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Comment:Add additional requirements marks and reword a few sentences in eqp.html.
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SHA1: 09966391b192893e24643a580c473482cd0363db
User & Date: drh 2010-11-15 18:43:30
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2010-11-17
01:32
Add the sqlite3_stmt_readonly() function to the change log. check-in: c591c1b79d user: drh tags: trunk
2010-11-15
18:43
Add additional requirements marks and reword a few sentences in eqp.html. check-in: 09966391b1 user: drh tags: trunk
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Minor fixes for sample code in eqp.in. check-in: 897bd4f88e user: dan tags: trunk
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<p>The [EXPLAIN|EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN] SQL command is used to obtain a high-level
description of the strategy or plan that SQLite uses to implement a specific
SQL query. Most significantly, it reports on the way in which the query uses
database indices. In interpreting and using this information to optimize 
database schemas and queries, users might find the documents describing how
SQLite [indexing|plans] and [optimizer|optimizes] queries useful.

<p>An EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN command returns zero or more rows of four columns
each. The column names are "selectid", "order", "from", "detail". Each
of the first three column always contains an integer value. The final
column, "detail", which contains most of the useful information, always
contains a text value.


<p>EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN is most useful when used with a SELECT statement, but may
also be used on other statements that read data from database tables (e.g.
UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT INTO ... SELECT).

<h2>Table and Index Scans</h2>

<p>
  When processing a SELECT (or other) statement, SQLite may retrieve data from
  database tables in a variety of ways. It may scan through all the records in
  a table (a full-table scan), scan a contiguous subset of the records in a
  table based on the rowid index, scan a contiguous subset of the entries in a
  database [CREATE TABLE|index], or use a combination of the above strategies
  in a single scan. The various ways in which SQLite may retrieve data from a
  table or index are described in detail [strategies|here].

<p>
  For each table the query reads data from, the output of EXPLAIN QUERY 
  PLAN includes a record for which the value in the "detail" column begins
  with either "SCAN" or "SEARCH". "SCAN" is used for a full-table scan,
  including cases where SQLite iterates through all records in a table
  in an order defined by an index. "SEARCH" indicates that only a subset of 
  the table rows are visited. Each SCAN or SEARCH record includes the
  following information:

<ul>
  <li> The name of the table data is read from.
  <li> Whether or not an index or [automatic indexing|automatic index] is used.
  <li> Whether or not the [covering index] optimization applies.
  <li> The selectivity of the subset of records scanned.
  <li> The estimated number of rows that SQLite expects the scan to visit.
</ul>

<p>
  For example, the following EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN command operates on a SELECT
  statement that is implemented by performing a full-table scan on table t1:
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1; 
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 (~100000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>

  SQLite estimates that the full-table scan will visit approximately 
  1,000,000 records. If the query were able to use an index, then the 
  SCAN/SEARCH record would include the name of the index and, for a
  SEARCH record, an indication of how the subset of rows visited is
  identified. For example:
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; CREATE INDEX i1 ON t1(a);
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1;
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING INDEX i1 (a=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  The output above shows that in this case, SQLite uses index "i1" to optimize
  a WHERE clause filter of the form (a=?) - in this case "a=1". SQLite 
  estimates that scanning the subset of index entries that match the "a=1"
  filter means scanning through approximately 10 records. In this case it is
  not possible to use index i1 as a [covering index], but if it were, the
  SCAN or SEARCH record would report that as well. For example:
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; CREATE INDEX i2 ON t1(a, b);
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1; 
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
................................................................................
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT t1.*, t2.* FROM t1, t2 WHERE t1.a=1 AND t1.b>2;
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=? AND b>?) (~3 rows)
    0|1|1|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  The second column of output (column "order") indicates the nesting order. In
  this case, the scan of table t1 using index i2 is the outer loop (order=0)
  and the full-table scan of table t2 (order=1) is the inner loop. The third
  column (column "from"), indicates the position in the FROM clause of the
  SELECT statement that the table associated with each scan occurs in. In the
  case above, table t1 occupies the first position in the FROM clause, so the
  value of column "from" is 0 in the first record. Table t2 is in the
  second position, so the "from" column for the corresponding SCAN record is
................................................................................
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT t1.*, t2.* FROM t2, t1 WHERE t1.a=1 AND t1.b>2;
    0|0|1|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=? AND b>?) (~3 rows)
    0|1|0|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  In the example above, SQLite estimates that the outer loop scan will visit

  approximately 3 rows, and the inner loop scan approximately 1,000,000. If
  you observe that SQLite's estimates are wildly inaccurate (and appear to be
  causing it to generate sub-optimal query plans), your queries may benefit
  from running the [ANALYZE] command on the database.

