Carlos Sierra's Tools and Tips

Tools and Tips for Oracle Performance and SQL Tuning

Archive for the ‘SQL Plan Management’ Category

SQL Monitoring without MONITOR Hint

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I recently got this question:

<<<Is there a way that I can generate SQL MONITORING report for a particular SQL_ID ( This SQL is generated from application code so I can’t add “MONITOR”  hint) from command prompt ? If yes can you please help me through this ?>>>

Since this question is of general interest, I’d rather respond here:

As you know, SQL Monitoring starts automatically on a SQL that executes a PX plan, or when its Serial execution has consumed over 5 seconds on CPU or I/O.

If you want to force SQL Monitoring on a SQL statement, without modifying the SQL text itself, I suggest you create a SQL Patch for it. But before you do, please be aware that SQL Monitoring requires the Oracle Tuning Pack.

How to turn on SQL Monitoring for a SQL that executes Serial, takes less than 5 seconds, and without modifying the application that issues such SQL

Use SQL Patch with the MONITOR Hint. An easy way to do that is by using the free sqlpch.sql script provided as part of the cscripts (see right-hand side of this blog under Downloads).

To use sqlpch.sql script, pass as parameter #1 your SQL_ID and for parameter #2 pass “GATHER_PLAN_STATISTICS MONITOR” (without the double quotes).

This sqlpch.sql script will create a SQL Patch for your SQL, which will produce SQL Monitoring (and the collection of A-Rows) for every execution of your SQL.

Be aware there is some overhead involved, so after you are done with your analysis drop the SQL Patch.

Script sqlpch.sql shows the name of the SQL Patch it creates (look at its spool file), and it gives you the command to drop such SQL Patch.

For the actual analysis and diagnostics of your SQL (after you have executed it with SQL Patch in place) use free tool SQLd360.

And for more details about sqlpch.sql and other uses of this script please refer to this entry on my blog.

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Written by Carlos Sierra

February 29, 2016 at 10:16 am

Skipping ACS ramp-up using a SQL Patch

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As I prepare for one of my sessions at ODTUG Kscope14 I came across the typical situation of having a SQL for which I wanted to produce multiple optimal execution Plans on an 11g environment. As you may know, with Adaptive Cursor Sharing (ACS) this is possible and automatic, but the problem is that sometimes the ACS ramp-up process causes some suboptimal Execution Plans. If you want to skip this ACS ramp-up process, lets say for a SQL that is part of a business-critical transaction and which is known to have unstable Plans, then you may want to create a SQL Patch with the BIND_AWARE Hint. Maria Colgan explained this method on this blog post. What I present here is a script I use, so I can easily implement SQL Patches for some SQL where I just need to inject one or two CBO Hints, like this BIND_AWARE. I use SQL Profiles or SQL Plan Management when I need to provide CBO Hints that affect access paths or join order, but if I just need something like skipping ACS ramp-up or a Hint to produce a SQL Monitor report, then I’d rather use SQL Patch.

