Oracle People



  • <font color="#0000ff">[:'(]

    You guys, sob, I...I...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">I've managed Oracle developments...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">God, it was so hard...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">I though no one understood, Oracle people laughed at me...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">but sniffle</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">This forum, it's...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">it's...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff">it's like I've just come home for the first time, sniffle.</font>



  • [:@]

    About 3 years ago, I was development manager for a small company that crunched telephone call data information for its clients - it did other comms management stuff too, but that wasn't my job...

    When I started the job, the Managing Director (MD) told me that we were "going to use Oracle, because it would make people take us seriously..." - I inherited a Purchase order (PO) project where the system had been redeveloped in India from an Ingres system and rewritten in VB 6 using ActiveX controls (WTF?). Maybe I should have left then, but no, I am persistent.

    Having come from a SQL Server background, I knew that Oracle was a real database - a big, scary thing used by big companies and we were small - that, also, should have been a warning. I set about installing it.

    After the first attempt, I tried to load the management tools - some kind of enterprise manager thing would do.

    Couldn't find one.

    Finally found some abomination of Java crapware but could NOT connect to the DB.

    Reinstalled.

    Same problem.

    Called SQL Server database Guru friend with some Oracle expertise.

    "Have you created a database?" "Have you started the database?" "Have you etc. etc."

    Did all this and tried to connect to the database using some SQL Plus.

    Worked.

    Got a copy of the PO database converted from Ingres by company in India and loaded onto Oracle using arcane instructions and commandline - svrmgrl or some thing.

    During this period, I was recruiting for an Oracle person to help us maintain the VB 6 app and write new stuff. Could not find VB 6 developer with Oracle experience on my budget.

    Then one day, Eureka! Found PL/SQL developer with some ASP experience - "Do you know Oracle well?" "Inside out" - hired this Oracle Chap (OC).

    And then it went something like this:

    Week 1:

    Me "Please check that Oracle is set up okay and everything is working"
    OC "Okay..." (slightly puzzled look)

    Week 2: We used VB6 and were evaluating C#.NET. So, OC needed MS skills. Sent on VB 6 course in second week.

    Week 3, planning meeting:

    Me "How is database being backed up?"
    OC "Don't know" (slightly puzzled look)
    Me (thinks - "odd, database guy doesn't know what backups are being done") "Please get backups sorted out"
    OC "Okay..." (slightly puzzled look)

    Week 4, planning meeting:

    Me "Backups?"
    OC "Think they are okay but need to do a cold backup manually to be sure"
    Me "Okay, after hours"
    OC "Okay"

    Week 5:

    MD "Please write system to produce bills"
    Me (to OC) "Please write system to produce bills, any VB questions, please ask me"
    OC "Okay, will do"

    Week 6: planning meeting

    OC "Here is first version of bill production"
    Me "What is this?"
    OC "Bill production system"
    Me "Written in...?"
    OC "PL/SQL"
    Me "We use VB here"
    OC "No, but I have to use PL/SQL to do processing"
    Me "aha, so this is stored proc?"
    OC "Erm, yes"

    Week 7:

    MD "Set up backup Oracle server to be used in case of failure"
    Me "okay"

    A this point, I ordered a new box and set it up. I installed Oracle, OC installed image of existing DB, we set up a test system, we tested against the new fail-over system and finally we were ready for a full test. Except for one problem - Oracle requires some way of being pointed at the new system in TNSNAMES.ORA. Bugger. Wrote a script to replace the TNSNAMES at logon - tested, worked.

    Also during this period, other stuff was happening. OC was developing billing system, I was doing all kinds of other stuff, other developers were updating the nightmare Indian system to work properly as I had canned the Indian company.

    OC was maintaining Oracle and looking after backups too.

    After a few weeks we met up again specifically to check on backups and billing system as I was getting a bit suspicious:

    Week 10 (or something):

    Me "Backups?"
    OC "Yes, no problem, I am doing them."
    Me "You are 'doing' them?"
    OC "Yes, the transaction files are all kept and once a week I run a cold backup after work."
    Me "What? You are relying on transaction files to be able to roll the DB forward from the last cold backup if we need to recover? Where are the transaction files? On the same disk as the database?"
    OC (slightly puzzled look) "Eh, yes, I think so"
    Me "You think so? Don't you know?"
    OC "I will check."
    Me "Why are you running cold backups manually?"
    OC "What do you mean?"
    Me "Why is the backup not automated?"
    OC "I will look into that"
    Me "Okay, hang on. Do you know what you are doing, you look a bit puzzled?"
    OC "well, you know..."
    Me "Yes...?"
    OC "I am a PL/SQL developer."
    Me "so what?"
    OC "I am not a DBA"
    Me (starting to realise where this is going - Oracle has Developers and DBA's - they are different beasts, you pay a load of cash for a DBA but they cannot develop - developers cannot DBA - this was a SMALL company, couldn't afford both, assumed that a developer would be able to DBA - Oracle looking like very bad idea)

    "...and you have never done a database backup before...???"