<p>
  If the WHERE clause of a query contains an OR expression, then SQLite might
  use the [or-connected-terms|"OR by union"] strategy (also described 
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING INDEX i3 (b=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Temporary Sorting B-Trees</h2>

<p>
  If a SELECT query contains an ORDER BY, GROUP BY or DISTINCT clause, 
  SQLite may need to use a temporary b-tree structure to perform an 
  <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insertion_sort">insertion sort</a> 
  of the output rows. Or, it may [sorting|use an index]. Using an index is 
  almost always much more efficient than performing an online insertion sort.
  If a temporary b-tree is required, a record is added to the EXPLAIN
  QUERY PLAN output with the "detail" field set to a string value of
  the form "USE TEMP B-TREE FOR xxx", where xxx is one of "ORDER BY",
  "GROUP BY" or "DISTINCT". For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT c, d FROM t2 ORDER BY c; 
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t2 USING INDEX i4 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Subqueries</h2>

<p>
  In all the examples above, the first column (column "selectid") is always
  set to 0. If a query contains sub-selects, either as part of the FROM
  clause or as part of SQL expressions, then the output of EXPLAIN QUERY
  PLAN also includes a report for each sub-select. Each sub-select is assigned
  a distinct, non-zero "selectid" value. The top-level SELECT statement is
  always assigned the selectid value 0. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT (SELECT b FROM t1 WHERE a=0), (SELECT a FROM t1 WHERE b=t2.c) FROM t2;
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
    0|0|0|EXECUTE SCALAR SUBQUERY 1
    1|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=?) (~10 rows)
................................................................................
  for each row visited by the top level query. Its absence in the record
  associated with subquery 1 means that the subquery is only run once and
  the result cached. In other words, subquery 2 may be more performance
  critical, as it may be run many times whereas subquery 1 is only ever run
  once.

<p>
  Unless the [flattening optimization] is applied, if a subquery appears in
  the FROM clause of a SELECT statement, SQLite executes the subquery and
  stores the results in a temporary table. It then uses the contents of the 
  temporary table in place of the subquery to execute the parent query. This
  is shown in the output of EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN by substituting a 
  "SCAN SUBQUERY" record for the "SCAN TABLE" record that normally appears
  for each element in the FROM clause. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT max(b) AS x FROM t1 GROUP BY a) GROUP BY x;
    1|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (~1000000 rows)
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t2 USING INDEX i4 (c=?) (~10 rows)
    0|1|1|SCAN TABLE t1 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Compound Queries</h2>

<p>
  Each component query of a [compound query] (UNION, UNION ALL, EXCEPT or 
  INTERSECT) is assigned its own selectid and reported on separately. A
  single record is output for the parent (compound query) identifying the
  operation, and whether or not a temporary b-tree is used to implement
  it. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a FROM t1 UNION SELECT c FROM t2;
    1|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 (~1000000 rows)







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<p>The [EXPLAIN|EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN] SQL command is used to obtain a high-level
description of the strategy or plan that SQLite uses to implement a specific
SQL query. Most significantly, it reports on the way in which the query uses
database indices. In interpreting and using this information to optimize 
database schemas and queries, users might find the documents describing how
SQLite [indexing|plans] and [optimizer|optimizes] queries useful.

<p>^An EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN command returns zero or more rows of four columns
each. ^The column names are "selectid", "order", "from", "detail". ^The
first three columns contain an integer value. ^The final

column, "detail", contains a text value which carries most of
the useful information.

<p>^(EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN is most useful on a SELECT statement,
but may also be appear with other statements that read data from database
tables (e.g. UPDATE, DELETE, INSERT INTO ... SELECT).)^

<h2>Table and Index Scans</h2>

<p>
  When processing a SELECT (or other) statement, SQLite may retrieve data from
  database tables in a variety of ways. It may scan through all the records in
  a table (a full-table scan), scan a contiguous subset of the records in a
  table based on the rowid index, scan a contiguous subset of the entries in a
  database [CREATE TABLE|index], or use a combination of the above strategies
  in a single scan. The various ways in which SQLite may retrieve data from a
  table or index are described in detail [strategies|here].

<p>
  ^For each table read by the query, the output of EXPLAIN QUERY 
  PLAN includes a record for which the value in the "detail" column begins
  with either "SCAN" or "SEARCH". ^"SCAN" is used for a full-table scan,
  including cases where SQLite iterates through all records in a table
  in an order defined by an index. ^"SEARCH" indicates that only a subset of 
  the table rows are visited. ^(Each SCAN or SEARCH record includes the
  following information:

<ul>
  <li> The name of the table data is read from.
  <li> Whether or not an index or [automatic indexing|automatic index] is used.
  <li> Whether or not the [covering index] optimization applies.
  <li> The selectivity of the subset of records scanned.
  <li> The estimated number of rows that SQLite expects the scan to visit.
</ul>)^

