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RE: Pre-Approved database changes

From: Thomas Day <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 08:26:17 -0400
Message-ID: <>

For us the following items would be under change control (CC):
- Drop unused columns of a table (how do you know they're unused? If CC
lets the DBAs drop columns that they "think" are unused then evenually they will drop a column that is used or will be used in a future release - we add columns now, when we can get them through the CC board, against a known future need.)
- create user / change password for a user / drop user (for non-schema
users, e.g. employees having an account to use the application) - Not a chance in the world that the DBA could/would do this. We have a whole, separate control function/group that does nothing but create and administer users. You can't have the DBA just creating users because someone asked them to.
- granting privileges to a user - see point above. Just because a user
thinks that they need a privilege doesn't mean that they're going to get it. They must justify the need to the control group and, if approved, they will be granted an existing role. If no existing role meets their need then a new role must be approved, impleted, and granted (as if that's going to happen).
- changing system parameters - will any system parameter change require
approval by the change control board? - You bet! It had to be done in the testing database first. If the change is of a type that would only be applicable to the production database - because of size, number of users, specific platform, etc. - then it has to be reversible. If it's an irreversible change, ie, something goes wrong and the database has to be recovered or rebuilt, then it's not likely to be approved.
- drop tablespace including contents and datafiles - If you can prove that
the tablespace is unnecessary then you can prove it to the CC board. The DBA can't just drop it because the DBA "thinks" that it's unnecessary.

                      Kilchoer"                To:      <>                                                       
                      <Jacques.Kilchoe         cc:      <>                                                      
                      r                        Subject: RE: Pre-Approved database changes                                              
                      Sent by:                                                                                                         
                      06/17/2004 05:48                                                                                                 
                      Please respond                                                                                                   
                      to oracle-l                                                                                                      

How exhaustive does this list need to be?
- Drop unused columns of a table

How about system shutdown / startup? Obviously you don't want to ask your control board everytime you do that.

Are you also considering any changes to configuration files, e.g. listener.ora, tnsnames.ora, password files?

Those of you with stringent change control standards, or are currently going
through Sarbanes Oxley, may be familiar with pre-approved changes.

Essentially, all changes will be logged to the change control repository.

Yes, all.

There will be a list of pre-approved changes. These are changes that may be performed without review by the change control board.

These are things that are naturally done throughout the course of the day as part
of normal DBA duties. These changes are of a nature that the outcome is always
predictable, and does not result in accidental downtime or outages, or have other
profoundly negative results.

Keep in mind that there is an assumed level of competence and some discretion involved on the part of the DBA. You could probably perform just about any database operation and cause problems if you don't know what you are doing or act as if you are the only user on the system.


adding datafiles to a tablespace
changing storage parameters on an index or table modifying database statistics through collection or deletion create exports
create backups
online index rebuilds ( in the rare case that it is useful ) Vertex Tax Table loads( yes, I'm stuck with those )

These changes are assumed to occur on active database systems, and are not part of some other normally scheduled procedure, such as a data load.

I would like to add to this list, and will welcome all suggestions and/or corrections.

If it is substantial, I will post it somewhere that all can access it.

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Received on Fri Jun 18 2004 - 07:26:02 CDT

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