Two Oracle user group events in California this week

Donald Burleson points out two Oracle user group events happening in California this week. There’s the Northern California Oracle Users Group Spring Conference and the Los Angeles Oracle Users Group Spring Conference.

Unfortunately I’m on the wrong coast to take advantage of these, but if you are in or near California check it out. It’s important to take advantage of these conferences when they’re close to home!

dba, database administration, database, oracle, conference

Seven Deadly Habits of a DBA

In my travels today I came across the Pythian Group’s Seven deadly habits of a DBA… and how to cure them.

Citing such pitfalls as blind faith in backups, lack of monitoring and finger pointing we’ve all seen these symptoms at one point or another, and they’re all worth some attention. While many of these are largely a product of inexperience I’ve seen my favorite, number 4, The Memory Test at all levels. The “if it happens again I’ll remember how we fixed it” syndrome is often a product of another environmental problem, a lack of documentation procedure. This exact problem is one reason I started blogging in the first place!

Check out the whole list, including their suggested cures for these problems.

dba, database, database administration, oracle

Top Oracle Blogs

Andy C has posted a list of Oracle blogs he reads listed by Technorati ranking. Not only did Life After Coffee make the list, but it made #1!

Andy C posted a short history of Oracle blogging about a year ago. It seems there were a lot fewer back then.

Check out the whole list. There are some great folks on here, many of whom actually post primarily about Oracle!

oracle, database, dba, rdbms, blog

A different kind of programming contest

Nobody will argue that testing your code is an essential, but often neglected step to good development. Effective testing not of the whole application, but portions of it is the focus of the Oracle Development Tools User Group PL/SQL Test-A-Thon to be held Febuary, 28-March, 1 of this year in California.

Here’s how the challenge works:
After the end of sessions on the first day, you will be presented with four programs that perform typical operations—nothing exotic. Along with those programs come supporting test data, a list of tests that you need to perform, and the results you should get for each test (most will be successful, but some will fail). You will then have one hour to write a test to show which tests succeed and which fail for the programs. Your test results should be self-verifying. That is, we will not manually verify your tests to see if they worked or not.

Check out more about the contest and about the Oracle Development Tools User Group conference. While not overly active the Oracle Development Tools User Group site has some interesting content as well.

sql, plsql, oracle, development, software development, database, dba

Statspack Analyzer – Intelligent analysis of Oracle Statspack and AWR reports

After spending a couple days picking through Oracle statspack reports for clues on what could be causing some database latency I finally got the chance to try out the new, free Statspack Analyzer from Texas Memory Systems, Inc. and Burleson Consulting. is a FREE SITE provided to the Oracle community by sponsor companies including Texas Memory Systems, Inc. and Burleson Consulting.

Our shared goal is that the advice provided by this website evolves as community feedback indicates that the heuristics should be updated. If you like what you see, please let us know. If you don’t like what you see, please tell us what you would do to improve the site and which if any decision rules should be updated.

Just paste your whole statspack or AWR report into the analyzer and it will do the heavy lifting and give you custom recommendations on what areas you can possibly tune to increase performance. I had the chance to run several reports through the analyzer this week and it came up with many of the same conclusions I did in a fraction of the time.

Tools like this aren’t about to replace the DBA but rather help take the edge off intensive tasks like tuning. Check out the sample report to get a better idea of what the analyzer output looks like, or better yet try it out! After all, it’s free!

oracle, database, dba, database administrator, database tuning, sql