Skip navigation.

Pythian Group

Syndicate content
Official Pythian Blog - Love Your Data
Updated: 6 hours 23 min ago

SQL Server 2014 Cumulative Update 6

Wed, 2015-02-25 11:59

Hello everyone,

Just a quick note to let you know that this week, while most of North America was enjoying a break, Microsoft released the 6th cumulative update for SQL Server 2014. This update contains fixes for 64 different issues, distributed as follows:

SQL 2014 Cumulative Update 6

As the name implies, this is a cumulative update, that means it is not necessary to install the previous 5 in case you don’t have them. Please remember to test thoroughly any update before applying to production.

The cumulative update and the full release notes can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/kb/3031047/en-us?wa=wsignin1.0

 

 

Categories: DBA Blogs

Detecting Source of MySQL Queries with Comments

Tue, 2015-02-17 19:22

As a MySQL DBA I already know the data changes that happen on my system. I have logs for that.

However, it’s a common problem that several years into the life of an application, the current developers won’t know where in the codebase queries come from. It’s often hard for them to find the location in the code if queries are formed dynamically; the pattern I show them to optimize doesn’t match anything in the code.

I stumbled on a trick a couple years ago that has been invaluable in tracking down these problematic queries: query comments.

Here’s an example:

When a query generally shows up in a slow query log, it might look something like this:

# Time: 150217 10:26:01
# User@Host: comments[comments] @ localhost []  Id:    13
# Query_time: 0.000231  Lock_time: 0.000108 Rows_sent: 3  Rows_examined: 3
SET timestamp=1424186761;
select * from cars;

That logging shows me who executed the query (the comments user), the server it was executed from (localhost in this case), and what time it was executed (who, where, when).

What this doesn’t tell me is where in my codebase this query is. For example, if I want to change that select * to a more targeted select column1, column2, we may not know where to find it.

This is where comments help.

Comments can be any of three styles:

select * from cars; # comment to end of line here
select * from cars; -- comment to end of line here
select * from /* inline comment here */ cars;

When you add a comment to your query, you’ll capture the comment. Here’s an example.

On the command line:

mysql> select * from cars; # valerie - command line - testing comments

In the slow log:

# Time: 150217 11:25:24
# User@Host: comments[comments] @ localhost []  Id:     3
# Query_time: 0.000246  Lock_time: 0.000119 Rows_sent: 3  Rows_examined: 3
SET timestamp=1424190324;
select * from cars # valerie - command line - testing comments;

This is especially useful if you are forming queries dynamically and can add the name of the piece of code, function, user, etc. to the comment. Those comments would look something like this in the slow log:

# Time: 150217 11:32:04
# User@Host: comments[comments] @ localhost []  Id:     3
# Query_time: 0.000225  Lock_time: 0.000104 Rows_sent: 3  Rows_examined: 3
SET timestamp=1424190724;
select * from cars # userid 7695424 - index.php?search=true - display function;

 

Categories: DBA Blogs

Pythian’s Annual MySQL Community Dinner at Pedro’s

Tue, 2015-02-17 08:54

Once again, Pythian is organizing an event that by now may be considered a tradition: The MySQL community dinner at Pedro’s! This dinner is open to all MySQL community members since many of you will be in town for Percona Live that week. Here are the details:

What: The MySQL Community Dinner

When: Tuesday April 14, 2015 –  7:00 PM at Pedro’s (You are welcome to show up later, too!)

Where: Pedro’s Restaurant and Cantina – 3935 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Cost: Tickets are $35 USD, Includes Mexican buffet, non-alcoholic drinks, taxes, and gratuities (Pedro’s Dinner Menu 2015)

How: RSVP through Eventbrite

Attendees:

Laine Campbell

Derek Downey

Gillian Gunson

Miklos Szel

Marco Tusa

Mark Filipi

Alkin Tezuysal

Brian Cain

Brian Kelly

Joe Muraski

Patrick Pearson

Looking forward to seeing you all at the event!

 

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #409, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mon, 2015-02-16 10:29

This Log Buffer Edition sheds light at some of the nifty blog post of the week from Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL.

Oracle:

Patch Set Update: Hyperion Data Relationship Management 11.1.2.3.504

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the EXPLAIN PLAN Part 33: The mother of all SQL antipatterns?

MongoDB as a Glassfish Security Realm

E-Business Suite customers must ensure that their database remains on a level that is covered by Error Correction Support (ECS)

EM12c: How to Retrieve Passwords from the Named Credentials

SQL Server:

How does a View work on a Table with a Clustered Columnstore Index ?

How do you develop and deploy your database?

Microsoft Azure Storage Queues Part 3: Security and Performance Tips

Stairway to SQL Server Security Level 6: Execution Context and Code Signing

Centralize Your Database Monitoring Process

MySQL:

New Galera Cluster version is now released! It includes patched MySQL server 5.6.21 and Galera replication provider 3.9

Shinguz: Nagios and Icinga plug-ins for MySQL 1.0.0 have been released

The next release of MongoDB includes the ability to select a storage engine, the goal being that different storage engines will have different capabilities/advantages, and user’s can select the one most beneficial to their particular use-case. Storage engines are cool.

The MySQL grant syntax allows you to specify dynamic database names using the wildcard characters.

Oracle‘s 10 commitments to MySQL – a 5 year review

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #410, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mon, 2015-02-16 10:28

This Log Buffer Edition spread love of databases just before Valentine’s Day. Lovely blog posts from Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL are here for you to love.

Oracle:

Creating a Mobile-Optimized REST API Using Oracle Service Bus by Steven Davelaar.

