An Essential DBA Skill (Part II)
Click here for Part I of this article.
Searching for information online is an essential DBA skill. The Internet is a treasure trove of information that can help you in solving a problem. For example, user groups such as the Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) have made vast collections of electronic presentations and white papers available on their web pages. Often a simple Google search will bring up an answer, but many specialized resources also are available.
The highest quality resource is of course the online Oracle documentation. Click the View Library link of any documentation set to get to the corresponding search page. Documentation for older versions of Oracle software going back to Oracle 7 is available here. Download the documentation you need to your desktop or laptop so you can browse the documentation while offline. Downloading the documentation to your computer is particularly advisable if you prefer the PDF versions. Because of the documents’ large size, it is more efficient to browse through them while offline.
You also can ask questions on the Oracle forums. Many Oracle experts donate a lot of time answering questions posted here.
The Oracle Technology Network (OTN) is an Oracle-sponsored site filled with useful resources including articles, sample code, and tutorials. It also contains links to the Oracle documentation and Oracle forums.
Oracle author Tom Kyte has been answering Oracle questions for many years on his web site Ask Tom. He’ll answer your question if he hasn’t already answered a similar question before and if the answer would be of wide interest.
Another good place to ask questions is the Usenet newsgroup comp.databases.oracle.server. Many Oracle experts donate a lot of time answering questions posted here. Most Internet service providers provide access to newsgroups, but you can also use a Google account to ask questions.
If you’ve exhausted other alternatives, consider asking your question to the subscribers of the Oracle-L mailing list. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word subscribe or unsubscribe in the subject line.
You can search the Oracle knowledge base (MetaLink) and obtain technical support from Oracle Support if you are paying annual support fees to Oracle and have a valid Customer Support Identifier (CSI). The support fees are typically 22 percent of the cost of your Oracle licenses. If you choose to forgo Oracle support, you will not be entitled to any patches (fixes for software bugs) or upgrades. If you cannot find the answer in the Oracle knowledge base, you can create a service request. The priority of the service request and the corresponding service-level commitment depend on the impact to your organization. For instance, a production outage is classified as Severity 1 and is given the highest level of attention.
Excerpted from Beginning Oracle Database 11g Administration