Terminate Active Oracle Sessions: SQL_ID and Code Samples Inside

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Why terminate active Oracle sessions?
  3. SQL_ID and its significance in terminating sessions
  4. Code samples for terminating active Oracle sessions
  5. Best practices for terminating sessions
  6. Conclusion
  7. References



Oracle databases are popular for their excellent performance, scalability, and availability. However, sometimes specific active sessions may cause issues or even crash the database. For instance, a poorly designed query, network latency, or hardware issues may cause a session to take longer than usual to complete, causing the database to struggle. In such scenarios, it's essential to terminate active Oracle sessions for the safety of the database.

In this article, we'll discuss how to terminate active Oracle sessions using SQL and code samples. We'll highlight how to find sessions that are causing performance issues and how to manage them using Python programming. You'll learn how to kill a session using its SQL_ID or serial number, as well as how to list all active sessions on an Oracle database. By the end of the article, you should have a good understanding of how to manage Oracle database sessions and keep your database running smoothly.

Why terminate active Oracle sessions?

Terminating active Oracle sessions is a necessary task when managing an Oracle database environment. There are several reasons why you might need to terminate sessions, such as resolving performance issues, releasing resources, or troubleshooting issues with specific user sessions.

Inactive sessions can cause performance issues over time if they are consuming resources while not being used. Additionally, long-running sessions that are not properly managed can cause contention for resources and impact the overall performance of the database.

Terminating active sessions allows you to free up resources that are being used by unnecessary or problematic sessions. This can help improve performance and ensure that the database is running efficiently.

When terminating sessions, it's important to do so in a controlled and structured way, rather than simply killing the sessions. Uncontrolled termination can cause issues with data consistency and lead to data corruption. Instead, you should use Oracle's built-in methods to control the termination process and ensure that it is done safely and effectively.

SQL_ID and its significance in terminating sessions

SQL_ID refers to the unique identifier assigned to a specific SQL statement by Oracle. This identifier is very useful in terminating specific sessions in a busy Oracle environment where multiple users are accessing the database concurrently. SQL_ID can be found in the V$SQL view and can be used in combination with the ALTER SYSTEM command to terminate a specific session.

To terminate a specific session using SQL_ID, you must first identify the SQL_ID of the SQL statement being executed by the session you want to terminate. You can do this by querying the V$SESSION and V$SQL views. Once you have the SQL_ID, you can use the ALTER SYSTEM command to terminate the session.

The following is an example of how to terminate a specific session using SQL_ID:


In the above command, replace <SQL_ID> with the SQL_ID of the SQL statement being executed by the session you want to terminate, and replace <SESSION ID> with the ID of the session you want to terminate.

It is important to note that terminating a session using SQL_ID should be done with caution, as it can have unintended consequences if not done properly. It is recommended to test this on a non-production environment first before using it in a production environment.

Code samples for terminating active Oracle sessions

To terminate active Oracle sessions, there are various code samples available that Python programmers can use. One way to do this is by using the cx_Oracle library, which provides an interface to Oracle databases.

To terminate an active Oracle session, you can use the terminate() method of the Cursor object. Here is a sample code that demonstrates how to terminate a session with a specific session_id:

import cx_Oracle

# Establishing a connection to the Oracle database
connection = cx_Oracle.connect('username/password@host/service_name')

# Creating a cursor
cursor = connection.cursor()

# Terminate a session with session_id = 123
cursor.execute("ALTER SYSTEM KILL SESSION '123,123' IMMEDIATE")

# Commit the changes

# Close the cursor and the connection

This code first establishes a connection to the Oracle database using the cx_Oracle.connect() method. It then creates a cursor using the connection.cursor() method. The cursor.execute() method is used to execute the SQL statement to terminate the session with the specified session_id. Finally, the changes are committed using the connection.commit() method, and the cursor and connection are closed using the cursor.close() and connection.close() methods, respectively.

Note that the session_id can be obtained from the v$session view in the Oracle database.

Best practices for terminating sessions

involve taking a measured and cautious approach to avoid unintended consequences. Before terminating any active sessions, it is important to identify the root cause of any performance issues or errors that may be occurring. This can involve reviewing system logs, monitoring database activity, and running diagnostic queries to identify problematic SQL statements or other potential issues.

Once a root cause has been identified, it may be possible to address the issue without terminating any sessions. This could involve optimizing a poorly performing SQL statement, freeing up system resources to improve overall performance, or implementing a more efficient data model.

If terminating sessions is deemed necessary, it is important to do so in a controlled and selective manner. One common approach is to target specific sessions based on factors such as their SQL_ID or wait event. This can help ensure that only the desired sessions are terminated, while minimizing disruption to the overall system.

It is also important to communicate any planned session terminations to other members of the development or IT teams to avoid unexpected system interruptions. Additionally, it is a good practice to backup any critical data before making any changes to the system, to minimize the risk of data loss or corruption.

Overall, the key to is to approach the task methodically and with caution. By identifying the root cause of any issues, targeting specific sessions for termination, and communicating any planned changes to the relevant parties, it is possible to minimize disruption and maximize the effectiveness of any session termination efforts.



In , Oracle sessions can be terminated using the SQL ID and other properties related to the session. In Python, various methods are available to terminate the sessions using modules like cx_Oracle and other Oracle packages. Termination of sessions is essential for managing server resources and reducing server overheads. By using SQL queries and Python code, you can effectively manage the sessions and free system resources. The code samples provided in this article can serve as a starting point for users looking to develop their own scripts for terminating active Oracle sessions in a controlled and efficient manner. With a better understanding of how to manage sessions, you can improve your Oracle database's performance and reduce wait times for critical tasks.


Throughout my career, I have held positions ranging from Associate Software Engineer to Principal Engineer and have excelled in high-pressure environments. My passion and enthusiasm for my work drive me to get things done efficiently and effectively. I have a balanced mindset towards software development and testing, with a focus on design and underlying technologies. My experience in software development spans all aspects, including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, and infrastructure. I specialize in developing distributed systems, web services, high-volume web applications, and ensuring scalability and availability using Amazon Web Services (EC2, ELBs, autoscaling, SimpleDB, SNS, SQS). Currently, I am focused on honing my skills in algorithms, data structures, and fast prototyping to develop and implement proof of concepts. Additionally, I possess good knowledge of analytics and have experience in implementing SiteCatalyst. As an open-source contributor, I am dedicated to contributing to the community and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends.
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