The Long ViewBy Blair Campbell
Oracle Database experience informs views on new features—and new ways of communicating.
Your experience with Oracle technology goes back to using Oracle7 as a university student. Over the years, what’s changed about using Oracle technology? Dealing with multiple customers and projects every day, I have to touch practically every aspect of Oracle database technology, and I especially appreciate the efforts Oracle puts into improving its documentation. This is now our first source of information about new features.
What stands out in terms of improvements to the technology itself? The automatic workload repository feature in Oracle Database 10g. It provides unprecedented levels of instrumentation and an unmatched ease of use in Oracle Enterprise Manager.
How do you use the internet today? I live it, work it—I practically sleep with it! Virtual private network over the internet is the primary link connecting me with all my customers. I also communicate with customers through extensive use of messaging and Web and videoconferencing. In addition, the internet has revolutionized knowledge sharing in Oracle communities.
You’ve taken Oracle University classes in the past. What led you to do this? “Learn Oracle from Oracle” is still the most compelling reason. These folks know how to teach, and they know their subjects. Usually I take courses in a classroom, because to me the interaction with the teacher offers the most value.
What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do more of? With the large number of products Oracle offers, it is necessary to reach out to the expertise of partners. These peer groups can act as advocates and will make the products better by giving feedback about a product’s use and making enhancement requests.
If you were going to the International Space Station for six months and could take only one Oracle reference book, what would it be? As books are far too heavy, I’d settle for the DVD with all the Oracle Database 11g and Oracle Application Server 10g documentation. By the way, is the position of space station DBA vacant, and if so, where can I apply?
What green practices do you use in your work? I work remotely and use Web conferencing, including whiteboards and video.
What’s your favorite tool or technique on the job? To me the best tool for a DBA is SQL*Plus—whatever the problem is, you can find it and analyze it with SQL*Plus.
Which new database features are you finding most valuable? I’m mostly interested in the performance-relevant features. Within Oracle Database 11g, database replay and pending statistics are my favorites. With database replay, you get the chance to evaluate if changes to the operating databases will attain the expected results, and pending statistics enables you to eliminate the fear that a new statistic will slow down query performance.