GROUP BY – wrong results in 12.1.0.2

Using Edition-Based Redefinition to Bypass Those Pesky Triggers

It’s easy to make mistakes, or overlook defects, when constructing parallel queries – especially if you’re a developer who hasn’t been given the right tools to make it easy to test your code.

If you have a sorted collection of elements, how would you find index of specific value?

SQL Server:

How to use the IsNothing Inspection Function in SSRS

What better way to learn how to construct complex CHECK CONSTRAINTs, use the SQL 2012 window frame capability of the OVER clause and LEAD analytic function, as well as how to pivot rows into columns using a crosstab query?

SQL Server’s GROUP BY clause provides you a way to aggregate your SQL Server data and to group data on a single column, multiple columns, or even expressions. Greg Larsen discusses how to use the GROUP by clause to summarize your data.

Surely, we all know how T-SQL Control-of-flow language works? In fact it is surprisingly easy to get caught out.

Resilient T-SQL code is code that is designed to last, and to be safely reused by others.

MySQL:

The NoSQL databases are gaining increasing popularity. MongoDB, being one of the most established among them, uses JSON data model and offers great scalability and ease of use due to the dynamic data schemas..

Is upgrading RDS like a shit-storm that will not end?

Over the last few MySQL releases the size of the MySQL package have increased in size and it looks like the trend is continuing.

This article details the proper method of load balancing either a Percona XTRADB Cluster (PXC) or MariaDB Cluster.

One common job for a DBA is working with a Development Team member on a batch loading process that is taking more time than expected.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Slimming Down Oracle RAC 12c’s Resource Footprint

Sun, 2015-02-08 09:00

I’ve been working on setting up a demo for my upcoming presentation on application continuity at RMOUG training days later this month. The challenge is to get a multi-node cluster, plus a load generator, and a host OS, to fit on a memory-constrained laptop.

According to the Oracle grid installation guide, 4GB per virtual host is the minimum requirement. However with a few tweaks I’ve been able to get the full stack to run in 2GB of memory. For anyone else out there installing 12c clusters into virtual machines, here are a few tips.

But first the disclaimer: these changes are mostly unsupported by Oracle, and intended for test and demo databases. They can potentially cause unexpected behaviour, hangs, or crashes. Don’t try this in production!

  • Grid Infrastructure management repository database (GIMR): This is a full Oracle database that stores operating system workload metrics generated by the cluster health monitor, for use Oracle QoS management and troubleshooting. Being a full database, it has a large memory and CPU footprint. I originally installed Oracle 12.1.0.1 skipping the database on install, and upgraded to 12.1.0.2 without it. However, it looks like it’s no longer possible to skip the installation on the GUI. My colleague Gleb suggests adding -J-Doracle.install.mgmtDB=false on the installer command line to skip it.
  • Cluster health monitor (CHM): this tool colleccts a myriad fo worklaod-related metrics to store in the GIMR. And it uses a surprisingly high amount of CPU: it was the top CPU consumer in my VM before removal. It can be disabled fairly easily, with a hat tip to rocworks:

    $ crsctl stop res ora.crf -init
    # crsctl delete res ora.crf -init
  • Trace File Analyzer Collector (TFA): collects log and trace files from all nodes and products into a single location. Unfortunately it’s written in Java with its own Java Virtual Machine, again requiring a large memory footprint for the heap etc. It can be removed wit ha single command, though note that next time you run rootcrs.pl (patching for example) it will reinstall itself.

    # tfactl uninstall
  • Cluster Verification Utility (CVU): As you install Oracle Grid Infrastructure, the CVU tool automatically runs, pointing out configuration issues that may affect system operation (such as running under 4GB of RAM). In Oracle 12.1.0.2, it also gets scheduled to run automatically every time the cluster is started and periodically after that. The CVU itself and checks use CPU and RAM resources, and are better run manually when such resources are limited. It’s also a quick removal:

    $ srvctl cvu stop
    $ srvctl cvu disable
  • OC4J: Every Oracle 12c grid infrasturucture install contains OC4J, Oracle’s old Java J2EE web application server, since replaced with WebLogic. And no, please don’t make me install WebLogic too now, Oracle! I’m honestly not sure what it’s used for, but I’ve been able to disable it without any obvious ill effects

    $ srvctl stop oc4j
    $ srvctl disable oc4j
  • ASM memory target: as of 12c, the ASM instance has a default memory target of 1 gigabyte, a big jump from the 256mb of Oracle 11g. And if you set a lower target, you’ll find it’s ignored unless it’s overridden with a hidden parameter. I’ve set it to 750mb with good results, and it can possibly be set even lower in light-utilization workloads:

    $ sqlplus "/ as sysasm"
    alter system set "_asm_allow_small_memory_target"=true scope=spfile;
    alter system set memory_target=750m scope=spfile;
    alter system set memory_max_target=750m scope=spfile;
    exit
    # service ohasd stop
    # service ohasd start

A non-memory issue I’ve run into is the VKTM, virtual keeper, to time background process using large amounts of CPU time in both ASM and database instances. I’ve noticed it to be especially pronounced in virtual environments, and in Oracle Enterprise Linux 6. I’ve ended up disabling it completely without obvious ill effects, but as always, don’t try on your “real” production clusters.

alter system set "_disable_highres_ticks"=TRUE scope=spfile;

(Hat tip to MOS community discussion 3252157, also this IBM slide deck)

Additionally, Jeremy Schneider has taken on the biggest remaining GI memory user, the Oracle cluster synchronization service daemon (OCSSD). This is an important cluster management process, and Jeremy figured out a way to unlock its memory in the gdb debugger, allowing it to be swapped out. My own tests were less successful: the process wasn’t swapped out even after trying his changes. But his blog post is worth a read, and others may have more success than I did.

