Mohamed Houri’s Oracle Notes

March 24, 2014

Redundant Indexes

Filed under: Index — hourim @ 11:28 am

I am very often warning:  dropping redundant indexes in production is not 100% safe. I have instead always been advocating paying a careful attention during design time to avoid creating redundant indexes. In my professional experience I have realized that, it is very often when creating indexes to cover the lock threat of unindexed foreign key constraints, that developers are creating unintentionally redundant indexes. It has been irritating me so that I have created a script which checks if a given foreign key is already indexed or not before creating supplementary non wanted indexes damaging the DML part of the application.

Having said that I still have not defined what is redundant indexes

Indexes ind_1 and ind_2 are said redundant when leading columns of one index are a superset of the leading columns of the other one

For example

Ind_1 (a,b) and ind_2(a,b,c) are redundant because ind_2 contains index ind_1.

If you are at design time it is obvious that you should not create index ind_1. However, once in production, it is not 100% safe to drop index ind_1 without any impact. There are, for sure, occasions were the clustering factor of ind_2 is so dramatic when compared to index ind_1 so that if the later index is dropped the optimizer will opt for a full table scan traumatizing the queries that were perfectly happy with the dropped redundant index.

I can also show you another type of what people might consider redundant indexes while they aren’t. Consider the following model where I have created a range partitioned table (mho_date being the partition key and I have created 1493 partitions) and two indexes as shown below

desc partitioned_tab

Name                            Null?    Type
------------------------------- -------- ------------
1      MHO_ID                          NOT NULL NUMBER(10)
2      MHO_DATE                        NOT NULL DATE
3      MHO_CODE                        NOT NULL VARCHAR2(1)
4      MHO_TYP_ID                      NOT NULL NUMBER(10)

create index local_ind_1 on partitioned_tab (mho_typ_id,mho_code) local;

create index global_ind_1 on partitioned_tab (mho_typ_id);

I am going to execute a simple query against the above engineered partitioned table.

select * from partitioned_tab where mho_typ_id = 0;

Which, in the presence of the above two indexes is honored via the following execution plan

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plan hash value: 3042058313
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation                                  | Name            | Rows  |Cost (%CPU)| Pstart| Pstop |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                           |                 |  1493 | 1496   (0)|       |       |
|   1 |  TABLE ACCESS BY GLOBAL INDEX ROWID BATCHED| PARTITIONED_TAB |  1493 | 1496   (0)| ROWID | ROWID |
|*  2 |   INDEX RANGE SCAN                         | GLOBAL_IND_1    |  1493 |    4   (0)|       |       |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - access("MHO_TYP_ID"=0)

Statistics
-------------------------------------------------------
48    recursive calls
0     db block gets
3201  consistent gets
0     physical reads
0     redo size
51244 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client
1632  bytes received via SQL*Net from client
101   SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client
7     sorts (memory)
0     sorts (disk)
1493  rows processed

As you might already know I am one of the fans of SQLT tool developed by Carlos Sierra. And here below what this tool said about redundant indexes in this particular case

Redundant_indexes

It is clearly suggesting considering dropping the redundant index global_ind_1 index

So let’s follow this advice and see what happens. Hopefully with the recent Oracle release I will first make the index invisible ( by the way that’s a good point to signal for Carlos Sierra and Mauro Pagano for them to suggest setting first the index invisible before considering dropping it)

alter index global_ind_1 invisible;

select * from partitioned_tab where mho_typ_id = 0;

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation                                  | Name            | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Pstart| Pstop |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                           |                 |  1493 | 23888 |  2985   (1)|       |       |
|   1 |  PARTITION RANGE ALL                       |                 |  1493 | 23888 |  2985   (1)|     1 |  1493 |
|   2 |   TABLE ACCESS BY LOCAL INDEX ROWID BATCHED| PARTITIONED_TAB |  1493 | 23888 |  2985   (1)|     1 |  1493 |
|*  3 |    INDEX RANGE SCAN                        | LOCAL_IND_1     |  1493 |       |  1492   (0)|     1 |  1493 |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
3 - access("MHO_TYP_ID"=0)

Statistics
--------------------------------------------------------
48    recursive calls
0     db block gets
4588  consistent gets
0     physical reads
0     redo size
47957 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client
1632  bytes received via SQL*Net from client
101   SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client
7     sorts (memory)
0     sorts (disk)
1493  rows processed

By making the ”redundant” index invisible we went from a smooth one global index range scan with a cost of 4 to 1493 index range scans with a cost of 1492 with an additional 1387 logical reads.

Bottom line: You should always consider dropping (avoiding) redundant index at design time. Once in production consider making them invisible first before thinking carefully about dropping them.

