Mastering Oracle Trace Data Online Course

Mastering Oracle Trace Data is a pre-recorded online course delivered through the Thinkific educational platform. The course is taught by Cary Millsap, author of the course textbook, The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data.

“This course is the most valuable performance-related course I’ve ever had. The wealth of data in the trace files is hugely valuable and daunting at the same time. With the Method R set of tools, the trace files make sense now. They make it possible, sometimes just within minutes, to get to the very root cause of a performance problem, pretty much eliminating all the trial-error-guess work.”

Sergey Demin · Atlanta, Georgia

Objective:Understand how your Oracle-based applications spend your users’ time
Topics:Detailed curriculum at Thinkific
Software:Includes 30-day Method R Workbench and Method R Trace license
Textbook:The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data
Format:Pre-recorded, online, self-paced
Duration:~14 hours (13:49:51)
Instructor:Cary Millsap and guests
Venue:Online at Thinkific


Oracle trace files explain in detail where your programs spend your time. With the right understanding and tools, they help you answer questions that you won’t answer any other way:

  • How long? How long does your program take to execute?
  • Why? Why does it run for so long? How much time should it take? Is it efficient? Does it waste resources?
  • What if? What would happen to that duration as a consequence of each of the various changes you might consider for the system?
  • What else? Is there anything else you could do to make this program spend less time?

Whether you’ve bought your software or built it yourself, trace files help you make better informed decisions about performance. They help Oracle developers, DBAs, and decision makers in every phase of the software life cycle.


The course covers:

  • Motives for looking at performance a new way
  • Fundamentals of computer system performance
  • Collecting trace data in different architectures
  • Understanding trace files and what they measure
  • Oracle timed events and their meanings
  • Using Method R Workbench software
  • Using Oracle trace data to diagnose and solve problems
  • Using trace data to predict performance changes

You can see the detailed curriculum at Thinkific.


In class, you will learn how to use the Method R Workbench software package. Method R Workbench is easy-to-use, high-precision time measurement software for software development, code reviews, performance tests, concept proofs, hardware and software evaluations, upgrades, troubleshooting, and more.


The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data by Cary Millsap is a comprehensively detailed, full-color, 293-page textbook that serves as a valuable reference long after you complete the course. An electronic copy of the book is distributed as a part of the Method R Workbench software—just click the button that looks like the book cover. Printed copies are available at Amazon.

Format and Duration

This pre-recorded course is hosted online at the Thinkific educational platform. It includes nearly 14 hours of detailed material that you can watch at your own pace.


Cary Millsap has been an Oracle performance specialist since 1990. He is an Oracle ACE Director, an Oak Table Network founder, and former Vice President at Oracle Corporation. He is the author of Optimizing Oracle Performance, for which he and coauthor Jeff Holt were named Oracle Magazine’s 2004 Authors of the Year, The Method R Guide to Mastering Oracle Trace Data, and Faster: How to Optimize a System. He and instructional guest Jeff Holt designed and developed the software that you’ll see in class.


To make the most of this course, a student should have SQL*Plus, SQLcl, or Oracle SQL Developer access to an Oracle Database.

Office Hours (Extra Fee)

Our most successful students are the ones who use the tools and techniques from the course to solve real problems immediately after completing the course. Not all students take the time or have the commitment to do this.

You can ensure that your students put their classroom experience to work right away by booking additional time with an instructor. We offer 60- to 90-minute coaching calls via Zoom for an additional fee, starting at $200 per student. These sessions give students extra time to accelerate their learning curve with supervised practice.


Click here for Cary Millsap’s story of how this course came to be.