October 2017

nVision Performance Tuning: 2. Effects of Performance Options

This blog post is part of a series that discusses how to get optimal performance from PeopleSoft nVision reporting as used in General Ledger.

In this post, I examine the effect of different settings for the tree performance options on how the SQL is generated.  It is common, to see different performance options in use on different trees in the same SQL query.  It is important to be able to look at a piece of SQL generated by nVision and to be able to work out which performance options have been set on which trees.

Truncated CTAS statements seem to be no longer shortened

Many bloggers have already discussed that Oracle can truncate the text of a “create table as select” statement to 20 characters depending on your version and patch level. This can be a problem in case a CTAS statement is a resource hog, yet you don’t see the SQL text that is needed for troubleshooting. A quick search on My Oracle Support reveals this can happen on, and systems unless patched of course. This has been bugging me for quite some time now, and merits a blog post.

Reproducing the offending behaviour

Oracle has provided a number of patches over time to fix this undesirable short-cutting of the SQL text. I wanted to reproduce the issue on 12.1 to demonstrate the effect. To my shame I have to admit that since 12.2 has come out I have somewhat neglected my 12.1 lab system. It was quite a bit out of date, which was useful for this blog post as it will turn out.

Friday Philosophy – Smart or Smart-Arse?

Many of you know what a “Smart-Arse” is. For those who do not…

A “Smart-arse” a person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything or try to catch you out by misleading you.

A smart person will look at your problem and say something like “have you tried checking the array size?” and, 8 times out of 10, their input will help you solve your problem. It may not be THE answer but it makes you think about root causes.

A Smart-arse will say something more like “well, I would never have your problem as I would not have joined a company full of Java Nerds!!!”. Yeah, maybe that would have avoided my specific problem #1, but it is of no practical worth right now. .

Why being wrong can be awesome

OK, Now that I’ve started the post with a nice click-bait heading, let’s get down to the business of being wrong. Smile

I did a lot of conference presentations last year, and the great thing about that for me was that I got to meet a lot of new people in the Oracle community in the Developer and DBA space. One of the questions that came up over and over again was about putting one’s knowledge “out there” in the community and how to deal with the repercussions of that.  In particular, “What if you publish something that is proven wrong?”

Here’s the thing about being wrong …. there’s two likely outcomes:

Linux for the SQL Server DBA- Part II

So we’ve covered a few basics of a Linux host in Part I

  • The File System
  • Users, groups
  • Basic Commands with basic arguments
  • And file and directory permissions

Hopefully, what I share next will build on the first post and enhance your knowledge as you move forward with Linux.

Question Time

It’s that time of year again – the UKOUG Tech conference is approaching and I’ve organised a panel session on the Cost Based Optimizer.

This year I’ve got Christian Antognini, Nigel Bayliss, Maria Colgan and special guest star, all the way from Australia, Richard Foote on the panel, with Neil Chandler and Martin Widlake taking on their inimitable role of MCs.

If you’ve got any questions you’d like to put to the panel, you will have a chance to write them down on the day, but it would be nice to have a few supplied in advance in the comment below.  Tactical, strategic, technical, or just plain curious – this is a panel that can tell you what can be done, what shouldn’t be done, and how to do the things you shouldn’t do but sometimes have to.

Best method for tuning sub-optimal execution plans

How do you determine if the Oracle SQL optimizer has created a sub-optimal execution plan? re-run statistics and see what happens? wait for Oracle to fin other execution plans? What if neither method is helping? Do you read the execution plan? What do you look at? Differences in actual vs estimated? How successful is that? Look for full table scans?  Do you look at the 10053 trace? How much time and effort does that take?  What do you look at in the 10053 trace. Do you have a systematic methodology  that works in almost all cases?

Well there is a method that is reliable and systematic. It’s laid out inDan Tow’s book SQL Tuning.

Oracle C functions annotations

Warning! This is a post about Oracle database internals for internals lovers and researchers. For normal, functional administration, this post serves no function. The post shows a little tool I created which consists of a small database I compiled with Oracle database C function names and a script to query it. The reason that keeping such a database makes sense in the first place, is because the Oracle C functions for the Oracle database are setup in an hierarchy based on the function name. This means you can deduct what part of the execution you are in by looking at the function name; for example ‘kslgetl’ means kernel service lock layer, get latch.

To use this, clone git repository at https://gitlab.com/FritsHoogland/ora_functions.git

nVision Performance Tuning: 1. nVision Performance Options

This blog post is part of a series that discusses how to get optimal performance from PeopleSoft nVision reporting as used in General Ledger.

At no point when defining a nVision report does the developer directly specify a SQL statement, all the SQL is generated by nVision from the report definition.  That also means that it is not possible to directly intervene and change the SQL statement, for example, to add an optimizer hint.

However, the way that the SQL is generated can be controlled via the nVision performance options. Setting this appropriately can make a significant difference to nVision performance, but the optimal settings will differ from system to system, from tree to tree and sometimes even report to report.

Linux for the SQL Server DBA- Part I

For the Oracle DBA, Linux is life.  When I was at Oracle, Linux projects were the easy part of my job, unlike the ones on Windows, AIX, HP-UX and at times, even Solaris.  You knew the Linux ones received the most love from development, had the most time towards patching and received attention if there was a bug.