Script below asks for SQL_ID and for a short list of CBO Hints to include. By default it includes these 3: “GATHER_PLAN_STATISTICS MONITOR BIND_AWARE”. Execute this script connecting as SYS.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
-- File name:   sqlpch.sql
--
-- Purpose:     Create Diagnostics SQL Patch for one SQL_ID
--
-- Author:      Carlos Sierra
--
-- Version:     2013/12/28
--
-- Usage:       This script inputs two parameters. Parameter 1 the SQL_ID and Parameter 2
--              the set of Hints for the SQL Patch (default to GATHER_PLAN_STATISTICS 
--              MONITOR BIND_AWARE).
--
-- Example:     @sqlpch.sql f995z9antmhxn BIND_AWARE
--
--  Notes:      Developed and tested on 11.2.0.3 and 12.0.1.0
--             
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPO sqlpch.txt;
DEF def_hint_text = 'GATHER_PLAN_STATISTICS MONITOR BIND_AWARE';
SET DEF ON TERM OFF ECHO ON FEED OFF VER OFF HEA ON LIN 2000 PAGES 100 LONG 8000000 LONGC 800000 TRIMS ON TI OFF TIMI OFF SERVEROUT ON SIZE 1000000 NUMF "" SQLP SQL>;
SET SERVEROUT ON SIZE UNL;
COL hint_text NEW_V hint_text FOR A300;
SET TERM ON ECHO OFF;
PRO
PRO Parameter 1:
PRO SQL_ID (required)
PRO
DEF sql_id_1 = '&1';
PRO
PRO Parameter 2:
PRO HINT_TEXT (default: &&def_hint_text.)
PRO
DEF hint_text_2 = '&2';
PRO
PRO Values passed:
PRO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PRO SQL_ID   : "&&sql_id_1."
PRO HINT_TEXT: "&&hint_text_2." (default: "&&def_hint_text.")
PRO
SET TERM OFF ECHO ON;
SELECT TRIM(NVL(REPLACE('&&hint_text_2.', '"', ''''''), '&&def_hint_text.')) hint_text FROM dual;
WHENEVER SQLERROR EXIT SQL.SQLCODE;

-- trim sql_id parameter
COL sql_id NEW_V sql_id FOR A30;
SELECT TRIM('&&sql_id_1.') sql_id FROM DUAL;

VAR sql_text CLOB;
VAR sql_text2 CLOB;
EXEC :sql_text := NULL;
EXEC :sql_text2 := NULL;

-- get sql_text from memory
DECLARE
  l_sql_text VARCHAR2(32767);
BEGIN -- 10g see bug 5017909
  FOR i IN (SELECT DISTINCT piece, sql_text
              FROM gv$sqltext_with_newlines
             WHERE sql_id = TRIM('&&sql_id.')
             ORDER BY 1, 2)
  LOOP
    IF :sql_text IS NULL THEN
      DBMS_LOB.CREATETEMPORARY(:sql_text, TRUE);
      DBMS_LOB.OPEN(:sql_text, DBMS_LOB.LOB_READWRITE);
    END IF;
    l_sql_text := REPLACE(i.sql_text, CHR(00), ' '); -- removes NUL characters
    DBMS_LOB.WRITEAPPEND(:sql_text, LENGTH(l_sql_text), l_sql_text); 
  END LOOP;
  -- if found in memory then sql_text is not null
  IF :sql_text IS NOT NULL THEN
    DBMS_LOB.CLOSE(:sql_text);
  END IF;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('getting sql_text from memory: '||SQLERRM);
    :sql_text := NULL;
END;
/

SELECT :sql_text FROM DUAL;

-- get sql_text from awr
DECLARE
  l_sql_text VARCHAR2(32767);
  l_clob_size NUMBER;
  l_offset NUMBER;
BEGIN
  IF :sql_text IS NULL OR NVL(DBMS_LOB.GETLENGTH(:sql_text), 0) = 0 THEN
    SELECT sql_text
      INTO :sql_text2
      FROM dba_hist_sqltext
     WHERE sql_id = TRIM('&&sql_id.')
       AND sql_text IS NOT NULL
       AND ROWNUM = 1;
  END IF;
  -- if found in awr then sql_text2 is not null
  IF :sql_text2 IS NOT NULL THEN
    l_clob_size := NVL(DBMS_LOB.GETLENGTH(:sql_text2), 0);
    l_offset := 1;
    DBMS_LOB.CREATETEMPORARY(:sql_text, TRUE);
    DBMS_LOB.OPEN(:sql_text, DBMS_LOB.LOB_READWRITE);
    -- store in clob as 64 character pieces 
    WHILE l_offset < l_clob_size
    LOOP
      IF l_clob_size - l_offset > 64 THEN
        l_sql_text := REPLACE(DBMS_LOB.SUBSTR(:sql_text2, 64, l_offset), CHR(00), ' ');
      ELSE -- last piece
        l_sql_text := REPLACE(DBMS_LOB.SUBSTR(:sql_text2, l_clob_size - l_offset + 1, l_offset), CHR(00), ' ');
      END IF;
      DBMS_LOB.WRITEAPPEND(:sql_text, LENGTH(l_sql_text), l_sql_text);
      l_offset := l_offset + 64;
    END LOOP;
    DBMS_LOB.CLOSE(:sql_text);
  END IF;
EXCEPTION
  WHEN OTHERS THEN
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('getting sql_text from awr: '||SQLERRM);
    :sql_text := NULL;
END;
/

