Quest Hones Database Management Tools

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-06-16

Quest Hones Database Management Tools

Quest Software Inc. is rolling out a version of Quest Central for Oracle that sports new memory management capabilities and automated advice that can help get DBAs out of tight spots, the company announced on Monday.

Quest Central for Oracle 2.7 is a collection of database management tools including Spotlight on Oracle, a diagnostics tool; SQLab Vision, a tuning tool; Live Space Management, a tool for managing space and reorganizing without taking a database down; and Knowledge Xpert, a tool that supplies definitions to help DBAs work through problems.

TOAD (Tool for Oracle Application Developers), a database development product that normally ships with Quest Central versions, is not included in this version. TOAD will appear in Version 4.0, which will ship in the fall, said officials at the Irvine, Calif., company.

Quest Central for Oracle 2.7 enables database performance tuning, administration, performance diagnostics and space management in a single console. The update features an enhanced console that allows for user feedback, browsing thats enabled through a virtual tree, notification of license expiration and an option to automatically check for software updates.

The update will enable database administrators to view temporary and locally managed data files and tablespaces. It comes with new Table VOEs (Visual Object Editors), giving DBAs the ability to modify tables and their parameters. It also features the ability to kill user sessions from the console. As part of the standard console—i.e., shipping with any of the suites components—the software also provides the ability to look into Oracles Trace files through a GUI interface.

Performance diagnostics were updated with new Oracle9i advisories, enhanced startup-up and loading views, and the ability to remember Windows sizing and positioning.

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In the realm of database analysis, Quest Central 2.7 now allows users to create a tuning plan. It also features a shared repository of analysis results, eliminating the need to e-mail such results. The update features a shared folder for XML files on the network, which reduces the amount of space needed for storage.

The suites Knowledge Xpert has been enhanced. Quest Central, previous to this update, had generic help text and advice. Now, industry knowledge and expertise from Oracle experts has been collected and is served up in the background of the suites tools. When a DBA is analyzing a database, he or she can zero in on a flashing red light or a spike of performance issues, click on it, and the tool will explain what the problem is and how to resolve it, officials said.

A new summary report also features listings by state, with green or red color differentiation.

For space management, Quest Central now has new rules that help to automate object sizing and growth regulation. It also has the ability to restart standard and LiveReorg scripts—an important enhancement, considering that DBAs often have to start scripts over or even rebuild them when they run into issues. A wizard interface now automates scripts and gives DBAs the ability to restart.

SQL tuning has also been tweaked, with the ability to query the SGA (System Global Area) and to run reports on top sessions for SQL. This last feature is also standard, being a part of the console with this update, and can name top offending users by session, by offending application or by offending SQL statement.

Quest Central for Oracle 2.7 starts at $2,400 for a single component and $11,600 for the suite of all four components. It will be live on Quests site by Monday afternoon.

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