Release Announcements

Workbench 9.0

Oracle trace files give you incredibly rich, high-resolution performance information, but tracing creates so… much… data. You can’t possibly manage it all without great tools. Method R Workbench 9 makes working with trace data quick and easy, even if you’re staring down thousands of trace files.

Workbench 9—a whole new way to see Oracle performance
Workbench Release Notes


  • 8119: Fixed a Check for Updates… bug that prevented Windows users from upgrading Workbench to Workbench The workaround is to download Workbench 9 from the Method R downloads page.
  • 8071: Rearranged the mrskew manual page to make the packaged .rc files section easier to find.
  • 8067: Fixed a bug causing the Workbench application not to check for updates upon startup in cases when it should.
  • 8066: The Workbench application for Microsoft Windows now resists accidental concurrent instantiations of the same version.
  • 8063: New mr1011 utility converts Oracle Database version 10.2 trace files into version 11.1 format, which enables Method R Workbench to process 10gR2 trace files.
  • 8060: mrprof now processes all data in a multi-session trace file; the –ignore-multiple-sessions and –ignore-multiple-sessions-file options have been eliminated.
  • 8059: New column names and tool tips in the files pane make it easier to understand your data.
  • 8054: Added new mrwhen reports to the actions pane.
  • 8053: mrprof now writes output printed by the –trace option to a file called *.trace.
  • 8046: Fixed a bug causing Workbench not to open the output HTML file when using the mrprof –trace option.
  • 8044: Major advisory text improvements throughout the Method R Profile report.
  • 8041: Fixed a bug that caused the Workbench application to make too many check-for-updates calls.
  • 8038: Added “RTs” column, which shows the file’s network round-trip count.
  • 8025: Workbench on macOS now automatically detects both JRE 8 and JDK 8.
  • 8021: Workbench now writes the Java home directory and version number information into the application log file.
  • 8016: Optimized mrprof memory allocation for cases in which the input trace file has many thousands of distinct SQL texts.
  • 8013: Fixed a bug where mrprof would fail to record why it could not load an extremely large XML file.
  • 8000: Workbench now uses parallel execution to load trace files into the files panel. This reduces file load response times on multi-core systems. The degree of parallelism is configurable in Preferences › Profiler › Workbench Parameters › Use this many parallel profilers.
  • 7995: Renamed “Report Parameters” dialog to “Action Parameters”.
  • 7994: Field labels in the “Action Parameters” dialog now use sentence case.
  • 7992: Made cosmetic improvements to the “Action Parameters” dialog.
  • 7990: Eliminated the “Details by file” action, which has been replaced by the faster and higher-precision “Copy selected file rows to output” button.
  • 7988: Alphabetized the action name list in the application’s actions pane.
  • 7987: The “Action Parameters” dialog now has field hints to help with more complicated input formats.
  • 7985: Created new manual page for mrworkbench, which includes JRE troubleshooting advice.
  • 7983: “Action Parameters” dialog now remembers the most recent value you’ve used for each parameter during a given invocation of Method R Workbench.
  • 7974: Removed the unimplemented –compression-formats option from the mrprof man page.
  • 7969: Fixed a bug that can cause mrprof to re-profile input files more often than necessary.
  • 7954: mrprof now makes it easier to see hierarchical relationships in Profile by Cursor and Execution Plan sections, by using numbers instead of dots to denote hierarchy levels.
  • 7952: Fixed a bug that would cause mrprof to print all the execution plans for a given statement in each section 4.*.5.*, instead of just one plan per section.
  • 7946: Removed “can’t evaluate” message explanation from the Exit Status section of the mrskew man page. This message no longer applies to the newly rewritten mrskew utility.
  • 7938: Changed mrprof –ofile %s specifier to %b (because it represents the file base name), which is consistent with the syntax of the new mrcrop utility.
  • 7934: Fixed a bug that in which mrprof could die instead of issuing a warning.
  • 7932: New Preferences › Profiler › Workbench Parameters › “Auto-open HTML when loading one or two files” option replaces the old and less useful “Open up to this many HTML files per load” option.
  • 7908: References to undefined variables formerly caused mrskew to emit an error and die. Now, the value of an undefined variable reference is the empty string, and mrskew will not throw an error.
  • 7906: Advisory text now contains hyperlinks directly to Method R Workbench utilities manual pages and the Mastering Oracle Trace Data book.
  • 7902: Fixed an HTML validation error.
  • 7901: Added execution count to the Profile by Cursor section.
  • 7899: Added execution count to the Profile by Caller sections.
  • 7898: Added execution count to the Profile by Statement sections.
  • 7892: mrtimfix is now obsolete and no longer shipped. mrtimfix was useful only for systems prior to Oracle Database 11.1 (which we no longer support), and 11.1 systems suffering from Oracle bug 7522002 (which was patched long ago).
  • 7891: mrtim is now obsolete and no longer shipped. It is replaced with the much more useful mrwhen.
  • 7886: A new horizontal scroll bar makes it easier to use all the new columns in the application’s files pane.
  • 7883: Documented how mrskew uses the PERL5LIB environment variable.
  • 7870: Renamed mrskew –glabel and –slabel options to –group-label and –select-label.
  • 7860: New mrskew $base_name and $dir_name variables make it faster and easier to reference parts of a file name.
  • 7851: Created a manual page for mrprofk.
  • 7838: Improved the advisory text in the Profile report for synthetic calls, and improved Synthetic Calls documentation in the mrprof manual page.
  • 7833: Eliminated the –eula option. Users can find the license agreement information in each utility’s manual page.
  • 7828: Standardized the processing of options used by every utility. Now, –help, –license, –man, and –version all behave consistently, and command line errors are processed consistently across utilities.
  • 7813: Fixed a bug that would spin the application’s “Processing” busy indicator forever when a command line option’s quotes don’t match.