PS : if you want to create the table the script can be found partitioned table

March 20, 2014

Window SORT and Window BUFFER

Filed under: Oracle — hourim @ 2:55 pm

I was thinking that I will see a WINDOW SORT operation in an execution plan for every over ( ) clause statement that differs in the partition and the order by options. For example

SQL> select
        id
       ,n_5000
       ,lead(id) over (partition by n_5000 order by id)
     from t1
     where n_5000 = 1778;

---------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation             | Name   | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)|
---------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT      |        |       |       |    94 (100)|
|   1 |  WINDOW SORT          |        |    22 |   572 |    94   (6)|
|*  2 |   INDEX FAST FULL SCAN| MY_IND |    22 |   572 |    93   (5)|
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - filter("N_5000"=1778)

But it suffices to have (1) an index that starts by the order by column (id) or by the partition by column(n_5000) and (2) add a predicate on the order by column or on the partition by column to that original query and the WINDOW SORT will be transformed into a less costly WINDOW BUFFER.

SQL> select
        id
       ,n_5000
       ,lead(id) over (partition by n_5000 order by id)
    from t1
    where id = 1778;

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation         | Name   | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT  |        |       |       |     3 (100)|          |
|   1 |  WINDOW BUFFER    |        |     1 |    26 |     3  (34)| 00:00:01 |
|*  2 |   INDEX RANGE SCAN| MY_IND |     1 |    26 |     2   (0)| 00:00:01 |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - access("ID"=1778)

That’s pretty straightforward. The index MY_IND (id, n_5000, n_10000) has been used to avoid the WINDOW SORT analytical operation. This transforms my initial thinking to: “I will see a WINDOW SORT operation in an execution plan for every over () clause statement that differs in the partition by and the order by options unless the CBO finds a suitable index that permits bypassing a SORT operation”

But does this mean that I will not see a parent WINDOW BUFFER operation without a child index scan operation?

SQL> select
       id
      ,n_5000
      ,padding
      ,sum(id) over (partition by n_5000)
     from t1
     where n_5000 = 444;

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation          | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT   |      |       |       |   478 (100)|          |
|   1 |  WINDOW BUFFER     |      |    20 |  2200 |   478   (2)| 00:00:02 |
|*  2 |   TABLE ACCESS FULL| T1   |    20 |  2200 |   477   (2)| 00:00:02 |
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - filter("N_5000"=444)

I get rid of the order by option in the over() operation and added a predicate on the partition by column.

And maybe I can add this:

I will NOT see a WINDOW SORT operation in an execution plan for every over () clause statement that contains ONLY a partition by option and where the container query includes the partition by column in the predicate part”.

Bottom Line: from now and on when I see an over () clause statement I will be paying more attention to the partition by clause to see if its related column is in the predicate part or not. It might explain why I have a WINDOW SORT instead of a WINDOW BUFFER

FootNote:  I have to warn that the above conclusions, despite they might be correct, they nevertheless remains to be sourced from a one day experiment. As such you should consider them with a careful attention before taken them as definitely demonstrated. It is not because they have been published that they are correct.

March 17, 2014

Indexing Foreign Key: the proof of the FK index use

Filed under: Deadlock — hourim @ 1:51 pm

If you have been looking for a material proof showing Oracle using the foreign key index created on the child table while deleting from a parent table then here it is

drop table t2;
drop table t1;

create table t1
(col1 number primary key);

create table t2
(col1    number primary key
,status  varchar2(12) not null
,col2    number
,col2v   number generated always as (case when status = 'ACTIVE' then col2 end) VIRTUAL
,constraint t2_fk foreign key (col2v) references t1(col1)
,constraint t2_ck check (status in ('ACTIVE','INACTIVE') and (status = 'INACTIVE' or col2 is not null))
);

create index t2_ind_fk on t2(col2v);

insert into t1
 select rownum
from dual
connect by level <=100;

commit;

insert into t2 (col1, status, col2) values (1, 'ACTIVE',50);

alter session set skip_unusable_indexes = false;

alter index t2_ind_fk unusable; -- implicit commit

I have created a pair of parent-child table (t1 and t2), an index on the foreign key on the t2 child table, set this index into an unusable state and changed the default skip_unusable_indexes parameter to false so that unusable indexes will not be skipped.

Now, I am going in the next PL/SQL anonymous block, to simulate a delete from a parent table using an autonomous transaction in order to mimic a different session (in fact a different transaction within the same session)

declare
 pragma autonomous_transaction;
begin
 delete from t1 –- deleting from the parent table
 where col1 = 99;
 commit;
end;
/

declare
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-01502: index 'XXX.T2_IND_FK' or partition of such index is in unusable state
ORA-06512: at line 4

See how deleting from the parent table (t1) triggered an error on the index of the foreign key constraint created on the child table (t2). This is a simple way to show the mechanism used by Oracle in order to avoid a child table lock (before eventually a deadlock situation) simply by using the index on the foreign key.

