10046 Extended SQL Tracing for a Session – What is Wrong with this Quote?

16 09 2011

September 16, 2011

While reading the Oracle 11g Performance Tuning Recipes book, I noticed that some of the recipes in chapter 10 seemed to have an odd familiarity, although as of yet I have not quite pinpointed where I had previously seen some of the concepts in chapter 10.  Recipes 10-2, 10-11, and 10-16 seem to share a common ancestry with a blog article, but maybe I am imagining things.  A quote from recipe 10-16, found on page 351 (page 351 is currently unavailable for me in Google Books, but page 352 is available – you might need to scroll down one page if you click this link) of the book is certainly interesting, using a named event that was introduced with Oracle Database 11.1, rather than the event number 10046:

Execute the alter session (or alter system) set events command to trace a session by its operating system process ID which is shown by the SPID column in the V$PROCESS view [the book demonstrates replacing the word pid in the following command with the SPID value from V$PROCESS] . The general format of this command is as follows:

alter session set events 'sql_trace {process:pid}'

For additional clarification, the book provides the following extended example:

alter session set events 'sql_trace {process : pid = <pid>, pname = <pname>, orapid = <orapid>} rest of event specification'

Interesting… a slight distraction (requires a sign-on for My Oracle Support) Metalink (MOS) Doc ID 813737.1, “How To Use The New 11g Events++ Syntax For Easier SQL Tracing Of Datapump Operations” – I wonder if I had read that article in the past?

What, if anything, is wrong with the above quote from the book?

The point of blog articles like this one is not to insult authors who have spent thousands of hours carefully constructing an accurate and helpful book, but instead to suggest that readers investigate when something stated does not exactly match what one believes to be true.  It could be that the author “took a long walk down a short pier”, or that the author is revealing accurate information which simply cannot be found through other resources (and may in the process be directly contradicting information sources you have used in the past).  If you do not investigate in such cases, you may lose an important opportunity to learn something that could prove to be extremely valuable.