November 2009

November 2009
Database Specialists wishes all its customers and friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
What does the acronym OCM mean?

(A) Oracle Certified Master

(D) A and B
(E) A and C
(F) A, B, and C

Stand on your head or hold your computer screen upside down to read the answer below.

.1ɯʇɥ.ɯɔo/ɯoɔ.ɹǝpuýɟɯʎuoɹɔɐ.ʍʍʍ//:dʇʇɥ ǝǝs .ɔ puɐ ‘q ‘ɐ (ɟ) sý ɹǝʍsuɐ ǝɥʇ

P.S. Click here if you want to learn how to stump your co-workers by typing upside-down text.
Finding Oracle Information and Help Online 

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

“What are the best online sources for Oracle information and help”

Searching for information online is an essential DBA skill. The Internet is a treasure trove of information that can help you in solving a problem. For example, Database Specialists has made its collection of tutorials, conference presentations, and white papers available for free download. Often a simple Google search will bring up an answer, but many specialized resources also are available.

The most authoritative resource is of course the online Oracle documentation. Click the View Library link of any documentation set to get to the corresponding search page. Documentation for older versions of Oracle software going back to Oracle 7 is available here. Download the documentation you need to your desktop or laptop so you can browse the documentation while offline. Downloading the documentation to your computer is particularly advisable if you prefer the PDF versions. Because of the documents’ large size, it is more efficient to browse through them while offline.
You also can ask questions on the Oracle forums. Many Oracle experts donate a lot of time answering questions posted here.
The Oracle Technology Network (OTN) is an Oracle-sponsored site filled with useful resources including articles, sample code, and tutorials. It also contains links to the Oracle documentation and Oracle forums.
Oracle author Tom Kyte has been answering Oracle questions for many years on his web site Ask Tom. He’ll answer your question if he hasn’t already answered a similar question before and if the answer would be of wide interest.
Another good place to ask questions is the Usenet newsgroup Many Oracle experts donate a lot of time answering questions posted here. Most Internet service providers provide access to newsgroups, but you can also use a Google account to ask questions.
If you’ve exhausted other alternatives, consider asking your question to the subscribers of the Oracle-L mailing list. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail message to with the word subscribe or unsubscribe in the subject line.
You can search the Oracle knowledge base (MetaLink) and obtain technical support from Oracle Support if you are paying annual support fees to Oracle and have a valid Customer Support Identifier (CSI). The support fees are typically 22 percent of the cost of your Oracle licenses. If you choose to forgo Oracle support, you will not be entitled to any patches (fixes for software bugs) or upgrades. If you cannot find the answer in the Oracle knowledge base, you can create a service request. The priority of the service request and the corresponding service-level commitment depend on the impact to your organization. For instance, a production outage is classified as Severity 1 and is given the highest level of attention.
We hope this short answer helps you. Best of luck.
Book Beat
Got some pennies, brother? For just 33 cents-plus a little more for shipping and handling-you can have a used copy of the best book on Oracle internals that has ever been written: Oracle8i Internal Services for Waits, Latches, Locks, and Memory by Steve Adams. Yes it doesn’t have the word RAC in it, but what is RAC but OPS (Oracle Parallel Server) by a new name? It is one of the three really great Oracle books listed below that you may be tempted to ignore because the titles have the word 8i in them.

Why haven’t the authors kept updating their books? There is very little money in writing books and it’s very hard work besides. And, as Mogens Norgaard recounts, when Jonathan Lewis was asked if his book Practical Oracle8i: Building Efficient Databases would ever be published in an updated 9i version, his response was to suggest that we put a sticker with a “9” over the “8” on the cover of his book, because the advice, methods and techniques described in the book were still very valid with Oracle9i.

There’s definitely some downside to reading a book that deals with an older version of a technology but, in the case of these three books, I believe that the upsides outweigh the downsides.

Oracle8i Internal Services for Waits, Latches, Locks, and Memory by Steve Adams (Paperback – Oct 11, 1999) 19 used from $0.33

Scaling Oracle8i: Building Highly Scalable OLTP System Architectures by James Morle (Paperback – Jan 2, 2000) 16 used from $1.00

Practical Oracle8i: Building Efficient Databases by Jonathan Lewis (Paperback – Dec 28, 2000) 30 used from $2.49

If you haven’t got a penny, James Morle has made his book available for free download.
P.S. We can’t guarantee that the sale will last forever.
Iggy Fernandez has received the Oracle ACE award in the category of Database Management and Performance. Oracle ACEs demonstrate a proficiency in Oracle technology and applications as well as a willingness to share their knowledge and experiences with the community. A long-standing member of the Database Specialists team and an expert in Oracle database administration, Fernandez is the editor of the NoCOUG Journal and the author of Beginning Oracle Database 11g Administration.

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.

David Wolff
CEO, Database Specialists, Inc.
(415) 344-0500 x48

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