<p>
  For example, the following EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN command operates on a SELECT
  statement that is implemented by performing a full-table scan on table t1:
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1; 
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 (~100000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  The example above shows
  SQLite estimating that the full-table scan will visit approximately 
  1,000,000 records. If the query were able to use an index, then the 
  SCAN/SEARCH record would include the name of the index and, for a
  SEARCH record, an indication of how the subset of rows visited is
  identified. For example:
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; CREATE INDEX i1 ON t1(a);
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1;
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING INDEX i1 (a=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  The previous example, SQLite uses index "i1" to optimize
  a WHERE clause term of the form (a=?) - in this case "a=1". SQLite 
  estimates that about 10 records will match the "a=1" term.
  The previous example could not use a [covering index], but the following
  example can, and that fact is reflected in the output:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; CREATE INDEX i2 ON t1(a, b);
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a, b FROM t1 WHERE a=1; 
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
................................................................................
^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT t1.*, t2.* FROM t1, t2 WHERE t1.a=1 AND t1.b>2;
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=? AND b>?) (~3 rows)
    0|1|1|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  ^The second column of output (column "order") indicates the nesting order. In
  this case, the scan of table t1 using index i2 is the outer loop (order=0)
  and the full-table scan of table t2 (order=1) is the inner loop. The third
  column (column "from"), indicates the position in the FROM clause of the
  SELECT statement that the table associated with each scan occurs in. In the
  case above, table t1 occupies the first position in the FROM clause, so the
  value of column "from" is 0 in the first record. Table t2 is in the
  second position, so the "from" column for the corresponding SCAN record is
................................................................................
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT t1.*, t2.* FROM t2, t1 WHERE t1.a=1 AND t1.b>2;
    0|0|1|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=? AND b>?) (~3 rows)
    0|1|0|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<p>
  In the example above, SQLite estimates that the outer loop scan will visit
  approximately 3 rows, and that the inner loop will visit
  approximately 1,000,000. If
  you observe that SQLite's estimates are wildly inaccurate (and appear to be
  causing it to generate sub-optimal query plans), your queries may benefit
  from running the [ANALYZE] command on the database.

<p>
  If the WHERE clause of a query contains an OR expression, then SQLite might
  use the [or-connected-terms|"OR by union"] strategy (also described 
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING INDEX i3 (b=?) (~10 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Temporary Sorting B-Trees</h2>

<p>
  If a SELECT query contains an ORDER BY, GROUP BY or DISTINCT clause, 
  SQLite may need to use a temporary b-tree structure to sort the output

  rows. Or, it might [sorting|use an index]. Using an index is 
  almost always much more efficient than performing a sort.
  If a temporary b-tree is required, a record is added to the EXPLAIN
  QUERY PLAN output with the "detail" field set to a string value of
  the form "USE TEMP B-TREE FOR xxx", where xxx is one of "ORDER BY",
  "GROUP BY" or "DISTINCT". For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT c, d FROM t2 ORDER BY c; 
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t2 USING INDEX i4 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Subqueries</h2>

<p>
  In all the examples above, the first column (column "selectid") is always
  set to 0. ^If a query contains sub-selects, either as part of the FROM
  clause or as part of SQL expressions, then the output of EXPLAIN QUERY
  PLAN also includes a report for each sub-select. ^Each sub-select is assigned
  a distinct, non-zero "selectid" value. ^The top-level SELECT statement is
  always assigned the selectid value 0. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT (SELECT b FROM t1 WHERE a=0), (SELECT a FROM t1 WHERE b=t2.c) FROM t2;
    0|0|0|SCAN TABLE t2 (~1000000 rows)
    0|0|0|EXECUTE SCALAR SUBQUERY 1
    1|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (a=?) (~10 rows)
................................................................................
  for each row visited by the top level query. Its absence in the record
  associated with subquery 1 means that the subquery is only run once and
  the result cached. In other words, subquery 2 may be more performance
  critical, as it may be run many times whereas subquery 1 is only ever run
  once.

<p>
  ^(Unless the [flattening optimization] is applied, if a subquery appears in
  the FROM clause of a SELECT statement, SQLite executes the subquery and
  stores the results in a temporary table. It then uses the contents of the 
  temporary table in place of the subquery to execute the parent query.)^ This
  is shown in the output of EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN by substituting a 
  "SCAN SUBQUERY" record for the "SCAN TABLE" record that normally appears
  for each element in the FROM clause. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT count(*) FROM (SELECT max(b) AS x FROM t1 GROUP BY a) GROUP BY x;
    1|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 USING COVERING INDEX i2 (~1000000 rows)
................................................................................
    0|0|0|SEARCH TABLE t2 USING INDEX i4 (c=?) (~10 rows)
    0|1|1|SCAN TABLE t1 (~1000000 rows)
</codeblock>)^

<h2>Compound Queries</h2>

<p>
  ^Each component query of a [compound query] (UNION, UNION ALL, EXCEPT or 
  INTERSECT) is assigned its own selectid and reported on separately. ^A
  single record is output for the parent (compound query) identifying the
  operation, and whether or not a temporary b-tree is used to implement
  it. For example:

^(<codeblock>
    sqlite&gt; EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SELECT a FROM t1 UNION SELECT c FROM t2;
    1|0|0|SCAN TABLE t1 (~1000000 rows)