Optimizer Vs RUNSTATS Top Differences

Here’re the differences between SQL Query optimizer and RUNSTATS. In DB2, the Optimizer takes informed decisions on the statistics of your tables; the number of rows, indexes, index cardinality, the number of pages consumed, stored in catalog tables. The Optimizer consumes RUNSTATS statistics.


Differences Between Optimizer and RUNSTATS Utility

In this post explained the Optimizer details before it executes SQL Query in three steps:

  1. DB2 Optimizer Functionality flowchart
  2. Automated RUNSTATS
  3. Manual RUNSTATS

1. DB2 Optimizer Features: How does DB2 Optimizer Works

DB2 Query Optimizer Tool
Source: DB2help

2. RUNSTATS Utility (automated)

  1. In the above flow, it is clearly stated that Optimizer has access to Statistics, Bind Options, and SQL Query.
  2. The Optimizer prepares an access-plan to the SQL query. From the snapshot, the Access plan goes to the Visual Explain, which is a tool, you can view the execution in visual mode.
  3. The collection of statistics is an automated process. So from the developer side, it is nothing to do.

3. RUNSTATS Utility (Manual)

The developer can use the RUNSTATS command on the Table and indexes to update catalog tables (This you need during building SQL query for the first time).

The purpose is to get insights about the Queries (This is useful to issue explain plan command after executing RUNSTATS). So, the developer can fix the query if optimization is needed.



RUNSTATS collects a wealth of information about; Table, and the indexes on the table, such as index “height,” number-of-pages at the leaf level, and more. Gathering this index-related information is controlled using the indexes clause.

Author: Srini

Experienced software developer. Skills in Development, Coding, Testing and Debugging. Good Data analytic skills (Data Warehousing and BI). Also skills in Mainframe.