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Analyzing Generated SQL for Performance Issues

Performance troubleshooting is an iterative process. You need to consider performance implications during design and development. Note any changes to potentially troublesome areas, such as MVGs, business component sort and search specifications, joins, extension tables, or indexes.

Then you test the application to determine bottlenecks, using realistic data volumes and distribution in your test environment. Focus your testing effort on the slowest, most important, and most highly configured views.

If a performance problem is detected in testing or production, your next step is to analyze the SQL statements being generated by Siebel applications. This is one of the most useful diagnostic tools available to you for performance analysis.

Specifying SQL Spooling in Siebel Dedicated Web Client

After making configuration changes in Siebel Tools, spool the SQL that is generated by the Siebel application during runtime. You do this to troubleshoot configuration-related performance issues.

To spool the generated SQL into a trace file, start the Siebel application in the Siebel Dedicated Web Client (connecting to the Siebel Database) using the command-line option /s sql_trace_file.

For more information about installing and running the Siebel Dedicated Web Client, see the Siebel Installation Guide for the operating system you are using.

The SQL trace file contains all of the unique SQL statements generated during the current session, and identifies the amount of time spent processing each one. The trace file may be opened in a text editor for examination after the session has ended. The SQL trace file, which is simply a text file holding the spooled SQL from the session, is overwritten during every new session.

You can specify the /s sql_trace_file option by modifying properties for the Start menu item or desktop shortcut from which the Siebel application is invoked. The following example shows a command line for spooling generated SQL from Siebel Call Center using the Siebel Dedicated Web Client:

D:\Program Files\siebel\7.7\web client\bin\siebel.exe
/c D:\Program Files\siebel\7.7\web client\bin\enu\uagent.cfg /s siebel_sql.txt

If you do not specify a path, the SQL trace file is created in the Siebel client root bin directory, such as D:\Program Files\siebel\7.7\web client\bin.

  • For the purpose of spooling SQL, you can create shortcuts for Siebel Dedicated Web Client to run customer applications such as Siebel eService. For example, the shortcut would point to the application configuration file eservice.cfg.
  • You can enable SQL spooling for an Application Object Manager (AOM) component by setting the Object Manager SQL Log (ObjMgrSqlLog) parameter to 4 at the component level. For more information, see Siebel System Administration Guide.
  • You can also programmatically start and stop SQL spooling though the Siebel Object Interfaces by using the TraceOn and TraceOff methods on the Application object. For more information about these methods, see Siebel Object Interfaces Reference.

Troubleshooting Performance Using SQL Trace Files

As described, you can generate SQL trace files related to your configuration changes, such as for a particular view you have configured. Analyze the contents of the SQL trace file to identify any possible performance issues.

As you look through the SQL trace file, you should be aware of factors such as:

  • The number and complexity of SQL statements.
  • Execution times for SQL statements. This is the SQL execution time plus the time it takes to return rows. It does not include time for client-side processing.
  • Selection criteria in the WHERE clauses, indicating search specifications.
  • Sorting criteria in the ORDER BY clauses, indicating sort specifications. (In general, it is better for a query to first filter data using WHERE clauses, in order to reduce the volume of data to be then sorted. Applying sorting criteria that match users' needs reduces the likelihood of users performing their own sort operations, which would require additional system resources.)
  • The use of joins.

NOTE:  If the same SQL statement is executed repeatedly, the Siebel application displays the entire statement for the first query. For each subsequent iteration of the same query, only the bind variables are displayed. You can recognize a query that is repeated by the specific set of bind variables it uses.

SQL statements are displayed for all queries, including housekeeping queries. These are queries that are necessary for system operation, such as looking up the user's login to obtain responsibilities, and determining today's alarms in the calendar. You will also see queries to the S_LST_OF_VAL table to populate picklists. Queries that populate views are also present in the SQL trace file, and should be easily distinguishable based on the tables they access.

Troubleshooting Performance Using SQL Query Plans

If you identify a problematic query in the SQL trace file, you can obtain more information about it using the database query tool provided with the RDBMS, such as SQL*Plus for Oracle.

