Grid Control: Custom Alerts Notification Method with PL/SQL

We’ve been asked to generate automatic database incidents in our service desk (CA Unicenter). 

And through the Grid Control it’s a piece of cake.


The example below is generic. If you need the exact syntax to send to your CA unicenter server, send me an email at


For more flexibility, we created 2 procedures, one to get the notification from the console mechanism and one to build the message and email it to the recipient (service desk in our case).


Creating the incident

This procedure can be customized to send an email to the dba accounts

create or replace procedure sysman.create_incident(s1 in varchar2,s2 in varchar2, s3 in varchar2)
mailhost VARCHAR2(30) := ‘smtp server’
mail_conn utl_smtp.connection;    
msg1 varchar2(2000);     
sender varchar2(30):=’address of sender‘; 

recipient varchar2(30):=’destination of email‘; 
subject varchar2(40):=‘customized subject’;  
finalstr varchar2(8000):=null;    /* Body of the email */
/* Wrapper function to write data to the mail server */
PROCEDURE send_header(name IN VARCHAR2, header IN VARCHAR2) AS
        utl_smtp.write_data(mail_conn, name || ‘: ‘ || header || utl_tcp.CRLF);
/* in the variable finalstr you can customized your notification email */ 

finalstr:= ‘customized text‘ || utl_tcp.CRLF;

 mail_conn := utl_smtp.open_connection(mailhost);
 utl_smtp.helo(mail_conn, mailhost);
 utl_smtp.mail(mail_conn,sender);    — sender
 utl_smtp.rcpt(mail_conn,recipient); — recipient
 send_header(‘From’,    sender || ‘<‘ || sender || ‘>’);
 send_header(‘To’,      ‘”Recipient” <‘ || recipient || ‘>’);
 send_header(‘Subject’, subject);
 utl_smtp.write_data(mail_conn, finalstr);
 DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE(‘Send Mail Error: ‘ || substr(sqlerrm,1,100));


Getting the console notification

Notice that we only want to be notified by critical alerts. consult the Oracle documentation for other status.


create or replace procedure sysman.get_notification(severity IN MGMT_NOTIFY_SEVERITY)
   IF severity.severity_code = MGMT_GLOBAL.G_SEVERITY_CRITICAL

/* severity object attributes are passed to the procedure */

               RAISE_APPLICATION_ERROR(-20000, ‘Procedure create_incident ended in error’);
   END IF;


 Enabling the procedure in the grid control

  • Navigate to setup – Notification Methods – Scripts and snmp traps – Add pl/sql procedure – Go
  • Enter the name, description and the fully qualified name of the procedure (ex:sysman.get_notification)
  • Navigate to Preferences – Notifications – Rules – Assign Methods to Multiple rules
  • Choose a rule name (database availability and critical states in this case), check the box of your custom method



Grid Control: Reclaiming space in the mgtmt_tablespace

After a few months of operation, the grid control mgmt_tablespace can take up a few unnecessary gigabytes.

Oracle provides a package to purge the old partitions.

In order to run the package the management server must be shutdown. (due to a bug)

Then  logon as SYSMAN and run:

  • exec emd_maintenance.partition_maintenance;
  • exec emd_maintenance.analyze_emd_schema(‘SYSMAN’);
  • exec emd_maintenance.remove_em_dbms_jobs;
  • exec emd_maintenance.submit_em_dbms_jobs;

We do it every 3 months and save up each time around 2Gb. (based on 75 targets)



Outlines: Introducing a Hint on a non-modifiable query

Last week I created 2 new indexes to solve a performance issue. Following the weekly statistics gathering of the schema, a query started to use one of those 2 indexes.

The effect was disastrous as a main application screen took around 12 seconds to populate instead of a fraction of it.

This application being a third party product, the queries are not modifiable.

My only option was to introduce a HINT into the query through an outline, so I proceeded as follow:

  • alter system set query_rewrite_enabled=TRUE scope=both;
  • alter system set use_stored_outlines=TRUE; (not a database parameter yet)
  • created an outline (QUERYO) with the original query (without the HINT)
  • created an outline (QUERYH) with the original query (including the required HINT)
  • Exchanged the outlines plans:
  • As SYS: update OUTLN.OL$HINTS
    where OL_NAME in (‘QUERYO’,’QUERYH’); commit;
  • drop outline QUERYH;
  • Created a database trigger to run ‘alter system set use_stored_outlines=TRUE’ on database startup (since this parameter is not a database parameter yet)



I want to communicate my enthusiasm with a monitoring/administration tool called DbaBar from

It’s by far the most sleekest and friendliest admin tool for Oracle I have used in 15 years.

There’s no need to install a server agent and the beauty is: that it integrates seamlessly in windows explorer or IE as a toolbar.

I suggest to give it a try, as you can test it for 30 days.