By Kato Mivule
Oracle 11g’s SQL Performance Analyzer (SPA) also referred to as the “Fully Automatic SQL Tuning” is a technological feature provided in Oracle 11g that analyzes queries and checks the queries so as to better optimize them for better efficiency. The SPA will then rewrite the query for better, faster, and optimized output. 
According to Donald K. Burleson, a renowned expert in Oracle tuning, with books published on the subject, the concept of tuning in Oracle is not new as this technology has come in various formats in from Oracle 7 in which the database was optimized by tuning the following: Bitmap Indexes, Partitioned Views, Sequential prefetch for full table scans, alter index xx rebuild syntax, and Advanced replication. 
In Oracle 8, tuning was advanced further to focus on areas that include: Table and Index partitioning enhancements, reverse key indexes, updatable views, and Oracle parallel query for Data Manipulation Language (DML) such as insert, update, and delete. 
In Oracle 8i, tuning was further advanced and saw new tools that allowed tuning for keeping track of statistics in the database. As such the STATPACK tool allowed the DBA to access query history and then apply scientific methods to achieve better performance. 
In Oracle 9 saw advancement of the STATPACK tuning tool with additional tools such as the network, server, disk tuning, Instance and Object tuning, Design tuning to optimize database designs, and the SQL tuning. 
Oracle 10g saw a major improvement of the SQL tuning technology in which the SQL tuning became a central improvement of the query calibration technology in Oracle, offering solutions to the challenges of time constraints, heavy workloads, and complexity when it came to tune SQL statement in large databases.  Oracle 10g was able to identify high load or top SQL statements using the SQL history data, attempted to find ways to improve execution plan of SQL statements by optimization, and suggest and apply better execution plans for poor performing queries. .
Oracle 11g has the latest updated technology when it comes to SQL tuning. The SQL tuning in Oracle 11g, also known as the SQL Tuning Adviser, is an automatic tuning optimizer that employs Artificial Intelligent technology to self correct and self tune the database. The SQL Tuning Adviser carries out statistical analysis by gathering SQL statistics, creates new SQL profiles, carries out access path analysis by managing indexes, and analyzing SQL structures to make enhancements for better performance. 
The most exciting development is the implementation of artificial intelligence in SQL optimization and self correction of large databases. The gathering of database performance statistics, analyzing the statistics, suggesting and implementing enhancements and optimizations is really a breakthrough in database technology, leaving the future role of the DBA in question.
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