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DBA Common Task Descriptions

Below is a list of some of the more common tasks that a database administrator may be expected to perform. In real life, for any given position, a DBA may be required to do more or fewer tasks than those listed here. Database architecture and Options Understand the parts of an Oracle instance. These include the memory structures and processes. Understand both the logical and physical structures of an Oracle database. Understand PL/SQL (including functions, procedures, packages, triggers, cursors, ...). Understand different database system architectures, such as distributed, partitioned, replicated, and client-server. Understand locking issues.

Security Create, alter, and drop users and roles. Monitor and audit database access. Develop, implement, and manage a security strategy (or security policy), including use of users, roles, priveleges, and authentication. Understand how distributed processing affects security.

Data Administration Manage integrity constraints. Implement the physical database from the logical design. Evaluate the use of stored procedures, triggers, and constraints to implement business rules.

Backup and Recovery Understand and evaluate the various backup options available. Develop backup and recovery strategies. Manage the implementation of backup and recovery procedures.

Recover a database.

Software Maintenance and Operations Install and upgrade Oracle and supporting products. Configure an Oracle instance using the initialization parameters. Configure and Manage SQL*NET. Understand startup and shutdown options and procedures. Create a database. Understand the underlying operating system capabilities as they relate to the Oracle database.

Resource Management Create and manage indexes. Understand the use and implementation of clusters (and hash clusters). Allocate and manage physical storage structures (datafiles, redo logs, control files). Allocate and manage logical storage structures (tablespaces, schemas, extents, ...). Manage system resource use by defining proper profiles. Perform capacity planning.

Tuning and Troubleshooting Diagnose and resolve locking conflicts. Use data dictionary tables and views. Monitor a database instance. Collect and analyze relevant database performance information. Identify and implement appropriate solutions for database proformance problems. Know how to use vendor support services when necessary. Identify and solve SQL*Net problems.


Disseminate Oracle information to developers, users, and management when appropriate. Train backup DBAs, application developers, and other appropriate staff. Attend training classes, technical conferences, and user group meetings (to stay abreast of the latest developments). Subscribe to and read trade journals such as Oracle Magazine. Subscribe to and participate in Internet discussion (news) groups and mailing lists.

Database Standards Define, document, and maintain database standards for your organization. Develop naming conventions for everything, including SQS*Net files, table names, index names, procedure names, etc. Write and distribute procedures for tasks that must be performed frequently. Define database documentation standards. Compile a DBA handbook for your oganization, of all the documentation on customized code, procdedures, and standards. Keep as current as possible.