August 2001

The Specialist
Database News You Can Use

August 2001
A monthly newsletter for Oracle users
from Database Specialists, a consulting firm
specializing in Oracle technology
In this issue:

Database Specialists’ Online Resources Featured In Select Magazine

In the July edition of Select Magazine, the International Oracle Users Group industry publication, Database Specialists is featured for its valuable online resources. The “Select Star” column touts the Handy Scripts section of our website as particularly useful and highlights the Compare Schema utility that compares two database schemas and reports discrepancies.

Other utilities on the Database Specialists website highlighted in Select Magazine include:

  • Drop all schema objects, roles, and public synonyms quickly and easily
  • Check index fragmentation and bloat in order to decide when to rebuild indexes
  • Take a quick and easy hot backup
  • Export the database, or just the schema definitions, to a compressed file
  • Check the database for fragmentation, lack of free space, and other unpleasant things

Sharing knowledge is one of the cornerstones of our business, and we are very pleased that the Oracle community values this knowledge.

Be sure to check out all the resources for Oracle DBAs and developers on our website.

Recently Discovered Net8 Vulnerabilities

In late June, COVERT Labs found serious security vulnerabilities in the Net8 listener that comes with all releases of Oracle 8i, Oracle 8.0, and Oracle 7.3 on many platforms including Solaris, HP-UX, and Windows. You can read about the vulnerabilities on the following web pages:

http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2001-16.html
http://www.pgp.com/research/covert/advisories/049.asp
http://www.pgp.com/research/covert/advisories/050.asp

By causing a buffer overflow condition, unauthenticated clients can, in some cases, execute arbitrary commands that give unchecked access to database services and in certain cases operating system services.

Oracle has released a multitude of patches to address this vulnerability. Which patch is right for you depends on the exact platform and version of Oracle software that you are using. Read technical bulletin 151318.1 on MetaLink at http://metalink.oracle.com/metalink/plsql/ml2_documents.
showDocument?p_database_id=NOT&p_id=151318.1
in order to choose the appropriate patch.

Note that Oracle is only releasing patches for supported versions of Oracle software. If you are still running Oracle 8.1.5, for example, you will need to install a newer version of the Net8 listener in order to apply the patch and protect yourself from this vulnerability.

A Great SysAdmin: The DBA’s Best Friend

All database administrators know that working with talented system administrators can greatly impact their work and the success of a project. Because system administrators manage the server platform and networks on which databases and database applications run, having a great SysAdmin on your team can make your life as a DBA much better.

That’s why Database Specialists recommends Taos Consulting for SysAdmin expertise. Taos has been providing specialized SysAdmin consultants since 1989, specializing in Unix and Windows NT environments.

We like Taos because – similar to Database Specialists – they focus on technical excellence and teamwork. After tough technical interviews, their employees attend study groups and monthly technical user groups to enhance their skills. They have access to a huge technical lab and library, as well as an online Performance Support Web – with a progressive study path and assessment tests.

For more information on how Taos can help you with managing your Unix or Windows NT servers, please contact Chris Vaughan of Taos at 408-857-6187 or visit Taos’ website at http://www.taos.com. Check out the Events section where you’ll learn about their free T3 technical talks designed to keep you abreast of the latest SysAdmin issues.

Welcome New Clients Perlegen and NONSTOP Solutions

Database Specialists is pleased to welcome Perlegen Sciences as one of our newest clients. Using high-density, whole-wafer microarray technology developed by Affymetrix, Perlegen is “seeking to improve lives by using whole genome scanning to uncover the molecular basis of health and drug response.” Learn more about their interesting work at http://www.perlegen.com.

We are also very pleased to be working with NONSTOP Solutions. They are the leading provider of demand chain optimization technology, information and services solutions for manufacturers, wholesale distributors and retailers. Check out their solutions at http://www.nonstop.com

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