You will need to read at least some of the Oracle documentation.
Nobody can complain that Oracle doesn't provide enough documentation for their database. There are 118 HTML/PDF reference books provided on the documentation CD for the production Windows version of Oracle 9.2.0. This info is also available via the Web at tahiti.oracle.com (there is no www prefix to this URL). The "getting started" link at the top of the Oracle 9.2 documentation page is a good place to start in order to read about the duties of a database administrator, developer, network administrator, or security officer. Each of these topics includes links to a subset of the entire list of books.
As a DBA, I find that I generally need to be familiar with almost all of the books to some extent even if I have not completely read each of them. This way I can suggest appropriate topics for reading and examples for various people I work with who need to access, maintain, or write programs for the database.
Once a database license and support contract are purchased, an additional set of information resources becomes available via Oracle's Metalink website. It is often very helpful to be able to perform a quick search of Metalink when a new or unusual error message is logged by the database. The Metalink search provides a search of previous issues submitted by customers via the Metalink forums, knowledge base records, white papers, and example documentation. If a Metalink search does not produce results. then a Google web/newsgroup search is a good second choice. There is also a built in error number reporter included on UNIX systems (even in Developer Release 1). For example if the error is ORA-32006, you type the following in the Terminal window:
oerr ora 32006
And you get the following response:
32006, 00000, "%s initialization parameter has been deprecated" // *Cause: A deprecated parameter was specified at startup // *Action: Consult Oracle documentation to find new parameters // to use instead.
Summary for FileMaker developers:
There are many items to consider when contemplating a migration from FileMaker to Oracle. If you have the budget and need for a high performance and highly scalable database, then Oracle would make a great choice. There is a wealth of information in the form of books, Web sites, and consultants for Oracle databases. Oracle's own technical support service is also an excellent reason to consider Oracle. But if your budget can't afford an Oracle database, then a more economical alternative such as MySQL using a Mac OS X graphical front-end application like SQL4X Manager is worth considering. Future production releases of MySQL 4.0.X will even include replication and online backup features. OpenBase and FrontBase are additional commercial alternatives available for Mac OS X, which offer database replication and online backup features.
The availability of the Oracle database for Mac OS X is a significant event for Apple. Even in its development release status, Oracle 9.2 for Mac OS X is functionally very complete and suitable for testing and evaluation. Its modest hardware requirements make it a viable install even for the laptop of a DBA or software developer.
Glossary of Terms
Instance: An instance is one running copy of the Oracle executable software. You can run multiple copies of the Oracle executable on the same computer with the appropriate amount of memory, disk space, processing power and configuration steps. You can even run different versions of the database on the same server.
SQL: Structured Query Language. These are the commands available to manage data and objects within the database. These commands are broken up into DML (Data Manipulation Language) and DDL (Data Definition Language) commands. The DML commands are used to query, insert, and delete information. The DDL commands are used to make structural changes to the database such as creating the database itself, adding/dropping tables, tablespaces and columns.
PL/SQL: This is an Oracle specific procedural language that is compiled and stored either within the database or externally by the gcc compiler for higher performance. Many of the newest database features are actually written in PL/SQL. As features become more popular or require higher performance they are re-written in C and incorporated into the core of the database.
SqlPlus: SqlPlus provides a command line interface to startup, shutdown, create, query, and maintain the database. This little explanation doesn't really do justice to the complete functionality of SqlPlus. There are entire books written about SqlPlus.
Oerr: This handy little command line utility prints out the text of error messages for Oracle databases running on UNIX servers. This way you don't have to go searching the Error messages manual in order to read a quick summary of the error message text. There may be additional info located within the Error messages HTML manual, and searching Metalink is also helpful if you need more info.
- Mac OS X for Unix Geeks
- Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 3nd Edition
- Oracle SqlPlus - The Definitive Guide
- Oracle SQL: The Essential Reference
- Oracle Essentials: Oracle 9i, Oracle 8i and Oracle 8
- Programming the Perl DBI
- Perl for Oracle DBAs
- Learning UNIX for Mac OSX
otn.oracle.com - Discussion Forums - Technologies > Platforms > Apple. (Requires free OTN membership account)
Installing Oracle 9i on Mac OS X, Part 1 -- The Oracle 9i Developer Release for Mac OS X opens up a new world of corporate database management for both Apple and Oracle. David Simpson begins this series with a look at the issues for DBAs who are considering making the move to Oracle on OS X.
Return to the Mac DevCenter.
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Oracle does not support application developers
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