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Profiling and Tracing PL/SQL Programs

require no disk I/O, and your code executes faster. If the package is aged out of memory, it must be reloaded if you reference it again.

You can improve performance by sizing the shared memory pool correctly. Make sure it is large enough to hold all frequently used packages but not so large that memory is wasted.

Pin Packages in the Shared Memory Pool

You can "pin" frequently accessed packages in the shared memory pool, using the supplied package DBMS_SHARED_POOL. When a package is pinned, it is not aged out by the least recently used (LRU) algorithm that Oracle normally uses. The package remains in memory no matter how full the pool gets or how frequently you access the package.

For more information on the DBMS_SHARED_POOL package, see PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference.

Improve Your Code to Avoid Compiler Warnings

The PL/SQL compiler issues warnings about things that do not make a program incorrect, but might lead to poor performance. If you receive such a warning, and the performance of this code is important, follow the suggestions in the warning and change the code to be more efficient.

Profiling and Tracing PL/SQL Programs

As you develop larger and larger PL/SQL applications, it becomes more difficult to isolate performance problems. PL/SQL provides a Profiler API to profile run-time behavior and to help you identify performance bottlenecks. PL/SQL also provides a Trace API for tracing the execution of programs on the server. You can use Trace to trace the execution by subprogram or exception.

Using The Profiler API: Package DBMS_PROFILER

The Profiler API is implemented as PL/SQL package DBMS_PROFILER, which provides services for gathering and saving run-time statistics. The information is stored in database tables, which you can query later. For example, you can learn how much time was spent executing each PL/SQL line and subprogram.

To use the Profiler, you start the profiling session, run your application long enough to get adequate code coverage, flush the collected data to the database, then stop the profiling session.

The Profiler traces the execution of your program, computing the time spent at each line and in each subprogram. You can use the collected data to improve performance. For instance, you might focus on subprograms that run slowly.

For information about the DBMS_PROFILER subprograms, see PL/SQL Packages and Types Reference.

Analyzing the Collected Performance Data

The next step is to determine why more time was spent executing certain code segments or accessing certain data structures. Find the problem areas by querying the performance data. Focus on the subprograms and packages that use up the most execution time, inspecting possible performance bottlenecks such as SQL statements, loops, and recursive functions.

11-6 PL/SQL User's Guide and Reference

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