Log Buffer #24: A Carnival of the Vanities for DBAs

Posted in: Technical Track

Welcome to the 24th edition of Log Buffer, the weekly review of the database blogosphere.

To begin, some news about that other open source RDMBS, Firebird. Foremost is an item on Firebird News pointing to the Firebird development roadmap for 2007.

On the same site, a link to a summary on Wikibooks of SQL dialect differences between common DBMSs.

The creators of the Plastic SCM tried both Postgres and SQL Server as the backend for Plastic, and came down in favour of Firebird: “Firebird is the easiest to deploy and has a very good performance ratio (and we always find ways to tune it even further), Postgres is a bit faster in some operations but extremely slow dealing with BLOB data and SQL Server is faster but much harder to deploy.”

Last, a link to a post containing some tips on running Firebird/InterBase on Windows Vista. (I’m now wondering how much difference there is between these two, and what the differences are. The Wikipedia article on InterBase suggests that it is the proprietary system maintained, if not actively developed, by Borland. How compatible are the two?)

Jonathan Cheyer announces on blog.cheyer.biz that solidDB for MySQL is now GA. In their own words, “solidDB for MySQL is a complete relational database management system (RDBMS) that combines MySQL Server, solidDB Storage Engine and MyISAM storage engine.”

On their Oracle Security Blog, Integrigy announces that their Oracle listener security check tool has been updated. This is a free tool that checks the security configuration of the Oracle Database Listener and listeners for Oracle Applications 11i.

Jonathan Lewis takes issue with a post regarding myths of Oracle’s bitmap indexes on the AMIS Technology blog. In this post on Oracle Scratchpad, Jonathan answers the AMIS blog’s points one–by–one and at some length, concluding with “…the author of the (original) article states that he sees no reason not to use bitmap indexes in an OLTP environment. I do hope he changes his mind and pulls the article.”

Arfur C. asks, What is the point of SQL%NOTFOUND? on his Oracle–related Radio Free Tooting. Obligingly, he provides an answer too, having learned that, “There are no secrets, only parts of the manual we have yet to read.”

Zaprb has a helpful piece on using explicit date math in SQL. “I sometimes see advice to do SQL date operations with the + and – operators on platforms where they are overloaded for date types. I try to avoid that, because it can give unexpected results. I prefer to explicitly use the built-in date/time functions.”

On zillablog, Robert Treat writes about full-text search testing in PostgreSQL. (By the way, Robert will be publishing Log Buffer #27 on January 12 — the first editor from the Postgres side of the spectrum.)

Also delving into the world of Postgres and text, Magnus Hagander’s PostgreSQL Blog has a piece introducing the usage of custom synonym dictionaries in tsearch2. “The concept of custom synonym dictionaries is really simple … you get to define synonyms for certain words that all the tsearch2 functions will then apply to both indexing and searching… For example, how many people incorrectly call PostgreSQL ‘postgre’? Answer: way too many. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them by providing whatever search matches we can.”

The Fujitsu Supported PostgreSQL blog has a link to video of a presentation on advanced PostgreSQL by Gavin Sherry. Among other matters, he discusses Postgres internals, and Write-Ahead Logging (WAL).

(I should also mention I’ve been informed that PGCon 2007, a conference for PostgreSQL users and developers taking place in the spring in my home town of Ottawa, has begun taking proposals for presentations.)

From the bowels of Igor’s Oracle Lab, (just behind the Fermi coil and the plasma ball), Gary Myers declaims that he has tracked down a presentation from a recent meeting of NYOUG of Tom Kyte’s on PL/SQL enhancements. This is worth noting, not just because it’s by Tom Kyte, but also because presentation material by Oracle employees seems to be next–to–impossible to find.

Sheeri Kritzer, The MySQL She-BA, has ready another episode of OurSQL, the MySQL podcast. “This weeks feature talks about ACID compliance, what it is, and how MySQL achieves it.”

Willie Favero is getting in on the podcast thing too. His post on Getting the Most out of DB2… announces his first attempt at a DB2 Podcast — this one a discussion with Pat Bossman of IBM, on DB2 stats.

Susan Visser has an item on Build your Skill on DB2 pointing to an IBM tutorial on DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows, an introduction to basic features and concepts.

On SQLServerCentral blogs, Haidong Ji writes about what happened when Sql Server 2005 cluster on Windows 2003 boxes would not start. He offers his advice and a link to MS’s Cluster Recovery Tool. Also interesting is his impression of MS’s phone support (and phone support in general): “(In) some cases I found that I actually know more than Microsoft support guys. To me, the most valuable thing is (support) provides a sounding board.”

That’s all for now. I wish all Log Buffer readers a peaceful holiday season. Sheeri Kritzer will be publishing next week’s edition in The MySQL She-BA, so please look in then.

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About the Author

Dave Edwards is the Communications Specialist for the Pythian Group.

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