Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Application-Level Tuning

  • Philippe BonnetEmail author
  • Dennis Shasha
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_805


Query tuning; Tuning the application interface


An under-appreciated tuning principle asserts start-up costs are high; running costs are low. When applied to the application level, this principle suggests performance of a few bulk operations that manipulate and transport a lot of data rather than many small operations that act on small amounts of data. To make this concrete, this entry discusses several examples and draws lessons from each.

Historical Background

Application-level tuning is about changing the way a task is performed. This entails finding a better algorithm or finding a better way to handle the database. The first is difficult to automate, but the latter goes back to the very first use of the relational databases. Whether on disk or in main memory, databases have generally always performed best when a single statement accesses all and exactly the data needed for a task.


Application-level tuning has the nice property that it often is a pure...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Celko J. Joe celko’s SQL for smarties: advanced SQL programming. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2005.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Shasha D, Bonnet P. Database tuning: principles, experiments and troubleshooting techniques. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2002.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tow D. SQL tuning. Beijing: O’Reilly; 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceIT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dennis Shasha
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of Computer ScienceNew York Univ.New YorkUSA