  • 7803: Removed mrskew –timunit, –cpuunit, and –trcunit options and the $cpuunit and $timunit variables.
  • 7801: Documented the mrskew %calls ($calls{key}) variable.
  • 7800: mrskew is now more 10–20× faster than before.
  • 7799: Consolidated and simplified error reporting for .rc file names not found.
  • 7798: Deprecated mrskew –rc=mrnl.rc. To see when calls begin and end, use the new mrwhen utility.
  • 7796: Changed the XML schema for reports.xml so that now label is an attribute of the diagnostic element (instead of a child element).
  • 7788: Method R Workbench now uses LaTeX to render more beautiful PDF manual pages.
  • 7784: Moved mrls START-TIM and END-TIM columns to a more logical place in the output.
  • 7782: mrls –debug option now writes debugging information to stderr.
  • 7781: Renamed mrls TIM0 and TIM1 columns to START-TIM and END-TIM.
  • 7780: New mrls –tags-dbfile option allows you to specify which SQLite database to use for retrieval of TAGS information.
  • 7777: New mrls –include=:all and –exclude=:all options obviate the old –none and –details options.
  • 7775: Added new mrls STATUS column values.
  • 7774: Replaced the old mrls options like –cpu and –nocpu for including and excluding columns with new –include and –exclude options.
  • 7772: The mrls –sort option now takes a column heading (e.g., DURATION, SIZE, VERSION, etc.) as its argument.
  • 7763: mrls now dies if you use –sort on a field and then exclude that field from the output.
  • 7762: mrls is now more than 20× faster than before.
  • 7759: Deprecated the mrls –scanmax option; to request full-precision output, use –include=DEP or any of the other columns that force mrls to read the entire input file.
  • 7755: Reduced the size of the distribution by storing the sqlite3 load library in the distribution’s file system instead of the sqlite jar file.
  • 7752: Made significant, sweeping changes to mrls column display interface and manual page.
  • 7746: mrls now displays “?” instead of negative number for unknown recursive depth values.
  • 7739: mrls no longer uses a complicated algorithm based on the file’s modification time to try to guess the START value for a file. Now it simply warns when there is no timestamp in the input trace file.
  • 7737: Removed under-utilized mrls options: –trcunit –timunit –cpuunit –precision –human –dformat –tformat –units
  • 7722: Now you can use mrls -r as an alias for mrls –reverse.
  • 7719: Documented in mrprof man page that mrprof works only with extended SQL trace files generated by Oracle Database 11.1 and newer.
  • 7718: Fixed a bug that would cause a mrprof command line execution to fail if the Method R Workbench application had not yet been opened since the most recent installation or upgrade.
  • 7695: Fixed a bug where starting the app might result in the window not being visible.
  • 7692: Fixed a bug that could cause a file to have duplicate rows in the files pane.
  • 7688: Fixed a mrprof bug that could cause a statement to be identified as “MRPROF-ERROR-0004” in the Profile by Cursor section.
  • 7683: New, simpler application “Show Details” button image.
  • 7678: Method R Workbench 9 is certified to run on macOS 10.15 Catalina.
  • 7674: New –recursive (-R) option gives you control over whether mrprof plunges into the directories it finds.
  • 7654: New application sortable ID column lets you sort files in the order they will be processed by the automatic profiler.
  • 7653: Fixed a bug that could cause the “Copy selected file rows to output” button not to write information into the output pane.
  • 7648: Changed status bar labeling from “filtered” to “hidden” on files pane and actions pane.
  • 7635: mrskew now reports the list of files that matched the –where criteria.
  • 7630: Fixed a bug that caused mrskew to calculate $ssqlid incorrectly when a “***” datestamp line appears within a PARSING IN CURSOR section.
  • 7629: Application now shows “All files are hidden” instead of “Drag trace files here or load sample files” when files are loaded but hidden.
  • 7626: Fixed a bug causing mrprof to emit unnecessary text to stderr when using –nohtml.
  • 7624: Fixed a bug that could cause mrskew and mrprof to report incorrect shared SQL ID values.
  • 7621: New File › Export… and Import… functions make it easy to transport files from one Method R Workbench user to another.
  • 7607: New mrwhen command shows what time a trace file line or a specified tim value maps to for a given input file.
  • 7599: mrprof now reports the total call count in the Profile by Statement sections.
  • 7594: Workbench now remembers your selected sort order when you restart it.
  • 7592: Added a new “Duration by database block address (DBA) for /db.*read/ calls” action.
  • 7589: Added several new mrcrop commands to the predefined actions pane.
  • 7588: Enhanced “Reload selected files” tool tip to note that you can shift-click to perform a force-reload.
  • 7587: Fixed a bug that could cause the Workbench application not to automatically re-profile an input file that had been profiled by an older mrprof version.
  • 7561: Fixed a bug causing mrprof to sometimes not open the HTML file it creates when using XML input.
  • 7559: mrprof now recognizes -? as a synonym for –help.
  • 7551: mrprof now preserves the existing formatting for multi-line SQL and PL/SQL text.
  • 7544: Execution plan tables now include the row source start count.
  • 7528: mrprof now exposes the str (number of starts) statistics for row source operations.
  • 7525: Fixed a bug causing advisory text to render “·” when it should render “0.0%”.
  • 7523: mrprof new recognizes the LOBARRTMPFRE database call.
  • 7517: Removed mrcallrm from the distribution, because the new mrcrop utility accomplishes the goals of mrcallrm and more.
  • 7485: New pause/play button gives user control over whether mrprof runs during file load operations.
  • 7471: Eliminated the requirement to set the environment variable called MRWORKBENCH_INSTALL.
  • 7459: Method R Workbench can now be pinned to the Microsoft Windows taskbar.
  • 7402: Refined the mrprof clock drift detection algorithm.
  • 7302: Pressing the “Copy output” button when the output pane is empty no longer clobbers the clipboard.
  • 6257: New mrcrop tool crops user experience data out of an undesirably too-large trace file, or splits user experience data into separate standalone trace files.
  • 3993: Corrected highlighting of literal values in long SQL text.