I also noted that during the link phase of installation and patching, the ld process alone takes over 1GB of RAM. So either shut down clusterware or add swap and wait while linking.

So to wrap up, I’ve managed to get a full Oracle GI 12.1.0.2 stack including database to run in a virtual machine with 2GB RAM. Readers, any other tips to put the goliath that is Oracle GI on a diet?

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #408, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Thu, 2015-01-29 21:45

This Log Buffer Edition covers various innovative blog posts from various fields of Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server. Enjoy!!!


Oracle:

A user reported an ORA-01114 and an ORA-27069 in a 3rd party application running against an Oracle 11.1 database.

Oracle SOA Suite 12c: Multithreaded instance purging with the Java API.

Oracle GoldenGate for Oracle Database has introduced several features in Release 12.1.2.1.0.

Upgrade to 12c and Plugin – one fast way to move into the world of Oracle Multitenant.

The Oracle Database Resource Manager (the Resource Manager) is an infrastructure that provides granular control of database resources allocated to users, applications, and services. The Oracle Database Resource Manager (RM) enables you to manage multiple workloads that are contending for system and database resources.

SQL Server:

Database ownership is an old topic for SQL Server pro’s.

Using T-SQL to Perform Z-Score Column Normalization in SQL Server.

The APPLY operator allows you to join a record set with a function, and apply the function to every qualifying row of the table (or view).

Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) are a significant and valuable addition to the DBA’s troubleshooting armory, laying bare previously unavailable information regarding the under-the-covers activity of your database sessions and transactions.

Grant Fritchey reviews Midnight DBA’s Minion Reindex, a highly customizable set of scripts that take on the task of rebuilding and reorganizing your indexes.

MySQL:

It’s A New Year – Take Advantage of What MySQL Has To Offer.

MySQL High Availability and Disaster Recovery.

MariaDB Galera Cluster 10.0.16 now available.

Multi-threaded replication with MySQL 5.6: Use GTIDs!

MySQL and the GHOST: glibc gethostbyname buffer overflow.

Categories: DBA Blogs

From 0 to Cassandra – An Exhaustive Approach to Installing Cassandra

Thu, 2015-01-29 21:44

All around the Internet you can find lots of guides on how to install Cassandra on almost every Linux distro around. But normally all of this information is based on the packaged versions and omit some parts that are deemed essential for proper Cassandra functioning.

Note: If you are adding a machine to an existing Cluster please approach this guide with caution and replace the configurations here recommended by the ones you already have on your cluster, specially the Cassandra configuration.

Without further conversation lets start!

Essentials

Start your machine and install the following:

  • ntp (Packages are normally ntp, ntpdata and ntp-doc)
  • wget (Unless you have your packages copied over via other means)
  • vim (Or your favorite text editor)

Retrieve the following packages

Installation
Set up NTP

This can be more or less dependent of your system, but the following commands should do it (You can check this guide also):

~$ chkconfig ntpd on
~$ ntpdate pool.ntp.org
~$ service ntpd start
Set up Java (Let’s assume we are doing this in /opt)

Extract Java and install it:

~$ tar xzf [java_file].tar.gz
~$ update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /opt/java/bin/java 1 

Check that is installed:

~$ java -version
java version '1.7.0_75'
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_75-b13)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.75-b04, mixed mode)

Let’s put JNA into place

~$ mv jna-VERSION.jar /opt/java/lib
Set up Cassandra (Let’s assume we are doing this in /opt)

 

Extract Cassandra:

~$ tar xzf [cassandra_file].tar.gz

Create Cassandra Directories:

~$ mkdir /var/lib/cassandra
~$ mkdir /var/lib/cassandra/commitlog
~$ mkdir /var/lib/cassandra/data
~$ mkdir /var/lib/cassandra/saved_caches
~$ mkdir /var/log/cassandra
Configuration  Linux configuration
~$ vim /etc/security/limits.conf

Add the following:

root soft memlock unlimited
root hard memlock unlimited
root – nofile 100000
root – nproc 32768
root – as unlimited

CentOS, RHEL, OEL, set in the following in /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf:

* – nproc 32768

Add the following to the sysctl file:

~$ vim /etc/sysctl.conf
vm.max_map_count = 131072

Finally (Reboot also works):

~$ sysctl -p

Firewall, the following ports must be open:

# Internode Ports
7000    Cassandra inter-node cluster communication.
7001    Cassandra SSL inter-node cluster communication.
7199    Cassandra JMX monitoring port.
# Client Ports
9042    Cassandra client port (Native).
9160    Cassandra client port (Thrift).

Note: Some/Most guides tell you to disable swap, I think of swap as an acrobat’s safety net, it should never have to be put to use, but in need it exists. As such, I never disable it and I put a low swappiness (around 10). You can read more about it here and here.

 Cassandra configuration

Note: Cassandra has a LOT of settings, these are the ones you should always set if you are going live. Lots of them depend on hardware and/or workload. Maybe I’ll write a post about them in the near future. In the meantime, you can read about them here.

