Archive for July, 2011

Oracle – Startup Phases

July 30, 2011 2 comments

There are 5 states an Oracle database goes through during the startup process.

  1.  Shutdown
    The database is shutdown and cannot be connected to by anyone but SYS.
  2. Startup nomount
    During this phase the database reads the initialization parameters from the spfile or pfile. If you get an error at this stage, it’s best to check this file exists, is accessible and contains no errors.
    This phase does not allow access to the database and is usually only done for database creation, or recreation of control files.
  3. Startup mount
    During this phase the database checks the control file, this is a small binary file that records the physical structure of the database.
    If you receive errors during the mount phase, then it is best to check the control file exists.
    This phase allows for certain DBA activities to take place, but does not allow general access to the database.
  4. Startup open
    During this phase the database tries to start in open mode, ready for all users to access. It checks the datafiles exist and any errors at this stage you should check the datafiles.
    This phase can be run in restricted or unrestricted mode, depending on whether you want all users to have access or not.

Oracle – Error when compiling EAR file for deployment on 10gAS

If you get the following error message when compiling the EAR file for deployment on 10g Application Server then check to make sure the database is up and running, it’s likely the database is either in restricted mode, or shutdown.

$ ./
Please wait ...
java.sql.SQLException: J2T-131, SQLException: ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress
when registering oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver as JDBC driver
J2T-102, ERROR: Unable to connect to schema "app"
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException: - No EAR file exists to look into - No service element provided , can not determine which classes or interfaces to expose in WSDL

Oracle – Optimizer stats not being purged

July 28, 2011 1 comment

I’ve recently been monitoring two databases where a high amount of import/exports are taking place. The SYSAUX and SYSTEM tablespaces have been continually growing.

To resolve this I set the stats retention period to 7 days.

SQL> exec dbms_stats.alter_stats_history_retention(7);

I then continued to monitor the database and found that the SYSAUX tablespace was still continuing to grow. When checking the retention period it showed it to be as set, so I reduced it further to 3 days.

SQL>    select dbms_stats.get_stats_history_retention from dual;

I then tried rebuilding the stats indexes and tables as they would now be fragmented.

sum(bytes/1024/1024) Mb,
tablespace_name = 'SYSAUX'
segment_type in ('INDEX','TABLE')
MB  SEGMENT_NAME                             SEGMENT_TYPE
--  ---------------------------------------  ----------------
2   WRH$_SQLTEXT                             TABLE
2   WRH$_ENQUEUE_STAT_PK                     INDEX
2   WRI$_ADV_PARAMETERS                      TABLE
2   WRH$_SEG_STAT_OBJ_PK                     INDEX
3   WRI$_ADV_PARAMETERS_PK                   INDEX
3   WRH$_SQL_PLAN_PK                         INDEX
3   WRH$_SEG_STAT_OBJ                        TABLE
3   WRH$_ENQUEUE_STAT                        TABLE
4   WRH$_SQL_BIND_METADATA_PK                INDEX
4   WRH$_SQL_BIND_METADATA                   TABLE
6   WRH$_SYSMETRIC_SUMMARY                   TABLE
7   WRH$_SQL_PLAN                            TABLE
8   WRI$_OPTSTAT_TAB_HISTORY                 TABLE
8   I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_TAB_ST                    INDEX
9   I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_H_ST                      INDEX
9   I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_TAB_OBJ#_ST               INDEX
12  I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_IND_ST                    INDEX
14  I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_IND_OBJ#_ST               INDEX
20  WRI$_OPTSTAT_IND_HISTORY                 TABLE
306 I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_HH_ST                     INDEX

To reduce these tables and indexes you can issue the following:

SQL> alter table <table name> move tablespace SYSAUX;
SQL> alter index <index name> rebuild online;

If you are only running standard edition then you can only rebuild indexes offline. Online index rebuild is a feature of Enterprise Edition.

