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Oracle event 10046 debug traces, they really aren’t that ‘complicated’ as we think – A 10046 trace break apart!

Posted by FatDBA on October 16, 2021

Hi Everyone,

Oracle has a long list of internal debug codes and this tracing is an art and a real craft. 10046 debug traces is one of the popular method for collecting extended SQL trace (like SQL_TRACE=TRUE) information for Oracle sessions. This we specially use to determine or distinguish the nature of a SQL Tuning problem. By setting this event, you can get detailed trace information of Oracle’s internal execution system analysis, call, wait, and bind variables, which plays a very important role in analyzing the performance of the system. This provides a great source and different levels of details about SQLs.

This post is all about breaking the parts of the trace and understand some of the critical sections to help understanding about SQL stats that it captures. I am not going to show how to generate them as the steps are pretty straight forward and are available on metalink.

Though there are multiple use cases of 10046, but I recently used them to understand a complicated and costly PL/SQL program which has got more than 1000 different SQL’s inside that it calls and I was interested to check on the costliest among them and why is that …. Though there are surely other ways to get the details of same level like using SQL Profiler, SQL Traces etc. but none of them provides the level of details what 10046 gives) and elapsed time parsing (prsela).

Above used snippet is from live 10046 sorted traces from a production system running on (Yes, an old application). There isn’t much different that you will notice if you execute it on any new version of database too, there are very few changes that you will notice in case running on a latest oracle DB version. Okay let’s first understand few of the keywords or column names used in the result.

TKPROF: Release - Production on Fri Sep 27 03:31:42 2021

Copyright (c) 1982, 2007, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Trace file: dixitdb_ora_28282_10046_for_spdixitM.trc
Sort options: exeela  fchela  prsela  


call     count       cpu    elapsed       disk      query    current        rows
------- ------  -------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------  ----------
Parse      134      0.00       0.00          0          0          0           0
Execute    862      0.03       0.03          0          0          0           0
Fetch      862     46.59      45.52          0    1235246          0         862
------- ------  -------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------  ----------
total     1858     46.63      45.55          0    1235246          0         862

Misses in library cache during parse: 1
Misses in library cache during execute: 1
Optimizer mode: ALL_ROWS
Parsing user id: 296  (CANONTALAB)   (recursive depth: 3)

Rows     Row Source Operation
-------  ---------------------------------------------------
      2  SORT AGGREGATE (cr=2866 pr=0 pw=0 time=114898 us)
      2   INDEX FAST FULL SCAN PK_DIXIT1_SAMPLE (cr=2866 pr=0 pw=0 time=114888 us)(object id 125001)

Rows     Execution Plan
-------  ---------------------------------------------------
      2   SORT (AGGREGATE)
               (INDEX (UNIQUE))

Elapsed times include waiting on following events:
  Event waited on                             Times   Max. Wait  Total Waited
  ----------------------------------------   Waited  ----------  ------------
  db file sequential read                        60       12.17         43.54

COUNT – Represents the umber of times a SQL statement was parsed, executed, or was fetched.
CPU – Total CPU time in seconds for all parse, execute, or fetch calls for the SQL.
ELAPSED – Total elapsed time in seconds for all parse, execute, or fetch calls for the SQL statement.
DISK – Total number of data blocks physically read from the datafiles on disk for all parse, execute, or fetch calls.
QUERY – Total number of buffers retrieved in consistent mode for all parse, execute, or fetch calls. Usually, buffers are retrieved in consistent mode for queries. A Consistent Get is where oracle returns a block from the block buffer cache but has to take into account checking to make sure it is the block current at the time the query started. Or is a normal reading of a block from the buffer cache. A check will be made if the data needs reconstructing from rollback info to give you a consistent view
CURRENT – Total number of buffers retrieved in current mode. Buffers are retrieved in current mode for statements such as INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE. A DB block get (or current get in TKPROF) not only gets the block as it is right now, but it stops anyone else from getting that block (in current mode!) until we change it and release it. If someone else got there first, we wait.
ROWS – Total number of rows processed by the SQL statement. This total does not include rows processed by subqueries of the SQL statement. Also the rows gives statistics about 3 calls: Parse, Execute & Fetch
PARSE – Translates the SQL statement into an execution plan, including checks for proper security authorization and checks for the existence of tables, columns, and other referenced objects. This is where the physical and logical transformations and optimizations happens.
EXECUTE – Actual execution of the statement by Oracle. For INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements, this modifies the data. For SELECT statements, this identifies the selected rows.
FETCH – Retrieves rows returned by a query. Fetches are only performed for SELECT statements.

Okay, now when all the column names and table entries are explained, let me try to explain what it represents in the form of those numbers.

It says 1235246 blocks were received in consistent mode during fetch operation. Since this is a SELECT statement, the blocks are shown during Fetch operation. If its a DML statement then blocks will be shown during Execute operation. Misses in library cache during each call. If there is no miss then it wont be mentioned. The 1 miss for the SQL is very much acceptable since when a SQL runs for the first time it need to be parsed and executed and execution plan will be stored. So parse and execute call will have 1 misses. If you see the statement parse call happened 134 times but the miss count is only 1, meaning that the statement was parsed only once and was stored in library cache. For next 133 parses the same parsed statement from library cache was used. So we have miss 1 and hit 133. Similarly execution plan was made only once and 861 times Oracle used same execution plan from library cache.

Now next jump to the row source operations and codes that it uses. cr = Consistent Reads, pr = Physical Reads, pw = Physical Writes, time = time taken by this step in microseconds. You might see some other codes used i.e. cost = cost incured by the step, size = represent the size of data in that step and card = cardinality.

So, the query was found doing an UNIQUE SCAN on it’s primary key index with name PK_DIXIT1_SAMPLE in ALL_ROWS mode and which is pretty understood as an equality predicate was used and the unique or primary key constraint was sufficient by itself to produce an index unique scan. And finally it shows wait event details and is pretty straight forward and says that it waits on ‘db file sequential read‘ with max wait time of 12.17

With the values above we need make a decision to whether to tune the SQL or not. Unless we have a locking problem or bad performing SQLs we shouldn’t worry about CPU time or the elapsed time. because timings come into consideration only when we have bad performing SQLs. The important factor is the number of block visits, both query (that is, subject to read consistency) and current (that is, not subject to read consistency). Segment headers and blocks that are going to be updated are acquired in current mode, but all query and subquery processing requests the data in query mode.

Hope It Helped
Prashant Dixit


4 Responses to “Oracle event 10046 debug traces, they really aren’t that ‘complicated’ as we think – A 10046 trace break apart!”

  1. Saibal Ghosh said

    Very well explained! This post does a great job of simplifying 10046 trace!

  2. Suraj said

    Well explained Fatdba

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