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Using the Trace Analyzer Utility in Oracle
Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Advanced Oracle Utilities: The Definitive Reference by Rampant TechPress is written by top Oracle database experts (Bert Scalzo, Andrew Kerber, Donald Burleson, and Steve Callan).  The following is an excerpt from the book.

Using the Trace Analyzer Utility

Trace Analyzer (trcanlzr) is an application from Oracle with much the same purpose as tkprof.  It is also designed to help analyze the trace files generated by SQL tracing.  Trace Analyzer offers enhancements over tkprof in a number of areas.  Several of the key improvements are as follows:

  • Trace Analyzer provides a more detailed list of wait events for every SQL statement that is part of the trace file. Only in recent versions has tkprof provided at least limited wait information.  Older versions provide no information on wait events regardless of the trace data.

  • Trace Analyzer reports totals for statements that execute multiple times; whereas tkprof would report each execution separately.  This is important when tracing a process that is updating many records, but doing it one row at a time.  Identifying this with tkprof requires more manual effort.

  • Trace Analyzer provides the values used by bind variables, as long as the trace file was generated at a level that includes bind variables; whereas this feature is not available with tkprof.

Installation of Trace Analyzer is fairly straightforward as long as the instructions are followed completely.  It is very similar to installing Statspack. Metalink document 224270.1 provides an adequate explanation for finding the files to accomplish the installation as well as how to install and use it.  Be very careful to follow the instructions exactly.


Executing Trace Analyzer

First, tracing needs to be enabled at the appropriate level. For example, to provide maximum trace data, a Level 12 trace can be started for the current session:




After the session executes for enough time to gain needed data, the trcanlzr.sql script can be executed. It requires the name of the directory object. This object points to the physical operating system directory for the user_dump_dest. The installation of the utility will automatically create the directory object required (named UDUMP).


SQL>@d:\trcanlzr.sql UDUMP asg920xr_ora_13033.trc


Once executed, the output will be displayed on the screen and a spool file is created in the current directory.  It is possible to change the output spool file by modifying the trcanlzr.sql script.


Using the trcsess utility

When solving tuning problems, session traces are very useful and offer vital information. Traces are simple and straightforward for dedicated server sessions, but for shared server sessions, many processes are involved. The trace pertaining to the user session is scattered across different trace files belonging to different processes. This makes it difficult to get a complete picture of the life cycle of a session.


The trcsess command-line utility consolidates trace information from selected trace files based on specified criteria. The criteria include session id, client id, service name, action name and module name.  This allows the compilation of multiple trace files into a single output file.


The syntax for the trcsess utility is:


trcsess [output=output_file_name]



  • output specifies the file where the output is generated. When this option is not specified, the standard output is used for the output.

  • session consolidates the trace information for the session specified. The session ID is a combination of session index and session serial number.

  • clientid consolidates the trace information given client ID.

  • service consolidates the trace information for the given service name.

  • action consolidates the trace information for the given action name.

  • module consolidates the trace information for the given module name.

  • trace_files is a list of all trace file names, separated by spaces, in which trcsess will look for trace information. The wild card character * can be used to specify the trace file names. If trace files are not specified, all the files in the current directory are checked by trcsess.

Activating trace on multiple sessions means that trace information is spread throughout many trace files.  For this reason, Oracle 10g introduced the trcsess utility, allowing trace information from multiple trace files to be identified and consolidated into a single trace file.  The trcsess usage is listed below.


trcsess [output=<output file name >]  [session=<session ID>] [clientid=<clientid>] [service=<service name>] [action=<action name>] [module=<module name>] <trace file names>
output=<output file name> output destination default being standard output.
session=<session Id> session to be traced.
Session id is a combination of session Index & session serial number e.g. 8.13.
clientid=<clientid> clientid to be traced.
service=<service name> service to be traced.
action=<action name> action to be traced.
module=<module name> module to be traced.
<trace_file_names> Space separated list of trace files with wild card '*' supported.


Use Oracle’s trcsess command-line utility to consolidate the information from all the trace files into a single output file.



Then run tkprof against the consolidated trace file to generate a report. It is recommended that one experiments some with tkprof to become familiarized with the options available in this useful utility.


..\udump> tkprof hr_report.trc
output=hr_trc_report SORT=(EXEELA, PRSELA,FCHELA)

r more details on Oracle utilities, see the book "Advanced Oracle Utilities" by Bert Scalzo, Donald K. Burleson, and Steve Callan.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off directly from Rampant TechPress.



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