Oracle Scratchpad

February 21, 2014

Index Compression – aargh

Filed under: Bugs,compression,Indexing,Infrastructure,Oracle — Jonathan Lewis @ 7:57 am BST Feb 21,2014

The problem with telling people that some feature of Oracle is a “good thing” is that some of those people will go ahead and use it; and if enough people use it some of them will discover a hitherto undiscovered defect. Almost inevitably the bug will turn out to be one of those “combinations” bugs that leaves you thinking: “Why the {insert preferred expression of disbelief here} should {feature X} have anything to do with {feature Y}”.

Here – based on index compression, as you may have guessed from the title – is one such bug. I got it first on, but it’s still there on and

create table t1 (
	id1	number not null,
	id2	number not null,
	n1	number,
	v1	varchar2(10)

alter table t1 add constraint t1_pk primary key(id1, id2) using index (
	create index t1_pk on t1(id1, id2) compress 1

create table t2(
	id1	number not null,
	id2	number not null,
	id3	number not null,
	n1	number,
	v1	varchar2(10)

alter table t2 add constraint t2_fk_t1 foreign key(id1, id2) references t1;

It’s quite simple – I’ve got a multi-column primary key, and it’s worth compressing on the first column because that column is fairly repetitive. Then I’ve created another table that has a foreign key constraint referencing my first table. Because I’ve got some replication going on and want to enable parallelism I’ve enabled rowdependencies all over the place. So let’s insert a couple of rows and see what happens – the next bit of text is cut-n-pasted from an SQL*Plus session running a script after a call to set echo on:

SQL> insert into t1 values(1,1,1,'x');

1 row created.

SQL> commit;

Commit complete.

SQL> insert into t2 values(1,1,1,1,'x');
insert into t2 values(1,1,1,1,'x')
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-00600: internal error code, arguments: [25027], [5], [394178], [], [], [], [], [], [], [], [], []

For further details, and before you get completely thrilled at the possibility of compressing lots of indexes, keep an eye on:


“Inserting into a table with a foreign key where the base table has a primary key using index key compression and the table also has row dependencies enabled. Stack will include kdsgrds and kdiexi0 (in 12) / kdiexi (in 11, 10)”

As implied by that note from the bug, it also affects 10g.  The bug note reports it as fixed in 12.2.

November 6, 2013

12c In-memory

Filed under: 12c,compression,Indexing,Infrastructure,Oracle — Jonathan Lewis @ 6:53 pm BST Nov 6,2013

I wrote a note about the 12c “In-Memory” option some time ago on the OTN Database forum and thought I’d posted a link to it from the blog. If I have I can’t find it now so, to avoid losing it,┬áhere’s a copy of the comments I made:


September 11, 2013

MV Refresh

Filed under: compression,Infrastructure,Oracle,Partitioning,Performance — Jonathan Lewis @ 8:47 pm BST Sep 11,2013

I have a fairly strong preference for choosing simple solutions over complex solutions, and using Oracle-supplied packages over writing custom code – provided the difference in cost (whether that’s in human effort, run-time resources or licence fees) is acceptable. Sometimes, though, the gap between simplicity and cost is so extreme that a hand-crafted solution is clearly the better choice. Here’s an idea prompted by a recent visit to a site that makes use of materialized views and also happens to be licensed for the partitioning option.


June 19, 2013

Wasted Space

Filed under: compression,fragmentation,Infrastructure,LOBs,Oracle — Jonathan Lewis @ 9:55 am BST Jun 19,2013

Here’s a little quiz: If I take the average row length of the rows in a table, multiply by the number of rows, and convert the result to the equivalent number of blocks, how can the total volume of data in the table be greater than the total number of blocks below the table high water mark ? I’ve got three tables in a schema, and they’re all in the same (8KB block, 1M uniform extent, locally managed) tablespace, but here’s a query, with results, showing their space utilisation – notice that I gather schema stats immediately before running my query:


January 24, 2013


Filed under: compression,Infrastructure,Oracle — Jonathan Lewis @ 1:06 pm BST Jan 24,2013

Red Gate have asked me to write a few articles for their Oracle site, so I’ve sent them a short series on “traditional” compression in Oracle – which means I won’t be mentioning Exadata hybrid columnar compression (HCC a.k.a. EHCC). There will be five articles, published at the rate of one per week starting Tuesday (15th Jan). I’ll be supplying links for them as they are published.

The Rubric Theme Blog at


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