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Database Worst Practices

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 2, 2015


There are many brain-dead things that I've seen in databases over the years, worst practices that are guaranteed to cause data loss and unplanned outages.

Also see Oracle worst practices

There are some of the major areas for database worst practices, generic to all databases.

Suboptimal Database Design

Back in the 1980's when disk was $200k/gig, designing a database in third normal form was a perfect approach, since 3NF is non-redundant, and a DBA management goal was to save expensive disk space. 

The rules of normalization are required to understand the relationships & functional dependencies, but BCNF (or 3NF for those non-purists) is just a starting point, not a completed model and it's a database worst practice to design tables without reduncandy to reduce runtime table joins.. 

Inadequate Indexing

One of the top causes of excessive I/O during SQL execution is missing indexes, especially function-based indexes, and failure to tune the instance according to the SQL load is a major worst practice. 

Poor Metadata Management

The database worst practice was to re-analyze the schema metadata on a schedule, forgetting that the purpose of re-analyzing schema statistics is to change your production execution plans.  This worst practice has become so commonplace that it has been dubbed the "Monday Morning Surprise". 

Shops with strict production change control procedures forget that analyzing the production schema can effect the execution of thousands of SQL statements.

User Profiles

 It is a bad practice to use profiles.  All profiles do is limit the usage of a user, annoying them and possibly interrupting their work!

 






 

 

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