Log Buffer #13: a Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Unlike fellow author Giuseppe of last week’s Log Buffer #12 I volunteered for the job of this week’s Log Buffer. Lots to say, so little time, so lets get started with Log Buffer #13.

Tom Kyte has been at the DBForum 2006 in Denmark. Apart from the contents of the Forum, his picture and comment “I spied some artifacts from Mogens Oracle Museum, a copy of the Version 3 and Version 4 Oracle” in Dbforum 2006, in the past… was an impressive look back in time. Manuals, what are they? So how old is this? Wikipedia History places Oracle Version 4 at 1984, some 22 years ago. One of the comments to Tom’s entry takes us to Back to the future (Oracle 4.1 VM appliance). The title gives the article’s content away, but worth a view of Oracle history. Good to also see Tom won the 42 Question Quiz on day 1, but what was the question he got wrong?

Ric Smith gives us a window of this month’s upcoming Oracle Open World with some details of Oracle Open World 2006 – Oracle Develop, “a new event tailored for the “geek” in us all. The format will make for a more developer-oriented conference”. Craig Mullins is at the European International DB2 User Group conference being held in Vienna this week (must be the month for RDBMS conferences). Details of his presentation “Change Control for DB2 Access Paths” are at IDUG in Vienna.

Build Your Own Oracle RAC Cluster on Linux – Again references a very detailed article and explanation by Jeffrey Hunter on RAC and shows the benefit by contributions to the OTN Oracle Community. If you’re heading to Oracle Open World this month, Justin Kestelyn mentions details of a similar presentation being held during the “Oracle on Linux Experience” portion of OTN Night on Monday Oct 23.

David Aldridge in his article Linux 2.6 Kernel I/O Schedulers for Oracle Data Warehousing: Part II has received some good responses in his concise and simple Benchmark. I always strive for simplicity in solving problems and this looks like a good simple approach to graphing I/O.

A little off the beaten track is Applying Web 2.0 to the Enterprise by Jonathan Bruce. The reason why I mention this is two fold. Firstly, decisions made by Project Management can have a big effect on the software development process, and this can have a significant effect on the DBAs and System Administrators that support systems. The article also mentions Agile Software Development of which I am a strong proponent. As I have a very detailed database background I’m also wary of some of the “strenghts” mentioned generally with Agile. A topic I’m happy to discuss more at some time.

E A D G B E. I have no idea what that means, you will need to read Ian Thain’s article regarding the Sybase WorkSpace to find out. He publishes some healthy performance improvement throughput figures with his 3 tuning guidelines.

Firebird 2.00 Release Candidate 5 has also been released this week. The news article indicates that this will probably become the release version.

Peter Scott reminds us that with all the technology advances and an existing 8 year old system which includes documentation, things still happen in I hate on call.

Greg Sabino Mullane over at Planet PostgreSQL is keeping abreast of the various open source offerings with his report on Berkeley DB now does MVCC. His comment “Looks like Oracle is actually doing something with their purchase …. Curiously, this comes right at the point when MySQL is dropping the BDB engine from their product.”. Hmmm, interesting observation, however it wasn’t the actual reason why BDB was dropped from MySQL. The actual reason mentioned some time ago can be found at BDB Engine removal.

Are we working in a booming industry? “Overall, Gartner is predicting that the worldwide DBMS market is around $14 billion and will continue to grow by nearly 7% per year”. This comment by Zack Urlocker is from his attendance of the “Gartner Open Source Summit - a very thorough analysis of the impact of open source technology in the database market.” You can read all his comments of the summit in Gartner Mastermind panel and Gartner on Open Source Databases.

Exploring the secrets of intermediate materialization by Adam Machanic revives a trick he had in SQL Server 2000 in improving logical reads when query tuning. This example shows it’s operation in SQL Server 2005.

Peter Zaitsev gives us a quick refresher on his MySQL Performance Blog with What to tune in MySQL Server after installation. A good introduction reference of configurable system variables, particularly for those non-MySQL DBA’s that need to also support a MySQL installation. Mike Kruckenberg also gives us a valuable consolidated reference in his twin articles, Guide to Incompatibilities when Upgrading MySQL to Version 4.1 and Guide to Incompatibilities when Upgrading MySQL to Version 5.0. Essential reading for clearly understanding MySQL database upgrades and possible traps.

MySQL Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 1.0.1 beta has been released. Enough said. Ok, well for those that want some more detail, I quote from Reggie Burnetta downloadable plug-in for Visual Studio 2005 that allows Windows developers to quickly build MySQL data-driven applications with Visual Studio. With this plug-in, developers will be able to create, modify and manage MySQL database objects with an easy-to-use interface from within the Visual Studio IDE.. If only I used Microsoft I could check it out!

Daniel Schneller highlights one of the problems in a large scale out MySQL implementation in his article MySQL replication timeout trap. Valuable information in a network infrastructure to ensure your slaves are performing optimally.

Normally I’d summarise a worthy article for review, this time I’ve reproduced the concise summary by Jason Gaylord in Preventing SQL Injection Attacks which explains his content. Scott Guthrie just posted some really good stuff about preventing SQL injection attacks. In his blog post he talks about an application that Michael Sutton created to check SQL injection attacks by screening Google search and looking for sites with QueryString, etc. Check out his post for more details: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/09/30/tip_2f00_trick_3a00_-guard-against-sql-injection-attacks.aspx

Of the big 5 or 6 RDBMS products of the past 2 decades, DB2 is the only one that hasn’t crossed my path in some way. Willie Favero writes What’s in a name – The saga continues…, sharing his views on the official name of DB2® Version 9 for z/OS.

Jeremy Cole has been busy in recent months with his new found freedoms in his new venture Proven Scaling. He has released another MySQL Source Patch with On Triggers, Stored Procedures, and Call Stacks. Keep em comin’ Jeremy. And just as I complete this weeks Log Buffer, good mate Jay (the plumber) Pipes has published HOWTO: Making a Corresponding Test Case for your Patch. Very worthy information for all those past, present and future patch writers.

The Data Charmer Giuseppe Maxia gives us the inside goss on his recent vacation interests in Take the MySQL Certification in five steps. Good Advice, I liked Point 5, and the unofficial Point 6. Marcus Popp also points us to New Lists of Certified Candidates online so you can see your name in lights. Reminds me to stop procrastinating and to take the MySQL 5 exams myself. It’s been on the cards for a few months now.

We end this week with one of those feel good stories of something that inspires me. Paul McCullagh has written his own MySQL transactional storage engine. PBXT beta 0.97 has just been released as a Pluggable storage engine for MySQL 5.1. Quoting Paul “PBXT is the first full featured engine to be released in this form.”. This leverages a new feature in the upcoming MySQL 5.1 GA release where developers can use MySQL’s extensible Storage Engine Architecture as a plugin without the need for recompiling with MySQL source. Look out for a lot more opportunities in storing and access different types of data in the future with this feature. [Author Side Note: Compiling MySQL from the latest BK tree may contain code features that are not fully tested (e.g. 2 Oct 2006). It’s best when integrating other patches or plugins to use a known MySQL Source Snapshots, otherwise things may break!]

And with a certain amount of deja vu from last week’s closing Log Buffer #12 comment by Giuseppe, your’s truly will also be joining MySQL. Checkout my If you can’t beat them, join them.

That’s all for lucky #13. Thanks for the opportunity Dave.