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sort_area_size initialization parameter 

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

The sort_area_size parameters control the RAM size for dedicated tasks to sort SQL result sets and reduce expensive disk sorts. 

The usage for sort_area_size changed when pga_aggregate_target was introduced. 

The sort_area_size is ignored when pga_aggregate_target is set and when workarea_size_policy =auto, unless you are using a old feature such as the MTS (shared servers).

If dedicated server connections are used, the sort_area_size parameter is ignored unless you set workarea_size_policy=manual.  You can still use sort_area_size at the session level, but there are special tricks for sorting very large result sets in RAM because of the default governor on sort_area_size which imposes a limit on the amount of sort area any session may acquire:

alter session set workarea_size_policy=manual;
alter session set sort_area_size=nnnn;

Also, note that you can over-ride the default max size for sort_area_size in batch jobs, supersizing the sort area, an important technique for sorting large result sets in RAM.

My notes on sort_area_size include:





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