Database Resources

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-11-17

Database Resources

Want to see your favorite database- or business intelligence-related site in this list? Send it to our attention.

News sites is a great place to keep up with whats going on in the general database market. Its weekly Featured Topic generates useful watercooler chat.

Tech Targets is the go-to site for up-to-the-minute Oracle news, as well as good, nitty-gritty how-to articles on subjects touching on all Oracle products and processes, from Collaboration Suite, 10G, data migration, ETL, solving common errors, etc. The site also has an Oracle-specific career center that features news, advice and the ability to search for jobs by region, skills or title. is an online community for all things database. Two things in particular make this portal a pearl: Its news aggregation and the top-notch gurus that spill its ink. The news grab is unique in that it provides a truly global perspective on database/BI/technology goings-on, whether youre talking Oracle in Dubai or Sybase in China. As for database delphis, you can read wisdom from the likes of Jonathan Lewis, Don Burleson or Chris Foot, to name a few of their luminaries.

The thinking behind the name LazyDBA goes like this: A lazy DBA is too lazy to look after databases manually, so they write scripts or get third-party software to do it for them. So too is a lazy DBA too lazy to search all over for answers—instead, they head for this forum, where you can expect any given database question to be answered by a good chunk of the thousands of DBAs who participate. Heed LazyDBAs warning, though, and get the incoming mail quarantined in its own folder, lest the hideousness of actual, sweat-inducing work manifests itself when you start to drown in incoming mail.

Next page: Vendor-specific sites.


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Vendor-specific sites

The Oracle Technology Network is so essential to Oracle work that it rates a "Well, duh." OTN delivers Oracle minutiae straight from the horses mouth. Both in-house and outside Oracle gurus pitch in with blogs, articles and editorials. The Ask Tom section, although its been too burdened recently to take on more questions, is still a cornucopia of info, what with the questions already tackled. Oracle techies can also do essential housekeeping here, such as setting up notification for security alerts.

This is the spot for SQL Server troubleshooting. In particular, Microsofts TechNet corrals all the security bulletins a DBA needs to keep the exploits and night-sweats at bay. It also features IT community news about shows relevant to SQL Server users, such as the PASS Community Summit, as well as newsgroup listings.

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) is a set of online and offline services designed to help developers write applications using Microsoft products and technologies. is a collaborative community for developers to learn about building solutions using Microsoft SQL Server. The newly launched site was created by the founders of DotNetJunkies, Doug Seven and Donny Mack, who are themselves developers.

SQL Server Central bills itself as the largest online community of SQL Server users, with some 134,260 registered members. Thats a lot of DBA, developer and user brains to pick. Its no wonder that your hard-working Database Center editor hasnt been able to pull her head out of the engrossing News and Forums spaces quite yet, but shes vaguely aware that the sites also full of other goodies. To wit: Its got a Test Center, a mondo newsletter archive, scripts, scads of articles, and columns from the likes of its head SQL Server guru, Brian Knight. Knight is an MCSE, MCDBA, is on the Board of Directors for the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and runs the local SQL Server users group in Jacksonville.

Next page: Security sites.

Security sites


A site for those of us who need to be flogged when it comes to patching SQL Server (did someone say "Slammer?!"). As puts it, whatever your feelings are toward Microsoft, its servers are popping up everywhere, and we have to learn how to lock them down. The site features security exploit news as well as tips on upcoming conferences and how-to articles. It also has discussion forums and some useful security tools such as a table of the latest OS and SQL Server Service Packs/Hot Fixes to help track down out-of-date servers.

This is the spot for SQL Server troubleshooting. In particular, Microsofts TechNet corrals all the security bulletins a DBA needs to keep the exploits and night-sweats at bay. It also features IT community news about shows relevant to SQL Server users, such as the PASS Community Summit, as well as newsgroup listings.

Next page: User groups and societies.

User groups and

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User groups and societies

The International DB2 Users Group site can hook you up with news, content, features, events, and other people who work with IBM DB2.

The International Sybase User Group covers thousands of Sybase users in 20+ countries, and heres where they come to learn about all aspects of system development and operation, from system analysis and design to maintenance, warehousing and the Web.

The International Oracle Users Group site is the place to go for information, education and networking within the Oracle community.

The Professional Association for SQL Server site serves as a forum for education, networking, and influencing the direction of SQL Server and related products and services.

The Canadian Information Processing Society, or (CIPS), represents more than 8,000 Information Technology (IT) Professionals in major cities across Canada.

DAMA, The Data Management Association International, is an international not-for-profit association of data resource management professionals with chapters and Members-At-Large around the world.

The IEEE Computer Society has nearly 100,000 members, making it the worlds leading organization of computer professionals. Founded in 1946, it is the largest of the 37 societies of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

International Informix Users Group (IIUG) is the most influential user group representing the users of Informix products. Thousands of IIUG members around the world network, share knowledge and influence IBM and other vendors through IIUG.

