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Diving Into the Shared Pool - An In Depth Look at Tuning the Shared Pool (Part 1)

Oracle Tips by Mike Ault

What is the shared pool?

Figure 1: Oracle 7 and Oracle 8 Shared Pool Structures

As you can see from examining the structures pictured in Figure 1, the shared pool is separated into many substructures. The substructures of the shared pool fall into two broad areas, the fixed size areas that for a given database at a given point in time stay relatively constant in size and the variable size areas that grow and shrink according to user and program requirements.

In Figure 1 the areas inside the library caches substructure are variable in size while those outside the library caches (with the exception of the request and response queues used with MTS) stay relatively fixed in size. The sizes are determined based on an Oracle internal algorithm that ratios out the fixed areas based on overall shared pool size, a few of the intialization parameters and empirical determinations from previous versions. In early versions of Oracle (notably 6.2 and lower versions) the dictionary caches could be sized individually allowing a finer control of this aspect of the shared pool. With Oracle 7 the internal algorithm for sizing the data dictionary caches took control from the Remote DBA.

The shared pool is used for objects that can be shared among all users such as table definitions, reusable SQL (although non-reusable SQL is also stored there), PL/SQL packages, procedures and functions. Cursor information is also stored in the shared pool. At a minimum the shared pool must be sized to accommodate the needs of the fixed areas plus a small amount of memory reserved for use in parsing SQL and PL/SQL statements or ORA-07445 errors will result.


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