Log Buffer #41: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Apr 20, 2007 / By David Edwards

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Welcome to the 41st edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of database blogs.

There is rarely any shortage of commentary on conferences in the world of databases. This week is no exception, with one or two waiting in the wings and another fading into the past.

That would be Collaborate ’07. Here’s a sample of dispatches from this event. Mark Rittman of Rittman Mead Consulting sets the scene as he arrived in Las Vegas.

Dimitri Gielis has a summary of Day 1, and of Day 2, with some photos.

In ORCLville, Floyd Teter sent a series of postcards from the edge of Collaborate 07. “I consider this to be the best Oracle user conference in years (and you don’t want to know how long I’ve been attending these things). There is an energy behind this year’s conference that separates it from earlier events. Maybe it’s due to all the changes in the works, the location, or some other cause. I only know it’s been great…”

Oracle’s Tim Dexter posts his review here.

Pythian’s Babette Turner-Underwood was at Collaborate 07 too (as were Alex Gorbachev and Christo Kutrovsky), and she posted her journals here.

On the horizon, the MySQL Conference & Expo 2007, next week in sunny Santa Clara.

Robin Schumacher reports on his prospective highlights there, which include some activities apropos Falcon, the new storage engine, and MySQL’s beta online backup facilities.

Giuseppe Maxia, the Data Charmer, will be presenting on MySQL Stored routines.

Giuseppe also mentions O’Reilly’s new book on MySQL Stored Procedure Programming by Guy Harrison and Steven Feuerstein, reviewed on Slashdot a few days ago. “Overall, MySQL Stored Procedure Programming is adeptly written, neatly organized, and exhaustive in its coverage of the topics. It is and likely will remain the premier printed resource for Web and database developers who want to learn how to create and optimize stored procedures, functions, and triggers within MySQL.”

Willie Favero reminds us that Information on Demand (IOD) 2007 (the DB2 conference), has issued its call for speakers.

Chris Foot has the second in a series, 10 Things I like about Oracle 10G Part 2. (I gather 10G has its frustrations. Here at Pythian, someone took the initiative of taping a sign to our supply closet that reads, “10G anger release room”.)

Oracle issued its latest quarterly Critical Patch Update (CPU) this week. Everyone always checks with Pete Finnigan’s Oracle Security Weblog on these matters. Here is his first of two items on this. The second one pertains to Alex Kornbrust’s analysis of April 2007 CPU, who also treats of five more advisories.

From About That Data, Peter McLarty links to another dissection of the CPU.

Oracle’s Hari (Surname?) links to a screencast on applying CPUs with Enterprise Manager.

Why does it matter? On Perspectives on Database Management, Craig Mullins posts on a study of the cost of a security breach. In a nutshell: “… the average security breach can cost a company between $90 and $305 per lost record.”

What general news was out there? Craig posted about the latest salary information for DBA and database specialists. “(It) would seem that you should try to work for a BIG company if you want to do data warehousing. … Also, it looks like DBA managers do well regardless of company size. And if I had to guess as to why database specialists earn less at smaller companies, I think it might have something to do with what DBMSes are being used at those sites. If you recall from the December salary survey, Microsoft SQL Server DBAs earned less than DB2 and Oracle DBAs.”

On Coskan’s Approach to Oracle, Ahmet Coskan Gundogar asked, Who is (An) Invalid DBA?. His answers included: “Invalid DBA’s are the ones who say ‘I am behind the firewall i do not need to focus on security’. (Firewalls are good but history of world is full with conquered iron castles)”; “Invalid DBA’s are the ones who don’t try what he learns. Guru’s can write something but it doesn’t mean it is true even the guru’s name is Thomas Kyte or Jonathan Lewis. Don’t forget! every book has an errata and every release can behave different.”

On a similar tack, his Questions to a new graduate. I like this one: “Would you see the database as a lover or more than a lover? DB is something like a lover or a kid. You have to show your interest every time and look after DB in 7/24 time period. Your lover or kid may thank you with a kiss or hug for your effort but DB wont… This love and interest to DB is something like unrequited love.”

Eddie Awad offers two videos on Oracle PL/SQL best practices and common mistakes by Steven Feuerstein, “the renowned Oracle PL/SQL guru” (wow, this guy really gets around).

On SQLNS and other musings, Joe Webb links to several videos by Brian Knight on clustering SQL Server.

On The SQL Doctor is In, Louis Davidson posted a follow-up to the one I mentioned last week, on a dynamic management function query to view index usage. “(There) is some really useful information in the dynamic management views, but the ones that start when the server is reset are troublesome when doing specific, time windowed performance tuning…”

Chris Foot has the second in a series, 10 Things I like about Oracle 10G Part 2. (I gather 10G has its frustrations. Here at Pythian, someone took the initiative of taping a sign to our supply closet that reads, “10G anger release room”.)

Finally, a follow-up to Pete Finnigan’s happy news of last week. Gary Myers of Igor’s Oracle Lab responded with “the unofficial and unsupported ‘My First SQL Primer'”. Not the most advanced, but almost certainly the cutest SQL you have ever seen.

Okay, that’s enough from me. Next week, Beth Breidenbach will publish Log Buffer on her Confessions of a database geek. ‘Til then!

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