Method R Tools is the industrial-strength software tool kit for managing and manipulating Oracle trace data, designed and developed by Cary Millsap and the performance specialists at Method R Corporation. With Method R Tools, you can see important attributes about trace files quickly without having to open them, execute complex queries against sets of trace files, and even fix problems in your trace files themselves.

Method R Tools is an all-in-one ETL + BI solution for Oracle database trace files.
Alex Gorbachev
Chief Technical Officer
The Pythian Group

The Amazing Things that Method R Tools Can Help You Do

Imagine being able to answer questions like these:

  • In what order does my user’s program execute its SQL statements?
  • It’s difficult for us to aggregate by SQL statement, because we use literals instead of placeholder (“bind”) variables. But we need to know: how many logical I/Os are being executed by all the distinct SQL statements that all mean the same thing, just executed with different where clause predicate values?
  • We do connection pooling, so all the trace files in this directory have little runs of database activity, separated by these huge “SQL*Net message from client” calls. Each little run of activity essentially represents a single user transaction. How long are these transactions’ response times?
  • Which set of bind values caused the worst response time for this query that I’m interested in? Which set caused the best response time?
  • Which SQL statement accounts for the most time spent parsing?
  • Do I have a trace file in this directory that shows an Oracle Database 12c “cursor: pin S wait on X” call with a latency that is longer than 5ms?
  • How many rows does my application fetch at a time? Does it vary by SQL statement?
  • How do our disk read latencies for 8-block reads compare to our latencies for 1-block reads?
  • Are there any examples in my trace files of library cache misses on FETCH calls?
  • How many times did this batch job read and re-read each database block it obtained with OS read calls between 2pm and 3pm yesterday?

With Method R Tools, you can snap these right out.

The Method R Tools suite of software tools helps you get everything your trace files have to offer. They’re great companions for Method R Profiler and Method R Trace.

Buy Method R Tools now

What’s New

Method R Tools version 4 introduces an all-new graphical user interface (GUI) that makes digging gold out of Oracle trace files easier and more fun than ever before. Dozens of little enhancements simplify working and showing your work, even in the toughest connection pooling environments. Visit our Method R Tools Change Log for the complete list of new features.

Product Overview

The Method R Tools graphical user interface makes it easy to noodle around with trace file queries without being distracted by syntax constraints. Programmers love that every Method R Tools command is callable from your operating system command line, so it’s easy to script your favorite analysis flows. The new mrkey filter makes it easier than ever to write batch programs that can do performance explorations for you, unattended.

The Method R Tools suite contains the following software tools:

mrskew — your trace file profiler and data miner
You won’t believe how much data is tucked away into a whole directory full of trace files. Trace files contain a record of where your Oracle Database has spent your time, and mrskew is the key to getting that information out in a way that anyone on your team can understand. It is the most remarkable piece of software that we’ve ever created. It can create response time profiles, for one file or a whole directory. It can drill into details like nothing you’ve ever seen. What are the end-to-end response times for your users’ experiences? With mrskew, you can know, even in a connection pooling application architecture.
mrkey – your glue for connecting mrskew reports
It’s easy to write mrskew commands in a batch script to perform different queries that you’ve found to be effective when you’re optimizing. But what if you want to use the result of one query to influence the argument values you want to use in the next query? For example, your report lists the top ten biggest response-time consuming subroutine calls for a given user experience. The next thing you want to do is drill into the details for the top-consumer call in that report. mrkey makes it easy to do that.
mrls — your trace file lister
Have you ever sat staring at a directory full of a thousand trace files, unable to figure out which one you needed to open next? Do you want to know which trace file accounts for the most response time? Which file accounts for the largest LIO count? Which file accounts for the most rows returned? With mrls, you’re only a click away from knowing.
mrcallrm — your trace file correction fluid
When you use trace data to profile end-user response time, it is vital that your trace file contain exactly the right trace lines. But sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to start or stop the tracing at exactly the right instant, so you end up with more trace data than you really want, and that throws off your profile. With mrcallrm, you can fix your trace file to make the unwanted lines go away. It’s harder than it looks, because for every line you delete, you have to adjust the tim and timestamp values throughout the remainder of the file. But with mrcallrm, it’s all automatic.
mrtim — your trace file tim calculator
Did you ever wonder what time that tim value on a line of trace data represents? With mrtim, you can convert tim values to timestamps and timestamps to tim values. Now you can join back into your Oracle Active Session History data to see what was going on in your system exactly when that trace file line was emitted.
mrtimfix — your trace file tim value fixer
Do you suffer from Oracle bug 7522002, an 11gR1 bug that corrupts the tim values in your trace files? It makes your tim values zigzag back and forth in time between your database call lines and your operating system call lines, which makes using a proper profiling tool on your trace data impossible to do. With mrtimfix, you can fix them right up. You can even convert the 1,024-nanosecond tim values that Oracle uses on some ports to proper Unix epoch microsecond values that all your tools can understand.

Method R Tools: essential tools for professionals who use Oracle trace data.


Click the following links to see the Method R Tools product manual pages.



Method R Tools runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.

Product Change Log

Click here to view our Method R Tools bug fixes and new features.


The Method R Tools per-person (multi-platform) license permits one specific person to run a tool with any login id, on any system, anywhere.


Price is $997 usd per one-person license. This price includes maintenance and support for one year.

Buy Method R Tools now