~$ vim /opt/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml

Edit the following fields:

cluster_name: <Whatever you would like to call it>
data_file_directories: /var/lib/cassandra/data
commitlog_directory: /var/lib/cassandra/commitlog

saved_caches_directory: /var/lib/cassandra/saved_caches

# Assuming this is your first node, this should be reachable by other nodes
seeds: “<IP>”

# This is where you listen for intra node communication
listen_address: <IP>

# This is where you listen to incoming client connections
rpc_address: <IP>

endpoint_snitch: GossipingPropertyFileSnitch

Edit the snitch property file:

~$ vim  /opt/cassandra/conf/cassandra-rackdc.properties:

Add the DC and the RACK the server is in. Ex:

dc=DC1
rack=RAC1

Finally make sure your logs go to /var/log/cassandra:

~$ vim /opt/cassandra/conf/logback.xml
Testing

Start Cassandra

~$ service cassandra start

You should see no error here, wait a bit then:

~$ grep  JNA /var/log/cassandra/system.log
INFO  HH:MM:SS JNA mlockall successful

Then check the status of the ring:

~$ nodetool status
Datacenter: DC1
=======================
Status=Up/Down
|/ State=Normal/Leaving/Joining/Moving
--  Address        Load       Owns   Host ID                               Token                                    Rack
UN  185.10.49.136  140.59 KB  100.0%  5c3c697f-8bfd-4fb2-a081-7af1358b313f  0                                        RAC

Creating a keyspace a table and inserting some data:

~$ cqlsh xxx.yy.zz.ww

cqlsh- CREATE KEYSPACE sandbox WITH REPLICATION = { 'class' : 'NetworkTopologyStrategy', DC1 : 1};
Should give no errors
cqlsh- USE sandbox;
cqlsh:sandbox- CREATE TABLE data (id uuid, data text, PRIMARY KEY (id));
cqlsh:sandbox- INSERT INTO data (id, data) values (c37d661d-7e61-49ea-96a5-68c34e83db3a, 'testing');
cqlsh:sandbox- SELECT * FROM data;

id                                   | data
--------------------------------------+---------
c37d661d-7e61-49ea-96a5-68c34e83db3a | testing

(1 rows)

And we are done, you can start using your Cassandra node!

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #407, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Tue, 2015-01-27 08:32

This Log Buffer Edition keeps the aim high and brings few of the best blog posts from Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL.

Oracle:

3 Modes for Moving Data to the BI Applications DW from a Source Application Database.

JSON for APEX Developers.

Neelakanth Nadgir posted a useful utility that prints out various statistics about the ZFS Adaptive Replacement Cache (ARC).

Obtaining Bonus Depreciation Methods for Oracle Fixed Assets.

Existing News – Java Cloud Service just got an update – WebLogic Server 12.1.3

SQL Server:

Tracking Database DDL Changes with SQLVer.

While a diminished level of control is certainly a factor to consider when contemplating migration of on-premises systems to Microsoft Azure, especially when dealing with PaaS resources such as Azure SQL Database, you have a range of techniques at your disposal that allow you to control and monitor both the status of and access to your Azure-resident services.

A Custom Execution Method – Level 19 of the Stairway to Integration Services

When a SQL Server database is operating smoothly and performing well, there is no need to be particularly aware of the transaction log, beyond ensuring that every database has an appropriate backup regime and restore plan in place.

SQL Server Reporting Services Basics: Deploying Reports

MySQL:

Mo’ Data, Mo’ Problems

FromDual.en: FromDual Backup Manager for MySQL 1.2.1 has been released

Tracking MySQL query history in long running transactions

MySQL Cluster 7.4.3 RELEASE CANDIDATE now available

Streaming MariaDB backups in the cloud.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Oracle Database 12c Patching: DBMS_QOPATCH, OPATCH_XML_INV, and datapatch

Mon, 2015-01-19 19:36
Background

Oracle Database 12c brings us many new features including: the long needed ability to run OPatch and query the patch software installed in the Oracle Home programatically through SQL using the new DBMS_QOPATCH package.

If you’re a DBA working in an environment where patching consistently among databases is important, this is a welcomed enhancement. Sometimes one-off critical bug fix patches are important in the environment. Other times regular and consistent application of the quarterly PSUs is important to the organization (i.e. for regulatory compliancy). For sake of illustration I’m going to use the later as my need case for the duration of this article as I’ve regularly run into the situation where clients need PSUs applied properly, regularly, and consistently to their databases.

As a recap, many Oracle Patches including PSUs require a two-step process to implement properly. First the software change needs to be applied to the associated Oracle Home via the OPatch utility. Secondly it needs to be installed into all databases running in that Oracle Home (possibly updating internal packages and objects).

With Oracle 11g the latest patch is applied within the database using:

SQL> @catbundle.sql psu apply

Oracle 12c introduces a new utility called “datapatch” which replaces the need to run the 11g command shown above.

As with Oracle 11g you first install the patch into the Oracle Home with all services & databases down. But with Oracle Database 12c after restarting the database simply run datapatch from the OPatch directory:

cd $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch
./datapatch -verbose

 

Given that patching is a two-step process, some common DBA questions are:

1) Has a patch been installed in a given database?
2) Has a patch been installed into the $ORACLE_HOME via Opatch but not one or more of the databases?
3) Is the patch in the database but not the $ORACLE_HOME?

You may be thinking that #3 isn’t very likely but the reality is that it does happen. Circumstances that lead to a database being at a higher patch level than the Oracle Home include:

A) If the database was create from an RMAN duplicate from a home with a patch to one without.
B) A data guard standby switch-over or fail-over where the primary Oracle home was patched but the standby home was missed.
C) A 12c PDB that was unplugged from a patched CDB and plugged into an unpatched CDB.
D) The patch was uninstalled via Opatch from the Oracle home without uninstalling from the database (unlikely).

Since patching is a two-step process, historically answering questions such as these is also a two step process requiring the DBA to query the Oracle Home inventory and the database and to manually correlate and reconcile the results. This is cumbersome, prone to human errors, and not scalable due to the manual component.

But with Oracle 12c and the new DBMS_QOPATCH package, both can be queried programatically and joined using SQL allowing the DBA to easily report on questions like 1, 2, and 3 above via SQL queries, custom extensions to monitoring tools, reporting programs, etc. Or just to report accurately on patch deployments for security compliance reports, general database security assessments, or database health checks.