SELECT :sql_text2 FROM DUAL;
SELECT :sql_text FROM DUAL;

-- validate sql_text
BEGIN
  IF :sql_text IS NULL THEN
    RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR(-20100, 'SQL_TEXT for SQL_ID &&sql_id. was not found in memory (gv$sqltext_with_newlines) or AWR (dba_hist_sqltext).');
  END IF;
END;
/

PRO generate SQL Patch for SQL "&&sql_id." with CBO Hints "&&hint_text."
SELECT loaded_versions, invalidations, address, hash_value
FROM v$sqlarea WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1;
SELECT child_number, plan_hash_value, executions, is_shareable
FROM v$sql WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1, 2;

-- drop prior SQL Patch
WHENEVER SQLERROR CONTINUE;
PRO ignore errors
EXEC DBMS_SQLDIAG.DROP_SQL_PATCH(name => 'sqlpch_&&sql_id.');
WHENEVER SQLERROR EXIT SQL.SQLCODE;

-- create SQL Patch
PRO you have to connect as SYS
BEGIN
  SYS.DBMS_SQLDIAG_INTERNAL.I_CREATE_PATCH (
    sql_text    => :sql_text,
    hint_text   => '&&hint_text.',
    name        => 'sqlpch_&&sql_id.',
    category    => 'DEFAULT',
    description => '/*+ &&hint_text. */'
  );
END;
/

-- flush cursor from shared_pool
PRO *** before flush ***
SELECT inst_id, loaded_versions, invalidations, address, hash_value
FROM gv$sqlarea WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1;
SELECT inst_id, child_number, plan_hash_value, executions, is_shareable
FROM gv$sql WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1, 2;
PRO *** flushing &&sql_id. ***
BEGIN
  FOR i IN (SELECT address, hash_value
              FROM gv$sqlarea WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.')
  LOOP
    DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE(i.address||','||i.hash_value);
    BEGIN
      SYS.DBMS_SHARED_POOL.PURGE (
        name => i.address||','||i.hash_value,
        flag => 'C'
      );
    EXCEPTION
      WHEN OTHERS THEN
        DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE(SQLERRM);
    END;
  END LOOP;
END;
/
PRO *** after flush ***
SELECT inst_id, loaded_versions, invalidations, address, hash_value
FROM gv$sqlarea WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1;
SELECT inst_id, child_number, plan_hash_value, executions, is_shareable
FROM gv$sql WHERE sql_id = '&&sql_id.' ORDER BY 1, 2;

WHENEVER SQLERROR CONTINUE;
SET DEF ON TERM ON ECHO OFF FEED 6 VER ON HEA ON LIN 80 PAGES 14 LONG 80 LONGC 80 TRIMS OFF TI OFF TIMI OFF SERVEROUT OFF NUMF "" SQLP SQL>;
SET SERVEROUT OFF;
PRO
PRO SQL Patch "sqlpch_&&sql_id." will be used on next parse.
PRO To drop SQL Patch on this SQL:
PRO EXEC DBMS_SQLDIAG.DROP_SQL_PATCH(name => 'sqlpch_&&sql_id.');
PRO
UNDEFINE 1 2 sql_id_1 sql_id hint_text_2 hint_text
CL COL
PRO
PRO sqlpch completed.
SPO OFF;

 

 

Written by Carlos Sierra

June 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Why using SQLTXPLAIN

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Every so often I see on a distribution list a posting that starts like this: “I upgraded my application from database release X to release Y and now many queries are performing poorly, can you tell why?”

