1 Introduction

As an Oracle Database Administrator (DBA), you are responsible for the overall operation of the Oracle database.

This chapter contains the following topics:

About this Book

Oracle Database 2 Day DBA is a database administration quick start guide that teaches you how to perform day-to-day database administrative tasks. The goal of this book is to help you understand the concepts behind the Oracle Database. It teaches you how to perform all common administration tasks needed to keep the database operational, including how to perform basic troubleshooting and performance monitoring activities.

The primary administrative interface used in this book is Oracle Enterprise Manager in Database Console mode, featuring all the self-management capabilities introduced in the Oracle Database.

What this Book is Not

Oracle Database 2 Day DBA is task oriented. The objective is to describe why and when administrative tasks need to be performed. Where appropriate, it describes the concepts necessary for understanding and completing the task at hand, assuming the reader has no prior knowledge of the database. This book is not an exhaustive discussion of all Oracle database concepts. For this type of information, refer to Oracle Database Concepts.

Additionally, for a complete discussion of administrative tasks, refer to Oracle Database Administrator's Guide.

How to Use this Book with Related Material

This book is part of comprehensive set of learning material for administering an Oracle Database, which includes a 2 Day DBA Oracle by Example (OBE) series, available on the Web, and in an Oracle University instructor-led class.

Every chapter in Oracle Database 2 Day DBA has an associated Oracle By Example lesson. The OBE steps through all tasks in the chapter and includes annotated screen shots. In some cases, the OBE provides additional information to help you complete the task at hand.

At the end of each chapter, you can find the link to its associated OBE lesson. The home page for the 2 Day DBA Oracle by Example series is as follows:


In addition, Oracle University provides a related instructor-led course called Oracle Database 10g: 2 Day DBA. Contact Oracle University for more information.

The Oracle Database

Oracle is a relational database. In a relational database, all data is stored in two-dimensional tables that are composed of rows and columns. The Oracle Database enables you to store data, update it, and efficiently retrieve it.

Oracle provides software to create and manage the Oracle database. The database consists of physical and logical structures in which system, user, and control information is stored. The software that manages the database is called the Oracle database server. Collectively, the software that runs Oracle and the physical database are called the Oracle database system.

You will learn more about the operation of the database server and the structure of the Oracle database where they are relevant to the performance of specific database management tasks.

Common Oracle DBA Tasks

As an Oracle DBA, you can expect to be involved in the following tasks:

  • Installing Oracle software

  • Creating Oracle databases

  • Performing upgrades of the database and software to new release levels

  • Starting up and shutting down the database

  • Managing the database's storage structures

  • Managing users and security

  • Managing schema objects, such as tables, indexes, and views

  • Making database backups and performing recovery when necessary

  • Proactively monitoring the database's health and taking preventive or corrective action as required

  • Monitoring and tuning performance

In a small to midsize database environment, you might be the sole person performing these tasks. In large, enterprise environments, the job is often divided among several DBAs, each with their own specialty, such as database security or database tuning.

Tools for Administering the Database

The intent of this book is to allow you to quickly and efficiently create an Oracle database, and to provide guidance in basic database administration.

The following are some of the products, tools, and utilities you can use in achieving your goals as a database administrator:

  • Oracle Universal Installer (OUI)

    The Oracle Universal Installer installs your Oracle software and options. It can automatically launch the Database Configuration Assistant to install a database.

  • Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA)

    The Database Configuration Assistant creates a database from templates that are supplied by Oracle, or you can create your own. It enables you to copy a preconfigured seed database, thus saving the time and effort of generating and customizing a database from scratch.

  • Database Upgrade Assistant

    This Database Upgrade Assistant guides you through the upgrade of your existing database to a new Oracle release.

  • Oracle Net Manager

    Net Manager is an alternate tool for configuring and managing Oracle Database networks.

  • Oracle Enterprise Manager

    The primary tool for managing your database is Oracle Enterprise Manager, a web-based interface. After you have installed the Oracle software, created or upgraded a database, and configured the network, you can use Oracle Enterprise Manager for managing your database. In addition, Oracle Enterprise Manager also provides an interface for performance advisors and for Oracle utilities such as SQL*Loader and Recovery Manager.