This is actually quite a significant breakthrough with regards to patch management!

 

How it works

The first thing to note is that in Oracle Database 12c there are some new Directory Objects installed by default:

SQL> select owner, directory_name, directory_path from dba_directories
  2  where directory_name like 'OPATCH%' order by 2;

OWNER        DIRECTORY_NAME       DIRECTORY_PATH
------------ -------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SYS          OPATCH_INST_DIR      /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/OPatch
SYS          OPATCH_LOG_DIR       /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch
SYS          OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR    /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch

SQL>

 

Two of those point to a new QOpatch directory which contains a batch file which runs the OPatch utility:

SQL> !ls /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch
qopatch_log.log  qopiprep.bat

SQL> !cat /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch/qopiprep.bat
#!/bin/sh
#
# $Header: rdbms/src/client/tools/qpinv/qopiprep.bat /unix/2 2013/04/04 20:59:27 tbhukya Exp $
#
# qopiprep.bat
#
# Copyright (c) 2012, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
#
#    NAME
#      qopiprep.bat - bat file for preprocessor
#
#    DESCRIPTION
#      bat file for external table preprocessor.
#
#    NOTES
#      .
#
#    MODIFIED   (MM/DD/YY)
#    tbhukya     04/03/13 - Bug 16226172 : Forward merge of fix 16076845
#    tbhukya     09/23/12 - Creation
#
cd $ORACLE_HOME
PATH=/bin:/usr/bin
export PATH

# Option: "-retry 0" avoids retries in case of locked inventory.

# Option: "-invPtrLoc" is required for non-central-inventory
# locations. $OPATCH_PREP_LSINV_OPTS which may set by users
# in the environment to configure special OPatch options
# ("-jdk" is another good candidate that may require configuration!).

# Option: "-all" gives information on all Oracle Homes
# installed in the central inventory.  With that information, the
# patches of non-RDBMS homes could be fetched.


$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -xml  $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/xml_file.xml -retry 0 -invPtrLoc $ORACLE_HOME/oraInst.loc >> $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/stout.txt
`echo "UIJSVTBOEIZBEFFQBL" >> $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/xml_file.xml`
echo `cat $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/xml_file.xml`
rm $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/xml_file.xml
rm $ORACLE_HOME/QOpatch/stout.txt

 

The description text in this Oracle provided file states that it’s a batch file used for external table preprocessing. The preprocessor clause was added in Oracle 11g release 2 (and back-ported to Oracle11gR1) to allow for execution of an external script/file to process data before reading it in the database via an external table. A further explanation of this feature is beyond the scope of this article.

Consequently we know an external table is involved and it’s not too hard to find and understand that:

SQL> select owner, table_name from dba_external_tables where table_name like 'OPATCH%' order by 1,2;

OWNER        TABLE_NAME
------------ --------------------
SYS          OPATCH_XML_INV

SQL> select dbms_metadata.get_ddl('TABLE','OPATCH_XML_INV','SYS') from dual;

DBMS_METADATA.GET_DDL('TABLE','OPATCH_XML_INV','SYS')
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  CREATE TABLE "SYS"."OPATCH_XML_INV"
   (    "XML_INVENTORY" CLOB
   )
   ORGANIZATION EXTERNAL
    ( TYPE ORACLE_LOADER
      DEFAULT DIRECTORY "OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR"
      ACCESS PARAMETERS
      ( RECORDS DELIMITED BY NEWLINE CHARACTERSET UTF8
      DISABLE_DIRECTORY_LINK_CHECK
      READSIZE 8388608
      preprocessor opatch_script_dir:'qopiprep.bat'
      BADFILE opatch_script_dir:'qopatch_bad.bad'
      LOGFILE opatch_log_dir:'qopatch_log.log'
      FIELDS TERMINATED BY 'UIJSVTBOEIZBEFFQBL'
      MISSING FIELD VALUES ARE NULL
      REJECT ROWS WITH ALL NULL FIELDS
      (
        xml_inventory    CHAR(100000000)
      )
        )
      LOCATION
       ( "OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR":'qopiprep.bat'
       )
    )
   REJECT LIMIT UNLIMITED


SQL>

 

Hence we can understand the underlying mechanics of this new feature. It’s based on an external table using a directory object running an external batch file (through the external table preprocessor option) which then runs the actual OPatch utility.

And we can query that external table directly if we want though we’ll get an XMLTYPE result:

SQL> select * from OPATCH_XML_INV;

XML_INVENTORY
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <InventoryInstance> <ora
cleHome> <UId>OracleHome-0243b34c-d8db-43f7-946b-589110de0ef9</UId> <targetTypeI
d>oracle_home</targetTypeId> <inventoryLocation>/u01/app/oraInventory</inventory
Location>
...
(output truncated)

 

Using DBMS_QOPATCH

Oracle gives us a wrapper API to this new external table (OPATCH_XML_INV) with DBMS_QOPATCH to make working with the output more manageable.