As everyone else on a distribution list, my first impulse is to make an educated guess permeated by a prior set of experiences. The intentions are always good, but the process is painful and time consuming. Many of us have seen this kind of question, and many of us have good hunches. Still I think our eagerness to help blinds us a bit. The right thing to do is to step back and analyze the facts, and I mean all the diagnostics supporting the observation.

What is needed to diagnose a SQL Tuning issue?

The list is large, but I will enumerate some of the most important pieces:

  1. SQL Text
  2. Version of the database (before and after upgrade)
  3. Database parameters (before and after)
  4. State of the CBO Statistics (before and after)
  5. Changes on Histograms
  6. Basics about the architecture (CPUs, memory, etc.)
  7. Values of binds if SQL has them
  8. Indexes compare, including state (visible?, usable?)
  9. Execution Plan (before and after)
  10. Plan stability? (Stored Outlines, Profiles, SQL Plan Management)
  11. Performance history as per evidence on AWR or StatsPack
  12. Trace from Event 10053 to understand the CBO
  13. Trace from Event 10046 level 8 or 12 to review Waits
  14. Active Session History (ASH) if 10046 is not available

I could keep adding bullets to the list, but I think you get the point: There are simply too many things to check! And each takes some time to collect. More important, the state of the system changes overtime, so you may need to re-collect the same diagnostics more than once.

SQLTXPLAIN to the rescue

SQLT or SQLTXPLAIN, has been available on MetaLink (now MOS) under note 215187.1 for over a decade. In short, SQLT collects all the diagnostics listed above and a lot more. That is WHY Oracle Support uses it every day. It simply saves a lot of time! So, I always encourage fellow Oracle users to make use of the FREE tool and expedite their own SQL Tuning analysis. When time permits, I do volunteer to help on an analysis. So, if you get to read this, and you want to help yourself while using SQLT but feel intimidated by this little monster, please give it a try and contact me for assistance. If I can help, I will, if I cannot, I will let you know.

Conclusion

It is fun to guess WHY a SQL is not performing as expected, and trying different guesses is educational but very time consuming. If you want to actually find root causes before trying to fix your SQL, you may want to collect relevant diagnostics. SQLT is there to help, and if installing this tool is not something you can do in a short term, consider then SQL Health-Check SQLHC.

 

SQL using Literals instead of Binds. Are all Literals evil?

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Every so often I see systems where there is a good amount of SQL that uses Literals instead of Binds, and executes enough times to create a large number of Cursors. Is this a red flag? As many questions regarding performance, I would say the right answer is: it all depends.

Of course we want to use Binds instead of Literals in order to reduce the frequency of Hard Parses, and in turn reduce CPU consumption and space utilization in the Shared Pool. Does it mean we want to replace all Literals with Binds? Do we declare war on Literals? In my opinion, the answer is simply: NO.

If a SQL has a Predicate on a date column, or a key column, then I would expect the Number of Distinct Values (NDV) for such column to be high, and in some cases as high as the number of rows in the Table (unique values for example). In the other hand, if the Predicate is in one of those columns that denotes a code, like Process Type or Status, and the NDV is small, then I’d rather keep the Literal in place. Specially if the data in such column is skewed and I have (or plan to have) Histograms on it.

What do I propose?

  1. If the SQL is executed sporadically, then it does not matter (Literals or Binds).
  2. If the SQL executes frequently, and the Predicate in question is on a Column where the Number of Distinct Values (NDV) is high, then use a Bind instead of a Literal (for this Predicate).
  3. If the SQL executes frequently, and the Predicate in question is on a Column where the NDV is low, then use a Literal (for this Predicate). This assumes the NDV for these Literals is also small.
  4. Regardless if using a Literal or a Bind for a particular Predicate: If the data in a Column referenced by a Predicate is heavily skewed, gather Statistics with Histograms on this Column.

