Tag Archives: performance tuning

SOQL Query Optimization

Pardner, you sure got some ‘xplaining’ to do

In PROD, I had a daily REST query that executed against another SFDC org. It retrieved about 1000 or so Opportunities and had been executing just fine, night after night. But today, the Apex Jobs log showed ‘Read timed out’. In fact, three days’ worth – ouch.

First thought – timeout argument too low
Perhaps the timeout needed to be bumped up in the HTTPRequest call?

This wasn’t it, I was using this Apex to set the timeout:

hRqst.setTimeout(120000);  // max is 120 secs = 120000 ms

Second thought, the REST SOQL query needed optimization
Of course, I wanted to deny this possibility as the REST query had been running along just fine for weeks now. But what if the target (of the query) SFDC org had gotten much bigger and this was causing the query to slow down. After all, the target org (not managed by me) actually has hundreds of thousands of Opportunities but I thought I was using an index so why would there be a problem?

Let’s take a look at the query (simplified) for discussion purposes:

   select id, stageName, 
      (select  unitPrice, totalPrice, pricebookEntry.name from OpportunityLineItems) 
     from Opportunity where closedate >= THIS_QUARTER and ID IN 
       (select opportunityId from opportunityLineItem 
          where pricebookEntry.name = 'FOO' OR 
                (bar__c = 'BAR' and is_Active__c = true))

You can see that the query does a semi-join – it is looking for Opportunities where at least one Opportunity Product meets some criteria.

Now, distant genetic memory kicked in and I remembered that SFDC introduced Query Plan explains back in V30. I hadn’t had a reason to look at this as I wasn’t experiencing any performance issues until now.

Using SFDC Workbench REST Explorer, I logged into the target SFDC org (the one where the query executes). I created this REST GET:


And here was the result – three possible plans, the first one has a relative cost of < 1.0 so it meets the 'selective query definition'. It will use an index. SoqlExplainInitial

So, although 0.826 isn’t great, there are over 500,000 records to consider. So why was the query timing out?

Third thought – The Explain feature doesn’t consider the semi-join portion
Since there are really two queries being executed and joined together, I hypothesized that the query on OpportunityLineItem wasn’t ‘explained’. So, I decided to see what that query would look like ‘explained’. Back to REST Explorer and I entered this:


And the plan (only one) came back being a table scan of 2.1 million rows! Uh-oh. Here was the problem. As you might suspect, the culprit is the OR clause on non-indexed custom fields.

So, how to make this query use an index? I had naively thought (or perhaps it was epistemic arrogance) that SFDC would automatically exclude any OpportunityLineItem that was prior to the current quarter as specified by the semi-join’s left hand query; and I knew closeDate was indexed. Wrong!

So, I added into the semi joins right hand query a condition to only include OpportunityLineItem whose parent Opportunity’s closeDate was in the current quarter or beyond:


The explain’s relative cost for this optimization now falls below 1.0 and hence it too will use an index. The semi join will join the results of two index result sets.

I adjusted the daily job’s query using the properly selective semi-join right hand side and reran the daily job. No more timeout!

Update! – after writing all this, I learned I could access the Query Plan from the Developer Console. I tend to avoid using that on orgs I don’t control for fear of writing some anonymous Apex by mistake or using DML through the Query Editor results.

SFDC KB article (using Developer Console)
Using REST explain

Visualforce performance tuning – lessons learned – Part I

I was optimizing a complex VF page the other day and learned a couple of tips that I did not otherwise know beforehand

Lesson I – Use apex:variable to avoid repetitive getters that always return the same value
The page used apex:repeat to create a dataTable. Each dataTable had five rows. In the edge case I was tuning, there were sixty (60) repeats – thus sixty datatables.

<!--  snip -->
<apex:repeat value="{!tableList}" var="t">
  <apex:dataTable value="{!tableRows}" var="r">
     <apex:column headerValue="column00">
       <apex:inputText value="{!r.field00}" rendered="{!isEditable}"/>
       <apex:outputText value="{!r.field00}" rendered="{!NOT(isEditable)}"/>
<!-- snip -->

Note that the decision to render the field in column00 as input or output is based on a controller variable isEditable. This controller variable was actually a getter and had some complex logic within:

public Boolean isEditable {
      if (isEditable == null)      
         // complex logic here to set isEditable - 
         // do only once as nothing the page can do will change the decision
      return isEditable;
  private set;

Looking at the debug log, when the page is constructed, this controller getter was invoked 60 * 5 * 2 times = 600 invocations! Holy moly. Even though the getter only calculates its value once, it still gets invoked for every rendered= reference on the page.

The solution is to add an apex:variable outside of the repeat to cache the value for Visualforce and thus save on all those getter invocations. Here is the new page:

<!--  snip -->
<!-- Define an apex:variable to hold the controller's getter value. 
     Use naming convention of avXXX to clue developer
     where used that it is a reference to an apex:variable -->
<apex:variable value="{!isEditable}" var="avIsEditable"/> 
<apex:repeat value="{!tableList}" var="t">
  <apex:dataTable value="{!tableRows}" var="r">
     <apex:column headerValue="column00">
       <apex:inputText value="{!r.field00}" rendered="{!avIisEditable}"/>
       <apex:outputText value="{!r.field00}" rendered="{!NOT(avIsEditable)}"/>
<!-- snip -->

Result was a couple of tenths of seconds shaved off the page render time

Lesson 2 — Multiple controller extensions and constructor time

I had a different page with several commandButtons. Some of the buttons invoked action methods in extension00, the others invoked action methods in extension01. There was no page action.

<apex:page standardController="Opportunity" extensions="OppoExtension00,OppoExtension01">
      <apex:commandButton value="Invoke 00" action="{!extension00Action}"/>
      <apex:commandButton value="Invoke 01" action="{!extension01Action}"/>

When the page is initially rendered, both controllerExtensions’ constructors are invoked. If the constructors do heavy lifting in terms of initializations (such as SOQL calls), then all of that work must finish before the page can render. If the user is only going to click on one commandButton, then the constructor time for any other commandButton using a different extension is wasted. Now, I should have known that but I was misdirected by thinking that the constructor time only applied when the commandButton was clicked and the work had to be done.

The solution was to optimize the extension’s constructors. Two techniques were applied:

  • Move SOQL out of the constructors into getters
  • Using static variables to hold common data that would be the same for both constructors