SHARE is a non-profit, voluntary organization whose Member organizations are users of IBM information systems. SHAREs mission is to improve the effectiveness of Members information systems by providing education, promoting mutual support, and by influencing Information Technology strategies, products, and services.

The Association of Computing Machinery is a leading voice in the computing and IT community, and its site serves as a forum for ideas on how technology can better serve society. ACM hosts the computing industrys leading Digital Library and Portal to computing literature. The site features links to its journals and magazines, special interest groups, conferences, workshops, electronic forums, Career Resource Centre and Professional Development Centre.

Next page: Business intelligence sites.

Business intelligence sites

Business intelligence

When it comes to getting smart about business intelligence, The Data Warehousing Institutes site has the right brain juice. It offers goodies well worth the cost of membership—a salary survey, member newsletter, the Ten Mistakes series, the Business Intelligence Journal and FlashPoint. But dont fret; its also got plenty for the unwashed masses, including market news, white papers, conference listings, education, community forums, and downloadables such as research reports and tools to assess data warehousing skills, readiness and quality.

Feel the need to expound on data warehousing end users concerns, the fundamentals of data warehousing management or how to evaluate the readiness of a company to tackle data warehousing? No? Well, do you feel the need to read about any of those topics? If so, wants you, whether youre talking about your eyeballs or your contributed article. The site also features forums, an event list, tech tips and a newsletter.

Next page: XML sites.

XML sites


Ronald Bourrets XML Database Products site captures the current state of the market for XML database products. These are gathered from Web sites, product reviews, XML webzines, XML resource guides, and e-mail from product users and developers. features a rich mix of information and services for the XML community. The site is designed to serve both people who are already working with XML and those HTML users who want to "graduate" to XMLs power and complexity. A core feature of the site is the Annotated XML Specification, created by Tim Bray, co-editor of XML 1.0 and a contributing editor for

Next page: Sites for very large databases.

Very large database

sites "> Very large databases

The Winter Corporation is for scalability lovers. Here you can find the companys annual look at the worlds biggest databases, along with research, consulting and educational material geared to help users and vendors to understand opportunities; select database and data warehouse platforms; define and measure the value of strategies, architectures and products; plan, architect and design implementations; and manage scalability, performance and availability issues. The content also includes trends in large database technology and practice, along with tips on strategy and implementation.

The Very Large Data Base Endowment Inc. (VLDB Endowment) is a non-profit organization for the purpose of promoting and exchanging scholarly work in databases and related fields throughout the world.

Next page: Database-related sites.


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Database-related sites

The ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS) is part of the family of journals put out by the ACM. This one publishes original archival papers in the area of databases and closely related disciplines. The majority of the papers that appear in TODS address the logical and technical foundation of data management.

The Computer Measurement Group, commonly called CMG, is a not-for-profit, worldwide organization of data-processing professionals committed to the measurement and management of computer systems. CMG members are primarily concerned with performance evaluation of existing systems to maximize performance (eg. response time, throughput, etc.) and with capacity management where planned enhancements to existing systems or the design of new systems are evaluated to find the necessary resources required to provide adequate performance at a reasonable cost.

The Object Database Management Group (ODMG) completed its work on object data management standards in 2001 and was disbanded. You can check here for the final release of the ODMG standard, including the overall data model and the Smalltalk and C++ bindings for ODMG. (The ODMG Java binding has been superceded by Java Data Objects [JDO].)

The Object Management Group (OMG) was formed by 11 companies in 1989 in order to create a component-based software marketplace by accelerating the introduction of standardized object software. The organizations charter includes the establishment of industry guidelines and detailed object management specifications to provide a common framework for application development. Conformance to these specifications will make it possible to develop a heterogeneous computing environment across all major hardware platforms and operating systems. Implementations of OMG specifications can be found on many operating systems across the world today.

The OLAP Council has a mission to educate the market about OLAP technology, provide common definitions, sponsor industry research and help position OLAP technology within a broader IT architecture. In addition, the Council works toward establishing guidelines for interoperability between multiple OLAP vendors client and server tools.

The Open Group (X/Open) is an international vendor and technology-neutral consortium that is committed to delivering greater business efficiency by bringing together buyers and suppliers of information technology to lower the time, cost and risk associated with integrating new technology across the enterprise.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) works towards building the digital economy. It has three distinct missions: it seeks to show the world that the software and digital information industry is the fastest growing industry sector and a major contributor to the global marketplace. Second, it protects the intellectual property of members and advocates a legal and regulatory environment that benefits the entire industry. Finally, SIIA empowers member companies with knowledge by serving as a resource on a range of traditional and emerging subjects that affect their businesses.

The SQL Standards Home Page is designed to be a central source of information about the SQL standards process and its current state. It also contains pointers to other sources of information about the SQL standard.

The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) is a non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry.

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