April 13, 2014

esProc Optimizes the Performance of Oracle Datasource Report

Description of the Issue

Some reports in a project suffered from very low speed. Despite various iReport and Oracle database optimizations, the situation is not yet satisfying. For example, there is a detail report, involving large data volume, many (dozens of) data tables, and frequent inter-table join (including self join). This report includes inter-cell computing expressions (ratios and sum).
Here are some complicated data set SQL statements from this report:
(select *
from (select syb.org_abbn as syb,
max(xmb.org_abbn) as xmb,
sub.org_subjection_id as sub_id,
oi.org_abbn as org_abb,
rm.synergic_team as xz_team,
xzdw.coding_name as xz_org,
l.requisition_cd as req_cd,
l.requisition_id as req_id,
l.note as req_note,
                           '') as sflj,
--too long, most part from the select clause is omitted.
fromlcr l
left join lcrrm on rm.requisition_id =
andrm.table_type = '0'
andnvl(rm.bsflag, 0) != 1

left join cos sub on l.org_id = sub.org_id
andnvl(sub.bsflag, 0) != 1
left join coioi on oi.org_id = sub.org_id
andnvl(oi.bsflag, 0) != 1

--too long, most part from the join is omitted.
wherel.table_type = '1'
andl.requisition_state = '0101020304'
andnvl(l.bsflag, 0) != 1
                                     andto_char(l.back_date, 'yyyy-MM-dd') between '2012-01-01' and
group by l.requisition_id,
--too long, most of the group by fields are omitted
                ) a-- main query a
LEFT JOIN crviewve-- viewve
            ON ve.requisition_id = a.req_id

If you check these SQL statements carefully, you’ll find immediately that there are too many tables associated, including a lot of self-join. Meanwhile, there are many sub query embedded in it. To make this worse, it is also associated with a view, which is very complicated.

Currently the data presentation time for this report, when querying against 4 months data volume, is 6 minutes 42 seconds. This is far from what the end-user could accept.

As mentioned before, the report has been optimized several times. The data set SQL and report expressions have gone through careful tuning process. The above data set SQL is very complicated, with no room for further optimization. Meanwhile, as real time query, the use of pre-computed intermediate table for acceleration is also not a feasible approach.

After analyzing the report we find that it involves two stages: 1) the data loading stage (data set SQL execution stage), and 2) report computation and presentation stage. The first stage requires 5 minutes, and the second stage requires more than 1 minute. The reason for the slowing running of data set SQL is caused by the extremely low efficiency of the join in two sub queries (main querya and view ve).

Thus we find a new approach for optimization: we’ll mainly optimize the data set loading by improving the efficiency of SQL join. At the same time, we’ll optimize the computation and presentation part.

Resolution Process

The esProc approach for resolution of this issue is as following:
1. Split the data set SQL of the report
As previously mentioned, the join between the two sub queries is causing the slow running of the SQL. We use esProc to execute the SQL for two sub queries, and then complete the association in esProc with “switch” (“switch” or “join” is used accordingly) statement. After test run we find significant improvement on efficiency.

2. Eliminate inter-cell computing from the report
The inter-cell computing (ratios and sum) part in the original report template is moved into esProc, thus the report generation could be speed up due to the removal of grid scanning.

3. Return the result set to the report all together
After all data preparation is done through esProc, the result will be returned to reporting tool all together. Once data source is received, the presentation will be done directly, without any computation (such as inter-cell computing) that might affect efficiency.

The complete codes for esProc are as following:

Solution Result

Through the above process, total report presentation time is radically reduced from the original 6 minutes 42 seconds to 57seconds - less than 1 minute. The benefit of this optimization is remarkable. This is what the end-user is happy to see.


In the process of the problem resolution, we found that the main query a and view ve in the original SQL statement requires only 10 to 40 seconds when executed in Oracle separately. However, a join between a and view ve requires several minutes. This is because Oracle cannot always find a reasonable approach when automatic execution plan is used. If human interference is required, it will be very tedious and time consuming.

esProc could improve the performance, because we know that ve is actually a dimensional table of a. Thus we can use a particular method of “switch”. This allows human definition of the execution plan for complicated query. In combination with Oracle’s basic query statement, it will speed up the process significantly.

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