To find out the oldest available stats you can issue the following:

SQL> select dbms_stats.get_stats_history_availability from dual;
28-JUN-11 +01:00

To find out a list of how many stats are gathered for each day between the retention the current date and the oldest stats history issue the following:

SQL> select trunc(SAVTIME),count(1) from WRI$_OPTSTAT_HISTHEAD_HISTORY group by  trunc(SAVTIME) order by 1;
--------- ----------
28-JUN-11 2920140
29-JUN-11 843683
30-JUN-11 519834
01-JUL-11 958836
02-JUL-11 3158052
03-JUL-11 287
04-JUL-11 1253952
05-JUL-11 732361
06-JUL-11 507186
07-JUL-11 189416
08-JUL-11 2619
09-JUL-11 1491
10-JUL-11 287
11-JUL-11 126324
12-JUL-11 139556
13-JUL-11 181068
14-JUL-11 4832
15-JUL-11 258027
16-JUL-11 1152
17-JUL-11 287
18-JUL-11 27839
21 rows selected.

What has happened here is that the job run by MMON every 24hrs has checked the retention period and tried to run a purge of all stats older than the retention period. As the job has not compeleted within 5 minutes because of the high number of stats collected on each day, the job has given up and rolled back. Therefore the stats are not being purged.

As each day continues the SYSAUX table is continuing to fill up because the job fails each night and cannot purge old stats.

To resolve this we have to issue a manual purge to clear down the old statistics. This can be UNDO tablespace extensive so it’s best to keep an eye on the amount of UNDO being generated. I suggest starting with the oldest and working fowards.

To manually purge the stats issue the following:

SQL> exec dbms_stats.purge_stats(to_date('10-JUL-11','DD-MON-YY'));PL/SQL procedure successfully completed.

SQL> select trunc(SAVTIME),count(1) from WRI$_OPTSTAT_HISTHEAD_HISTORY group by  trunc(SAVTIME) order by 1;
-------------------- ----------
29-Jun-2011 00:00:00     843683
30-Jun-2011 00:00:00     519834
01-Jul-2011 00:00:00     958836
02-Jul-2011 00:00:00    3158052
03-Jul-2011 00:00:00        287
04-Jul-2011 00:00:00    1253952
05-Jul-2011 00:00:00     732361
06-Jul-2011 00:00:00     507186
07-Jul-2011 00:00:00     189416
08-Jul-2011 00:00:00       2619
09-Jul-2011 00:00:00       1491
10-Jul-2011 00:00:00        287
11-Jul-2011 00:00:00     126324
12-Jul-2011 00:00:00     139556
13-Jul-2011 00:00:00     181068
14-Jul-2011 00:00:00       4832
15-Jul-2011 00:00:00     258027
16-Jul-2011 00:00:00       1152
17-Jul-2011 00:00:00        287
18-Jul-2011 00:00:00      27839
20 rows selected.

Once the amount of stats has been reduced the overnight job should work, alternatively you can create a job to run this similarly to running manually. Using the following code in a scheduled job:

job_name => '"SYS"."PURGE_OPTIMIZER_STATS"',
job_type => 'PLSQL_BLOCK',
job_action => 'begin
repeat_interval => 'FREQ=DAILY;BYHOUR=6;BYMINUTE=0;BYSECOND=0',
start_date => systimestamp at time zone 'Europe/Paris',
job_class => '"DEFAULT_JOB_CLASS"',
comments => 'job to purge old optimizer stats',
auto_drop => FALSE,
enabled => TRUE);

Finally you will need to rebuild the indexes and move the tables. To do this you can spool a script to a dmp file and then run the dmp file.

SQL> select 'alter index '||segment_name||' rebuild;' FROM dba_segments where tablespace_name = 'SYSAUX' AND segment_type = 'INDEX';

Edit the file to remove the first and last lines (SQL> SELECT…. and SQL> spool off)

Run the file to rebuild the indexes.

You can then do the same with the tables

SQL> select 'alter table '||segment_name||' move tablespace SYSAUX;' FROM dba_segments where tablespace_name = 'SYSAUX' AND segment_type = 'TABLE';

Then you can re-run the original query, mine produces the following now and my SYSAUX table is only a few hundred MB full.

