June 2009

June 2009

THE LIGHTER SIDE
SAP: The Salary Advancement Program?

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve heard of SAP software and perhaps even used it but you don’t really know what the letters stand for. A writer named Jon Reed has seven tongue-in-cheek suggestions which he attributes to the members of the SAP-R3-L mailing list.

  • Stops All Production!
  • Select Another Package
  • Suffering and Pain
  • Salary Advancement Program
  • Scare Another Programmer
  • Slow and Pointless
  • Say a Prayer
But what does “SAP” really stand for? The University of Kentucky has the answer.

STUMP THE SPECIALISTS
The Fine Print 

This month’s question comes to us from a customer:

“Do we need a license for our development database server?”

David Wolff, CEO of Database Specialists, provides a thoughtful answer:

The language on Oracle’s software download site can mislead the unwary. It reads: “All software downloads are free, and each comes with a Development License that allows you to use full versions of the products at no charge while developing and prototyping your applications (or for strictly self-educational purposes).” However, if you take the trouble to click on the license link, you’ll learn that: “You may not continue to develop your application after you have used it for any internal data processing, commercial or production purpose without securing an appropriate license.” In other words, you can freely download the Oracle database software and you can use it for free until you deploy the application you have developed. After that, you need to secure an appropriate license for your development database server.

Other licensing issues that are confusing are database editions, multi-core CPUs, named users, management packs, database options, standby databases, and Grid Control. Iggy Fernandez of the Database Specialists team provides an overview of Oracle licensing in his recent book Beginning Oracle 11g Database Administration. Here is a quote: “Oracle software does not require licensing keys to unlock it; anyone may freely download software from the Oracle web site and begin using it. This is an unusual practice that separates Oracle from other software vendors and has probably contributed to Oracle’s success in the marketplace. It is, therefore, very easy to make the mistake of using software for which one does not have the required licenses. Oracle software is not cheap, so to avoid nasty surprises, make sure the licensing question is answered as early in the software development project as possible.”
Iggy recommends studying the following documents on Oracle database licensing. Note that these documents are subject to change; please ask your Oracle sales representative for the most current information.
I hope this short answer helps you. Best of luck.

PET PEEVES
How to Nardle a Threep 

Do you know how to nardle a threep? According to the reference manual, to nardle a threep, select the Threep tab and check the Nardling checkbox. That’s not very helpful, is it? Luckily that’s a fictitious example, invented by a blogger named Steve Holden. But, sometimes, the Oracle documentation does little more than state the obvious. Have you ever wondered what was the meaning of the OLD_HASH_VALUE column in the V$SQL fixed view? According to the reference manual, OLD_HASH_VALUE is the old SQL hash value. Did that help? A better answer can be found hidden in Secret Oracle by Norbert Debes, now also available in an Apress edition.

BULLETIN BOARD
Database Specialists is mentioned in the April 8, 2009 edition of eWeek in an article titled Sizing Up the Costs of Remote Database Administration Services.  The article discusses the various remote DBA options and compares several providers of these services. Database Specialists is also mentioned in a follow-up article titled Inside the Outsourced World of Remote Database Services.

Call Database Specialists when you need remote DBA services or onsite support for your mission-critical Oracle database systems. Arrange a free consultation with a senior Database Specialists team member to find out how we can help increase your uptime, improve performance, minimize risk, and reduce costs. Visit our website for no-cost resources, white papers, conference presentations and handy scripts.

Sincerely,
David Wolff
CEO, Database Specialists, Inc.

dwolff@dbspecialists.com
(415) 344-0500 x48

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