Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quote from Thomas Kyte's book

About Thomas Kyte: Architect in Oracle Corp. Brain behind

if you want a 10 step guide to tuning a query, buy a piece of software. You are not needed in this process, anyone can put a query in, get a query out and run it to see if it is faster. There are tons of these tools on the market. They work using rules (heuristics) and can tune maybe 1% of the problem queries out there. They APPEAR to be able to tune a much larger percent but that is only because the people using these tools never look at the outcome -- hence they continue to make the same basic mistakes over and over and over.

If you want to really be aboe to tune the other 99% of the queries out there, knowledge of lots of stuff -- physical storage mechanisms, access paths, how the optimizer works -thats the only way.


Think about it for a moment. If there were a 10 step or even 1,000,000 step process by which any query can be tuned (or even X% of queries for that matter), we would write a program to do it. Oh don't get me wrong, there are many programs that actually try to do this - Oracle Enterprise Manager with its tuning pack, SQL Navigator and others. What they do is primarily recommend indexing schemes to tune a query, suggest materialized views, offer to add hints to the query to try other access plans. They show you different query plans for the same statement and allow you to pick one. They offer "rules of thumb" (what I generally call ROT since the acronym and the word is maps to are so appropriate for each other) SQL optimizations - which if they were universally applicable - the optimizer would do it as a matter of fact. In fact, the cost based optimizer does that already - it rewrites our queries all of the time. These tuning
tools use a very limited set of rules that sometimes can suggest that index or set of indexes you really should have thought of during your design.

No comments: