own. Do your best to find the root cause, then ask for help if needed. Be prepared to provide any log file created in your local SQL*Plus directory PLUS the SQLT archived logs; and in cases of disconnects collect also the alert log and the traces referenced directly by the corresponding error on the alert.


Written by Carlos Sierra

May 24, 2013 at 7:09 am

One Response

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  1. Hello! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good job!

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    June 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

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