Twitter, Pythian Style… also Oracle’s SYSTEM_PRIVILEGE_MAP

Posted in: Technical Track

December was a busy month… a very busy month. We’ve got a new customer in our team and this customer came to Pythian in a very typical way – as to the last resort, desperately trying to save a project that had gone far off track. An emergency schedule is tough – accommodating few hundred unplanned hours is not easy, so blogging wasn’t on the top of the list: SELECT * FROM todo_table ORDER BY priority DESC;. Well, maybe I should just admit that I was rather busy with some holiday stuff. By the way, this project was built around Oracle Streams so expect some blogging about that in the near future.

But I digress. Now to the subject at hand (psst, there will be some technical stuff in the end)… A few days ago I came across Twitter. I liked that idea very much and even tried it for one evening. I don’t think Twitter fits my lifestyle, but I recognized a very familiar concept. Indeed, it reminds me of one feature of our Pythian Support Track. Our working day is organized around this tool and one of its characteristics is very much Twitter-like, answering the simple question, “what are you, or what have you been, working on,” down to the minute.

If you look at the example I referenced, you will see one of the views I have on my working day. I’m doing usually tens of posts per day in our Support Track. Some of them are very short — just a few minutes, like a phone call — and some of them are longer, with more details including command logs, my thoughts about the problem, references, explanation. You name it. It takes something from blogs but it’s definitely closer to Twitter. I should note that it takes some time to get used to it but once you are there, it comes naturally. I need to show that to my former management at the places I worked before — they would be surprised… and envious. Many people don’t expect such a fine level of visibility (or should I say any visibility) from remote DBAs because often they can’t say what are their on-site DBAs doing at any moment. Amazing stuff.

Do you see a future for Twitter? I would probably start using it right away if they provided speech input and device that I can carry with me and talk into seamlessly. Not a mobile phone — it would work OK as a reader but not as input device… something “invisible” like a microphone in my glasses or an under-skin implant. Not sure if my Twitter would be publicly available but between friends and family – would be really cool.

Time for a bit of technical stuff… I am sorry that I haven’t posted for a while and, since we are mostly talking about databases on this blog, here is a view in Oracle I found very useful one day: SYSTEM_PRIVILEGE_MAP. The documentation says it “…can be used to map privilege type numbers to type names,” but I found that it’s very useful as a complete list of system privileges that can be used to prepare a bunch of grants or review privileges to be audited. The same is true of TABLE_PRIVILEGE_MAP, but this is a pretty obvious and small list. By the way, anyone has an idea of meaning of the PROPERTY column in the SYSTEM_PRIVILEGE_MAP view?

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About the Author

What does it take to be chief technology officer at a company of technology experts? Experience. Imagination. Passion. Alex Gorbachev has all three. He’s played a key role in taking the company global, having set up Pythian’s Asia Pacific operations. Today, the CTO office is an incubator of new services and technologies – a mini-startup inside Pythian. Most recently, Alex built a Big Data Engineering services team and established a Data Science practice. Highly sought after for his deep expertise and interest in emerging trends, Alex routinely speaks at industry events as a member of the OakTable.

2 Comments. Leave new

It looks like the PROPERTY column on SYSTEM_PRIVILEGE_MAP is 1 when the privilege can _not_ be audited.


Looking at the contents of SYSTEM_PRIVILEGE_MAP on my installation there are a whole bunch of priveilges with a PROPERTY of 1 which are not grantable, because they are for 10g functionality: ADMINISTER RESOURCE MANAGER, CREATE RULE, etc. So perhaps this property is controlled by an Oracle Support only underscore parameter…

Cheers, APC


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