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Oracle® Database PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference
11g Release 1 (11.1)

B28419-03
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91 DBMS_PROFILER

The DBMS_PROFILER package provides an interface to profile existing PL/SQL applications and identify performance bottlenecks. You can then collect and persistently store the PL/SQL profiler data.

This chapter contains the following topics:


Using DBMS_PROFILER


Overview

This package enables the collection of profiler (perfoprmance) data for performance improvement or for determining code coverage for PL/SQL applications. Application developers can use code coverage data to focus their incremental testing efforts.

With this interface, you can generate profiling information for all named library units that are executed in a session. The profiler gathers information at the PL/SQL virtual machine level. This information includes the total number of times each line has been executed, the total amount of time that has been spent executing that line, and the minimum and maximum times that have been spent on a particular execution of that line.

Note:

It is possible to infer the code coverage figures for PL/SQL units for which data has been collected.

The profiling information is stored in database tables. This enables querying on the data: you can build customizable reports (summary reports, hottest lines, code coverage data, and so on. And you can analyze the data.

The PROFTAB.SQL script creates tables with the columns, datatypes, and definitions as shown in Table 91-1, Table 91-2, and Table 91-3.

Table 91-1 Columns in Table PLSQL_PROFILER_RUNS

Column Datatype Definition

runid

NUMBER PRIMARY KEY

Unique run identifier from plsql_profiler_runnumber

related_run

NUMBER

Runid of related run (for client/server correlation)

run_owner

VARCHAR2(32),

User who started run

run_date

DATE

Start time of run

run_comment

VARCHAR2(2047)

User provided comment for this run

run_total_time

NUMBER

Elapsed time for this run in nanoseconds

run_system_info

VARCHAR2(2047)

Currently unused

run_comment1

VARCHAR2(2047)

Additional comment

spare1

VARCHAR2(256)

Unused


Table 91-2 Columns in Table PLSQL_PROFILER_UNITS

Column Datatype Definition

runid

NUMBER

Primary key, references plsql_profiler_runs,

unit_number

NUMBER

Primary key, internally generated library unit #

unit_type

VARCHAR2(32)

Library unit type

unit_owner

VARCHAR2(32)

Library unit owner name

unit_name

VARCHAR2(32)

Library unit name timestamp on library unit

unit_timestamp

DATE

In the future will be used to detect changes to unit between runs

total_time

NUMBER

Total time spent in this unit in nanoseconds. The profiler does not set this field, but it is provided for the convenience of analysis tools.

spare1

NUMBER

Unused

spare2

NUMBER

Unused


Table 91-3 Columns in Table PLSQL_PROFILER_DATA

Column Datatype Definition

runid

NUMBER

Primary key, unique (generated) run identifier

unit_number

NUMBER

Primary key, internally generated library unit number

line#

NUMBER

Primary key, not null, line number in unit

total_occur

NUMBER

Number of times line was executed

total_time

NUMBER

Total time spent executing line in nanoseconds

min_time

NUMBER

Minimum execution time for this line in nanoseconds

max_time

NUMBER

Maximum execution time for this line in nanoseconds

spare1

NUMBER

Unused

spare2

NUMBER

Unused

spare3

NUMBER

Unused

spare4

NUMBER

Unused


With Oracle database version 8.x, a sample textual report writer(profrep.sql) is provided with the PL/SQL demo scripts.


Security Model

The profiler only gathers data for units for which a user has CREATE privilege; you cannot use the package to profile units for which EXECUTE ONLY access has been granted. In general, if a user can debug a unit, the same user can profile it. However, a unit can be profiled whether or not it has been compiled DEBUG. Oracle advises that modules that are being profiled should be compiled DEBUG, since this provides additional information about the unit in the database.

Note:

DBMS_PROFILER treats any program unit that is compiled in NATIVE mode as if you do not have CREATE privilege, that is, you will not get any output.

Operational Notes

Typical Run

Improving application performance is an iterative process. Each iteration involves the following steps:

  1. Running the application with one or more benchmark tests with profiler data collection enabled.

  2. Analyzing the profiler data and identifying performance problems.

  3. Fixing the problems.

The PL/SQL profiler supports this process using the concept of a "run". A run involves running the application through benchmark tests with profiler data collection enabled. You can control the beginning and the ending of a run by calling the START_PROFILER and STOP_PROFILER functions.

A typical run involves:

As the application executes, profiler data is collected in memory data structures that last for the duration of the run. You can call the FLUSH_DATA function at intermediate points during the run to get incremental data and to free memory for allocated profiler data structures.

Flushing the collected data involves storing collected data in database tables. The tables should already exist in the profiler user's schema. The PROFTAB.SQL script creates the tables and other data structures required for persistently storing the profiler data.

Note that running PROFTAB.SQL drops the current tables. The PROFTAB.SQL script is in the RDBMS/ADMIN directory. Some PL/SQL operations, such as the first execution of a PL/SQL unit, may involve I/O to catalog tables to load the byte code for the PL/SQL unit being executed. Also, it may take some time executing package initialization code the first time a package procedure or function is called.

