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Oracle 8 Tips  

by Burleson Consulting

The Data Warehouse Development Life Cycle

Oracle Features for the Data Warehouse

Understanding Oracle indexes

Most programmers do not realize that database deadlocks occur frequently within the database indexes. It is important to note that a SELECT of a single row from the database may cause more than one lock entry to be placed in the storage pool as all affected index rows are also locked. In other words, the individual row receives a lock, but each index node that contains the value for that row will also have locks assigned (Figure 8.4). If the "last" entry in a sorted index is retrieved, the database will lock all index nodes that reference the indexed value, in case the user changes that value. Since many indexing schemes always carry the high-order key in multiple index nodes, an entire branch of the index tree can be locked--all the way up to the root node of the index.

While each database's indexing scheme is different, some relational database vendors recommend that tables with ascending keys be loaded in descending order, so that the rows are loaded from Z to A on an alphabetic key field. Other databases such as Oracle recommend that the indexes be dropped and re-created after the rows have been loaded into an empty table.

Figure 8.4 An overview of Oracle locking.

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing", copyright 1997. To learn more about Oracle, try "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", by Donald K. Burleson.  You can buy it direct from the publisher at 30% off here:



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