REVIEWER: Sema Dogan, DBA for Koc Allianz.

BACKGROUND: Koc Allianz headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey, with 4,300 users and offices countrywide, is one of the leaders in insurance. Our database users consist of internal users such as company employees from headquarters and territories, doctors in health institutes and pharmacies, and external users such as agencies. Some of them are connecting via lease-line, some of them via dial-up and others via the Internet. Two insurance companies of Koc Allianz group are separated into elementary and life categories. Elementary policies' risk subjects are based on industrial and personal accident, transport, engineering, full house and agriculture. Life policies' risk subjects are based on group and personal life, health, retirement and growing child.

PLATFORMS: Sun Solaris System, Oracle8i and Windows NT 4.0.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Koc Allianz is a large company with many customers. Because of this, it has two very big databases. Occasionally, performance problems must be solved as soon as possible. We needed a tool that would give a good analysis report by finding the bottlenecks in a few seconds. While tuning, fixing the cause of the problem is very important for us. With itrprof SQL Analyzer, we could obtain a good performance report showing the bad statements in a few seconds and giving tuning advice as well. itrprof SQL Analyzer is very useful for the DBA team of Koc Allianz. Now we are not wasting our time to find the bottlenecks; itrprof SQL Analyzer finds them for us.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We use itprof SQL Analyzer as an application and database tuning tool.

STRENGTHS: itrprof has many strengths, including its Web- based functionality and its ability to reduce costs. We don't have to waste our time on installation and configuration because the latest version is always installed on the vendor's site. We are able to connect and get services 24x7. Additionally, we don't have to pay thousands of dollars for a tuning product ­ itrprof SQL Analyzer can do tuning and consultancy for us at low costs. Additionally, because SQL statistics are cumulative in Oracle's dictionary views (V$SQL, V$SQLAREA, etc.), we are unable to find accurate statistics for individual statements. Because each statement includes its child (recursive) statistics too, this makes parent statistics distorted. However, itrprof SQL Analyzer reports both cumulative and exclusive statistics. Through this feature, itrprof SQL Analyzer returns more accurate statistics of the statements. The product is based on response time performance modeling, which means that itrprof SQL Analyzer uses the best performance modeling in performance problems. itrprof SQL Analyzer analyzes our SQLs as if one of the best consultants is working for us. Finally, itrprof SQL Analyzer can analyze the best source for Oracle tuning ­ Event 10046 trace files.

WEAKNESSES: I saw two weaknesses in this product. We use some tables including raw data types. Bind values on these data types are not available in the analysis reports because these bind values are not properly available in Oracle trace files. This product doesn't report Oracle's idle (ignorable) wait events because they don't have impact on the performance. However, even if these wait events don't have an impact on performance, it would be better to see them.

SELECTION CRITERIA: I first heard of itrprof SQL Analyzer from our Oracle vendor, and they recommended it to us. This tool is inexpensive when you compare with other products available in the marketplace today. We are using this product as if it's our consultant.

DELIVERABLES: itrprof SQL Analyzer gives detailed analysis reports for the bad statements we give in trace.

VENDOR SUPPORT: There is no product installation as the product is Web-based. We access the product home page at www.ubTools.com/products/itrprof/itrprof.html and then upload our trace files. The analysis reports is automatically displayed on our monitor in a just few seconds. If we wish, analysis reports can be automatically e-mailed to the vendor's support team.

DOCUMENTATION: Although the product documentation is available on the ubTools Web site, we haven't needed to read it in detail because this product is easy to use. We don't see the complex things implemented behind the scenes.

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