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Advanced Oracle Troubleshooting Guide, Part 6: Understanding Oracle execution plans with os_explain

Get ready for some more adventures in Oracle process stack!

Before proceeding though, please read this post about safety of different stack sampling approaches.

I have had few non-trivial Oracle troubleshooting cases, related to query hangs and bad performance, where I’ve wanted to know where exactly in execution plan the current execution is.

Remember, Oracle is just another program executing instructions clustered in functions on your server, so stack sampling can help out here as well.

So, I was looking into the following stack trace taken from an Oracle 10.1 database on Solaris SPARC, running a SQL with this execution plan.