Program Global Area (PGA)

Program Global Area Components

The Program Global Area or Process Global Area (PGA) is a memory region that contains data and control information for a single server process or a single background process. The PGA is allocated when a process is created and deallocated when the process is terminated. In contrast to the SGA, which is shared by several processes, the PGA is an area that is used by only one process.

Content of the PGA

The content of the PGA memory varies, depending on whether the instance is running the shared server option. But generally speaking, the PGA memory can be classified as follows.

Private SQL Area

A private SQL area contains data such as bind information and runtime memory structures. Each session that issues a SQL statement has a private SQL area. Each user that submits the same SQL statement has his or her own private SQL area that uses a single shared SQL area. Thus, many private SQL areas can be associated with the same shared SQL area. The private SQL area of a cursor is itself divided into two areas whose lifetimes are different: The persistent area, which contains, for example, bind information. It is freed only when the cursor is closed. The run-time area, which is freed when the execution is terminated

Cursors and SQL Areas

The application developer of an Oracle precompiler program or OCI program can explicitly open cursors, or handles to specific private SQL areas, and use them as a named resource throughout the execution of the program. Recursive cursors that Oracle issues implicitly for some SQL statements also use shared SQL areas. The management of private SQL areas is the responsibility of the user process. The allocation and deallocation of private SQL areas depends largely on which application tool you are using, although the number of private SQL areas that a user process can allocate is always limited by the initialization parameter OPEN_CURSORS. The default value of this parameter is 50

PGA Memory Management for Dedicated Mode

You can automatically and globally manage the size of SQL work areas. The database administrator simply needs to specify the total size dedicated to PGA memory for the Oracle instance by setting the initialization parameter PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET. The specified number (for example, 2G) is a global target for the Oracle instance, and Oracle tries to ensure that the total amount of PGA memory allocated across all database server processes never exceeds this target.

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