Oracle Scratchpad

July 24, 2008

Bind Capture

Filed under: Troubleshooting — Jonathan Lewis @ 6:30 am BST Jul 24,2008

If you’ve ever looked at view v$sql_bind_capture, you’ve probably seen that (at least in 10.2) it allows you to see the actual values for bind variables that have been used with an SQL statement.

For a long time I had assumed that this view was capturing the bind values used when the optimizer peeked at the variables when it wanted to produce an execution plan.

But I’ve just seen a note on the OTN forums from Dion Cho that highlighted my error. The note describes a couple of parameters that affect the way that bind capture behaves – including a parameter to change the “interval (in seconds) between two bind capture for a cursor”.

Sure enough, by using an ‘alter system’  call to change the “_cursor_bind_capture_interval” to a (performance-threatening) 10 seconds on a small test system, I found that the values in v$sql_bind_capture would change fairly regularly as I re-executed a given query with constantly changing input bind values. (With no change to the “peeked_binds” output from dbms_xplan.display_cursor() ).


  1. I think that what you mean, the values displayed with dbms.display_cursor(), the values
    of peeked binds used by optimizer to generate execution plan are in the column bind_data
    of V$SQL, but it is RAW data (how to decode it?). do you agree?


    Comment by cristiancudizio — July 24, 2008 @ 10:48 am BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  2. Cristian,

    Correct. I had assumed that v$sql_bind_capture was just a viewable version of the column v$sql.bind_data in just the same way that V$sql_optimizer_env is a viewable form of the column v$sql.optimizer_env.

    Maybe I’d better go back and rethink optimizer_env as well – just in case.

    Comment by Jonathan Lewis — July 24, 2008 @ 11:22 am BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  3. I’ve made a test on a and i’ve observed that v$sql.bind_data changes over time, so it is as you said, v$sql_bind_capture is a viewable version of v$sql.bind_data.


    Comment by cristiancudizio — July 24, 2008 @ 1:01 pm BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  4. Cristian,

    That makes life more confusing. In comment #2, I was trying to explain that my earlier assumption that they were the same had just been proved wrong.

    But now it seems you’re saying that they are the same – which means the bind_data column is NOT the set of bind values used for optimisation.

    Is it possible that the bind_data was changing only when the statement was re-optimized; or does bind_data always change as v$sql_bind_data changes even when you don’t re-optimize ?

    Comment by Jonathan Lewis — July 24, 2008 @ 1:15 pm BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  5. as some one said “life is that” :)

    I’m observing a particular query on our development
    database. From v$sql, if i’m not wrong, it seems not reoptimised:

    ————— ——————- ——————- ————-
    1 2008-07-24/10:19:32 2008-07-23/15:41:06 0

    With select * from table(dbms_xplan.display_cursor(‘8j9q64g6ctqbq’,null,’+peeked_binds’));
    i see always the same bind peeked value:
    Peeked Binds (identified by position):

    1 – :1 (NUMBER): 12599372

    From V$sql_plan.other_xml (as suggested from you a while ago) i see the same:

    SYSTEM@perseo10 > select substr(value_string,1,40)
    2 from v$sql_bind_capture
    3 where sql_id=’8j9q64g6ctqbq’;


    SYSTEM@perseo10 > SELECT dbms_sqltune.extract_bind(bind_data,1).value_string
    2 FROM V$SQL WHERE SQL_ID=’8j9q64g6ctqbq’;


    And i’ve seen that using DBMS_STATS.CONVERT_RAW_VALUE last part of v$sql.bind_data
    the number 12599373:
    BEDA0A2003004888807C000101F0021605C40D3C5E4A) ,0000000931020071778589000000rs0121041712599373

    Do i miss something?

    Comment by cristiancudizio — July 24, 2008 @ 1:51 pm BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  6. i forgot to say one thing: it make sense that peeked bind variable values used for generation of the execution plan stay on v$sql_plan because there may be more execution plans for the same sql statement, do you agree?


    Comment by cristiancudizio — July 24, 2008 @ 2:08 pm BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  7. I think the bind_data in v$sql is used as inputs for profile creation, perhaps when dbms_sqltune is executing a tuning task. The reason I think this may be the case is because there is an extract_binds function in the dbms_sqltune package which will convert the raw data to a readable format. Of course I stumbled on that function after spending the better part of a week deciphering the raw data. The peeked binds are stored in other_xml in v$sql_plan.

    Comment by John Darrah — July 24, 2008 @ 2:47 pm BST Jul 24,2008 | Reply

  8. My investigation on 10046 trace:
    – Peeked binds value of dbms_xplan.display_cursor is extracted from v$sql_plan.other_xml
    – Captured bind value is extraced from X$KQLFBC view.

    I understand that “captured bind” and “peeked bind” have no relationship.
    Capture is capture, peeking is peeking. No relationship.
    Oracle still captures bind value at specified interval whether bind peeking is enabled or not.