SPM reproducibility: changing the _optimizer_skip_scan_enabled value

Filed under: Sql Plan Managment — hourim @ 9:36 am

I have had several articles about Sql Plan Management stability and evolution. I have also been recently focusing my attention particularly on the criteria, scenarios and circumstances that impeach an enabled and accepted SPM plan to be reproducible. Below are summarized those impeachment reasons:

  1. Changing the index name
  2. Changing the index type (with particular situations for function based and reverse indexes)
  3. Changing the index leading column(s)

Then I embarked on the investigation of the reaction a SPM plan could manifest, during a query execution time, to a change in one of the environment parameters that have been used during the SPM plan capture. I have investigated two situations in this context

  1. One for a change in an optimizer parameter (optimizer mode) value
  2. And the other one for a NLS parameter (nls_sort) change

For the optimizer mode I came up to a conclusion that a change of that mode in the current environment will not have an effect on the reproducibility of the SPM plan as far as this one will be reproduced using the optimizer mode stored against the SPM plan.

However, an nls_sort parameter change reveals to be a serious threat for the SPM reproducibility as far the CBO will use in this particular case the current nls_sort parameter value which might end up with an impossibility to reproduce the stored SPM plan.

Despite the above investigations, there is one thing that I wanted to investigate the effect it has on the reproducibility of a SPM plan: a change of an undocumented optimizer parameter value. This post is for that purpose. Follow me please

 create table t1
    (col1  number
    ,col2  varchar2(50)
    ,flag  varchar2(2));

 insert into t1
    select rownum
          ,lpad('X',50,'X')
          ,case when rownum = 1
            then 'Y1'
               when rownum = 2
            then 'Y2'
               when mod(rownum,2) = 0
            then 'N1'
            else 'N2'
           end
    from   dual
connect by rownum <= 100000;

create index i1 on t1(col1,flag);

exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats(user ,'t1');

A simple model with an index which, as we will see later, has been engineered so that it will be skip scanned. The next lines of code will store a SPM plan for a given query using default optimizer parameters

SQL> var n varchar2(2);
SQL> exec :n := 'Y1'

SQL> alter session set optimizer_capture_sql_plan_baselines=TRUE;

SQL> select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n;

SQL> /

SQL> alter session set optimizer_capture_sql_plan_baselines=FALSE;

SQL> select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n;

SQL_ID  5k94675mwqz5j, child number 0
-------------------------------------
select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n

Plan hash value: 2775586896
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation        | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT |      |       |       |    67 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT AGGREGATE  |      |     1 |     3 |            |          |
|*  2 |   INDEX SKIP SCAN| I1   | 25000 | 75000 |    67   (2)| 00:00:01 |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Query Block Name / Object Alias (identified by operation id):
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 - SEL$1
2 - SEL$1 / T1@SEL$1

Outline Data
-------------
/*+
BEGIN_OUTLINE_DATA
IGNORE_OPTIM_EMBEDDED_HINTS
OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE('11.2.0.3')
DB_VERSION('11.2.0.3')
ALL_ROWS
OUTLINE_LEAF(@"SEL$1")
INDEX_SS(@"SEL$1" "T1"@"SEL$1" ("T1"."COL1" "T1"."FLAG"))
END_OUTLINE_DATA
*/

Peeked Binds (identified by position):
--------------------------------------
1 - :N (VARCHAR2(30), CSID=873): 'Y1'

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - access("FLAG"=:N)
   filter("FLAG"=:N)

Column Projection Information (identified by operation id):
-----------------------------------------------------------
1 - (#keys=0) COUNT(*)[22]

Note
-----
- SQL plan baseline SQL_PLAN_4njm93y44xuu38bc11ac1 used for this statement

A simple query constrained by a SPM plan using index skip scan access.

Having presented the model  I can now start my real investigations which can be summarize via this simple question : if I alter my current environment so that I will disable the use of index skip scan, will my query still be using the SPM plan? Or in more subtle and clear words: will the SPM plan be reproducible under such a change of an undocumented parameter value?

