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Oracle Database, Oracle 10g, Oracle 11g, Oracle XE, Oracle RAC, Oracle Instant Client, Oracle Data Guard and Oracle Exadata resources, news, and support articles.

Statspack on RAC

Some time ago I was on a client site which was busy setting up a RAC cluster using Oracle 10g. Although I wasn’t involved with that particular system there were a couple of coffee-breaks where I ended up chatting with the consultant that the client had hired to install the cluster. In one of our [...]

Spin tales: Part 2. Shared latches in Oracle 9.2-11g

My previous experiments demonstrated that, opposite to common belief, spin count for exclusive latches in Oracle 9.2-11g cannot be tuned dynamically. The _spin_count parameter is effectively static for exclusive latches. This seems to disagree with the well-known study “Using _spin_count to reduce latch contention in 11g” by Guy Harrison. The study explored how dynamic tuning [...]

Generic tracer 0.5 beta

Generic Tracer 0.5 beta is published for testing.

Among fixes and one small feature (see changelog.txt file), major feature I added is TRACE.

TRACE: trace each instruction in function and collect all interesting values from registers and memory. After execution, all that information is saved to process.exe.idc, process.exe.txt, process.exe_clear.idc files. .idc-files are IDA scripts, .txt file is grepable by grep, awk and sed.

For example, let's take add_member function from Using Uninitialized Memory for Fun and Profit article:

int dense[256];
int dense_next=0;
int sparse[256];

void add_member(int i)


int main ()

Let's compile it and run tracing on add_member function (determine function address in IDA before):

gt -l:trace_test4.exe bpf=0x00401000,trace

We'll get trace_test4.exe.txt file:

0x401000, e=       4
0x401001, e=       4
0x401003, e=       4, [0x403818]=0..3
0x401008, e=       4, [EBP+8]=5, 0x47('G'), 0x63('c'), 0x7b('{')
0x40100b, e=       4, ECX=5, 0x47('G'), 0x63('c'), 0x7b('{')
0x401012, e=       4, [EBP+8]=5, 0x47('G'), 0x63('c'), 0x7b('{')
0x401015, e=       4, [0x403818]=0..3
0x40101a, e=       4, EAX=0..3
0x401021, e=       4, [0x403818]=0..3
0x401027, e=       4, ECX=0..3
0x40102a, e=       4, ECX=1..4
0x401030, e=       4
0x401031, e=       4, EAX=0..3

e field in how many times was executed this instruction.

Let's execute trace_test4.exe.idc script in IDA and we'll see:

Now it is much simpler to understand how this function work during execution.

Executed instructions are highlighed by blue color. Not-executed instructions are leaved white.

If you need to clear all comments and highlight, execute trace_test4.exe_clear.idc script.

All collected information in IDA-script may be reduced to shorten form like EAX=[ 64 unique items. min=0xbca6eb7, max=0xffffffed ] (because IDA has comment size limitation). On contrary, everything is saved to text file without shortening, that is why resulting text file may be sometimes pretty big.

One problem of TRACE feature that it is slow, however, functions from system DLLs are skipped (system DLL is that DLL residing in %SystemRoot%) Another problem is that things like exceptions, setjmp/longjmp and other unexpected codeflow alterations are not correctly handled so far.

One more problem is that this feature is only available in x86 (because only x86-disassembler currently present in gt project)

More examples:

Download gt executables, source code and manuals:

Generic tracer 0.5 beta

Generic Tracer 0.5 beta is published for testing.

Among fixes and one small feature (see changelog.txt file), major feature I added is TRACE.

Adding storage dynamically to ASM on Linux

Note: This discussion is potentially relevant only to OEL 5.x and RHEL 5.x- I haven’t been able to verify that it works the same way on other Linux distributions. I would assume so though. Before starting with the article, here are some facts: OEL/RHEL 5.5 64bit Oracle native multipathing: device-mapper-multipath The question I have [...]

New Indexing Seminars Scheduled For Vienna and Tallinn (New Europeans)

I have two Oracle Index Internals and Best Practices seminars scheduled in the coming months, in Austria (Vienna) and Estonia (Tallinn). These could very well be my last seminars for quite a while as I’m unsure whether I’ll be able to travel again this year, so this could be your last opportunity to see me [...]

Trigger stuff

My previous experience of compound triggers showed that, in at least, they had a problem. Regarding standard non-compound triggers, I said on the forums earlier today that I thought a FORALL statement doing an update based on a collection would fire multiple statement level triggers whereas for an INSERT…SELECT statement, the statement level triggers [...]

Seems Oracle is giveing us some Extra Time

I just read on Metalink (1130327.1) that we Commodore 64 users who have to patch our will get extened support untill April 30, 2011
8. Will I get more time to install if it is released on my platform close to April 30, 2011?
Yes.  We will always support [...]

Edition-Based Redefinition: My wish once again comes true

Today I did random browsing of Oracle blogs and I found an interesting post about database 11gR2 new feature called Edition-Based Redefinition by Christian Antognini. Here is a link to the blog post. I recommend you to read the paper and browse documentation library for the further details.

Edition-based Redefinition

You can't always trust 11g column-level invalidation

Valentin Nikotin has posted some valuable examples on the PL/SQL Challenge Blog regarding the 11g enhancements for column-level dependencies being used to invalidate store program units.

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