No more Sherlock

…And under one minute I was looking directly at the problem. No more guesswork. No more Sherlock with the magnifier goofing around. And the time spend in search of the problem can easily be used to find a better solution.

Eduard Turea · Frostbyte Consulting · Calgary, Alberta CA
Oracle Monographs Papers

Death to the Health Check… Long Live the Health Check

Better Testing, Better Risk Reduction

I have a long history with conventional database system “health checks.” I don’t like them. I haven’t liked them for a really long time, since about 1997, when I realized that conventional health checks are an inferior way to help customers. There is a better way.

This is article number four in the Method R Oracle® Performance Monograph series. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


0% crap and 100% insight

I managed big time Oracle databases and applications for many years. Method R was the only thing I encountered that was 0% crap and 100% insight. With minimal effort this Method R Workbench tells it like it is. Give it a try! (via LinkedIn)

Richard Russell · former 7-Eleven Enterprise Architect · Irving, Texas
Oracle Monographs Papers

Better Testing, Better Risk Reduction

Better Testing, Better Risk Reduction

When your tests don’t measure your system the way your users will perceive it, you can be headed for big trouble. When you test, you should measure how your application is going to feel to your users. These measurements give you confidence both in the programs you’ve tested, and in the diagnostic process you’ll use later in production.

This is article number three in the Method R Oracle® Performance Monograph series. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


Uncanny tendency to make me look like I know what I’m doing


Fantastic value

Release Announcements

Trace 19.2

Method R Trace 19.2 is ready for Oracle SQL Developer 19.2. It adds undo to the Clear button, eliminates the confusion over license key entry, and fixes a pesky bug that prevented you from seeing Oracle session attributes in your trace files.

Trace Release Notes


  • 7663: Changed the Help › About › Extensions list name of the product to “Method R Trace”, without the “for SQL Developer” part.
  • 7661: Removed the About Oracle SQL Developer › Method R Trace tab (the existence of which, confusingly, varied by context).
  • 7660: Changed the documentation at to instruct people to use the new Preferences › Method R Trace › License dialog for license key entry.
  • 7659: Removed the need for the METHODR user to have EXECUTE privilege upon DBMS_UTILITY.
  • 7657: Modified the installation script to GRANT the CREATE SESSION privilege to the METHODR user.
  • 7656: Created a new Preferences › Method R Trace › License page.
  • 7560: Fixed a bug that causes Oracle session attributes to be missing in all but the first trace file generated during a given SQL Developer connection.
  • 7138: Now you can undo the action performed by the Clear button.
  • 7137: Clear button now clears only selected rows.
  • 4362: Added count of selected files to the bottom of the Trace File Downloads pane.