Copy and paste the SQL statement from the trace file into the database query tool, execute the query against the Siebel Database, then generate a query plan. A query plan is a detailed reporting of various statistics about the query you executed. For an example of generating a query plan against an SQL Anywhere database, see Example of Obtaining Query Plan.

Use query plans to check:

  • The use of indexes
  • The use of temporary tables
  • The use of sequential table scans

Finally, compare your results with a standard application (that is, not custom-configured) in order to identify any potentially slow queries.

You can resolve many performance issues either by modifying search specifications or sort specifications, or by creating new indexes on the base table.

CAUTION:  Only specially trained Siebel Systems personnel can modify existing Siebel indexes. This restriction is enforced so that performance in other modules (such as Siebel EIM) is not adversely affected by any index modifications you make to improve query performance through the user interface. For more information, see Managing Database Indexes in Sorting and Searching.

Consider any potential performance implications before modifying search specification and sort specification properties for a business component. By spooling out the SQL into trace files, you can analyze which indexes are likely to be used when your application queries the business component through each applet.

Run your query plans against datasets that are comparable to the production dataset. You will not obtain useful results analyzing the performance of a query against a 30-record test dataset when the production database has 200,000 records.

You may find it useful to prioritize the views to examine, as follows:

  • First priority. Views that are known to have the biggest performance bottlenecks.
  • Second priority. Views that are accessed most frequently.
  • Third priority. Views that are the most highly configured (as compared to the standard Siebel application).

Comparison with the standard Siebel application provides you with a benchmark for evaluation. It is often very useful to obtain a trace file from the standard Siebel application, following a preselected route through the views. Then you obtain a separate trace file from the custom-configured application, following the same route as closely as possible. The two trace files are compared, noting differences in the bullet items listed previously.

NOTE:  When you review a query plan, keep track of the business object to which each query applies, You can tell where each new business object is being opened by searching for the S_APP_QUERY statement. The business object that was accessed is represented using the bind variable statements beneath the query.

Bind variables are the values that determine which records are brought back. The RDBMS substitutes the value of a bind variable into an SQL statement when the same SQL statement is being reused, generally in place of each occurrence of a question mark or series of question marks. For example, a business object bind variable is used in an S_APP_QUERY statement because the purpose of this statement is to open the business object.

Watch for the following indications of potential problems:

  • Unnecessary fields are being accessed, especially ones not exposed in the user interface and not needed for calculated fields, or used for passing values to detail records.
  • Unnecessary joins are occurring, particularly to tables that are not being accessed.
  • Unnecessary multiple joins are being made to the same table. This can indicate duplicate join or Multi Value Link (MVL) object definitions, or joins using the same foreign key.
  • Multiple short queries similar to the following:


          SIEBEL.S_ADDR_PER T1

When a short query appears many times, this generally indicates that an MVG without a primary join is being accessed by a list applet. The system is running a secondary query for each master record to obtain its detail records. The secondary queries are the short queries appearing in the log file. This is usually your best diagnostic indicator of the need for a primary join.

When a short query appears only once, it indicates the same situation, but accessed in a form applet. In either case, the cure is a primary join, as explained in Using Primary ID Fields to Improve Performance.

Example of Obtaining Query Plan

The following procedure shows an example of obtaining a query plan when running against a local SQL Anywhere database.

To obtain a query plan for an SQL statement in your trace file

  1. Execute the Interactive SQL (dbisqlc.exe) program, located in the Siebel client installation directory (Siebel Mobile).
  2. In order to analyze an SQL statement from the SQL trace file, copy the SQL statement and paste it into the Interactive SQL program's Command pane.
  3. Replace bind variable references with the corresponding bind variable values.
  4. Click the Execute button.

    The query runs against the local SQL Anywhere database. The Statistics pane provides analysis information.

SQL Queries Against Database Data

The database that underlies Siebel applications can be queried to obtain information on a read-only basis.

CAUTION:  Update queries should never be directly performed on the Siebel Database. All data manipulation and restructuring should be performed through Siebel Tools or through the Siebel application.

Performance Tuning Guide