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Travels with Mark: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the UniVerse - Part 1

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Profiling the UniVerse

Measure twice; code once

Level: Intermediate

Mark Baldridge (, Principal Consultant, Rocket Software

UniVerse® DBA and developers need a tool to help understand how the decisions about database operations and constructs affect performance. This tutorial introduces the UniVerse Profiler for constructing, running, and reporting tests which investigate the performance impact of different program options and system tuning decisions. Future articles will provide examples using the Profiler so you can see the impact on your own system.

Before you start

This tutorial introduces you to the UniVerse Profiler. The Profiler comes as an unmodified Ideal flavor account, which uses a mixture of Information, Pick, and Reality style syntaxes for different commands and code. You can use any flavor of account, adjusting code for the appropriate syntaxes, or by adding VOC entries to provide syntax compatible commands such as CREATE.FILE. Tests that examine the difference in performance of flavor-specific behavior control that behavior with $OPTIONS compiler directives.

Code examples use mixed case, or camel-back, variable names, with an initial capital letter. Language constructs and keywords use lower case. The LOGIN paragraph turns off case inversion. The program, Keywords, in the BP file, copies all of the keywords and the VOC file pointer to their lower-case counterparts if you want to set up your own account.

About this series

The subject matter of this series of articles and tutorials on UniVerse Performance Tuning arise from visits to customer sites. The issues raised do not disparage the customer, but reflect a real-world predicament. The typical developer or DBA has so many ongoing tasks that by the time one task is complete, at least one more has joined those remaining. And all of these tasks demand attention. Sufficient time exists to make something work, but typically not enough to make it work well.

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About this tutorial

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the CIO came to you and demanded you make a routine run 30 percent faster? How would you measure it? How would you measure a new algorithm for doing the same thing?

This is the inaugural tutorial of a series of articles and tutorials on performance tuning a UniVerse database. This tutorial introduces a tool for investigating the performance impact of operations in the UniVerse database environment. We examine the capabilities of the Profiler and build some introductory tests that exercise those capabilities.

You can skip the section for Time Resolution if the statistics become too difficult. They provide the background for the test measurement structures, but are not required for developing and understanding the testing.

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This tutorial requires an installation of UniVerse. You can download a free Personal Edition of UniVerse from the Rocket U2 website here. You should have a familiarity with writing and compiling UniVerse BASIC programs.


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