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gryback 271 posts Joined 12/08
02 Jul 2015
Any Visual Explain users out there?

We here in Teradata Labs are considering a new Visual Explain investment as the current TTU version is a bit antiquated. As part of the analysis, we want to confirm the business case to justify the resource investment for the work. So let us know if you use the current Visual Explain and what the use cases around that usage. Is this something shared with end-users? Or as a DBA tool? Or maybe you don't use the current tool today but may have use cases to consider using a new offering? Let us know, your input is appreciated. 

rbradfo5 5 posts Joined 06/09
29 Jul 2015

Hi, I have just started to introduce Visual Explain to our developer users on-site.  This site is managed by an outsourced service supplier so, even though we have been up and running for 3 years, we have not been granted access to the Visual Explain tool until just recently. I have been a regular user for a number of years now on other sites.
I am also planning on introducing it to business users who develop direct queries - I can't seem to get them to use the textual version, but maybe a visual representation will excite them more.   The main reason to do so is that some of our explains are getting to  be 700-800+ lines long, and reading the textual version is somewhat off-putting to developers and business queriers who aren't entirely familiar with the various teradata tools (but that is a whole different topic).   
The main use case is that it is easier to read through a visual represntation to spot potential trouble spots than it is to read through hundreds of lines of text.  That is, the key argument for team leads and management is developer productivity.   We still tend to go back to the text once we have identified the key problem steps, but the initial invetsigation is shortened from hours to minutes in most cases.
We do find the interface somewhat clunky, and we have some recurring, but intermittent errors.  However, we have put that down in the past to the actual implementation by our service provider. 
We would be keen to see proposed features of a 'new' tool.  Some suggestions from our perspective here would be to:
- include the capabilities as a component of Viewpoint  (I can get developers to access one tool, getting them to use multiple different tools seems to be somewhat more problematic - once we get out into user territory it gets even harder  :-)  );
- where the explain is based on a view, provide a means of getting to the underlying view code, rather than having to go separately to SQL Assistant or the new workbench tool to display the definition
- change the default for table name length from 9 characters to something bigger (with the increase in possible name length with Teradata 14.x, most of our table names are at least 20 characters long for readability - it is a pain to have to remember to change the default every time our systems get reset).
Thanks for the opportunity to comment.
regards, Rhonda.

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