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4 posts tagged with "EXPLAIN"

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· 22 min read

Jupiter's moon Io. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), I. de Pater et al.; NRAO/AUI NSF, S. Dagnello; NASA/JPL/Space Science InstituteJupiter's moon Io. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), I. de Pater et al.; NRAO/AUI NSF, S. Dagnello; NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

SQL query optimization is challenging for those who have just started working with PostgreSQL. There are many objective reasons for this, such as:

  • the difficulty of the field of system performance in general,
  • lack of good "playground" environments where people can experience how databases work at a larger scale,
  • lack of certain capabilities in Postgres observability tools that are still developing (though, at a good pace),
  • insufficiency of good educational materials.

All these barriers are reasonable. They limit the number of engineers possessing well-developed Postgres query optimization skills. However, there is a specific artificial barrier that is rather influential and which is relatively easy to eliminate.

Here it is: the EXPLAIN command has the BUFFERS option disabled by default. I am sure it has to be enabled and used by everyone who needs to do some SQL optimization work.

· One min read

If you love and use psql (like I do), you're equipped with a lot of power. However, when you want to visualize execution plans — using such services as good old explain.depesz.com or modern explain.dalibo.com — you need to deal with inconvenient copy-pasting.

To solve this problem, my colleague Artyom Kartasov has developed a small utility called plan-exporter. It allows sending EXPLAIN data with minimal efforts:

· 6 min read

Joe's new command hypo to further boost development processes#

Building indexes for large tables may take a long time. The new release of Joe bot includes the ability to get a sneak peek of the SQL query plan, using hypothetical indexes, before proceeding to actually building large indexes.

A hypothetical index is an index that doesn't exist on disk. Therefore it doesn't cost IO, CPU, or any resource to create. It means that such indexes are created almost instantly.

With the brand new command, hypo, you can create hypothetical indexes with Joe and ensure that PostgreSQL would use them. Once it's done, you can use exec to build the actual indexes (in some cases, you'll need to wait some hours for this) and see the actual plan in action.

Note, since the command works on top of the HypoPG extension, your Database Lab image has to use a Docker image for Postgres that contains HypoPG, because this extension is not a part of the core PostgreSQL distribution. For convenience, we have prepared images with HypoPG (and some other extensions) included, for Postgres versions 9.6, 10, 11, and 12. Of course, you can always use your custom image.

To be able to see the plan without actual execution, we have added one more new command: plan. It is aware of hypothetical indexes, so if one is detected in the plan, it presents two versions of the plan, with and without HypoPG involved.

· 2 min read

Meet Joe#

Update: this post reached the HN top, see the discussion of Joe bot at Hacker News!

Joe is a Postgres query optimization assistant. Joe allows to boost the development process:

  • eliminating annoying waiting time needed to provision copies of large databases for development and testing purposes,
  • helping engineers understand details of SQL query performance.

Joe works on top of Database Lab. Every time when an engineer starts communicating with Joe, a new full-size copy of the database is provisioned.

This process is fully automated and takes only a few seconds, even for multi-terabyte databases. Such database copies are called "thin clones" because multiple clones share the same data blocks, so provisioning is super fast, and disk space consumption is very low. The clones are fully independent, so developers can modify databases. Finally, SQL execution plans are identical to production, which makes it possible to troubleshoot and optimize queries reliably without involving production databases.

Currently, Joe is provided only in the form of Slack chatbot. Slack was chosen to improve the level of collaboration of developers and DBAs. Alternative commucation ways (including beloved psql) are planned for future versions.

More about Joe features you can find in "What Is Joe Bot?".

Demo#

Joe demo