To avoid timing this overhead, "warm up" the database before collecting profile data. To do this, run the application once without gathering profiler data.

You can allow profiling across all users of a system, for example, to profile all users of a package, independent of who is using it. In such cases, the SYSADMIN should use a modified PROFLOAD.SQL script which:

Two Methods of Exception Generation

Each routine in this package has two versions that allow you to determine how errors are reported.

In each case, the parameters of the function and procedure are identical. Only the method by which errors are reported differs. If there is an error, there is a correspondence between the error codes that the functions return, and the exceptions that the procedures raise.

To avoid redundancy, the following section only provides details about the functional form.


Exceptions

Table 91-4 DBMS_PROFILER Exceptions

Exception Description

version_mismatch

Corresponds to error_version.

profiler_error

Corresponds to either "error_param" or "error_io".


A 0 return value from any function denotes successful completion; a nonzero return value denotes an error condition. The possible errors are as follows:

    error_param constant binary_integer := 1; 
 
    error_io    constant binary_integer := 2; 
 
    error_version constant binary_integer := -1; 

Summary of DBMS_PROFILER Subprograms

Table 91-5 DBMS_PROFILER Package Subprograms

Subprogram Description

FLUSH_DATA Function and Procedure

Flushes profiler data collected in the user's session

GET_VERSION Procedure

Gets the version of this API

INTERNAL_VERSION_CHECK Function

Verifies that this version of the DBMS_PROFILER package can work with the implementation in the database

PAUSE_PROFILER Function and Procedure

Pauses profiler data collection

RESUME_PROFILER Function and Procedure

Resumes profiler data collection

START_PROFILER Functions and Procedures

Starts profiler data collection in the user's session

STOP_PROFILER Function and Procedure

Stops profiler data collection in the user's session



FLUSH_DATA Function and Procedure

This function flushes profiler data collected in the user's session. The data is flushed to database tables, which are expected to preexist.

Note:

Use the PROFTAB.SQL script to create the tables and other data structures required for persistently storing the profiler data.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.FLUSH_DATA 
  RETURN BINARY_INTEGER;

DBMS_PROFILER.FLUSH_DATA;

GET_VERSION Procedure

This procedure gets the version of this API.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.GET_VERSION ( 
   major  OUT BINARY_INTEGER, 
   minor  OUT BINARY_INTEGER); 

Parameters

Table 91-6 GET_VERSION Procedure Parameters

Parameter Description

major

Major version of DBMS_PROFILER.

minor

Minor version of DBMS_PROFILER.



INTERNAL_VERSION_CHECK Function

This function verifies that this version of the DBMS_PROFILER package can work with the implementation in the database.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.INTERNAL_VERSION_CHECK 
  RETURN BINARY_INTEGER; 

PAUSE_PROFILER Function and Procedure

This function pauses profiler data collection.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.PAUSE_PROFILER 
  RETURN BINARY_INTEGER; 

DBMS_PROFILER.PAUSE_PROFILER; 

RESUME_PROFILER Function and Procedure

This function resumes profiler data collection. 

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.RESUME_PROFILER 
  RETURN BINARY_INTEGER; 

DBMS_PROFILER.RESUME_PROFILER; 

START_PROFILER Functions and Procedures

This function starts profiler data collection in the user's session.

There are two overloaded forms of the START_PROFILER function; one returns the run number of the started run, as well as the result of the call. The other does not return the run number. The first form is intended for use with GUI-based tools controlling the profiler.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.START_PROFILER(
   run_comment   IN VARCHAR2 := sysdate,
   run_comment1  IN VARCHAR2 :='',
   run_number    OUT BINARY_INTEGER)
 RETURN BINARY_INTEGER;

DBMS_PROFILER.START_PROFILER(
   run_comment IN VARCHAR2 := sysdate,
   run_comment1 IN VARCHAR2 :='')
RETURN BINARY_INTEGER;

DBMS_PROFILER.START_PROFILER(
   run_comment   IN VARCHAR2 := sysdate,
   run_comment1  IN VARCHAR2 :='',
   run_number    OUT BINARY_INTEGER);

DBMS_PROFILER.START_PROFILER(
   run_comment IN VARCHAR2 := sysdate,
   run_comment1 IN VARCHAR2 :='');

Parameters

Table 91-7 START_PROFILER Function Parameters

Parameter Description

run_comment

Each profiler run can be associated with a comment. For example, the comment could provide the name and version of the benchmark test that was used to collect data.

run_number

Stores the number of the run so you can store and later recall the run's data.

run_comment1

Allows you to make interesting comments about the run.



STOP_PROFILER Function and Procedure

This function stops profiler data collection in the user's session.

This function has the side effect of flushing data collected so far in the session, and it signals the end of a run.

Syntax

DBMS_PROFILER.STOP_PROFILER 
  RETURN BINARY_INTEGER; 

DBMS_PROFILER.STOP_PROFILER;