Oracle Scratchpad

September 3, 2007

Trace Files

Filed under: trace files,Troubleshooting — Jonathan Lewis @ 8:14 pm BST Sep 3,2007

If you ever thought you could understand what’s printed in a trace file, you might like to read this comment from a recent SR:

The trace file is reporting the steps that are needed to troubleshoot an issue. The comments tags and entries in the files may not be consistent in every scenario and their meaning can change between tasks and versions. As they are not designed or intended for direct interpretation by customers, no rationale or consistency is guaranteed.

Further, no official documentation is provided for the raw trace files. The only behaviour that is considered ‘expected’ behaviour is that which is contained in the documentation and manuals.

Of course, this does make life a little confusing – is a note that’s been published on Metalink (such as 39817.1 and 338137.1) not official after all ?


  1. Hi Jonathan,

    I think Oracle is doing right doing this remarks in the context of an SR (TAR). For me this means that the SR reviewers/workers deserve “full authority”, as there are internals in the RDBMS that will only be known by them (obviously). So, they have full knowledge and assume full responsability for resolution of the problem (ie: they are getting paid for solve the SR!). All in all I don’t think this statements are meant to discourage customer investigation on the traces. Some SR reviewers appears to fully accept interpretation from the customer.


    Comment by Alvaro — September 4, 2007 @ 11:27 pm BST Sep 4,2007 | Reply

  2. I’m confused about this one…. Note:33883.1 :)

    Comment by Ted — September 5, 2007 @ 3:15 am BST Sep 5,2007 | Reply

  3. Ted,
    Note Title: “STATISTIC “cache hit ratio”. Last Revision Date: 12-Feb-2004.

    I’m not surprised you’re confused ;-) Here’s one to think about for 10g: the “better formula for 8i/9i” quoted in the note includes the component:

    ( physical reads - (physical reads direct + physical reads direct (lob)) )

    But in my, “physical reads direct (lob)” are included in “physical reads direct” – so the “better” formula for one version is (even more) wrong for another.

    Comment by Jonathan Lewis — September 5, 2007 @ 6:20 am BST Sep 5,2007 | Reply

  4. […] about. In few words there was confusion, doubt and something else, or so it seemed. The title was Trace Files. And here you go an inspiration came, and as usual from a direction you’d never […]

    Pingback by Vlad’s Weblog — October 9, 2007 @ 5:06 am BST Oct 9,2007 | Reply

  5. Hi, I have a strange situation. I am tracing a procedure call to know where the time is spent after the response times suddenly went over the roof. After tracing a few times, all of them pointed to one place where I am updating a table with 111K rows updating all of them in a loop. I know it is not pretty but the business logic is complex enough that I cannot do it one shot yet. Trying to get there.
    But my problem is out of 6.8 minutes I am spending 6.7 min on the updates alone.
    Crazy enough, when I turned off tracing my response time is under 30 seconds.And when I look in OEM, I see the same number of updates took just 4+seconds instead of 6 minutes while tracing.
    any thoughts?

    Comment by Kumar Ramalingam — February 1, 2016 @ 6:38 pm BST Feb 1,2016 | Reply

    • This isn’t a forum, and I don’t answer random questions that have only a tenuous connection to a blog post.

      I suggest you put your question to the OTN database forum (start at if you don’t have an account) – and remember to state your full Oracle version number in the question. Someone there may give you some advice on investigating your question.

      Comment by Jonathan Lewis — February 2, 2016 @ 10:17 am BST Feb 2,2016 | Reply

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