For example we can start with some basic information on the inventory using DBMS_QOPATCH.GET_OPATCH_INSTALL_INFO :

SQL> set heading off long 50000
SQL> select dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_install_info from dual;

<oracleHome><UId>OracleHome-a59380fa-5f8e-42df-b624-282f0189ec93</UId><targetTyp
eId>oracle_home</targetTypeId><inventoryLocation>/u01/app/oraInventory</inventor
yLocation><isShared>false</isShared><patchingModel>oneoff</patchingModel><path>/
u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1</path><targetTypeId>oracle_home</targetTy
peId></oracleHome>

SQL>

 

But as we see the output still isn’t easy on the eyes. Fortunately the XML stylesheet is also presented using DBMS_QOPATCH.GET_OPATCH_XSLT function. Hence combining the two gives a much more readable output:

SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_install_info, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;


Oracle Home       : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1
Inventory         : /u01/app/oraInventory


SQL>

 

The DBMS_QOPATCH package provides many other useful functions and procedures. For example, to see if and when a specified patch was installed, or just to see the list of all of the patches installed by bug number:

SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.is_patch_installed('19303936'), dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;


Patch Information:
         19303936:   applied on 2014-12-20T13:54:54-07:00


SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_bugs, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;


  Bugs fixed:
          19157754  18885870  19303936  19708632  19371175  18618122  19329654
19075256  19074147  19044962  19289642  19068610  18988834  19028800  19561643
19058490  19390567  18967382  19174942  19174521  19176223  19501299  19178851
18948177  18674047  19723336  19189525  19001390  19176326  19280225  19143550
18250893  19180770  19155797  19016730  19185876  18354830  19067244  18845653
18849537  18964978  19065556  19440586  19439759  19024808  18952989  18990693
19052488  19189317  19409212  19124589  19154375  19279273  19468347  19054077
19048007  19248799  19018206  18921743  14643995

SQL>

 

Or to run the equivalent of “opatch lsinventory” but from SQL instead of the OS:

SQL> select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;


Oracle Querayable Patch Interface 1.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oracle Home       : /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1
Inventory         : /u01/app/oraInventory
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Installed Top-level Products (1):
Oracle Database 12c                                    12.1.0.2.0
Installed Products ( 135)

Oracle Database 12c                                         12.1.0.2.0
Java Development Kit                                        1.6.0.75.0
...
(output truncated)

 

Putting it all together

The examples above are interesting but to make it truly useful for patch application querying, monitoring, and reporting we need join the output of DBMS_QOPATCH (which is showing us what’s installed into the Oracle Home) with the new 12c view DBA_REGISTRY_SQLPATCH (which shows us what patches are applied to the database).

Prior to Oracle 12c to list the PSUs installed into the Oracle home we might use:

SQL> !$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -bugs_fixed | egrep -i 'DATABASE PSU|DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE'
19303936 19303936 Sat Dec 20 13:54:54 MST 2014 DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 12.1.0.2.1 (OCT2014)

SQL>

 

I obtained that result by shelling out from a sqlplus session running on the database server. But likely a centralized SQL based monitoring or reporting tool won’t have that ability. A client-server database connection won’t be able to run OPatch easily and hence the DBMS_QOPATCH API is required.

To extract the same information from the DBMS_QOPATCH package we need to parse the resulting XMLTYPE output:

SQL> with a as (select dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory patch_output from dual)
  2  select x.*
  3    from a,
  4         xmltable('InventoryInstance/patches/*'
  5            passing a.patch_output
  6            columns
  7               patch_id number path 'patchID',
  8               patch_uid number path 'uniquePatchID',
  9               description varchar2(80) path 'patchDescription',
 10               applied_date varchar2(30) path 'appliedDate',
 11               sql_patch varchar2(8) path 'sqlPatch',
 12               rollbackable varchar2(8) path 'rollbackable'
 13         ) x;

  PATCH_ID  PATCH_UID
---------- ----------
DESCRIPTION
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
APPLIED_DATE                   SQL_PATC ROLLBACK
------------------------------ -------- --------
  19303936   18116864
Database Patch Set Update : 12.1.0.2.1 (19303936)
2014-12-20T13:54:54-07:00      true     true


SQL>

 

This is a great result: Information on the PSUs installed into the Oracle Home through SQL and returned to us in an easy to read and easy to work with tabular form!

To make this information even more useful we need to join to the new DBA_REGISTRY_SQLPATCH view which replaces the DBA_REGISTRY_HISTORY view with respect to which patches have been applied in the database:

SQL> select patch_id, patch_uid, version, status, description
  2  from dba_registry_sqlpatch
  3  where bundle_series = 'PSU';

  PATCH_ID  PATCH_UID VERSION              STATUS
---------- ---------- -------------------- ---------------
DESCRIPTION
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19303936   18116864 12.1.0.2             SUCCESS
Database Patch Set Update : 12.1.0.2.1 (19303936)


SQL>

 

Joining these two outputs allows us to easily write queries that report on the PSU patches deployed and ones only partially deployed (whether in the Oracle Home but not the database or vice versa):

SQL> --
SQL> --   List of PSUs applied to both the $OH and the DB
SQL> --
SQL> with a as (select dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory patch_output from dual)
  2  select x.patch_id, x.patch_uid, x.rollbackable, s.status, x.description
  3    from a,
  4         xmltable('InventoryInstance/patches/*'
  5            passing a.patch_output
  6            columns
  7               patch_id number path 'patchID',
  8               patch_uid number path 'uniquePatchID',
  9               description varchar2(80) path 'patchDescription',
 10               rollbackable varchar2(8) path 'rollbackable'
 11         ) x,
 12         dba_registry_sqlpatch s
 13   where x.patch_id = s.patch_id
 14     and x.patch_uid = s.patch_uid
 15     and s.bundle_series = 'PSU';

  PATCH_ID  PATCH_UID ROLLBACK STATUS
---------- ---------- -------- ---------------
DESCRIPTION
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  19303936   18116864 true     SUCCESS
Database Patch Set Update : 12.1.0.2.1 (19303936)


