As a database administrator (DBA), you are responsible for the overall operation of Oracle Database. This introductory chapter is intended to help orient you to many common DBA tasks, to the tools available to you, and to this guide.
The chapter contains the following sections:
1.1 About This Guide
The primary administrative interface used in this guide is Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express (EM Express), featuring all the self-management capabilities introduced in Oracle Database.
This section includes these topics:
1.1.1 What This Guide Is Not
Oracle Database 2 Day DBA is task-oriented. The objective is to describe why and when administrative tasks must be performed. Where appropriate, it describes the concepts necessary to understand and complete a task, assuming the reader has no prior knowledge of the database. This guide is not an exhaustive discussion of all Oracle Database concepts. For this type of information, see Oracle Database Concepts.
Additionally, for a complete discussion of administrative tasks, see Oracle Database Administrator’s Guide
1.1.2 How to Use This Guide with Related Material
This guide is part of a comprehensive set of learning material for administering Oracle Database, which includes a 2 Day DBA Oracle By Example (OBE) series, available on the Web.
Every chapter in Oracle Database 2 Day DBA has an associated Oracle By Example lesson. The OBE steps through tasks in the chapter and includes annotated screenshots. In some cases, the OBE provides additional information to help you complete the task.
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:
1.2 About Oracle Database
Oracle Database is a relational database with object and Extensible Markup Language (XML) capabilities. In a relational database, all data is stored in tables that are composed of rows and columns. Oracle Database enables you to store data, update it, and efficiently retrieve it, with a high degree of performance, reliability, and scalability.
Oracle Database is composed of the following elements:
The Oracle software that you install on your host computer
The database, which is a collection of physical files on one or more disks
The database contains user data, metadata, and control structures. Metadata, or data about the data, is the collection of information on disk that permits Oracle software to manage user data. An example of metadata is the data dictionary. Control structures (such as the control file and online redo log files) ensure the integrity, availability, and recoverability of user data.
The Oracle instance, which is composed of the following:
Server processes that perform work on behalf of connected users and applications, and the memory and temporary storage used by these processes
Server processes parse and execute SQL statements, and retrieve and return results to the user or application.
Oracle Net, which is a software layer that enables client applications and Oracle Database to communicate over a network, and the Oracle Net listener, which is a process that listens for connection requests from the network.
1.3 Common Oracle DBA Tasks
Installing Oracle software
Creating Oracle databases
Performing upgrades of the database and software to new release levels
Starting and shutting down the database instance
Managing the storage structures of the database
Managing users and security
Managing database objects, such as tables, indexes, and views
Backing up the database and performing recovery operations when necessary
Monitoring the state of the database and taking preventive or corrective action as required
Monitoring and tuning database performance
Diagnosing and reporting critical errors to Oracle Support Services
In a small to medium-sized database environment, you might be the sole person performing these tasks. In large, enterprise environments, the job is often divided among several DBAs, each of whom has a specialty, such as database security or database tuning.
Oracle Database Concepts for more information about the duties of database administrators
1.4 Tools for Administering the Database
The goal of this guide is to enable you to quickly and efficiently create an Oracle database, and to provide guidance in basic database administration.
The following are some products, tools, and utilities you can use to achieve your goals as a database administrator:
Oracle Universal Installer
Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) is a utility that installs your Oracle software and options. It can automatically start Oracle Database Configuration Assistant to install a database.
Oracle Database Configuration Assistant
Oracle Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) is a utility that 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 new database.
Database Upgrade Assistant
The Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA) is a tool that guides you through the upgrade of your existing database to a new Oracle Database release.
Net Configuration Assistant
Net Configuration Assistant is a utility that enables you to configure listeners and naming methods, which are critical components of the Oracle Database network.
Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express
The primary product for managing your database is Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Express (EM Express), a Web-based interface. After you have installed the Oracle Database software, created or upgraded a database, and configured the network, you can use EM Express to manage your database. EM Express also provides an interface for performance advisors.
Oracle also offers separately licensed Oracle Enterprise Manager management packs, management plug-ins, and other products you can purchase to enhance the capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager in specific environments.
SQL Developer provides another GUI for accessing your Oracle database. SQL Developer supports development in both the SQL and PL/SQL languages. It is available in the default installation of Oracle Database.
With SQL Developer, you can browse database objects, run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and edit and debug PL/SQL statements. You can also run any number of provided reports, and also create and save your own.