In a new post to his Oracle blog today, Christopher Jones has a handy tip to help you speed up your Oracle-using PHP scripts by as much as few seconds. The tip originally comes from Krishna Mohan.
What Krishna pointed out was that specifying the client character set name as the optional fourth parameter to oci_pconnect() has a postive effect on performance. If you let the value default then PHP has to invoke code to determine what the client character set should be. This lookup may involve a potentially expensive environment check.
So, a speed increase might be as easy as adding another parameter to your scripts. Christopher includes an example to show where the value goes (in an oci_pconnect call).
Testing with the database and PHP both on my little old machine I was getting figures like 0.6 vs 2.7 seconds for 50,000 pconnect calls in the one script. I saw some other results that showed only a three-times difference.