Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Oceans, Islands, and Rivers:
The Mistake Everyone Always Makes with Trace Files
Cary Millsap
Accenture Enkitec Group and Method R Corporation

When you execute a business task on a computer system, you create an experience....An experience between you and the machine. The duration of this experience is called response time. A sequence diagram helps you understand how that response time was consumed. A profile is a useful aggregation of the sequence diagram. A performance analyst looks at your time consumptions to determine whether it is possible to reduce the response time of the experience....And, if so, then by how much. The richest and easiest diagnostic information to obtain in this whole technology stack is available from the Oracle Database tier....Oracle’s extended SQL trace data. But in almost 100% of first tries with using Oracle extended SQL trace data, people make a data collection mistake that complicates their analysis. This is the story of that mistake.

Cary Millsap is a teacher, consultant, writer, software designer and developer, and Oracle software performance specialist. He is a performance specialist at Accenture Enkitec Group, and he owns and operates Method R Corporation, a company that provides software tools and education services to firms including Fortune 100 companies Cary has presented at hundreds of public and private events around the world, and his blog is read by thousands of people each month. He is published in journals including Communications of the ACM. He wrote the book Optimizing Oracle Performance, for which he and co-author Jeff Holt were named Oracle Magazine’s 2004 Authors of the Year, and he is the author of The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data.

Cary worked for Oracle Corporation throughout the 1990s. At Oracle, he served dozens of Oracle customers, founded and grew three consulting practices, and educated thousands of Oracle users in the use of Oracle technology. In 1993, he was named the Oracle USA national consultant of the year, and in 1996 he was awarded Oracle Consulting’s top honor for the Americas Division. When he departed Oracle in 1999 to become an entrepreneur, he was a Vice President in charge of the US$20M System Performance Group, and he was the representative for Oracle’s system architecture and syatem management service lines on the Oracle Consutling Global Steering Committee, responsible for compensation plan construction, education planning, practice creation, and product/service quality programs.

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