Oracle 10g: Top Goodies and Gotchas

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-07-06 Print this article Print

Database Center Editor Lisa Vaas spoke to Oracle guru Mike Ault to get a list of the top time-saving features of 10g, the top pitfalls to avoid and the top things it would be nice to see in the next iteration.

Oracle 10g recently went under eWEEK Labs microscope and came out with flying colors, earning an Analysts Choice recommendation for its ability to take workload off the shoulders of DBAs. Thats no surprise. True, as Technical Analyst Michael Caton and Technology Editor Peter Coffee write in their wrap-up of the 10g tests, prospective users are finding that data-model consistency and application compatibility are still blocking the adoption of grid.
Click here for details on PeopleSofts, SAPs and Oracles rush to certify on 10g.
Because of these hurdles, were still waiting to see enterprises move toward embracing Oracles g-for-grid promises of dynamically allocated computing. But as far as automation and ease of use go, weve long heard early testers rave about these aspects of the new platform. Click here to read eWEEK Labs take on why 10g is easy to deploy, easy to operate and better in every way. But for the many of us who havent gotten their hands on 10g just yet, its all still a little abstract. For the benefit of 10g gonnabes or wannabes, I got Mike Ault on the line to run down some of the top highlights—and gotchas—that database administrators can look forward to (or watch out for, as the case may be) when they roll up their sleeves to get into the guts of 10g. Ault is a senior consultant with Burleson Oracle Consulting and the author of some 20 Oracle books, the most recent of which is titled "Oracle Database 10g New Features." First, I asked Ault what the Top 5 features of 10g are vis-à-vis the ability to save DBAs time. Heres his list:
  • AMM (Automatic Memory management). "Because DBAs spend a large amount of time monitoring and tuning the SGA areas in Oracle, AMM relieves them of a majority of this chore," Ault said.
  • Automated diagnostics through ADDM ("Adam"). "This process collects the needed statistics, SQL statements and other required data to analyze performance bottlenecks and provide detailed recommendations to the DBA," he said. "In addition, ADDM can be used to do detailed analysis of SQL statements to develop a SQL profile that can be used to tune previously un-tunable SQL such as third-party application SQL."
  • ASM (Automated Storage management). "This allows the DBA to set and forget datafile, redo log and other file areas," Ault said. "ASM provides for automated striping and mirroring as well as backup of Oracle-related files. ASM replaces more expensive disk management software (as related to Oracle data files)."
  • Enterprise manager and Grid Control. "There are so many enhancements in EM that it is difficult to pinpoint one that really shines," Ault said. "However, the automation of backups via a simple point-and-click interface has to be right up there. In addition, the fully Web-compliant interface that allows a DBA to manage [his or her] environment from anywhere they have access to the Internet is also a great convenience.
  • Improvements to the wait interface. This eliminates the need to dig for child wait information and the grouping of related waits by category, Ault said.
Next page: The gotchas list.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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