April 2002

The Specialist
Database News You Can UseApril 2002
A monthly newsletter for Oracle users
from Database Specialists, a consulting firm
specializing in Oracle technology

In this issue:

Get the Scoop on Oracle Replication

According to Orafaq.com, replication is “the process of creating and maintaining replica versions of database objects (e.g. tables) in a distributed database system. Replication can improve performance and increase availability of applications because alternate data access options become available. For example, users can access a local database rather than a remote server to minimize network traffic. Furthermore, the application can continue to function if parts of the distributed database are down as replicas of the data might still be accessible.” In addition to a long list of questions and answers about replication, this site includes references to scripts you can use to:

  • Set up users, database links and schedules for Oracle Advanced Replication
  • Define replication groups with replication objects
  • Remove replication support from the database
  • Monitor replication status, sites and groups

Keep Yourself Up-to-Date on Known Oracle Security Weaknesses

This month a bug was discovered in the Oracle9i database that can allow database users with minimal privileges to gain access to data they are not allowed to see. This security flaw does not affect Oracle8i databases. Also, an exploit was discovered in Oracle Applications 11i whereby a malicious user can edit the application URL and execute procedures they are not supposed to.

When Oracle Corporation learns of new security exploits, they post bulletins on their website and release emergency patches so that the exploit can be eliminated as soon as possible. You can see a list of current security alerts on the Oracle Technology Network website at http://technet.oracle.com/deploy/security/alerts.htm, and you can download patches from Metalink at http://metalink.oracle.com. The two new vulnerabilities discovered this month bring the total number of alerts listed on the OTN security alert page to 33.
Oracle9i Online Object Redefinition

If you missed them at the IOUG Conference in Southern California, now’s your chance to see them in Northern California. Roger Schrag, Oracle expert and president of Database Specialists, has been invited to speak at the spring conference of the Northern California Oracle Users Group on May 16 in Sunnyvale, California. Roger will co-present a session titled, “Don’t Shut Down that Database! Use Oracle9i Online Object Redefinition Instead” with Chris Lawson of Performance Solutions. The two have also co-authored a white paper, which can be downloaded at http://dbspecialists.wpengine.com/presentations.html.

With Oracle9i’s online object redefinition feature, applications can update data in the database while DBAs are relocating tables to new tablespaces or even adding new columns to tables. In this presentation, two experts on high availability databases explain how to use this new feature for maximum benefit. For information about the NoCOUG conference, visit http://www.nocoug.org.
Find Out More “About” Oracle

With database expert Mike Chapple as your guide, About.com points you to lots of interesting links. In addition to articles like “Creating Virtual Private Databases in Oracle,” and “Choosing Between Oracle and SQL Server,” you can register to use their forum, enter database chats and receive their newsletter. Take a look at http://databases.about.com/cs/oracle.

Share Your Favorite Tips

Do you have a handy script, a special tip, or a white paper that you would like to share with “The Specialist” audience? If so, we invite you to send them to Lisa Loper, editor of The Specialist, at lloper@dbspecialists.com. Sharing your knowledge is a great way to get your name out there and give something back to the Oracle user community at the same time. We look forward to hearing from you!

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