April 2003

The Specialist
Database News You Can Use

April 2003
A monthly newsletter for Oracle users
from Database Specialists, a consulting firm
specializing in Oracle technology

NoCOUG Spring Conference May 15

Don’t miss the next Northern California Oracle Users Group conference! The NoCOUG Spring Conference will take place Thursday, May 15, 2003 at Lockheed-Martin in Sunnyvale. The conference will feature Thomas Kyte, author of the popular “Ask Tom” section of the www.oracle.com website. The event will be packed with twelve technical sessions, roundtable discussions, vendor exhibits, and more! NoCOUG conferences run a full day, and are free for NoCOUG members, $40 for non-members. For up-to-the-minute details about this great educational opportunity, check out NoCOUG’s website at http://www.nocoug.org. At the conference be sure to drop by the Database Specialists booth in the vendor exhibit area and say hello! Plotting Data with Orca


Orca is a free tool for plotting data on web pages. Orca reads almost any kind of data from text files and generates HTML pages and image files for viewing the data graphically in a web browser. Orca comes with a module that monitors operating system statistics. You can use Orca and the Orcallator module together to create graphical representations of useful system statistics such as CPU usage, TCP interface bits per second, I/O rate, memory usage, and disk space availability. Attention Perl Fans

Orca can be easily extended to plot any data–from weather statistics to database performance reports. Some DBAs use Orca to publish database performance statistics such as datafile I/O, user calls, parses, sorts, and transaction rates. Developed by Dr. Blair Zajac, you can learn more about Orca and download it for free at http://www.orcaware.com/orca.


At http://www.cpan.org/index2.html, you’ll find a site known as the “Comprehensive Perl Archive Network.” It’s a vast library of perl CGI scripts. Once there, you can follow the section on searching and browse through the database interface scripts. With the DBI:DBD module, your perl scripts can access an Oracle database. Many DBAs find perl useful and time-saving for a number of tasks, including loading flat file data into an Oracle database, monitoring databases, or collecting database performance statistics–just to name a few uses. Cost-Effective Oracle Support

For general information about perl, check out http://www.perl.com.


Do you work for a small or mid-sized company without enough Oracle support? Database Specialists provides remote DBA support services to many smaller companies with either one database administrator on staff or none at all. We take the load off an overworked DBA and provide 24×7 support that’s not possible with just one person. We can also handle all production support if desired.

Our remote database administration service can be tailored to your specific needs, from just one database review per month to full 24×7 coverage and daily database check-in. In addition to production support, we can also help you in areas such as performance tuning, database design review, and backup and recovery strategy development. All of our experts have 8+ years of Oracle experience.

We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about our remote DBA service. Call us toll-free at 888/648-0500. Or, read more about our remote DBA services at http://dbspecialists.wpengine.com/dbapro.html.

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