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How to tune WHERE NAME LIKE ‘ABC’

Article by Rampant author Laurent Schneider

More than once customers wanted me to tune queries where the LIKE clause made the query very slow…

The easy answer is : you cannot. If you want to search for some characters in the middle of the string, Oracle will not use an index.

Is it a correct answer? Maybe not.

Let’s imagine my application allow you to search for a string in the middle of the name, but to avoid scanning too large amount of data, the application enforces the string to be at least 3 characters long. For example ABC.

In this case, instead of doing a full table scan of the table to retrieve only a few rows, we can use an hint to tell Oracle to use an index on the name:

CREATE TABLE lsc_t AS
SELECT
  ROWNUM ID,
  SUBSTR(DBMS_RANDOM.STRING ('n', DBMS_RANDOM.VALUE (2, 8))
    || ' '
    || DBMS_RANDOM.STRING ('n', DBMS_RANDOM.VALUE (2, 8))
    ,1,17) NAME,
  TRUNC(SYSDATE-ABS(10000*DBMS_RANDOM.NORMAL)) birthdate,
  LPAD('X',4000,'X') address
FROM DUAL
CONNECT BY LEVEL <= 1e5; 

ALTER TABLE lsc_t ADD PRIMARY KEY(ID); 

CREATE INDEX lsc_i ON lsc_t(NAME); 

EXEC dbms_stats.gather_table_stats(user,'LSC_T',cascade=>true)

let’s measure the time for a full table scan

SQL> set timi on
SQL> SELECT ID, NAME, birthdate
  FROM lsc_t WHERE NAME LIKE '%ABC%'; 

       ID NAME              BIRTHDATE
--------- ----------------- ---------
    60249 ABCBIFAB KRKBCRN  11-MAR-90
    16714 AF YABCG          09-OCT-95
    55571 BABCIQ GESGLW     27-MAR-50
    77561 BP GABC           24-APR-90
    80027 DALSABC TZLOAWDV  05-NOV-01
    49817 EABCTFIY XWB      10-FEB-88
    23283 EMMOGGBF DABCB    20-DEC-87
    39530 FMABCKB AB        18-SEP-87
    68605 FTPGOHE ABCC      28-SEP-28
    74615 KIFDWABC CSSUQ    08-AUG-82
    31772 KNOABCT BO        08-SEP-77
    68730 KRYIEN LMABC      10-APR-07
    43317 LUFJKZJT AUABCZR  19-DEC-88
    76851 MZABC TEIFG       14-SEP-92
    54589 NXE YABCDX        03-MAY-88
     6940 OIWABCZ DLFFXY    29-MAR-88
    59070 ONIB ADGABCI      29-JUL-07
    27264 PGHOABC ZY        05-OCT-90
    38157 QABC OPZHE        13-JUN-87
    17511 QPDKD CIABCJ      08-AUG-69
    25507 RX OWULOABC       24-FEB-92
    62159 SEABC DAILK       25-JUN-02
     3845 SK CCABCG         22-JAN-80
    50059 SPABC BVHRHW      18-MAR-86
    54700 UABCPC WUHAJS     28-OCT-71
    70207 UKY OIDUABC       23-APR-88
    39484 WABC TJLYHVJZ     14-MAR-78
    14561 WDRWABC XZKDH     29-MAR-86
    61501 YBYU RYABCGI      28-JUN-78
    30578 YEWENGX ABCHARA   12-SEP-67
    35397 YHBEABC HFKO      25-AUG-85
    26450 YOABCVG HJT       23-DEC-98
    87224 ZKNLNY YAABC      13-NOV-61 

33 rows selected. 

Elapsed: 00:00:02.56

about 3 seconds for retrieving 33 rows out of 100000

let’s try with an index

SQL> SELECT /*+INDEX(LSC_T,LSC_I)*/  ID, NAME, birthdate
  FROM lsc_t WHERE NAME LIKE '%ABC%'; 

       ID NAME              BIRTHDATE
--------- ----------------- ---------
    60249 ABCBIFAB KRKBCRN  11-MAR-90
    16714 AF YABCG          09-OCT-95
    55571 BABCIQ GESGLW     27-MAR-50
    77561 BP GABC           24-APR-90
    80027 DALSABC TZLOAWDV  05-NOV-01
    49817 EABCTFIY XWB      10-FEB-88
    23283 EMMOGGBF DABCB    20-DEC-87
    39530 FMABCKB AB        18-SEP-87
    68605 FTPGOHE ABCC      28-SEP-28
    74615 KIFDWABC CSSUQ    08-AUG-82
    31772 KNOABCT BO        08-SEP-77
    68730 KRYIEN LMABC      10-APR-07
    43317 LUFJKZJT AUABCZR  19-DEC-88
    76851 MZABC TEIFG       14-SEP-92
    54589 NXE YABCDX        03-MAY-88
     6940 OIWABCZ DLFFXY    29-MAR-88
    59070 ONIB ADGABCI      29-JUL-07
    27264 PGHOABC ZY        05-OCT-90
    38157 QABC OPZHE        13-JUN-87
    17511 QPDKD CIABCJ      08-AUG-69
    25507 RX OWULOABC       24-FEB-92
    62159 SEABC DAILK       25-JUN-02
     3845 SK CCABCG         22-JAN-80
    50059 SPABC BVHRHW      18-MAR-86
    54700 UABCPC WUHAJS     28-OCT-71
    70207 UKY OIDUABC       23-APR-88
    39484 WABC TJLYHVJZ     14-MAR-78
    14561 WDRWABC XZKDH     29-MAR-86
    61501 YBYU RYABCGI      28-JUN-78
    30578 YEWENGX ABCHARA   12-SEP-67
    35397 YHBEABC HFKO      25-AUG-85
    26450 YOABCVG HJT       23-DEC-98
    87224 ZKNLNY YAABC      13-NOV-61

33 rows selected.

Elapsed: 00:00:00.06

Much better.

 

 

   

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