Log Buffer #34: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Mar 2, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 34th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of the database blogosphere.

You may have heard by now of problems that the change in Daylight Saving Time presents Oracle databases and related systems. (If you haven’t heard and have some of these systems, you can start freaking out right about now.) We’ve been covering this in Log Buffer for a while, and since DST hasn’t yet arrived (it will on March 11), there are some more blogs with something to say about it.

On Yet Another Oracle DBA, Herod T. has a little rant: “Is it just me, or is oracle’s effort to wards the DST seem to be a convoluted mess of notes, readme’s, more notes and superseding items. … Easier to shut everything down over the time change, manually set the time on the server and continue from there.”

Another blogger had this to say: “As someone who was forced to write DST checking scripts for an Enterprise of 1500+ Oracle databases, let me just say how utterly weak it is that Oracle has identified a DST 2007 issues with their database and provided barely any tools to help sniff around for it. … Pathetic.”


For their part, a couple Oracle bloggers had some things to say. On the OTN Techblog, Justin Kestelyn points to Oracle’s technical document on the matter.

Likewise, Steven Chan offers some resources: a forum discussion, a metalink note, and recorded webcasts.

Let’s follow the multimedia thread to some other blog posts.

Pythian’s Christo Kutrovsky published the latest Pythian Goody, this one, a video of Doug Burns on Oracle Parallel Basics.

On the Firebird News blog, Cantu posted links to video of talks from the Firebird 2006 conference.

Kevin Burton’s Feed Blog offers two MySQL-specific vids: one on NDB, one on performance tuning.

MySQL She-BA Sheeri Kritzer has the ninth episode of the OurSQL podcast, with Jay Pipes about the MySQL Conference coming in April.

That’s where Kaj Arn is creating The Clash of the DB Egos, featuring several formaggi grandi of the DB world: “I will be provoking a fight about what constitutes a database, what’s the right way of doing locking, whether it ever was smart to store BLOBs in a database to begin with, and who ever needs versioning.”

Jay Pipes himself spoke up on a matter close to his heart, asking Is MySQL A Real Database? Forget That. Is MySQL A Realistic Database? “(Yesterday) Dave Dargo, advisor to Ingres, blogged about his thoughts on why indeed MySQL is not a real database. I think Dave, and thousands of other professionals in our industry, are missing the point: MySQL isn’t trying to conform to some decades-old definition of what is a ‘real’ database. Why? Because we aren’t stuck in the past; we’re forging ahead with technology, concepts, and application use cases that focus on the future, not some old mainframe, centralized behemoth IT structure.”

MySQL AB’s Roland Bouman introduces their MySQL Cluster Certification and Study Guide. “By offering a Cluster certification, we are providing an instrument for employers to recognize those professionals that are sufficiently equipped to install, design, configure, tune and monitor a MySQL 5.1 Cluster. … I expect the exam to be generally available in March 2007.”

Xaprb introduces not one or two, but three tools for MySQL. 1. MySQL Table Checksum, “…a tool to efficiently verify the contents of any MySQL table in any storage engine.” 2. MySQL Duplicate Key Checker. 3. Version 1.0.0 of the MySQL Query Profiler, which he describes as the most important tool he’s written. Bravo, Xaprb!

Robin Schumacher writes that he is getting excited about PBXT, a storage engine in development: “Paul McCullagh (PBXT’s creator) has done a great job creating a stellar transactional engine for MySQL, and the new beta sports foreign keys that work like a champ.” Robin links to a full-length article he has written on PBXT.

Sergio’s blog covered the release of the Oracle Linux Test (OLT) Kit: “OLT is a version of the same test suites that are used by Oracle and its hardware partners to produce Validated Configurations. This means that now anyone putting together a Linux based single-node or clustered configuration can run it through a comprehensive set of tests and have a higher comfort level that the pieces will work together.”

Matt Asay blogs that MySQL builds BI into its stack with a new OEM partnership with JasperSoft, the result being, “…Jasper for MySQL: OEM Edition, a suite of operational reporting products that includes a high-performance interactive report server, a graphical report creation tool, and a pixel-perfect reporting system with dashboards, tables, crosstabs and charts.”

Oracle made a similar move in acquiring Hyperion Software. Mark Rittman and Curt Monash offer their views on this.

Paul Vallee notes that Oracle has finally succumbed to pressure on multi-core licensing.

On Database Soup, Josh Berkus asks, PostgreSQL makes clean sweep of DW ISVs? “(Apparently) 100% of DW appliance vendors who base their products on OSS technology, base it on PostgreSQL…Says nice things about our data warehousing capabilities. Now, to get all those vendors contributing to PostgreSQL even half as much as Greenplum does…”

Here’s an handy SQL recipe for gathering an inventory of databases in SQL Server, courtesy The SQL Server & .NET Bottom Feeder.

Some more of DavidM’s garbage for SQL Server — a database design measure he calls The Abstraction Indicators. “The Abstraction Indicators try to measure the databases capacity to cope with change and the ‘profile’ of the database to calling applications. Abstraction in this context means to hide internal schema changes from users.”

DB2 News & Tips covered IBM’s release of a Fix Pack 2 for DB2 9, cleaning up a temporary file vulnerability on its instances on Linux systems.

A blog about the other IBM DBMS, Guy Bowerman’s Informix Application Development, has an item about enhancements to IDS 11.10, and a PHP based administration console called IDSAdmin.

That’s all for now. Cheers!

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