Follow-up question: When the NDV is high or low? The answer is also: it all depends. I personally prefer to see Literals if the NDV for this Column (and this Literal) is less than 10 (or so).

Why having Binds and Literals on same SQL is better than having all Binds?

If we have good set of CBO Statistics, and we have Histograms on skewed data, and we are using bind peeking, and we are on 11g, and Adaptive Cursor Sharing (ACS) is enabled, and we plan  using SQL Plan Management (SPM), then we are for a treat:

With all the “ands” above, by using Binds on predicates with high NDV and Literals in those with low NDV, then we will end up having a small number of different SQL_IDs for what we consider “the same SQL”. Each incarnation of this SQL could potentially have its own set of optimal Execution Plans created by ACS  and the CBO (by making use of Histograms on the data and Selectivity Profiles on ACS). Then, with the aid of SPM we could provide stability to those multiple optimal Execution Plans for each version of the SQL. That means that SQL Q1 with Literal L1 could have a different set of optimal plans than Q1 with Literals L2.

Conclusion

Replacing some Literals with Binds but not all Literals sounds like a lot of work, but actually the extra work may be worth the effort. In my opinion, the end result is  better if we replace most, but not all (as per proposal above). WHY? Even when ACS does a good job at finding multiple optimal plans for a SQL by using the selectivity of the predicates; by allowing a small number of cursors for the same SQL given the use of Literals in columns with low NDV, we are basically reducing the times we would have to execute a SQL with a sub-optimal plan due to current ACS ramp-up process. This extra granularity provided by a small number of incarnations of the “otherwise same SQL” could be crucial for tuning complex SQL or corner cases.

Written by Carlos Sierra

February 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Exadata Optimizations and SQLTXPLAIN Courses

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I will be delivering a couple of courses soon. One in January and the second in February. I will keep posting upcoming Training and Conferences on a new link at the right margin of this blog.

Exadata Optimizations Jan 13-14

This 2-days “Exadata Optimizations” course is for Developers and DBAs new to Exadata and in need to ramp-up quickly. As the name implies, its focus is on Exadata Optimizations. We talk about Smart Scans, Storage Indexes, Smart Flash Cache, Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) and Parallel Execution (PX). This course is hands-on, with a fair amount of demos and labs.

SQLTXPLAIN (SQLT) Feb 20-21

This “SQL Tuning with SQLTXPLAIN” 2-days course shows how to use SQLT to actually do SQL Tuning. We go over the ying-yang of the CBO, meaning: Plan Flexibility versus Plan Stability. We use SQLT for labs and we also go over some real-life SQL Tuning cases. If you are currently using SQLT, you are welcome to bring a SQLT Report to class and we could review it there.

Conclusion

New year, new resolutions. I will be investing part of my time sharing knowledge through formal courses and conferences. These days it is hard to find the time and budget to keep our knowledge on the edge, but again and again I see that many of our daily struggles could be mitigated by some concise technical training. So I encourage you to add some training to your list of resolutions for this new year; or at the very least, to get and read some fresh books.

Happy New Year 2014!

Written by Carlos Sierra

December 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm

SQL Tuning with SQLTXPLAIN 2-days Workshop

with 6 comments

SQLTXPLAIN is a SQL Tuning tool widely used by the Oracle community. Available through My Oracle Support (MOS) under document 215187.1, this free tool is available for download and use to anyone with MOS access. It has helped thousands of times to expedite the resolution of SQL Tuning issues, and many Oracle DBAs and Developers benefit of its use on a daily basis.

Stelios Charalambides has done an excellent job writing a book on this topic. In his book Stelios covers many aspects about SQLTXPLAIN and some related topics. I highly recommend to get a copy of this book if you want to learn more about SQLTXPLAIN. It is available at Amazon and many other retailers.

