Eye on Oracle

Jun 22 2007   10:41AM GMT

Log Buffer #50: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

I’m honored to cover the 50th edition (that’s right, the golden anniversary) of the venerable Log Buffer this week — thanks to Dave Edwards of the Pythian Group Blog for the opportunity!

Let’s get this party started, beginning with what’s been a very popular topic around here lately: the (so-called?) life of the DBA. Peter K responds to the question we posed last week: “Is database administration for suckers?” Peter’s take on the question is that everyone has choices: “If you are not happy with your current work situation, then my suggestion is that you do something about it (i.e. either work to change the job or go somewhere else).” For his part, Louis Davidson, the SQL Doctor, claims that being a DBA makes him feel like “a defense lawyer in Mexico” — the database is always “presumed guilty until proven innocent.” Over at the Oracle Contractors blog, Peter Stewart explains why the coffee machine is the water cooler for DBAs. While scripts are doing all your work, use your “coffee time to recover.”

Sean McCown at Database Underground asks, “What is Quest doing?” He’s been hearing rumors for a long while that Quest would release LiteSpeed for Oracle; now word on the street is that the release has been cancelled. The product already exists — McCown has even played around with a beta version. So what gives?

Matt Asay on The Open Road writes, in the ironically titled post “MySQL does not scale,” about the database’s recent conquests, including its massive scale-out for Wikipedia. “It’s time to put DB2’s and Oracle’s wishful thinking behind us,” says Asay (that MySQL doesn’t scale, that is). Bouncing off Brian Duff’s recent “If I had five Oracle wishes” post, Jay Pipes outlines his top 5 wishlist for MySQL. Stewart Smith at Ramblings and a number of others follow suit, whereas Antony Curtis of Antony’s MySQL bits says such wishlists are unproductive and suggests that wishing be done in an internal wiki linked to appropriate Worklog entries.

Speaking of lists, Lutz Hartmann of sysdba database consulting offers part one of his top 10 Oracle 11g new features. After taking part in beta testing, he’s most excited about the new change management features, starting with SQL Performance Analyzer.

Steven Chan at his Oracle E-Business Suite Technology blog lists seven ways to reduce patching downtime for apps. Tips include using a staged applications system and/or a shared application-tier file system and distributing processes across servers.

Jeff Smith of Jeff’s SQL Server Weblog offers a rule of thumb for developing database models: Ask yourself, “Is it an entity or an attribute?” “An entity should be defined as a table, but an attribute should simply be a column of a table.”

Jonathan Lewis at Oracle Scratchpad asks “How well do you know your hints?” and illustrates with a 10g test case exactly what a hint means.

Chris Eaton at An Expert’s Guide to DB2 Technology lets Lewis Cunningham (and the world) know that IBM took his request for a DECODE statement to heart, and DB2 Viper 2 (now in open beta) supports the DECODE syntax of other DB vendors.

Xaprb posts the third part in a series of archive strategies for OLTP servers, covering in this segment how to move data from the source to the archive destination, what that destination might look like and how to un-archive.

A new Oracle blog drops: look for “core IT for geeks and pros” from Tanel Poder. His “first real post!” is a troubleshooting guide for a wait interface issue.

And Alex Gorbachev at the Pythian Group Blog announces the birth of BAAG: Battle Against Any Guess. The mission of BAAG is to fight guesswork in decision-making processes, especially shot-in-the-dark, uneducated guesses — for example, in database performance tuning or when troubleshooting errors. “Hope-powered guess is the evil,” says BAAG.

Andrew Clarke at Radio Free Tooting goes over the abstracts for the UKOUG conference. He notes that the most popular topics this year are Application Express, incorporating AJAX into ADF apps, and migrating client/server Forms apps to the Web.

As a closing note, I leave you with Nuno Souto’s assessment of the Oracle blog world of late — it sucks. He writes on DBAs-R-Us that “What passes for ‘Oracle blogging’ nowadays is nothing short of blatant company-sponsored, ill-disguised, outright marketing. The number of posts in blogs that are nothing more than just repetitive, boring and stupid reiterations of company policy is overwhelming.” Ooh. Ouch. Do y’all concur?

And that’s a wrap for this carnival! Thanks for reading,
Elisa

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