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Use double quotes "_INDEX_JOIN_ENABLED".
If you check the SQL Reference Manual, you'll see that, in general, there are no quotes on the ALTER SYSTEM SET .... syntax.
And just as an aside, I hope you have a VERY good reason for setting an 'underbar' initialization parameter. Generally, these are only modified at the direction of Oracle Support in response to a specific problem worked in a Service Request.
For what it's worth with respect to undocumented parameters (mileage may vary based on the platform, this is from Windows):
SQL> alter system set "_index_join_enabled"=false;
SQL> alter system set indexjoin_enabled=false;
alter system set indexjoin_enabled=false
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-00911: invalid character
SQL> alter system set '_index_join_enabled'=false;
alter system set '_index_join_enabled'=false
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-00922: missing or invalid option
I stand corrected. I was just going by the syntax on 'normal' parameters, as shown in the ref. manual.
No, you are correct. I was only mentioning the occasional platform differences that arise when using some symbols/syntax. With "normal" things, the general case is true.
SQL> alter system set undo_retention=901;
SQL> alter system set "undo_retention"=900;
Thanks to everyone!
I did contact Oracle. The parameters I changed change the cbo to act like 9i instead of the 10g. They sometimes recommend Peoplesoft (PS) database change to 9i because it performs better with PS sql (very complex sql). We have several PS databases but none in prodcution yet.
For this box, the bad performing sql was not fixed by changing the parameters so I put it back - worth a try.
Again, thanks for the help!