    OC "I don't know how to automate one"
    Me "Isn't there a tool?"
    OC "A tool?"
    Me "for automating DB backups..."
    OC "Oh yes, there is, it's called TOAD"
    Me "Ok, use that"
    OC "It costs money"
    Me "Why? Isn't it part of Oracle?"

    ... I will spare you the rest of this. I ended up getting in a consultant at £1,600 pounds for a day to plan and implement a backup strategy and have the OC maintain it. A few months later it stopped working - OC could not fix it.

    When I came to review the Billing system, it was pages and pages of PL/SQL. Where was the interface? It needed to be started from a command line. How were we going to roll it out? He didn't know.

    When the company got into financial trouble, he was the first to go...

    Now, this is just my experience of one implementation and one Oracle person but I have met a lot of MS developers and they ALL knew how to use the Enterprise Manager maintenance wizard to backup, restore and automate backups.

    They also mostly all had a good grasp of the DB and how it worked. They all had OTHER skills apart from SQL Server - VB, C#, asp, something that allowed them to develop applications. It would have been, I suspect, impossible for them to succeed at their jobs without these skills. It would have been very difficult for them to hide in a room and miss the whole windows development revolution (although I am sure that some have).

    Could I have handled it better, made a better choice? Certainly (get an MS developer and send them on an Oracle course rather than the other way round would have been a good start...)

    Do I blame Oracle for this mess? Yes.

    Should I? I don't care.

    But let me finish on this note:

    It doesn't MATTER which database is "better" or "faster" or some other subjective pointy head real ale swilling sandal wearing boffins worthless value judgment. What matters is "ease of use" "getting the job done" "delivering" - the database being the means to an end, not an end in itself. Oracle fails fails fails on every count and SQL Server wins wins wins.

    Thank you for listening. I feel much better now.



  • Sounds like a big chunk of that was your fault.

    1. First for hiring OC.

    2. Don't blame OC for deliverying a system which you don't know how to roll out. You should have thought of that before asking him to build a billing system.

    [:P]


     



  • <font style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">Yeah, there are things that I could have done better and I learned from my mistakes, however, the mistake in hiring him was that I assumed that like an SQL developer, he would have some DBA skills. I also didn't reckon that Oracle was so lacking in basic management tools. I also (and this is my get out) actually asked him if he knew how to manage the database and he said yes - I didn't realise that he meant "as a developer, I know how to create tables and stuff, I actually have no idea about DB administration..."

    As for rolling it out - well yes, I don't expect a developer to know how the organisation should roll the software out. However, I certainly don't expect him to ignore an instruction to develop something in a particular language (VB) and do it in PL/SQL. Also, when you write software, you should understand that it will need to be rolled out - writing something the can only be run through SQL PLUS shows a fundamental lack of understanding of all the user interface / usability issues surrounding software development - again, I would be surprised to find an MS developer that had not had to deal with these issues, although I am sure that some exist, it is more difficult to hide this sort of lack of experience in the MS camp...

    [<:o)]
    </font>



  • @smudge said:


    OC "I don't know how to automate one"
    Me "Isn't there a tool?"
    OC "A tool?"
    Me "for automating DB backups..."
    OC "Oh yes, there is, it's called TOAD"


    That made me laugh. I haven't used TOAD much, so maybe it can do this. It does have a lot. But having it automate backups sounds kinda iffy. We use OEM for our Window's databases and a CRON job for our Solaris databases. It certainly isn't as easy as Sql Server's right click button. Heaven forbid you have to recover from one.



  • @smudge said:

    When I started the job, the Managing Director (MD) told me that we were "going to use Oracle, because it would make people take us seriously..."

    And here is the root of all the rest of your grief. Your MD made a bad purchasing decision. Oracle is the heavy-duty beast. It needs a full-time DBA. With that, yes you can manage multiple, massive databases, have them secure, backed up, striped across multiple (physical) volumes for speed, remotely replicated, etc etc.

    But I would not recommend it for a small company.

    His second mistake was to put someone in charge of hiring that did not understand how important it is to have a real DBA, not just someone who knows PL/SQL inside out. I have nearly 20 years experience as a developer, a fair bit of that in Oracle, but I would never dream of hiring on as an Oracle DBA.



