Irrelevant thoughts of an oracle DBA

15 November 2007

dba 2.0

Filed under: opinion,rant — Freek D'Hooge @ 13:59

After reading the prodlife blog about the dba 2.0 presentation on oracle open world and Tom Kyte’s blog, I must concur that an oracle dba indeed need management tools to administer an environment (that is a mid-size or large environment). Databases are growing bigger and bigger and maintenance windows are disappearing as snow for the sun, so having tools to help you with managing the databases are very welcome.
This being said, I hate the ongoing trend in oracle presentations and courses to solely focus on managing databases via these tools. In fact they don’t show / learn you anymore how to manage oracle, but how to operate a particular management tool (read: grid control).
What are you going to do when the grid control is not reachable or when you need to manage a database that is not registered in grid control?

I am a consultant dba, what means that I manage database for various customers on different sites. Sometimes this management is done on site, but often it is done via remote access (sometimes having limited bandwith or requiring hopping from one server to another) . So in most occasions the only tool that I can use is sqlplus. And you know what? I love sqlplus! True, sqlplus is not a very convenient tool for browsing through records or to quickly update a single record, but it is available on every platform and combined with a repository of scripts (the true treasure box of an oracle dba) it is a very powerfull tool.
Using scripts also force you (unless you are just copying the scripts from the internet) to investigate in which views oracle is storing which data and how to join the different views together, giving you a better understanding of how oracle works.

It is as Tom wrote on his blog “Having the ability and knowledge to command line when necessary, along with using the tools day to day is the way forward I think”, but is is such a shame that currently often the only focus is on the tool.

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