And the answer is : see below

SQL> alter session set "_optimizer_skip_scan_enabled"=FALSE;

SQL> alter session set optimizer_use_sql_plan_baselines = FALSE;

I have altered the hidden parameter and put on hold for a moment the use of sql plan baseline in order to show you that under this circumstances the CBO will come up with a new plan as shown below:

SQL> select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n;

SQL_ID  5k94675mwqz5j, child number 3
-------------------------------------
select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n

Plan hash value: 129980005
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation             | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT      |      |       |       |    71 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT AGGREGATE       |      |     1 |     3 |            |          |
|*  2 |   INDEX FAST FULL SCAN| I1   | 25000 | 75000 |    71   (6)| 00:00:01 |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - filter("FLAG"=:N)

There is now a new plan using an INDEX FAST FULL SCAN since I have disabled the use of INDEX SKIP SCAN. It is a clear indication that under this undocumented parameter change the CBO is not able to reproduce the index skip scan plan. Let’s see then what happen to our query.

SQL> alter session set optimizer_use_sql_plan_baselines = TRUE;

SQL> select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n;

---------------------------------------------------
SQL_ID  5k94675mwqz5j, child number 5
-------------------------------------
select count(1) from t1 where flag = :n

Plan hash value: 2775586896
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation        | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT |      |       |       |    67 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT AGGREGATE  |      |     1 |     3 |            |          |
|*  2 |   INDEX SKIP SCAN| I1   | 25000 | 75000 |    67   (2)| 00:00:01 |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Query Block Name / Object Alias (identified by operation id):
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 - SEL$1
2 - SEL$1 / T1@SEL$1

Outline Data
-------------
/*+
BEGIN_OUTLINE_DATA
IGNORE_OPTIM_EMBEDDED_HINTS
OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE('11.2.0.3')
DB_VERSION('11.2.0.3')
ALL_ROWS
OUTLINE_LEAF(@"SEL$1")
INDEX_SS(@"SEL$1" "T1"@"SEL$1" ("T1"."COL1" "T1"."FLAG"))
END_OUTLINE_DATA
*/

Peeked Binds (identified by position):
--------------------------------------
1 - :N (VARCHAR2(30), CSID=873): 'Y1'

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - access("FLAG"=:N)
   filter("FLAG"=:N)

Column Projection Information (identified by operation id):
-----------------------------------------------------------
1 - (#keys=0) COUNT(*)[22]

Note
-----
- SQL plan baseline SQL_PLAN_4njm93y44xuu38bc11ac1 used for this statement

The CBO has been able to reproduce the SPM INDEX SKIP SCAN plan.

Bottom line: if the CBO has been able to reproduce the SPM INDEX SKIP SCAN plan under a disabled _optimizer_skip_scan_enabled parameter in the query execution environment, this means that the CBO will use the value of that hidden parameter stored during the SPM plan capture and not the value this parameter has in the current execution environment.

March 14, 2014

parallel insert

Filed under: direct path — hourim @ 2:28 pm

Do you know that a direct path insert can be silently ignored when the inserted table has an insert trigger?

SQL> create table t1 as select rownum n1 from dual connect by level <=1e5;

SQL> create table t2 as select * from t1 where 0 = 1;

SQL> create or replace trigger t2_trg
      before insert on t2
      for each row
    begin
       null;
    end;
   /

SQL> insert /*+ append */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL> select count(1) from t2;

COUNT(1)
---------
100000

SQL> alter trigger t2_trg disable;

SQL> insert /*+ append */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL> select count(1) from t2;

select count(1) from t2
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-12838: cannot read/modify an object after modifying it in parallel

It is only when the trigger has been disabled that the insert has been done via a direct path load.

But are you aware that a parallel insert can also be silently ignored in presence of an insert trigger?

SQL> alter session enable parallel dml;

SQL> insert /*+ parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL_ID  5npb49pus3wtr, child number 0
-------------------------------------
insert /*+ parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1

Plan hash value: 2315600204
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation               | Name     | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |    TQ  |IN-OUT| PQ Distrib |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | INSERT STATEMENT        |          |       |       |    47 (100)|          |        |      |            |
|   1 |  PX COORDINATOR         |          |       |       |            |          |        |      |            |
|   2 |   PX SEND QC (RANDOM)   | :TQ10001 |   100K|  1269K|    47   (7)| 00:00:01 |  Q1,01 | P->S | QC (RAND)  |
|   3 |    LOAD AS SELECT       |          |       |       |            |          |  Q1,01 | PCWP |            |
|   4 |     PX RECEIVE          |          |   100K|  1269K|    47   (7)| 00:00:01 |  Q1,01 | PCWP |            |
|   5 |      PX SEND ROUND-ROBIN| :TQ10000 |   100K|  1269K|    47   (7)| 00:00:01 |        | S->P | RND-ROBIN  |
|   6 |       TABLE ACCESS FULL | T1       |   100K|  1269K|    47   (7)| 00:00:01 |        |      |            |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note
-----
- dynamic sampling used for this statement (level=2)

SQL> select count(1) from t2;

select count(1) from t2
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-12838: cannot read/modify an object after modifying it in parallel

SQL> rollback;

