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Status Not under consideration
Workspace IBM i
Categories Db2 for i
Created by Guest
Created on Jan 10, 2022

Visual explain as a SQL - IBM i service

Visual explain is a vital tool to get the information about how a SQL statement is processed and to understand the nature of SQL queries. However, it can be quite complicated to oververview complicated queries and the graph can be quite chaotic.

More and more tooling is leaning towards the IBM i services to interact with the core API's and other nice features.

It will be appreciated if IBM would consider to provide a IBM i service to pull out the same info available in "Visual explain " as a IBM i service, so it can be incorporated in application analysis. ie ad hoc or in DevOps pipelines.

Use Case:


select *
from table(
qsys2.sql_explain (
'select * from qsys2.user_info'

This will produce a result set that explains all the details what the query (in this case the view) really does. One row for each node in the "Visual explain graph"

Preferable with a "parent" node having the top level parent = NULL and you could do a recursive query from the top down to each leaves in the tree.

Idea priority High
  • Guest
    Mar 11, 2023

    >>>> This will produce a result set that explains all the details what the query (in this case the view) really does. One row for each node in the "Visual explain graph" <<<<

    Visual explain has its expressive power in its graphical nature. This request means the result is in varying amount of TEXT and I could not figure out how it can be informatively interpreted in the same way as the expressive graph in Visual Explain. It would be nice if the requestor could provide a "sample" result he asked for in order for voters to see if what is asked for can be as useful as the VE graph or not.

  • Guest
    Feb 7, 2022

    IBM does not intend to provide a solution to this request at this time, so it is being closed.

    The IBM i database team has invested in returning query details through many Database Monitor formats as documented here.

    We do not plan to build an IBM i service to return Visual Explain information within the next 3 years.

  • Guest
    Jan 18, 2022

    The CAAC has reviewed this requirement and recommends that IBM view this as a “nice to have” low priority feature. The majority of the community would not see a benefit from this enhancement, though it may be beneficial to ISVs and developers who write Open Source software.

    Background: The COMMON Americas Advisory Council (CAAC) members have a broad range of experience in working with small and medium-sized IBM i customers. CAAC has a key role in working with IBM i development to help assess the value and impact of individual RFEs on the broader IBM i community, and has therefore reviewed your RFE.

    For more information about CAAC, see

    Nancy Uthke-Schmucki - CAAC Program Manager