    Comment by Dion Cho — July 25, 2008 @ 1:04 am BST Jul 25,2008 | Reply

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  11. seems like v$sql.bind_data is more reliable than v$sql_plan.other_xml

    variable x varchar2(10);
    exec :X := 'X';
    col f_sqlid new_value v_sqlid
    col f_sqlcn new_value v_sqlcn
    col f_binddata new_value v_binddata
    select * from dual where dummy=:x;
           PREV_SQL_ID f_sqlid, 
           PREV_CHILD_NUMBER  f_sqlcn 
    from v$session 
    where sid = (  Select  sid from v$mystat where rownum=1 ) ;
    select bind_data f_binddata from v$sql 
    where sql_id = '&v_sqlid' 
    and child_number = &v_sqlcn
    NAME                             POSITION DUP_POSITION   DATATYPE
    ------------------------------ ---------- ------------ ----------
    --------------- ------------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------
                                            1                       1
    VARCHAR2(32)              178                               32 01-OCT-10
    SELECT xmltype(other_xml) AS xmlval
    FROM v$sql_plan
    sql_id = '&v_sqlid' AND
    child_number = '&v_sqlcn' AND
    other_xml IS NOT NULL

    I see the bind data in v$sql but not in v$sql_plan.other_xml

    Comment by Kyle Hailey — October 1, 2010 @ 9:51 pm BST Oct 1,2010 | Reply

    • Kyle,

      The XML tags in your final output have made WordPress destroy the results – but when I ran your script on my XML output included (with some editing):

      <peeked_binds><bind nam=”:X” pos=”1″ dty=”1″ csi=”178″ frm=”1″ mxl=”32″>58</bind></peeked_binds>

      As you can see, the ‘X’ is there as 58 (hex).

      Your comment arrived at a good moment, though, because it reminded me of the options available for capturing bind variables – which I need to do the next time a visit a particular client.

      Here’s an interesting follow-up, though, on what information is stored where:

      exec :X := 'Y'
      select :X from dual where dummy = :X;

      Some code will use the same bind variable several times – and even use the same variable in the select list and the where clause. In here are three different result from trying to get the value of :X

      1 row selected.
      Peeked Binds (identified by position):
         2 - :X (VARCHAR2(30), CSID=178, Primary=1)
      ---------- ------------ ----- ------------
               1              :X
               2            1 :X

      In this case v$sql.bind_data breaks completely – and the other two don’t help us to get values.

      Comment by Jonathan Lewis — October 2, 2010 @ 10:39 am BST Oct 2,2010 | Reply

  12. Thanks for the followup – yesterday, when I ran the script on the work database
    v$sql.bind_data had the values and v$sql_plan.other_xml didn’t. Maybe I was making some mistake because now when I run it on my laptop from home both methods work. Will have to do some more testing.
    We are adding to add bind variable capture to DB Optimizer and the first priority is to show peeked values but also interested in providing fall back methods to gather bind variable values and a “nice to have” feature would be to show recently used values that aren’t necessarily the peeked values.
    1) v$sql_plan.other_xml – peeked values (plus added benefit of having the hints so one could re-instantiate the plan should the statement’s plan change in the future)
    2) v$sql.bind_data – seemed like from the test above that this was more dependable, but still wondering if this is always the peeked bind values, or recently used values
    3) v$sql_bind_data – recently used values, only updated every 900 seconds, and just looking at it right after running a query, it doesn’t seem to be filled in immediately (like maybe it’s filled in upon first execution and the not updated for another 900 seconds) but again maybe I’m making a mistake

    select b.sql_text, a.bind_vars, c.datatype, c.value
    from v$sql_cursor a, v$sql b, v$sql_bind_data c
    where b.address = a.parent_handle
      and a.curno = c.cursor_num
      and b.sql_id= '&v_sqlid'
      and b.child_number = &v_sqlcn

    Comment by Kyle Hailey — October 2, 2010 @ 8:55 pm BST Oct 2,2010 | Reply

  13. We have a query that runs behind a UI search screen based on several different criteria that the end user might enter with up to 28 bind variables. Most often only 8 of them are used (7 of them are auto populated, with end user entering only last_name). When I used dbms_xplan.display_cursor with +peeked_binds format, it doesn’t show all 8 bind values. e.g. it doesn’t show last_name criterion – which is the most important one. And I know that the user entered last_name. v$sql_bind_capture and dba_hist_sqlbind shows the last_name value. But dbms_xplan.display_cursor doesn’t. Have you come across this? Why wouldn’t it show all the binds?

    Comment by DBA — October 3, 2011 @ 3:11 pm BST Oct 3,2011 | Reply

    • DBA,

      “Why wouldn’t it show all the binds?”
      I don’t know – I have seen the same phenomenon, but I haven’t had time to investigate it. It may be related to bind variable declaration sizes for character or NLS variables, though. I think I may also have seen the problem with binds of type timestamp.

      Comment by Jonathan Lewis — October 4, 2011 @ 3:23 pm BST Oct 4,2011 | Reply

    • dba_hist_sql_bind_metadata shows the bind variable of last_name datatype_string as VARCHAR2(32).
      2 questions:
      1) Do you know if there is a limit on how many bind values the Peeked Binds section of the plan shows?
      2) Is it possible for the optimizer to not peek at all 8 bind values but just peek at 7? This is a stupid question, but who knows.

      Comment by DBA — October 4, 2011 @ 7:00 pm BST Oct 4,2011 | Reply

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  15. […] 在不停的变化,而此时通过dbms_xplan peeking binds 则不会产生变化,这也验证了jonathanlewis的这篇文章。 这篇文章的主旨为 “Capture binds always […]

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