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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for analyze (redhat section 7)

ANALYZE(7)				   SQL Commands 			       ANALYZE(7)

       ANALYZE - collect statistics about a database

       ANALYZE [ VERBOSE ] [ table [ (column [, ...] ) ] ]

	      Enables display of progress messages.

       table  The  name  (possibly  schema-qualified) of a specific table to analyze. Defaults to
	      all tables in the current database.

       column The name of a specific column to analyze. Defaults to all columns.

	      The command is complete.

       ANALYZE collects statistics about the  contents	of  PostgreSQL	tables,  and  stores  the
       results in the system table pg_statistic. Subsequently, the query planner uses the statis-
       tics to help determine the most efficient execution plans for queries.

       With no parameter, ANALYZE examines every table in the current database. With a parameter,
       ANALYZE	examines  only that table. It is further possible to give a list of column names,
       in which case only the statistics for those columns are updated.

       It is a good idea to run ANALYZE periodically, or just after making major changes  in  the
       contents  of  a table. Accurate statistics will help the planner to choose the most appro-
       priate query plan, and thereby improve the speed of query processing. A common strategy is
       to run VACUUM [vacuum(7)] and ANALYZE once a day during a low-usage time of day.

       Unlike  VACUUM  FULL, ANALYZE requires only a read lock on the target table, so it can run
       in parallel with other activity on the table.

       For large tables, ANALYZE takes a random sample of the table contents, rather than examin-
       ing  every  row.  This  allows  even very large tables to be analyzed in a small amount of
       time. Note however that the statistics are only approximate, and will change slightly each
       time  ANALYZE is run, even if the actual table contents did not change. This may result in
       small changes in the planner's estimated costs shown by EXPLAIN.

       The collected statistics usually include a list of some of the most common values in  each
       column  and  a  histogram showing the approximate data distribution in each column. One or
       both of these may be omitted if ANALYZE	deems  them  uninteresting  (for  example,  in	a
       unique-key column, there are no common values) or if the column data type does not support
       the appropriate operators. There is more information about the statistics  in  the  User's

       The extent of analysis can be controlled by adjusting the default_statistics_target param-
       eter variable, or on a column-by-column basis by setting the per-column statistics  target
       with  ALTER TABLE ALTER COLUMN SET STATISTICS (see ALTER TABLE [alter_table(7)]). The tar-
       get value sets the maximum number of entries in the most-common-value list and the maximum
       number  of bins in the histogram. The default target value is 10, but this can be adjusted
       up or down to trade off accuracy of planner estimates against the time taken  for  ANALYZE
       and  the  amount of space occupied in pg_statistic.  In particular, setting the statistics
       target to zero disables collection of statistics for that column. It may be useful  to  do
       that  for  columns that are never used as part of the WHERE, GROUP BY, or ORDER BY clauses
       of queries, since the planner will have no use for statistics on such columns.

       The largest statistics target among the columns being analyzed determines  the  number  of
       table  rows sampled to prepare the statistics. Increasing the target causes a proportional
       increase in the time and space needed to do ANALYZE.

       There is no ANALYZE statement in SQL92.

SQL - Language Statements		    2002-11-22				       ANALYZE(7)

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