SQL> alter trigger t2_trg enable;

SQL> insert /*+ parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL_ID  5npb49pus3wtr, child number 0
-------------------------------------
insert /*+ parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1

Plan hash value: 3617692013
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation                | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | INSERT STATEMENT         |      |       |       |    47 (100)|          |
|   1 |  LOAD TABLE CONVENTIONAL |      |       |       |            |          |
|   2 |   TABLE ACCESS FULL      | T1   |   100K|  1269K|    47   (7)| 00:00:01 |
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note
-----
- dynamic sampling used for this statement (level=2)

SQL> select count(1) from t2;

COUNT(1)
----------
300000

When the trigger has been disabled the insert went through a parallel load path in contrast to when the same trigger has been enabled where the insert went through to a classical conventional load.

A classical conventional load have I said?

Yes. If you look closely to the case where the parallel insert has been honored you will realize that not only the insert run in parallel but it has also been done via a direct path mode.

Tell me: does this means that a parallel insert (when honored) is always accomplished via a direct path load?

Yes it is.

So is the append hint in the following instruction redundant?


SQL> insert /*+ append parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1;

No it is not always redundant.

Simply because a parallel run and a direct path load share several common “impeachment” reasons like the presence of insert triggers or foreign integrity constraints((yes I have also tested this case also)  but they also have their proper source of impeachment. While the direct path is not a CBO decision, the parallel run is. So, what do you think will happen when the CBO decides that the parallel insert is not the best path to follow and you have already get rid of the append hint from your insert statement? The direct path, when possible, will not be followed.

If I simulate a parallel run impeachment by disabling the parallel dml and get rid of the append hint from my insert statement then the direct path load will not happen

SQL> alter session disable parallel dml;

SQL> insert /*+ parallel(t2) */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL> select count(1) from t2;

COUNT(1)
----------
100000

However if, in the same situation,  I will add the append hint to my insert statement then the insert will follow a direct path load path as demonstrated below:

SQL> insert /*+ parallel(t2) append */ into t2 select * from t1;

100000 rows created.

SQL> select count(1) from t2;
select count(1) from t2
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-12838: cannot read/modify an object after modifying it in parallel

This is the otn thread that prompted this blog post

Bottom line: I learnt yesterday that a parallel insert when followed by the CBO will use a direct path load which is not always the best solution. I learnt also in this case that a parallel insert suffers from the same impeachment raisons as the direct path load does: presence of insert triggers and foreign integrity constraint. And I learnt that to secure your direct path load add the append hint  to your insert statement even when this statement contains a parallel hint

March 6, 2014

NLS_SORT and SPM reproducibility

Filed under: Oracle — hourim @ 9:40 am

I wrote a blog article which aims mainly to show what optimizer parameter the CBO will use to reproduce aSPM baseline plan: the current environment parameters or the parameters used during the SPM plan baseline capture? Having tested in this blog article only the influence of the optimizer_mode (all_rows versus first_rows mode) I ended up with a conclusion that the CBO will use the optimizer_mode parameter stored during the SPM plan capture. I have also put a careful warning that this is not a conclusion one can spread to other CBO parameters without testing; particularly that I have already seen an otn thread dealing with the inability to reproduce a SPM plan because of a change in the _optim_peek_user_binds  hidden parameter. Then, a post on oracle list about the non reproducibility of a SPM baseline following an upgrade from 10gR2 to 11gR2 prompted me to investigate the influence the NLS_SORT parameter can have on the reproducibility of a SPM baseline plan. Below are my investigations and findings:

First, the model

CREATE TABLE t
(c1 VARCHAR2(64), c2 CHAR(15), d1 DATE);

INSERT INTO t
SELECT
    mod(ABS(dbms_random.random),3)+ 1||chr(ascii('Y')) ,
    dbms_random.string('L',dbms_random.value(1,5))||rownum ,
    to_date(TO_CHAR(to_date('01/01/1980','dd/mm/yyyy'),'J') + TRUNC(dbms_random.value(1,11280)),'J')
FROM dual
CONNECT BY level <= 2e6;

ALTER TABLE t ADD CONSTRAINT t_pk PRIMARY KEY (c1,c2) USING INDEX;

EXEC dbms_stats.gather_table_stats (USER, 't', CASCADE => true, method_opt => 'FOR ALL COLUMNS SIZE 1');

Second, the preliminaries

SQL> select * from dba_sql_plan_baselines;

no rows selected  --  no baseline yet

SQL> show parameter nls_sort

NAME                                 TYPE        VALUE
------------------------------------ ----------- --------------
nls_sort                             string      BINARY

SQL> alter session set optimizer_capture_sql_plan_baselines = TRUE;

