Oracle OpenWorld 2017 – Time to plan your schedule

 

There’s only a month to go until Oracle Open Worldthe largest gathering of Oracle customers, partners, developers, and technology enthusiasts, which begins on October 1st in San Francisco. Of course the database development groups will be there and you will have multiple opportunities to meet the teams, in one of our 456 technical sessions, or at the Oracle Database demogrounds (The EXchange).

This year there are a couple of new things I want to bring to your attention as well highlighting some of the sessions I think you should consider checking out!

First up, locations!

All of the Oracle Database technical sessions will take place in Moscone West this year, rather than Moscone South, since parts of it are still under construction.  You will also find the Database Demogrounds on the ground floor of Moscone West.

Speaking of the demoground, it has a new name this year, The EXchange and it has a new look too. You will find a dedicated developers lounge, where you can meet the experts, take a workshop or grab a beer. We will also have mini-theaters in demoground area, so stay tuned for more details on what sessions will happen there closer to the event.

The Database Hands-on-Labs also have a new location this year. They are going to be at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (Lobby Level). The map below will tells you where to find everything you will need (right click on the map to open it in a new tab if you want a bigger image).

Now that the full searchable OOW catalog is available on-line, it’s time to start planning your schedule!

I’ve put together a short list of my top 4 sessions for each day that I’m hoping to attend to give you a little inspiration!

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Controlling where objects are populated into memory on RAC

Last week I spent some time beta testing Oracle Database 12c RAC on docker (more on this in a future post) and decided to take a trip down memory lane and play around with Oracle Database In-Memory.

One of the things I looked at was the new FOR SERVICE sub-clause of the INMEMORY DISTRIBUTE clause.

ALTER TABLE customers INMEMORY PRIORITY HIGH DISTRIBUTE FOR SERVICE IM1;

This new sub-clause allows you to control exactly where an object (table or partition) is populated into memory in a RAC environment based on where a database service is allowed to run. If the service is stopped then the objects distributed for that service are automatically removed from the IM column store(s).

If you recall each RAC node has its own In-Memory column store (IM column store). By default, when a table is populated into memory in a RAC environment it will be automatically distributed across all of the IM column stores in the cluster. That is to say, a piece of the table will appear in each RAC node, effectively making the IM column store a shared-nothing architecture.

This is not always desirable, especially if you only run certain applications or workloads on a subset of RAC node.

The video below demonstrates how to use the new syntax and what gv$ performances views you should look at to monitor what is going on in the IM column store in a RAC environment. You’ll find a copy of the script I used in the video at the bottom of this post.

PLEASE NOTE: That the service names are case sensitive, so make sure you keep them consistent. If your service name is defined all in lower case and then you specify the name in upper case in the ALTER TABLE command, you will not get an error. Remember this command is only changing the INMEMORY attribute on the table. It’s only when we begin populating the table into memory will Oracle discover that the service you specified doesn’t exist, i.e. doesn’t match the case of the service defined.

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Using DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY_CURSOR to examine Execution Plans

In last week’s post I described how to use SQL Monitor to determine what is happening during the execution of long running SQL statements. Shortly after the post went up, I got some requests on both social media and via the blog comments asking, “If it is possible to get the same information from a traditional text based execution plan, as not everyone has access to SQL Monitor?”.

The answer is yes, it is possible to see a lot of the information showed in SQL Monitor by viewing the execution plan via the DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY_CURSOR function. In order to call this function you will need SELECT or READ privilege on the fixed views V$SQL_PLAN_STATISTICS_ALL, V$SQL and V$SQL_PLAN, otherwise you’ll get an error message.

The DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY_CURSOR function takes three parameters:

  1. SQL ID – default null, means the last SQL statement executed in this session
  2. CURSOR_CHILD_NO – default 0
  3. FORMAT – Controls the level of details that will be displayed in the execution plan, default TYPICAL.

The video below demonstrates how you can use the FORMAT parameter within the DBMS_XPLAN.DISPLAY_CURSOR function to show you information about a what’s happened during an execution plan including the bind variable values used, the actual number of rows returned by each step, and how much time was spent on each step.

Under the video you will find all of the commands used, so you can cut and paste them easily.

How do I see the actual number of rows and elapse time for each step in the plan?

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Getting the most out of Oracle SQL Monitor

I’m often asked what is the best tool for viewing execution plans and for me the answer is always SQL Monitor (included in the Oracle Tuning Pack). It really is the most invaluable tool if you need to determine what is happening during the execution of any long running SQL statements.

In order to help you get the very most out of using SQL Monitor, I wanted to share with you some of the tips and tricks I‘ve learnt over the years from the original Database Manageability team, especially Cecilia Grant!

So, why do I love it so much?

There are so many reasons to love SQL Monitor; it’s hard for me to know where to begin. So, instead of giving you an exhaustive list I’ve put together a short video to demonstrate how I use SQL Monitor (be sure to set your resolution to 720p).

How do I control what statements are monitored?

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