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Don Burleson Blog 







SQL Profiles to replace stored outlines

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonOctober 16,  2015

Oracle author and SQL programming Guru Laurent Schneider found this tidbit in the Oracle documentation; SQL profiles will soon officially deprecate the old-fashioned stored outlines (a.k.a. optimizer plan stability):

Performance Tuning Guide

Stored outlines will be desupported in a future release in favor of SQL plan management. In Oracle Database 11g Release 1 (11.1), stored outlines continue to function as in past releases.

However, Oracle strongly recommends that you use SQL plan management for new applications.

SQL plan management creates SQL plan baselines, which offer superior SQL performance and stability compared with stored outlines.

As a review, stored outlines (optimizer plan stability) allow the DBA to ?freeze? SQL execution plans, and more important, change execution plans without touching the SQL source, a critical tool for tuning third-party vendor systems where you cannot touch the source code.

Note:  Implementing SQL profiles locks in a execution plan and disables dynamic sampling for that SQL statement.

The stored outline facility was tricky and clumsy, and it's great that SQL profiles are replacing plan stability.  See 11g SQL execution plan management tips for details on this powerful new tool.

In Oracle8i and Oracle9i, MOSC note 92202 .1 describes a procedure to tune SQL that you cannot touch by performing these steps:

  1. Identify the sub-optimal SQL and create a stored outline

  2. Tune an equivalent query with a faster execution plan and create a stored outline

  3. Swap the bad stored outline for the tuned stored outline

Oracle provides this example for swapping the outlines:


SQL Profiles

The Oracle 10g automatic tuning advisor allowed us to implement tuning suggestions in the form of SQL profiles that will improve performance, and SQL profiles can be used the same way as stored outlines (optimizer plan stability).  The SQL Profile is a collection of the historical information of prior runs of the SQL statement, comparison details of the actual and estimated cardinality and predicate selectivity, etc.

A SQL Profile is stored persistently in the data dictionary, so it does not require any application code changes.

A SQL profile helps generate a better execution plan than the normal optimization because it is tested against a real-world workload in the SQL Tuning Set (STS). Additional tasks like checking for advanced predicate selectivity, correlation between columns, join skews, and complex predicates such as functions, help in profiling the SQL statement. Once a SQL statement is profiled and stored, differing execution plans can be invoked at will.



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