SQL> SELECT  c1
FROM t
GROUP BY c1
ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST;

C1
------
1Y
2Y
3Y

SQL> /

C1
------
1Y
2Y
3Y

SQL> alter session set optimizer_capture_sql_plan_baselines = FALSE;

SQL> select plan_name from dba_sql_plan_baselines;

PLAN_NAME
------------------------------
SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca  -- one SPM plan baseline

So far I have engineered a model against which I executed a query returning data in a certain order under the classical Binary NLS_SORT parameter. I added to that situation a SPM baseline plan so that any “resembling” query will use that SPM plan. That is plan stability. This SPM plan looks like:

SQL> select * from table(dbms_xplan.display_sql_plan_baseline(plan_name => 'SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca', format => 'ADVANCED'));

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SQL handle: SQL_9061e639924ff3d1
SQL text: SELECT  c1     FROM t     GROUP BY c1    ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plan name: SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca         Plan id: 1679165386
Enabled: YES     Fixed: NO      Accepted: YES     Origin: AUTO-CAPTURE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Outline Data from SMB:
/*+
BEGIN_OUTLINE_DATA
INDEX(@"SEL$1" "T"@"SEL$1" ("T"."C1" "T"."C2"))
OUTLINE_LEAF(@"SEL$1")
ALL_ROWS
DB_VERSION('11.2.0.3')
OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE('11.2.0.3')
IGNORE_OPTIM_EMBEDDED_HINTS
END_OUTLINE_DATA
*/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Plan hash value: 2111031280
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation            | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT     |      |     3 |     9 |  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
|   1 |  SORT GROUP BY NOSORT|      |     3 |     9 |  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
|   2 |   INDEX FULL SCAN    | T_PK |  2000K|  5859K|  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Query Block Name / Object Alias (identified by operation id):
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 - SEL$1
2 - SEL$1 / T@SEL$1

Outline Data
------------
/*+
BEGIN_OUTLINE_DATA
INDEX(@"SEL$1" "T"@"SEL$1" ("T"."C1" "T"."C2"))
OUTLINE_LEAF(@"SEL$1")
ALL_ROWS
DB_VERSION('11.2.0.3')
OPTIMIZER_FEATURES_ENABLE('11.2.0.3')
IGNORE_OPTIM_EMBEDDED_HINTS
END_OUTLINE_DATA
*/

Column Projection Information (identified by operation id):
-----------------------------------------------------------
1 - (#keys=1) "C1"[VARCHAR2,256]
2 - "C1"[VARCHAR2,256]

An index full scan with which the CBO has avoided the order by sort operation.

Now, for my “tranquility”,  I will execute my query and check if the SPM plan is used or not.

SQL> SELECT  c1
     FROM t
     GROUP BY c1
     ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST;

C1
----
1Y
2Y
3Y

SQL_ID  28dazsm20sbw6, child number 2
-------------------------------------
SELECT  c1     FROM t     GROUP BY c1    ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST
Plan hash value: 2111031280
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation            | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT     |      |       |       |  2069 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT GROUP BY NOSORT|      |     3 |     9 |  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
|   2 |   INDEX FULL SCAN    | T_PK |  2000K|  5859K|  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note
-----
- SQL plan baseline SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca used for this statement

Great it is used.

Third, the issue presentation and discussion

What happens if, in my current environment, I change the NLS_SORT parameter?

SQL> alter session set nls_sort=french; -- I altered my current environment when compared to the SPM capture time environment

SQL> SELECT  c1
FROM t
GROUP BY c1
ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST;

C1
----
1Y
2Y
3Y

SQL_ID  28dazsm20sbw6, child number 2
-------------------------------------
SELECT  c1     FROM t     GROUP BY c1    ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST

Plan hash value: 1760210272
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation             | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT      |      |       |       |  2451 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT ORDER BY        |      |     3 |     9 |  2451  (20)| 00:00:07 |
|   2 |   SORT GROUP BY NOSORT|      |     3 |     9 |  2451  (20)| 00:00:07 |
|   3 |    INDEX FULL SCAN    | T_PK |  2000K|  5859K|  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See how my query is not using the SPM baseline plan anymore. It is using a new plan where the sort order by operation has not been eliminated by the CBO. If my query is not using the SPM plan this is because the CBO was not able to reproduce the stored Baseline plan because of nls_sort parameter change. If this means something it then means that when trying to reproduce the SPM plan the CBO uses the current nls_sort parameter.