The new 2-days SQLTXPLAIN Workshop offered by Enkitec (an Oracle Platinum business partner and my employer) is a completely new course that interleaves “how to use effectively SQLTXPLAIN” with important and related SQL Tuning Topics such as Plan Flexibility and Plan Stability. This hands-on workshop offers participants the unique opportunity to fully understand the contents of SQLTXPLAIN and its vast output through an interactive session. About half the time is dedicated to short guided labs, while the other half uses presentations and demos. This workshop is packed with lots of content. It was a real challenge packaging so much info in only two days, but I am very pleased with the result. It became a 2-days intensive knowledge transfer hands-on workshop on SQLTXPLAIN and SQL Tuning!

The first session of this workshop is scheduled for November 7-8 in Dallas, Texas. I expect this pilot session to fill out fast. Other sessions and onsite ones will be offered during 2014. I hope to meet many of you face to face on November 7!

Migrating an Execution Plan using SQL Plan Management

with 2 comments

SQL Plan Management (SPM) has been available since the first release of 11g. As you know SPM is the new technology that provides Plan Stability with some extra Plan Control and Management features. Maria Colgan has done an excellent job documented the “SPM functionality” pretty well in 4 of her popular blog postings:

  1. Creating SQL plan baselines
  2. SPM Aware Optimizer
  3. Evolving SQL Plan Baselines
  4. User Interfaces and Other Features

A question that I often get is: How do I move this good plan from system A into system B? To me, this translates into: How do I migrate an Execution Plan? And if source and target systems are 11g, the answer is: Use SQL Plan Management (SPM).

Migrating a Plan using SPM

Assuming both – source and target systems are on 11g then I suggest one of the two approaches below. If the source is 10g and target is 11g, then the 2nd approach below would work. In both cases the objective is to create a SQL Plan Baseline (SPB) into the target system out of a known plan from the source system.

Option 1: Create SPB on source then migrate SPB into target

Steps:

  1. Create SQL Plan Baseline (SPB) in Source
    1. From Memory; or
    2. From AWR (requires Diagnostics Pack license)
  2. Package & Export SPB from Source
  3. Import & Restore SPB into Target

Pros: Simple

Cons: Generates a SPB in Source system

Option 2: Create SQL Tuning Set (STS) on source, migrate STS into target, promote STS into SPB in target

Steps:

  1. Create SQL Tuning Set (STS) in Source (requires Tuning Pack license)
    1. From Memory; or
    2. From AWR (requires Diagnostics Pack license)
  2. Package & Export STS from Source
  3. Import & Restore STS into Target
  4. Create SPB from STS in Target

Pros: No SPB is created in Source system

Cons: Requires license for SQL Tuning Pack

How SQLTXPLAIN (SQLT) can help?

SQLT has been generating for quite some time a STS for each Plan Hash Value (PHV) of the SQL being analyzed. This STS for each PHV created on the source system is also stored inside the SQLT repository and included in the export of this SQLT repository. By doing this every time, options 1 and 2 above are simplified. If we want to promote a Plan into a SPB in source system we only have to execute an API that takes the Plan from the STS and creates the SPB. The dynamic readme included with SQLT has the exact command. And if we want to create a SPB on a target system having a SQLT from a source system, we have to restore the SQLT repository into the target system, then restore the STS out of the SQLT repository, and last create the SPB out of the STS. All these steps are clearly documented in the SQLT dynamic readme, including exact commands. There is one caveat although: you need SQLT in source and restore its repository in target…

Stand-alone scripts to Migrate a Plan using SPM

Options 1 and 2 above list the steps to take a plan from a source system and implement with it a SPB into a target system. The questions is: How exactly do I perform each of the steps? Yes, there are APIs for each step, but some are a bit difficult to use. That is WHY I have created a set of scripts that pretty much facilitate each of the steps. No magic here, only some time savings. If you want to use these scripts, look for SQLT directory sqlt/utl/spm, which will be available with SQLT 11.4.5.8 on May 10, 2013. If you need these scripts before May 10, then please send me an email or post a comment here.

Written by Carlos Sierra

May 2, 2013 at 8:02 am