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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle Utilities Tips

Best Practices for Using tkprof

Enable tracing only on those sessions that are having problems. Be selective to minimize the performance burden on the sessions and to retain more free space in the user dump destination directory.

Rename trace files after tracing is disabled. The new file name should be something more meaningful that will be recognizable at a later date. The name employee_index.trc is much more meaningful than ORCL92_ora_3172.trc.
Delete trace files that are no longer needed to reduce clutter and free disk space.

Explain Plan is not as useful when used in conjunction with tkprof since the trace file contains the actual execution path of the SQL statement. Use Explain Plan when anticipated execution statistics are desired without actually executing the statement.

When tracing a session, remember that nothing in v$session indicates that a session is being traced. Therefore, trace with caution and remember to disable tracing after an adequate amount of trace data has been generated.

tkprof does not control the contents of a trace file, it simply formats them. Oracle provides multiple ways to actually generate the trace file. tkprof is valuable for detailed trace file analysis. For those DBAs that prefer a simpler tracing mechanism with instant feedback, the autotrace utility should be used.


For more details on Oracle utilities, see the book "Advanced Oracle Utilities" by Bert Scalzo, Donald K. Burleson, and Steve Callan.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off directly from Rampant TechPress.


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