The new CBO plan have been added to the SPM baseline for an eventual evolution

SQL> select plan_name from dba_sql_plan_baselines;

PLAN_NAME
------------------------------
SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj297df088
SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca

If I alter again my current nls_sort parameter so that it will match the one stored against the baseline plan, then my query will be back to its initial use of the SPM plan

 SQL> alter session set nls_sort=binary;

 SQL> SELECT  c1
      FROM t
      GROUP BY c1
      ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST;

SQL_ID  5hrfv0352fzdr, child number 0
-------------------------------------
SELECT  c1 FROM t GROUP BY c1     ORDER BY c1 ASC NULLS LAST

Plan hash value: 2111031280
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation            | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)| Time     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT     |      |       |       |  2069 (100)|          |
|   1 |  SORT GROUP BY NOSORT|      |     3 |     9 |  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
|   2 |   INDEX FULL SCAN    | T_PK |  2000K|  5859K|  2069   (5)| 00:00:06 |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note
-----
- SQL plan baseline SQL_PLAN_90sg67694zwyj641607ca used for this statement

Bottom line: in contrast to the optimizer_mode parameter when it comes to NLS_SORT (and NLS_LANG) parameter, the CBO seems to use the current environment NLS_SORT value (and not the one that existed at the baseline time capture) to reproduce the stored SPM plan baseline.

March 2, 2014

Index design

Filed under: Index — hourim @ 8:35 am

Here it is a very brief discussion I have had with one of my colleagues about index design

Colleague: what kind of index would you suggest to cover the following query?

SELECT
     rowid
    ,a.*
FROM  message_out a
WHERE sms_status    in (700, 707)
AND  (scheduled_time is null
      OR scheduled_time   <= :1)
AND   provider_id     in (0,0)
ORDER BY
      priority_level desc,
      creation_time asc;

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id | Operation         | Name        | Rows | Bytes |TempSpc| Cost (%CPU)|
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 0  | SELECT STATEMENT  |             | 5529 | 1376K |       | 4769 (1)   |
| 1  | SORT ORDER BY     |             | 5529 | 1376K | 1856K | 4769 (1)   |
|* 2 |  TABLE ACCESS FULL| MESSAGE_OUT | 5529 | 1376K |       | 4462 (1)   |
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
2 - filter(("SMS_STATUS"=700 OR "SMS_STATUS"=707)
AND ("SCHEDULED_TIME" IS NULL OR "SCHEDULED_TIME"<=:1)
AND "PROVIDER_ID"=0)

Me: and what have you ended up with until now?

Colleague: here my suggested index and the related execution plan

CREATE INDEX virtual_index ON MESSAGE_OUT(sms_status,scheduled_time,provider_id) ;

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id | Operation                   | Name          | Rows | Bytes |TempSpc| Cost (%CPU)|
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 0  | SELECT STATEMENT            |               | 5529 | 1376K |       | 446 (1)    |
| 1  | SORT ORDER BY               |               | 5529 | 1376K | 1856K | 446 (1)    |
| 2  | INLIST ITERATOR             |               |      |       |       |            |
|* 3 |  TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID| MESSAGE_OUT   | 5529 | 1376K |       | 140 (0)    |
|* 4 |   INDEX RANGE SCAN          | VIRTUAL_INDEX | 5529 |       |       | 6 (0)      |
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Me: I would not have created the same index

Me: here it is the index I would have created (after several questions regarding the data distribution, the table data volume, the use of bind variables, etc…)

create index mho_ind on MESSAGE_OUT (status, provider_id, scheduled_time);

Me: and if sms_status contains repetitive values then I would have added a compress command to that index creation

Colleague: there is no difference in the execution plan either by using my index or your index

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id | Operation                     | Name          | Rows | Bytes |TempSpc| Cost (%CPU)|
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| 0  | SELECT STATEMENT              |               | 5529 | 1376K |       | 446 (1)    |
| 1  | SORT ORDER BY                 |               | 5529 | 1376K | 1856K | 446 (1)    |
| 2  |  INLIST ITERATOR              |               |      |       |       |            |
|* 3 |   TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID | MESSAGE_OUT   | 5529 | 1376K |       | 140 (0)    |
|* 4 |    INDEX RANGE SCAN           | VIRTUAL_INDEX | 5529 |       |       | 6 (0)      |
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Me: no, it is not the same plan. Please always consider the predicate part

Me: what is the predicate part of the plan using your index

Colleague: this is my index predicate part


Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
 ---------------------------------------------------
 3 - filter("SCHEDULED_TIME" IS NULL OR "SCHEDULED_TIME"<=:1)
 4 - access(("SMS_STATUS"=700 OR "SMS_STATUS"=707) AND "PROVIDER_ID"=0)
     filter("PROVIDER_ID"=0) --> additional filter operation

Colleague: and this is your index predicate part

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
 3 - filter("SCHEDULED_TIME" IS NULL OR "SCHEDULED_TIME"<=:1)
 4 - access(("SMS_STATUS"=700 OR "SMS_STATUS"=707) AND "PROVIDER_ID"=0)
--> no additional filter operation

Me: and did you pointed out the difference or not yet?