SQL> --
SQL> --   PSUs installed into the $OH but not applied to the DB
SQL> --
SQL> with a as (select dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory patch_output from dual)
  2  select x.patch_id, x.patch_uid, x.description
  3    from a,
  4         xmltable('InventoryInstance/patches/*'
  5            passing a.patch_output
  6            columns
  7               patch_id number path 'patchID',
  8               patch_uid number path 'uniquePatchID',
  9               description varchar2(80) path 'patchDescription'
 10         ) x
 11  minus
 12  select s.patch_id, s.patch_uid, s.description
 13    from dba_registry_sqlpatch s;

no rows selected

SQL> --
SQL> --   PSUs applied to the DB but not installed into the $OH
SQL> --
SQL> with a as (select dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_lsinventory patch_output from dual)
  2  select s.patch_id, s.patch_uid, s.description
  3    from dba_registry_sqlpatch s
  4  minus
  5  select x.patch_id, x.patch_uid, x.description
  6    from a,
  7         xmltable('InventoryInstance/patches/*'
  8            passing a.patch_output
  9            columns
 10               patch_id number path 'patchID',
 11               patch_uid number path 'uniquePatchID',
 12               description varchar2(80) path 'patchDescription',
 13         ) x;

no rows selected

SQL>

Simple queries such as those three are what can be incorporated into monitoring scripts and reports.

Some other DBMS_QOPATCH functions worth trying include:

set heading off long 50000 pages 9999 lines 180 trims on tab off
select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_count, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;
select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_list, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;
select xmltransform(dbms_qopatch.get_pending_activity, dbms_qopatch.get_opatch_xslt) from dual;

set serverout on
exec dbms_qopatch.get_sqlpatch_status;

 

Back-porting to Oracle Database 11g

An interesting question is: “can we back port this approach to 11g” and the answer is “absolutely“!

First of all, we need to create the directory object, external table, and OS batch script. For simplicity I’m keeping the name and structure of each the same as in 12c but of course you can adjust them if desired.

Using DBMS_METADATA.GET_DDL on an Oracle 12c database I get the necessary DDL to add the directory objects and external tables to an 11g database (note that I’ve updated the Oracle Home path but that’s the only change):

CREATE OR REPLACE DIRECTORY "OPATCH_LOG_DIR" AS '/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch';
CREATE OR REPLACE DIRECTORY "OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR" AS '/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch';

CREATE TABLE "SYS"."OPATCH_XML_INV"
   (    "XML_INVENTORY" CLOB
   )
   ORGANIZATION EXTERNAL
    ( TYPE ORACLE_LOADER
      DEFAULT DIRECTORY "OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR"
      ACCESS PARAMETERS
      ( RECORDS DELIMITED BY NEWLINE CHARACTERSET UTF8
      DISABLE_DIRECTORY_LINK_CHECK
      READSIZE 8388608
      preprocessor opatch_script_dir:'qopiprep.bat'
      BADFILE opatch_script_dir:'qopatch_bad.bad'
      LOGFILE opatch_log_dir:'qopatch_log.log'
      FIELDS TERMINATED BY 'UIJSVTBOEIZBEFFQBL'
      MISSING FIELD VALUES ARE NULL
      REJECT ROWS WITH ALL NULL FIELDS
      (
        xml_inventory    CHAR(100000000)
      )
        )
      LOCATION
       ( "OPATCH_SCRIPT_DIR":'qopiprep.bat'
       )
    )
   REJECT LIMIT UNLIMITED;

 

Next I need to copy the preprocessor batch script into the 11g home (which can be copied from another machine if necessary):

!cp -r /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/QOpatch

 

Now I don’t want to install the DBMS_QOPATCH package into a different version of the database. It’s Oracle supplied “wrapped” code meaning I can’t modify it and it probably has 12c dependencies meaning it would be invalid in Oracle 11g. Instead I performed a SQL Trace on the DBMS_QOPATCH.GET_OPATCH_LSINVENTORY package executing on the 12c database and from the resulting trace file I see that all it’s doing is:

INSERT INTO OPATCH_XINV_TAB(XML_INVENTORY) SELECT * FROM OPATCH_XML_INV
SELECT XMLTYPE(XML_INVENTORY) FROM OPATCH_XINV_TAB
DELETE FROM OPATCH_XINV_TAB

 

Not exactly complicated. Hence using the directory objects and external table created above I can execute the following on the 11g database:

SQL> select version from v$instance;

VERSION
-----------------
11.2.0.4.0

SQL> select XMLTYPE(XML_INVENTORY) patch_output from OPATCH_XML_INV;

PATCH_OUTPUT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="US-ASCII"?>
<INVENTORY isStandAlone="false">
 <HEADER>
 <ORACLE_HOME>/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1</ORACLE_HOME>
 <CENTRAL_INVENTORY>/u01/app/oraInventory</CENTRAL_INVENTORY>
 <OPATCH_VERSION>11.2.0.3.6</OPATCH_VERSION>
 <OUI_VERSION>11.2.0.4.0</OUI_VERSION>
 <OUI_LOCATION>/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/oui</OUI_LOCATION>
 <LOG>/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2014-1
2-23_15-08-04PM_1.log</LOG>
 </HEADER>
...
(output truncated)

 

So as we can see, it’s working perfectly back-ported to 11g.

However again the XML output isn’t really useful for me, I’m more interested in what PSUs have been installed. It’s easy to check that using opatch if I’m on the server:

SQL> !$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -bugs_fixed | egrep -i 'DATABASE PSU|DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE'
18522509   18522509  Sun Sep 21 20:58:00 MDT 2014   DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.3 (INCLUDES CPU
18031668   18031668  Sun Sep 21 20:57:48 MDT 2014   DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.2 (INCLUDES CPU
17478514   17478514  Sun Sep 21 20:57:38 MDT 2014   DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.1 (INCLUDES CPU

 

But again what if I’m not on the server, want to do this programatically through SQL, build it into a monitoring query or a security compliance report, etc?

