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What is Method R?

Method R is a commonsense method for optimizing a system. It is the straightforward process of answering the four natural questions about performance: How long? Why? What if? and What else?

To answer these questions, Method R prescribes four steps:

  1. Identify the experience that’s the most important to you.
  2. Measure its response time (that’s the ‘R’ in “Method R”). In detail.
  3. Optimize that response time in the most economically efficient way.
  4. Repeat until your system is economically optimal.
The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data

Method R was first documented in the book Optimizing Oracle Performance, for which Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt were named Oracle Magazine 2004 Authors of the Year. An updated and more detailed book is available in Cary Millsap’s Mastering Oracle Trace Data.

Method R has been used with tremendous success at Oracle sites since the mid-1990s. Although Method R was first documented in an Oracle context, its usefulness extends far beyond Oracle. In fact, the definition of Method R does not refer specifically to Oracle, databases, or even computers.

By Cary Millsap

Owner and president of Method R Corporation.

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