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Re: Prepared statements considered harmful

From: mark(at)mark(dot)mielke(dot)cc
To: Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>
Cc: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: Prepared statements considered harmful
Date: 2006-08-31 15:18:14
Message-ID: 20060831151814.GA9491@mark.mielke.cc (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 01:56:29PM +0200, Peter Eisentraut wrote:
> With time, it becomes ever clearer to me that prepared SQL
> statements are just a really bad idea.  On some days, it seems like
> half the performance problems in PostgreSQL-using systems are
> because a bad plan was cached somewhere.  I'd say, in the majority
> of cases the time you save parsing and planning is irrelevant
> compared to the possibly disastrous effects of wrong or suboptimal
> plans.  I wonder if other people have similar experiences.
> ...
> Comments?

Hello.

I'm attempting to understand why prepared statements would be used for
long enough for tables to change to a point that a given plan will
change from 'optimal' to 'disastrous'.

Wouldn't this require that the tables are completely re-written, or
that their data is drastically updated? For my own tables, most of the
data remains static for months on end. Data is accumulated. Small
changes are made. I don't see why a prepared statement used over a
24 hour period would ever become disastrous.

This suggests to me that you are doing either:

   1) Maintaining prepared statements for weeks or months at a time.

   2) Churning your tables up into a froth.

I'm guessing, as you mentioned JDBC, that you might be hitting 1), in
the context of JDBC being used from a Web Application, where the
application server holds a connection open for weeks or months at a
time. If so, it does sound as if JDBC is doing wrong by keeping
prepared queries around for that long. A time limit of an hour, or
even a few minutes would make sense.

My experience does not match yours. Prepared queries have always
significantly improved my execution times. They do have a place.
Whatever the scenarios you are hitting should be dealt with, possibly
in JDBC.

Cheers,
mark

-- 
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Subject: Re: Prepared statements considered harmful
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