Again we can query the XMLTYPE data and get exactly what we want. Specifically:

SQL> with a as (select XMLTYPE(XML_INVENTORY) patch_output from OPATCH_XML_INV)
  2  select x.* from a, xmltable(
  3     'INVENTORY/HOST/HOME/ONEOFF_LIST/INTERIM_PATCH/oneoff_inventory/base_bugs/bug'
  4     passing a.patch_output columns
  5     --row_number for ordinality,
  6     bug_number number path '@number',
  7     bug_description varchar2(256) path '@description'
  8  ) x
  9  where regexp_like(bug_description, '(DATABASE PSU|DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE)','i')
 10  order by bug_number;

BUG_NUMBER BUG_DESCRIPTION
---------- ------------------------------------------------------------
  17478514 DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.1 (INCLUDES CPUJAN2014)
  18031668 DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.2 (INCLUDES CPUAPR2014)
  18522509 DATABASE PATCH SET UPDATE 11.2.0.4.3 (INCLUDES CPUJUL2014)

SQL>

 

Voila! By copying the technique used by the Oracle 12c database we’ve now performed an OPatch query from SQL against an 11g database. Just took about 2 minutes of setup.

Again this can be super handy if PSU patching is a regular activity for you or if you have to produce security compliance reports.

Unfortunately though Oracle 11g records less data in DBA_REGISTRY_HISTORY than 12c has in DBA_REGISTRY_SQLPATCH:

SQL> select comments, action_time from dba_registry_history
  2  where bundle_series like '%PSU' order by action_time;

COMMENTS                       ACTION_TIME
------------------------------ ------------------------------
PSU 11.2.0.4.3                 23-SEP-14 09.21.34.702876 AM

SQL>

 

Hence joining the two is more challenging but certainly possible. The data (in this case the string “11.2.0.4.3”) is present in both the DBA_REGISTRY_HISTORY and my XQuery output from my back-ported OPATCH_XML_INV external table output.

 

Conclusion

The new DBMS_QOPATCH API is a fantastic improvement with Oracle Database 12c when it comes to patch management (querying/reporting/monitoring). And by understanding the concepts and components added to 12c they can be manually back-ported to 11g. Both using DBMS_QOPATCH and even the back-port to 11g is actually pretty easy. In fact the hardest part for me (not being very familiar with XQuery) was coming up with the query to parse the XMLTYPE data.

 

References

http://docs.oracle.com/database/121/ARPLS/d_qopatch.htm

Oracle Recommended Patches — Oracle Database (Doc ID 756671.1)

Quick Reference to Patch Numbers for Database PSU, SPU(CPU), Bundle Patches and Patchsets (Doc ID 1454618.1)

How do you apply a Patchset,PSU or CPU in a Data Guard Physical Standby configuration (Doc ID 278641.1)

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #405, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mon, 2015-01-19 19:34

This Log Buffer Edition rides on the wave of new ideas in the database realms. From Oracle technologies through MySQL to the SQL Server, things are piping hot.

Oracle:

The Call for Papers for the Rittman Mead BI Forum 2015 is currently open, with abstract submissions open to January 18th 2015.

The replicat process is the apply process within the Oracle GoldenGate environment.

“SELECT * FROM TABLE” Runs Out Of TEMP Space.

“log file sync” and the MTTR Advisor.

Working with XML files and APEX – Part 3: Detail elements in a row with OUTER JOIN.

SQL Server:

Get started testing your database code with the tSQLt framework.

Archiving Hierarchical, Deleted Transaction Using XML.

As a part of his “Function / Iterator Pairs” mini-series, Business Intelligence architect, Analysis Services Maestro, and author Bill Pearson introduces the DAX COUNT() and COUNTX() functions, discussing similarities and differences.

Free eBook: Fundamentals of SQL Server 2012 Replication

Importance of Statistics and How It Works in SQL Server – Part 1

MySQL:

Is Zero downtime even possible on RDS?

Monitor MySQL Database Users with VividCortex

Django with time zone support and MySQL

Using Perl to send tweets stored in a MySQL database to twitter

When ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY Won’t See the Query Is Deterministic.

Categories: DBA Blogs

Log Buffer #406, A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Thu, 2015-01-15 20:32

This Log Buffer Edition covers blog posts from various bloggers of Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL.

Oracle:

Sync tables: generate MERGE using Unique constraint.

What Hardware and Software Do YOU Want Oracle to Build?

There were a number of new features introduced in Ops Center 12.2.2. One of the shiny ones is an expansion of the backup and recovery capabilities to include Proxy Controllers.

Want to Be a Better Leader? Answer One Question.

Managing a remote Oracle Database instance with “Geographic Edition”.

SQL Server:

Learn how you can use SQLCop to prevent your developers from writing stored procedures that are named sp_ something.

Data Cleaning in SQL 2012 with Data Quality Services.

Stairway to PowerPivot and DAX – Level 9: Function / Iterator Function Pairs: The DAX MAX() and MAXX() Functions.

Options to Improve SQL Server Bulk Load Performance.

Dynamically Create Tables Based on an Access Table

MySQL:

Stored Procedures: critiques and defences.

JSON UDF functions 0.3.3 have been released.

Business Scalability, Operational Efficiency and Competitive Edge with MariaDB MaxScale 1.0 GA.

MySQL 5.7 labs and the HTTP Plugin – inserting, updating and deleting records in MySQL via HTTP.

Hyper-threading – how does it double CPU throughput?

Categories: DBA Blogs