  • TOAD provides the foundation and basic tools for Oracle  to create and execute queries, as well as build and manage database objects. Toad is not product to backup or recover your database. You need RMAN to backup and restore oracle. Oracle is not click click software like SqlServer. You can learn SqlServer admin task in on day. For oracle, you need a real DBA.

    SqlServer 2005 start talking about 

    Replication, Mirroring, cultering, table Partition, Sql tunning, explain plan ...etc.and you may see in the future SqlServer DBA. Real Sqlserver DBA. not just click click user.

    You are very lucky that OM did some dba task. In small company like yours, you should be the DBA.

    Bye



  • Even in the windows/MS/Sql Server world people with only basic right click knowledge of how to administer a database can be very dangerous.  I do agree that most people in the MS world can become better then novice users rather quickly if they want to, you still need people who have expierence and knowledge that go beyond the basics.  Far too often people will start a project and use MS tools for that project.  They assume because the tools are all point and click and fairly intuitive that anyone can manage them, so they get Tony in accounting to administer the database becuase "he's really good with Excel".  Later as the project progresses and the system starts to fall down people assume "oh its not working because its written in VB" or "Its not stable because its running on SQL Server" if the situation does not improve the whole project gets scraped because "we used MS products"  Then management decides to use a different technology usually something that even they have heard of, typically Oracle or IBM.  They spend 5 times what they were going to spend on the original project and because they spent more money probably got more experienced people working on the project, and in the end if it works better then the original project did, they re-inforce that the original products were bad when in the end it wasn't the products or the technology but was the people involved in the project.



  • The day I DBA Oracle will be the day my feet stick to the frozen surface of hell...

     



  • Yes, becaue database backup is all about "right-clicking".  
    Never mind thinking something though, that would require actually
    knowledge and effort.



  • @smidge said:

    Me (starting to realise where this is going -
    Oracle has Developers and DBA's - they are different beasts, you pay a
    load of cash for a DBA but they cannot develop - developers cannot DBA

    • this was a SMALL company, couldn't afford both, assumed that a
      developer would be able to DBA - Oracle looking like very bad
      idea)




    This is the case with any database.    Good developers
    can DBA.  Good DBAs can develop.   Most can do
    neither.   Thus, there is symmetry.





    @smidge said:
    OC "I don't know how to automate one"

    Me "Isn't there a tool?"

    OC "A tool?"

    Me "for automating DB backups..."

    OC "Oh yes, there is, it's called TOAD"

    Me "Ok, use that"

    OC "It costs money"

    Me "Why? Isn't it part of Oracle?"




    Automated backups can be done with a simple scheduler and script too, you know.  

    If you have enterprise edition, RMAN works well .



    @smidge said:




    Now, this is just my experience of one implementation and one Oracle
    person but I have met a lot of MS developers and they ALL knew how to
    use the Enterprise Manager maintenance wizard to backup, restore and
    automate backups.




    Your problem was with the person, not Oracle the software.  



    It's very easy to back Oracle up cold -- just shut down the database and copy the files.



    Hot backups aren't much harder -  put the DB or tablespace into
    backup mode (ALTER DATABASE|TABLESPACE xxx BEGIN BACKUP), copy the
    files, take it out of backup mode. You can do this in OEM or in
    SQL.   



    IF you archive logs, make sure they're on separate media and backed up too.  



    None of this is inherently harder than what a SQL server instance requires in production.



    @smidge said:
    Do I blame Oracle for this mess? Yes.



    Should I? I don't care.




    Obviously.   Though you have one good point -- many Oracle
    people out there are idiots, like the dude in your story.  
    But that can be said about any programming environment (VB, hello?)



    Pick up the concepts manual off otn.oracle.com and read it, you'll learn a lot.




  • Look guys - stop trying to get me to use Oracle again!

    Now that I am doing a lot more development in my new job here, we use Oracle and SQL Server for different clients. All the highly skilled and experienced developers here agree that although Oracle is a good database, its tools are junk and its difficult to administer. That won't change anytime soon.

    In response to the suggestion that its easy to do cold backups on Oracle "just shut it down and copy the files" that's great. What about hot backups - how easy are they? I'm intrigued to know...



  • Not an easy decision is it? Oracle is a great database but it's tools, it's user interface and whatever more is just junk...

    SQL Server on the other hand has great tools, a nice user interface but here the database is junk.

    Now, if those two companies would start working together, they might generate something that combines the best of both sides.



    Or the worst of both sides... [;)]



  • <FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #efefef">Yes! Excellent Katja! I can see it now...</FONT>

    <FONT size=3>New Microsoft Sqoracle, </FONT>

    taking the great management toolset from Oracle and implementing it over the SQL Server Database - Get it today, for free!

