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ITL Waits – Changes in Recent Releases (script)

A reader of this blog, Paresh, asked me how I was able to find out the logic behind ITL waits without having access to Oracle code. My reply was: I wrote a test case that reproduce ITL waits and a piece of code that monitors them.

Since other readers might be interested, here is the shell script I wrote. Notice that it takes four parameters as input: user name, password, SID, and how long it has to wait in the monitoring phase.

ITL Waits – Changes in Recent Releases

In recent releases Oracle has silently changed the behavior of ITL waits. The aim of this post it to describe what has changed and why. But, first of all, let’s review some essential concepts about ITLs and ITL waits.

Interested Transaction List

The Oracle database engine locks the data modified by a transaction at the row level. To implement this feature every data block contains a list of all transactions that are modifying it. This list is commonly called interested transaction list (ITL). Its purpose is twofold. First, it is used to store information to identify a transaction as well as a reference to access the undo data associated to it. Second, it is referenced by every modified or locked row to indicate which transaction it is involved.


IS NULL Conditions and B-tree Indexes

At page 383 of my book I wrote the following sentence (BTW, the same information is also provided by Table 9-3 at page 381):

With B-tree indexes, IS NULL conditions can be applied only through composite B-tree indexes when several SQL conditions are applied and at least one of them is not based on IS NULL or an inequality.

The text continues by showing the following examples (notice that in both cases the IS NULL predicate is applied through an access predicate):

Optimizer Mode Mismatch Does Not Prevent Sharing of Child Cursor!?!?

The aim of this post is to describe a strange (buggy) situation that I observed recently. But before doing that, I shortly summarize what a parent cursor and a child cursor are as well as when they can be shared. By the way, I borrowed this description from the pages 20/21 of my book. Hence, [...]

Bind Variable Peeking: Bane or Boon?

Almost one year ago Iggy Fernandez asked me to write a short text for the Ask the Oracles column of the NoCOUG Journal. The topic was “Bind Variable Peeking: Bane or Boon?”. My text along with the ones of Wolfgang Breitling, Dan Tow and Jonathan Lewis were published in the August issue. For some (unknown) [...]

Tracing VPD Predicates

Even though a number of articles and blog posts have already been written on this topic (e.g. on Pete Finnigan’s site I found references dating back from 2003), from time to time I’m still asked “How to trace predicates generated by VPD?”. Hence, here’s yet another blog post about this topic…
Let’s setup the scene before [...]

Does the Query Optimizer Cost PX Distribution Methods?

The short answer to this question is “yes”, it does. Unfortunately, the distribution costs are not externalized through the execution plans and, as a result, this limitation (yes, it is really a limitation in the current implementation, not a bug) confuses everyone that carefully look at the information provided in an execution plan of a [...]

Does CREATE INDEX Gather Global Statistics?

You can add the COMPUTE STATISTICS clause to the CREATE INDEX statement. It instructs the SQL statement to gather and store index statistics in the data dictionary, while creating the index. This is useful because the overhead associated with the gathering of statistics while executing this SQL statement is negligible. In Oracle9i, the gathering of [...]