UKOUG Tech 2014

Thursday, November 04, 2010

PeopleTools 8.50 uses DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO to Identify Database Sessions

I recently worked on a PeopleTools 8.50 system in production for the first time and was able to make use of the new Oracle specific instrumentation in PeopleTools.

PeopleTools now uses the DBMS_APPLICATION_INFO package to set module and action session attributes.  This data is then copied into the Active Session History (ASH).
  • Within the PIA, the application server sets module and action to the name of the current component and page within the current components
  • For Integration Broker messages they are set to service and queue name.
  • For Application Engine processes the module is set to PSAE and the action is set to the program name.
The first two of these three changes are very welcome, but I think the instrumentation of Application Engine is inadequate. I have a better suggestion which can be implemented with a database trigger.

Enterprise Manager
In Oracle Enterprise Manager, I can see the top SQL statements and group them by Module and Action, so I now can see which components are consuming the most time.  I can also produce an AWR for a specific component or page within a component.

OEM Screenshot of a PeopleTools 8.50 system.

I can query the ASH data to profile which pages consume the most time on the database.

MODULE                 ACTION                   ASH_SECS 
---------------------- ---------------------- ---------- 
RECV_PO                PO_PICK_ORDERS                240 
XXX_REQ_INQUIRY        xyzzy                         170 
XXX_REQ_WRKLST         XXX_REQ_WORKLIST              170 
VCHR_EXPRESS           VCHR_LINE_RECV_WRK            170 
XXX_FIN_WORKLIST       XXX_FIN_WORKLIST              160 
VCHR_EXPRESS           VCHR_EXPRESS1                 160 
PURCHASE_ORDER_EXP     PO_EXPRESS                    140 
XXX_HOME_PAGE          XXX_HOME_PAGE                 140 
RECV_PO                RECV_WPO                      130 
VCHR_EXPRESS           xyzzy                         120 
XXX_PUR_WORKLIST       XXX_PUR_WRKLST                120 
CDM_RPT                CDM_RPT_INDEX                 100 
…
----------
sum                                                  2820

(Updated 19.11.2010) For some components the action is set to ‘xyzzy’. This seems to be a default value set when the component is opened, but before any of the pages are processed.  Therefore, it refers to activity in the search dialogue, including processing of :
  • look ups to obtain values for search criteria
  • SQL issued during SearchSave PeopleCode to validate the search criteria.
  • the query on the Component Search record
Batch Processes
Now, I want to look at what happens in batch processes. In previous versions of PeopleTools, the module was set to the same value as the program name, and action was left blank. This is not particularly helpful. In 8.50 module is set to PSAE for Application Engine processes, and action is set to the name of the program.

MODULE                       ACTION                      ASH_SECS
---------------------------- ------------------------- ----------
PSNVS.EXE                                                   10220
PSAE                         AP_PSTPYMNT                     3100
PSAE                         AP_MATCH                        2690
sqrw.exe                                                     1770
PSAE                         PO_RECVACCR                     1390
PSQRYSRV.exe                                                  880
PSAE                         FS_STREAMLN                      870
PSPUBDSP.exe                                                  850
PSBRKDSP.exe                                                  740
PSPRCSRV.exe                                                  690
PSSUBDSP.exe                                                  620

This is certainly better than in previous versions. However, its weakness is that if I have multiple concurrent instances of the same process, although I could tell that the ASH data had come from different sessions, I would not be determine which came from which session. This situation could occur, for example, in Global Payroll if ‘streaming’ was configured, where the payroll calculation can be broken into many processes that run concurrently.

In another blog posting, Using Oracle Enterprise Manager (Grid Control) with PeopleSoft, I proposed a trigger that writes name of the PeopleSoft process name to module, and the Process Instance number into action. Furthermore, this trigger works for all processes scheduled by the Process Scheduler.  I think that that trigger is still useful in PeopleTools 8.50.

3 comments:

Pradash said...

I have see the xyzzy reference at times when an app server crashes building a component, e.g. I was playing with stylesheets and removed some styles that must have some hardcoded use in the component processor, and I remember seeing xyzzy on the page somewhere. I suspect it's some internal placeholder you aren't supposed to see - it may be related to search/prompt records.

Doesn't explain why you see it there though.

Niall said...

Hi David

It'll be a place holder or Easter Egg. xyzzy was the magic word from the original Adventure text adventure game. Unless used in exactly the right place then all that the game would respond was "Nothing Happens". Its a no-op in a few places, perhaps peoplesoft as well. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xyzzy for example.

David Kurtz said...

I have looked into the meaning of the action 'xyzzy' (on a real, live, PeopleTools 8.50 system). It does indeed to relate to activity in the search dialogue, before the pages in the component are opened. I have updated the blog posting.