Enterprise Manager Database Console 10g: A Convert's (almost) Story
struck me this moment. I was sitting here playing with the new
Oracle Enterprise Manager Database Console 10g and I had to
admit — I like it. Let me tell you that my conversion was not an
easy thing. I've been working with Oracle since Oracle7.0.something.
Since my first encounter (fight) with the different variations of
OEM, I've come to hate OEM more than just about anything. In the
past, OEM was a hassle to configure, a hassle to use, and had more
bugs in it than you would be slapping off your body were you in the
deepest, darkest jungle. I'd given up on OEM forever. In fact, when
I was writing my book, Oracle Database 10g New Features,
the folks at Oracle were saying, "Give it another try." I so
didn't want to touch it that I hired another author to write that
part of the book. Bottom line: I wanted nothing more to do with OEM.
Unfortunately, the fates conspired against me, and I was really
backed into a corner with regards to OEM. I was in the midst of
writing a series of articles on Oracle Database 10g's new AWR
features, and I realized that Oracle Database 10g Database
Control really is a central part of this new architecture and I
really had to at least try to use the product. Now that I have used
it, I find that it's a nice product. It's great for the beginner DBA,
and if you are an old, command-line DBA, don't turn your nose up at
it just yet. In a second, I'll explain why OEM might be worth taking
a look at even if you were DBA'ing with Oracle Version 3.
first order of business was to educate myself and figure out how OEM
worked these days. Now, I'll tell you off the bat that I had a few
problems in this initial phase. I tried to install Oracle Database
10g Grid Control first, and never could get it to work right
on my NT laptop. Then, once I installed 10g Grid Control, I
could not get to my database, and I could never get 10g Grid
Control up and running (to be fair, I only spent about four hours
trying to make it work).
I realized I didn't really need 10g Grid Control, since I was
using just a single database, and was not using RAC. Oracle Database
10g comes with Oracle Database 10g OEM Database
Control (OEMDBC), I thought to myself. So I removed 10g Grid
control and tried OEMDBC.
First, I opened up Mozilla, and called up OEMDBC. Lo and behold, the
darned thing came right up for me with the sign on screen. Holly
cow! I signed in, and was taken to a configuration screen asking me
for more sign-on information. I entered this information and thought
to myself, "This is just to easy!" Unfortunately, I was right.
some research, I found out that OEMDBC wanted to log into a few
database accounts that were locked out. Once I unlocked the accounts
DBSNMP) and made one
other NT-specific fix (allowing the OS account I was using to do
batch processing), I was off to the races!
And I like it!!
OEMDBC started up with a nice home page that presents a ton of nice
information about the database as seen in this screen dump:
you get basic information on your database, and there are plenty of
opportunities to drill down into more detail if you desire. This
basic database-related stuff is going to be dynamite for the
beginner DBA. From this point, I can shut down or start up the
database, look at CPU utilization information, look at SQL response
times, and a number of other statistics. The OEMDBC home page also
offers interfaces into Oracle's back-up- and-recovery functionality,
database-space usage, and high-level information on various alerts
and scheduler-related information.
Oracle also makes problem diagnosis easier with such old-timer
applications as Lock Manager and Top Sessions. They are rewritten,
and look better than ever in the Web interface that OEMDBC offers.
From Top Sessions, you can observe your sessions and determine which
are consuming the most logical or physical I/O, who is doing the
most sorting. You can enable tracing for a given session, which is
if you are an old timer, I told you that I'd give you a reason to
look into OEMDBC. Oracle is adding new features all the time, and
Oracle Database 10g is no exception. I imagine that there
might be lots of new Oracle9i features that you are not quite
familiar with yet. I am a command-line junkie, I'll admit it, but
when I can reorganize tables online with just a few point-and-clicks
(and it actually works!), I start thinking there is better use for
my time than writing scripts.
Oracle Database 10g comes with a new job scheduler that is
just so much easier to manage from OEMDBC. Jobs are easy to
create and easy to manage from this interface. Other Oracle Database
10g new features such as the new advisors, the ability to
shrink existing segments, and the new alert infrastructure, all make
OEM worth looking at again.
course, as with any graphical interface, OEMDBC leaves one wishing
for more at times. For example, when in Top Sessions, if you choose
to look at the active running SQL, it would be nice to be able to
see specific PL/SQL operations that are active as well. That's been
a long-time complaint of mine. Also, some screens seem to be missing
a REFRESH button, which is more of an inconvenience than anything
else. Of course, as with any command-line DBA, once in a while, you
find an option missing here or there that's available from the
command line, but what really sticks out in my mind is how few of
those I've found in OEMDBC.
should also mention that after running OEMDBC for awhile on my
laptop, I had some interesting problems with it involving my
networking configuration, but I see that less as a problem with
OEMDBC and more of a problem with having a laptop that plugs into
about three different networks, and runs standalone SANS network.
The moral of that story is, make sure you have a stable network
configuration, with an IP that isn't changing dynamically all the
time. If not, you might have problems connecting to OEMDBC after
your initial install. I'm still looking for a work around on this
problem, and if I find it I'll mention in it up coming articles.
Speaking of up coming articles, look for my coverage on Oracle
Database 10g's new advisor architecture!
in conclusion, there is a lot that is right about OEMDBC. It's made
a believer out of me, and while I still head out to the command line
most of the time, it's not because I don't like OEM….
my name is Robert and I am a SQL prompt junkie."
Robert Freeman is an Oracle consultant and has been
working with Oracle for more than 15 years. In the last five years,
Robert has produced nine books, and a number of articles on Oracle
Oracle Database 10g New Features and
Portable DBA: Oracle. Robert has also spoken at various
user conferences including IOUG-A and UKOUG.