ORA$AT_SA_SPC_SY Jobs failing?

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Oracle has raised an alert in the alert.log and created a trace file as well, for a failed DBMS_SCHEDULER job with a strange name which doesn’t appear in DBA_SCHEDULER_JOBS or DBA_SCHEDULER_PROGRAMS – what’s going on?

An extract from the alert log and/or the trace file mentioned in the alert log shows something like:


Where ‘nnn’ in the action name is a number.

No matter how hard you scan the DBA_SCHEDULER_% views, you will not find anything with this name. What is actually failing?

Oracle onwards stopped listing these internal jobs in DBA_SCHEDULER_JOBS, as they did in 10g, and instead lists them in DBA_AUTOTASK_% views. However, not by actual name, so don’t go looking for a TASK_NAME that matches the above action name. You will fail.

There are three different autotask types:

  • Space advisor
  • Optimiser stats collection
  • SQl tuning advisor

The tasks that run for these autotask ‘clients’ are named as follows:

  • ORA$AT_SA_SPC_SY_nnn for Space advisor tasks
  • ORA$AT_OS_OPT_SY_nnn for Optimiser stats collection tasks
  • ORA$AT_SQ_SQL_SW_nnn for Space advisor tasks

See MOS notes 756734.1, 755838.1, 466920.1 and Bug 12343947 for details. The first of these has the most relevant and useful information.

UPDATE: My original failing autotask has been diagnosed by Oracle Support as bug 13840704 for which a patch exists here for and

Oracle document id 13840704.8 has details, but it involves LOBs based on a user defined type. In this case, Spatial data in an MDSYS.SDO_GEOMETRY column.

The view DBA_AUTOTASK_CLIENT won’t show you anything about a specific task, with the above names, but will show you details of what the overall ‘client’ is, There are three:

select client_name, status
from dba_autotask_client;

CLIENT_NAME                     STATUS
------------------------------- --------
auto optimizer stats collection ENABLED
auto space advisor              ENABLED
sql tuning advisor              DISABLED

I can see from the task name in the alert log and trace file, that my failing task is a space advisor one, so, by looking into the DBA_AUTOTASK_JOB_HISTORY view, I can see what’s been happening:

select distinct client_name, window_name, job_status, job_info
from dba_autotask_job_history
where job_status <> 'SUCCEEDED'
order by 1,2;

------------------ --------------- ---------- -------------------------------------------
auto space advisor SATURDAY WINDOW FAILED     ORA-6502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error...
auto space advisor SUNDAY WINDOW   FAILED     ORA-6502: PL/SQL: numeric or value error...

So, in my own example, the auto space advisor appears to have failed on Saturday and Sunday. Given that this is an internal task, and nothing I can do will let me know about the invalid number problem, I need to log an SR with Oracle on the matter. However, as I don’t want my fellow DBAs to be paged in the wee small hours for a known problem, I have disabled the space advisor task as follows:

    client_name => 'auto space advisor',
    operation   => NULL,
    window_name => NULL);

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed

Checking DBA_AUTOTASK_CLIENT again, shows that it is indeed disabled:

select client_name, status
from dba_autotask_client
where client_name = 'auto space advisor';

CLIENT_NAME                     STATUS
------------------------------- --------
auto space advisor              DISABLED

Enabling it again after Oracle Support have helped resolve the problem is as simple as calling dbms_auto_task_admin.enable with exactly the same parameters as for the disable call:

    client_name => 'auto space advisor',
    operation   => NULL,
    window_name => NULL);

PL/SQL procedure successfully completed

When enabling and/or disabling auto tasks, you must use the CLIENT_NAME as found in DBA_AUTOTASK_CLIENT view.

The full list of DBA_AUTOTASK_% views is:


Hope this helps!

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