.6875 WRH$_ENQUEUE_STAT                 TABLE
.75 WRH$_SEG_STAT_OBJ                   TABLE
.8125 I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_HH_ST              INDEX
.8125 WRH$_SQL_PLAN_PK                  INDEX
2 WRI$_ADV_PARAMETERS                   TABLE
4 WRH$_SQL_PLAN                         TABLE
689 rows selected.

Oracle – Fix unusable indexes

July 27, 2011 1 comment

If you want to find a list of unusable indexes and fix them you can issue the following SQL that will print out a list of alter commands that can be copied and pasted to the SQL command line then executed to fix the indexes.

SQL> select 'alter index '||index_name||' rebuild;' from all_indexes  where status ='UNUSABLE';
alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_HH_ST rebuild;
alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_H_OBJ#_ICOL#_ST rebuild;
alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_H_ST rebuild;
alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_OPR_STIME rebuild;

This will help resolve errors such as the following:

SQL>  exec dbms_stats.purge_stats(to_date('28-JUN-11','DD-MON-YY'));
BEGIN dbms_stats.purge_stats(to_date('28-JUN-11','DD-MON-YY')); END;
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-01502: index 'SYS.I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_TAB_OBJ#_ST' or partition of such index is in unusable state
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_STATS", line 1100
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_STATS", line 17203
ORA-06512: at line 1

Oracle – ORA-01502 Index rebuild error

July 26, 2011 1 comment

I was recently trying to clear down the SYSAUX tablespace that had filled with fragmented statistics retention indexes and tables.

However, when I tried to rebuild one of the indexes I received the following error:

SQL> alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_H_ST rebuild;
alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_H_ST rebuild
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-00604: error occurred at recursive SQL level 1
ORA-01502: index 'SYS.I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_IND_OBJ#_ST' or partition of such index is in unusable state

I queried the sys.all_indexes table to find which indexes were in an unusable state.

SQL> select index_name, status from all_indexes where status ='UNUSABLE';
INDEX_NAME                     STATUS
------------------------------ --------

To resolve the issue I rebuild the offending index and all was well and good again.

SQL> alter index I_WRI$_OPTSTAT_IND_OBJ#_ST rebuild online;
Index altered.

PHP – Password encryption with salts

Password encryption is highly important when designing websites. It’s not at all recommended to pass, or store the password as plain text. Instead it is recommended to use a hashing algorithm such as md5 or sha1 to encrypt the password before it is stored in the database.

In addition to the encryption of the password it is also advisable to have a salt. A salt is a small piece of text that can be applied to the password to ensure that, even if the user types a weak password, the password is still strong. So for example the user types “apple”, the salt could be something as complex as “Ju9n#1£xFL” therefore the password plus salt would be appleJu9n#1£xFL

The salt doesn’t necessarily have to go on the end, it could go anywhere, you could even duplicate the salt.

For added security it is recommended to unique id with a random number on at the beginning. You can then encrypt the number with md5 and use substr to alter the salt length.

Once you have created your salt you can then use sha1 to encrypt the salt with the password. Finally, add the salt to the beginning of the created hash. Therefore, if someone tries to decrypt your hash, the decrypted string will be nonsensical without knowing the salt.

It is worth taking note that even with a salt, if the salt falls into the wrong hands, a password can still be hacked. So never store the salt anywhere that you would want others to see it.

Password comparison (Login forms)

It is advisable that you do not try to decrypt the password, instead compare the password given by the user, with the password stored in the database. You should have the salt stored with the password, or if fixed length be able to decipher which part is the salt. You then just need to encrypt the user given password the same way the stored password was, and compare the two.

function generateHash($plainText, $salt = null){
define('SALT_LENGTH', 11);
if ($salt === null){
$salt = substr(md5(uniqid(rand(), true)), 0, SALT_LENGTH);
$salt = substr($salt, 0, SALT_LENGTH);
echo $salt . sha1($plainText . $salt)."<br/>";
function checkPassword ($hash,$salt) {
$password = '<password from database>';
if ($salt . sha1($password. $salt ) == $hash){
echo '<br/>The password is correct';
echo '<br/>Wrong password!';