Re: possible nomination for oracle wtf

From: Ed Prochak <>
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 11:33:59 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

On Jul 23, 1:05 pm, gazzag <> wrote:
> On 19 July, 00:21, hpuxrac <> wrote:
> > This is from a blog of someone that I think is ( perhaps ) an Oracle
> > ACE ...
> >
> > So they have a system going live "soon" with EXCEPTION when others
> > apparently all over the place.  Looks like it started blowing up ...
> > and surprise ... they don't know why.
> > Too bad no one has ever warned about what happens with systems built
> > like this eh?
> I think you completely missed the point, John.  As others have
> commented, she was pointing out the value of proper error reporting:
> "....the basics of error handling should not be ignored – When an
> error occurs,  we must know what was the error."
> It reminds me of the circumstances in which I entered the world of the
> Oracle DBA.  Many years ago, Oracle 7.3.4, in fact, I was a contractor
> in a government department.  At the time, the incumbent Oracle DBA was
> away for a week and we had a problem that could possibly have required
> us to revert to the previous night's cold backup.  I was tasked with
> locating the relevant tapes and checking their contents.  I tried the
> tape from the previous night's backup and my heart sank as it appeared
> to be empty.  The tape from the night before was empty aswell.  As I
> worked backwards through tape after tape, it became apparent that we
> had no backup whatsoever.
> I located the script that was run by cron every night and examined
> it.  There, the very last line in the script simply was:
> echo "Backup completed." | mail <list_of_recipients>
> There was no logic within the script - that line would be executed
> regardless.  Fortunately we found a workaround to the issue, so no
> real harm was done.  Apart to the DBA's career, naturally.  When the
> then-DBA returned from holiday he was "promoted sideways" and I was
> treated to approximately six weeks worth of training with Oracle :-)
> -g

had a similar experience on a project. The error was in the shell script, not the database. But the net result was the same. The script had bee in production for years.

   Ed Received on Thu Jul 23 2009 - 13:33:59 CDT

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