Dynamic temporary tablespace switching bug/feature.

Up to last day I was absolutely sure that in Oracle terms USER and SCHEMA actually synonyms. The schema does not have attributes and exists just like container for user objects. I was doing some R&D about allocating different TEMPORARY Tablespaces to different users in a system when discover that the same user use different tablespaces in different sessions, without any configuration changes.

I have two temporary tablespaces TEMP and TESTTEMP. Tablespace TEMP is default and associated to all users except TEST.

SELECT USERNAME,TEMPORARY_TABLESPACE FROM DBA_USERS WHERE USERNAME='TEST';
USERNAME TEMPORARY_TABLESPACE
TEST TESTTEMP

We have table TESTTABLE with 100000 rows. And I create spacial sql with massive sort operation.

SELECT * FROM TEST.TESTTABLE a FULL OUTER JOIN TEST.TESTTABLE b on 
a.COL1=b.COL2 FULL OUTER JOIN TEST.TESTTABLE c on b.COL1=c.COL1 ORDER BY 
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9;

By default the query use expected TESTTEMP tablespaces

SELECT S.sid, S.username, SUM (T.blocks) * 8192 / 1024 / 1024 mb_used, T.tablespace
FROM gv$sort_usage T, gv$session S
WHERE T.session_addr = S.saddr AND t.inst_id=S.inst_id
GROUP BY S.sid, S.username, T.tablespace
ORDER BY sid;
SID USERNAME MB_USED TABLESPACE
23 TEST 408 TESTTEMP

But when I change the CURRENT_SCHEMA in a session (ALTER SESSION SET CURRENT_SCHEMA=SYSTEM;) I got different results

SID USERNAME MB_USED TABLESPACE
23 TEST 487 TEMP

The same query using the same objects from the same session without changing user configuration use different Temporary Tablespaces. I believe this feature can be very helpful for fine grand sort operation development.

Couple bonus remarks:
a) Calling SQL from PL/SQL objects created with definer rights works like switching to the object owner schema.
b) Using synonyms does not switch temporary tablespace to the tablespace of the referencing objects.

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2 thoughts on “Dynamic temporary tablespace switching bug/feature.

    • Hi Richard,
      The conclusion is that in reality term SCHEMA linked to two entites:
      SCHEMA – container of USER objects
      or
      SCHEMA – session attribute that point to SOME (not all) environment features inherited from USER (Owner of the objects)

      Hope it have sense

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