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.
[ Information obtained from an Education Testing Services survey
(used to develop the Oracle certification exam), as reported in
Oracle Datavase Administration: The Essential Reference"
(Oracle7/Oracle8 edition), by D. Kreines and B. Laskey,
©1999 O'Reilly and Associates. Other sources were used for
the education and database standards sections. ]
Database architecture and Options
Understand the parts of an
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
Create, alter, and drop
users and roles.
Monitor and audit database access. Develop, implement, and manage a
(or security policy), including use of users, roles, priveleges,
and authentication. Understand how
distributed processing affects security.
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 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
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.
Create and manage indexes. Understand the use and implementation of
(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
information. Identify and implement appropriate solutions for
database proformance problems. Know how to
use vendor support services
when necessary. Identify and solve
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.
Define, document, and maintain
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.
This page was last updated by Wayne Pollock.