    <FONT size=1>(Free - that is, unless you try to implement it in a production environment, when we will charge you $500 for every user that might possibly have access to it and if you use it on the web, that's about 500,000,000 people so go figure...)</FONT>

    [:|]



  • @smidge said:

    In
    response to the suggestion that its easy to do cold backups on Oracle
    "just shut it down and copy the files" that's great. What about hot
    backups - how easy are they? I'm intrigued to know...




    Make sure your database has "archive logs" turned on and
    properly configured.   This makes sure that Oracle doesn't
    cycle logs, it archives them to a seperate disk or tape or something.
    This can be done in init.ora manually or in OEM, and is only needed
    when you first set up your database.



    After that,...

    alter tablespace XYZ begin backup
    copy files in the tablespace
    alter tablespace XYZ end backup


    You can do it for the full database too (alter database begin backup),
    but tablespace-sized chunks is probably more manageable....



    The other way to do backups is RMAN (recovery manager) which is a full
    backup management solution.  For casual databases it's
    unnecessary, but important for big stuff.



  • Continuing the discussion from 2016 predictions thread, with a stable clear name that people SHOULD (See: RFC 2119) keep changing:

    @asdf said:

    ### :dart: Someone will necro at least 10 old flamewars in addition to the 1000 new ones.

    Old flamewars, eh?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @rc4 said:

    Old flamewars, eh?

    I was still in high school when this flamewar started. I think you win.



  • I wasn't even in high school when this started. :laughing:


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @rc4 said:

    I wasn't even in high school when this started.

    Well, it was a Saturday, so…



  • Unintentional :pendant:ry, eh?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Nope, just me misreading the Discourse date format™. Actually, it was a Friday.



  • @smudge said:

    I assumed that like an SQL developer, he would have some DBA skills.

    If you even hire a SQL Server developer and assume they have DBA skills your project will fail unless its the tiniest possible project.



  • @Katja said:

    SQL Server on the other hand has great tools, a nice user interface but here the database is junk.

    SQL Server 2000 was junk. SQL Server 2008R2+? As good as Oracle. And cheaper. And doesn't nickel and dime you for every little extra piece (like spatial types). And doesn't require neckbeards to talk down to you about why using TOAD is for idiots that don't know how to memorize every command and type it in to SQL plus on a command line like God (Larry Ellison) intended. And 500 more things (PL/SQL being the bastard son of Ada/Pascal, etc).

    Also, this guy. http://dba-oracle.com/



  • @NTW said:

    TOAD is for idiots

    Well SQL Developer is better.



  • @loopback0 said:

    Well SQL Developer is better.

    Really? That piece of sh*t with 90's style icons (and a UI clearly designed by a blind person) that won't ever let me quit because "a session is in progress" so I force kill it at least twice a day?



  • @NTW said:

    Really? That piece of sh*t with 90's style icons (and a UI clearly designed by a blind person) that won't ever let me quit because "a session is in progress" so I force kill it at least twice a day?

    I dealt with this shit like 20 mins back. I hate my work primarily because the DB side work I have to makes me work with this shit piece of software atleast 70% of my time in the office. I hate this shit so much. Piece of shit software fucking does not work . It breaks inconsistently all the time !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    EDIT : I had sql developer 4.0.0 or something and then downloaded 4.1.3 and guess what , shit which was working in the previous version is buggy as fuck now. I am thoroughly pissed.



  • I don't really care that it has "90's style" icons. It works.

    @NTW said:

    that won't ever let me quit because "a session is in progress" so I force kill it at least twice a day?

    NO_REPRO.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    This post is deleted!


  • I was talking about the Piece of shit software from Oracle. Am i missing something here ?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Sorry, I misread something.



  • @NTW said:

    Really? That piece of sh*t with 90's style icons (and a UI clearly designed by a blind person) that won't ever let me quit because "a session is in progress" so I force kill it at least twice a day?

    It's retarded, but you probably need to install the keepalive extension. Something...something...firewall...time out...suckage. But that solves this issue,. at least.

    @stillwater said:

    EDIT : I had sql developer 4.0.0 or something and then downloaded 4.1.3 and guess what , shit which was working in the previous version is buggy as fuck now. I am thoroughly pissed.

    I wasn't too happy about how they changed the find / replace dialog. Also, sometimes the cursor disappears. :wtf:



  • @boomzilla said:

    you probably need to install the keepalive extension.

    Thank you! I will give this a try. Does it help though when I forget to disconnect before undocking my laptop?


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