Colleague: no, same plan, same cost and same execution time

Me: there is a fundamental difference between your plan and mine. In your plan there is a double operation on your engineered index:  “ACCESS + FILTER” operation while my engineered index needs only one precise operation :  “ACCESS

Me: and when it comes to performance you always prefers a precise index ACCESS operation to that double ACCESS and FILTER operations.

Me: your engineered index has a second columns on which an inequality predicate is applied

SCHEDULED_TIME <= :1

You should always start your index by the columns on which an equality predicate is applied. In my case, I put the SCHEDULED_TIME column at the trailing edge of my index and doing as such I have avoided a costly filter operation on my index while your engineered index has been subject to that costly filter operation

If you want to test this behaviour then below is an example to play with. I hope you will enjoy it

SQL> create table t1
     (id number,
     n_1000 number,
     n_5000 number,
     n_10000 number,
     small_vc varchar2(20),
     padding varchar2(100)
     );

Table created.

SQL> insert into t1
  with generator as (
  select --+ materialize
  rownum id
  from dual
  connect by
  rownum <= 10000
  )
  select
    rownum id,
    mod(rownum,1000) n_1000,
    mod(rownum,5000) n_5000,
    mod(rownum,10000) n_10000,
    lpad(rownum,10,'0') small_vc,
    rpad('x',100) padding
  from
    generator v1,
    generator v2
  where
  rownum <= 100000
  ;

SQL> create index my_ind on t1(id, n_5000, n_1000);

Index created.

SQL> create index colleague_ind on t1(id, n_1000, n_5000);

Index created.

SQL> alter index my_ind invisible;

Index altered.

SQL> exec dbms_stats.gather_table_stats(user, 't1');

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> select
        a.*
  from t1 a
  where id in (112,120)
  and (n_1000 is null
  or n_1000 <= 3000)
  and n_5000 in (120);

Statistics
------------------------------------------------------
 65 recursive calls
 0 db block gets
 95 consistent gets ---> spot this
 0 physical reads
 0 redo size
 1005 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client
 543 bytes received via SQL*Net from client
 2 SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client
 6 sorts (memory)
 0 sorts (disk)
 1 rows processed

SQL_ID 7d6ag1m1ztpgr, child number 1
-------------------------------------
select a.* from t1 a where id in (112,120) and (n_1000 is null
or n_1000 <= 3000) and n_5000 in (120)

Plan hash value: 3644584748
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation                            | Name          | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)|
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                     |               |       |       |     4 (100)|
|   1 |  INLIST ITERATOR                     |               |       |       |            |
|*  2 |   TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID BATCHED| T1            |     2 |   258 |     4   (0)|
|*  3 |    INDEX RANGE SCAN                  | COLLEAGUE_IND |     2 |       |     3   (0)|
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
 2 - filter(("N_1000"<=3000 OR "N_1000" IS NULL))
 3 - access((("ID"=112 OR "ID"=120)) AND "N_5000"=120)
 filter("N_5000"=120) ---> spot this

SQL> alter index colleague_ind invisible;

Index altered.

SQL> alter index my_ind visible;

Index altered.

SQL> select
       a.*
  from t1 a
  where id in (112,120)
  and (n_1000 is null
  or n_1000 <= 3000)
  and n_5000 in (120);

Statistics
------------------------------------------------------
 33 recursive calls
 0 db block gets
 49 consistent gets --> spot the reduction
 0 physical reads
 0 redo size
 1005 bytes sent via SQL*Net to client
 543 bytes received via SQL*Net from client
 2 SQL*Net roundtrips to/from client
 6 sorts (memory)
 0 sorts (disk)
 1 rows processed

SQL_ID 7d6ag1m1ztpgr, child number 1
-------------------------------------
select a.* from t1 a where id in (112,120) and (n_1000 is null
or n_1000 <= 3000) and n_5000 in (120)

Plan hash value: 4286547933</pre>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Id  | Operation                            | Name   | Rows  | Bytes | Cost (%CPU)|
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                     |        |       |       |     4 (100)|
|   1 |  INLIST ITERATOR                     |        |       |       |            |
|*  2 |   TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID BATCHED| T1     |     2 |   258 |     4   (0)|
|*  3 |    INDEX RANGE SCAN                  | MY_IND |     2 |       |     3   (0)|
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
---------------------------------------------------
 2 - filter(("N_1000"<=3000 OR "N_1000" IS NULL))
 3 - access((("ID"=112 OR "ID"=120)) AND "N_5000"=120)
     --> spot the absence of filter on index

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