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Re: Noob Oracle Question

From: CJM <>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2006 09:48:17 +0100
Message-ID: <>

"joel garry" <> wrote in message
> You might want to reflect on the issue of those who have seen the same
> issues over and over ad nauseum. I agree it would be better to
> politely lead noobs toward the correct path. If that worked. _I've_
> tried to make it work (like ),
> and it often does, though when it does, one tends to not get feedback
> about it (unlike a class instructor, who can get immediate feedback).
> This group (and it is not alone) gets lots of people who have
> difficulty letting go of the way they've learned to do things, and for
> them it doesn't work. They need their attention gotten. I'm
> continually amazed at how often the more brusque posters get it right.

I know the feeling. But in some groups I frequent we publish the group guidlines and FAQ at least weekly, and the regulars will often point a newcomer there at the outset. Much more constructing than barking at them because they know nothing.

Also, you need to reflect on what it is like for you to join a 'new' NG. How often have we been quoted a seemingly obvious snippet of information, yet we still have required an explanation. It's obvious if you are experienced in that area, perhaps not so if you are not.

> I used to think a good way for those thrust into a new software
> environment is to thrash around in it for a couple of months, then take
> formal education. That way, you hit the ground running in the formal
> education, at least in some little parts where you made some mental
> connections. I don't think that anymore (at least for Oracle), since
> so many people are so ingrained in ways that are just wrong from the
> Oracle viewpoint, and you can make things work while continuing bad
> habits. This institutionalizes the mess. It's not just cases of one
> developer in a company, either, most of the ERP systems out there show
> this too.

I agree that a short period of familiarization followed by formal training is ideal. Like you say, it means you can get the most out of the training from day 1. Forget the formal training, I just wish I had had a couple of months notice! It became apparent that there was a problem with out ERP system a few weeks ago. The course of action was determined a fortnight ago, and I was told last week. Deadline is the end of the month!

> In the real world, development becomes production, good or bad, so you
> and everyone after you are better off cutting off the bad ASAP.

Aint that a fact. The prevailent attitude here is that if you get it 'working' it's job done. Who cares about best practice or DB theory and conventions??

My first week in this job, I designed an 'intrim' system to cover some specific basics of a given job function. The interim system is still going strong 4 years later.

> Print out the concepts manual and read it. Then read it again
> (especially the locking and consistency parts).

I'm afraid I'm having to read and reread just to follow it all. It's a bit of a dry read.

>> Do you not think that we should have perhaps given greater weight to
>> solutions based on SQL Server DBs given that our company has a base of
>> experience in this technology? I would have...
> Since I'm biased towards MRP/ERP, and see cases where scalability is an
> issue, I'd say I agree with you for little home-grown projects but not
> for this.

I don't want to get into an Oracle vs SQL Server jihad here, but IMHO SQL Server is a very capable RDBMS, though I agree that Oracle is generally accepted as one of the most capable in todays market. I think SQL Server would handle this system fine. From what I have seen the weak point is not the DB but the application; I dont think this ERP system will even make Oracle sweat.

>> Do you not think that the person with the most RDBMS skills and
>> experience,
>> and the guy who primarly supports the the dozen or so SQL Servers, should
>> be
>> trained up to adminster the Oracle DB. Again, I would have...
> I have a little more difficulty with this. From what I've seen (and
> I'd been interested if others have seen otherwise), Sybase-derived
> DBA's tend to place great stock in memorizing supplied SP's, and
> perhaps writing some. While some Oracle shops may do the same thing, I
> don't think that should be the primary skill of an Oracle DBA. In the
> case of bringing an Oracle ERP solution into a non-Oracle shop, I'd say
> it would be most important to have a "functional DBA" experienced in
> that solution, and at least have available an experienced "technical
> DBA." They should then transfer knowledge to an inhouse DBA if they
> aren't going to be there permanently. A major problem is that since
> ERP solutions aren't often written properly from a DBA standpoint,
> whoever is dealing with it has to understand both how it is supposed to
> work and how to make it actually work. I've seen very experienced
> DBA's _not_ be able to deal with this. Trying to comprehend it all as
> a noob is just too much to ask.

We have two support guys who have been on an Oracle administration course. Both have *some* experience of SQL Server but neither could be considered DBA's of any description. They are both very capable guys, but they are both broadly skilled. I'm probably the nearest to a DBA we have, but then again I'm a developer really.

We have a support contract with the supplier, but I'm not sure what is included, but I fear that it wont be enough.

> The training out there is variable, too. (huge understatement)

I know what you mean, but aren't there some Oracle-accredited training courses around? You should try looking into HTML/CSS training; it seems everyone can be a web developer, and thus a trainer, these days. Plus with no body in true ownership of the technology, there is no accreditation. Consequently, you cannot get decent training anywhere on this subject.

> Get yourself Tom Kyte's books ASAP. Skip the sledgehammer phase. He
> starts off with several chapters explicitly geared towards developers
> coming into the Oracle world.

It's been mentioned previously; I've already put in my request.

> I used to be worried that my work cleaning up other people's messes
> would be going away with the easier management of the newer versions of
> Oracle, but I seem to have been a bit pessimistic. Or is that
> optimistic?

A nice GUI enables the uninitiated to do all sorts of damage with ease, where as a plain command-line interface would often scare them off. On the other hand, maybe I've gone soft because I much prefer a GUI these days.

>> So next time I ask a question, can you all please try your best to answer
>> *my* question. We can always create another thread on management
>> best-practice and other peripheral issues. But meanwhile, I have a
>> difficult
>> job to do at short notice, and would appreciate constructive help from my
>> peers.
> I second this.

Great. Thanks for your responses. Received on Tue Aug 22 2006 - 03:48:17 CDT

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