Databases are important for storing and managing any types of data for any organizations. Databases are administered by Database Administrators. They are specialized in database management.
In the next sections of this report, there will be brief discussion on database administrations, roles and types of DBAs, and a tool used by application administrator DBAs for managing applications of some database. BR*Tools Studio for Oracle has been selected as a tool for application database. After giving description of the tool there will be discussion on how the tool will be used on different operating system platforms and how that is beneficial for a DBA. (Aiken, Gillenson, Zhang, & Rafner, 2011)
Database administration is a collection of functions that helps in maintaining and managing a database management system. Three are different types of database management software like IBMDB2, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. Personnel who take care of the DBMS and has some IT specialization are called Database Administrators or DBAs. (Mullins, 2012)
DBAs perform different kinds of tasks related to database management. Some of those roles and responsibilities are,
Installing, configuring, maintaining and updating database management software, server and other related systems and products.
There are 3 categories of database administration. Those are,
System database administration is also known as operation database administration or physical database administration or production support database administration. As the names suggests, system database administrations are related to responsibilities of maintaining and management of physical database like, installing, configuring, patching, keeping backups, restoring, upgrading, performance optimizing and disaster recovery. (Faircloth, 2013)
Developmental database administration covers logical and developmental aspects of database administration. The roles and responsibilities may range from designing data model, maintenance of data model, generation of DDL bases coding, writing SQL scripts for query or tuning database performance, coding stored procedures, collaboration with developers etc. The basic goal is to add and manage suitable function or feature on the top of a physical database. (Faircloth, 2013)
Application database administration is relevant to the organizations that purchase different kind of application software like Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer relationship management, supplier management etc. from third party vendors and then need to manage databases with those applications. Some examples in such cases software like Oracle Application PeopleSoft, Siebel, SAP etc. are used for database management
The distinction between database management system and the application software is made clear by the DBA of the database management system. The application components of the whole infrastructure is managed by the DBA. They work on the database to catty out various tasks like installation, patching of applications, upgrading applications, cloning of database, creating and running different cleanup process or routines on databases, data load process management and other management activities. (Burleson, 1999)
There is a clear difference between application DBA and system DBA. Application DBA is more focused on design of database and the routing activities, administration of database through the use of some particular applications or a subset of applications. Unlike system database administration, application database administration is not very focused on physic database environment or implementation. However, sometimes, in organization there is no explicit existence of application DBAs.
However, application DBAs are important as they focus on specific applications rather than the database, thus there is chances of optimizing performance of the application. It can help in building more values in business process. (Coronel & Morris, 2014)
In this section, there will be a discussion on BR*Tools Studio for Oracle DBA. This application is developed and distributed by SAP. There are Windows and UNIX based versions for BR*Tools Studio. It is a useful web based interface that can be used to do all kind of administration tasks on Oracle Databases.
There is a three tier architecture in the BR*Tools. Users do not need to control jobs. They just need to develop job packages. On behalf of them their client systems pass those job packages to the BR*Tools Studio Server. At the server end, the jobs are executed individually on an instance of the targeted database. There are additional supports like role based control, quick start, selection of favorite tasks etc. There is an in-built search engine in the BR*Tools Studio. It helps in keep tracking and executing the functions. (SAP, 2015)
SAP has designed the BR* Tools Studio architecture in the following way,
BR*Tools Studio works on web browsers. It has three tier architecture that works on internet browsers and GUI platform. There is no need to install the software on the client side. A client can access it from a typical web browser. Thus, the client is not platform dependent and can be run from any device that supports web browsers. Additionally, the software does not need to be installed several times for different database instances. It is needed to be installed once. All instances of targeted database can be handled through the use of a single instance of BR*Tools Studio Server. (Gill, 2008)
In the following picture the architecture and integration with client and servers have been illustrated.
Architecture of BR*Tools Studio Source: (SAP, 2015)
As, it can be seen from the illustration that the whole architecture is structured in a star like shape. More than one client can log on to the single instance of the BR*Tools Studio server that is centrally located in the architecture. On the other end, there are multiple instances of the database. These instances are also collected to the same BR*Tools Studio server instance.
In the BR*Tools Studio Server a user can log in as a client. BR*Tools Studio allows multiple users to log in simultaneously. Additionally it supports multiple client sessions to the studio server at the same time. A change made in one client session will be instantly visible to other sessions. (SAP, 2015)
The architecture is deployed based on full multi-user support. Each of the instance of database that is administered with BR*Tools Studio, can create more than one password protected user accounts through BR*Tools Studio. These user accounts can be personalized and set for different roles and administration privileges. This feature of administering multiple roles in BR*Tools Studio support full auditing.
BR*Tools Studio server is an integral part of the software. All incoming job requests are executed and administered through the studio server. When the server is down, the jobs are scheduled during the downtime without any failure. During the downtime of the server, no client can log in to it.
When client sends a job package or a single job, it goes directly to the BR*Tools Studio Server. The server autonomously handles the job then. The job can be both scheduled immediately and executed or the job will be scheduled for later execution. Then the job will go to the job queue and will be automatically executed once it gets it turn.
The server can be instructed to execute same job repeatedly for some recurrence interval specified by the client. This is supported by the recurrence job execution option in the BR*Tools Studio option.
BR*Tools Server keeps track of all jobs executed by it. This records serves as history of job execution at the server. (SAP, 2015)
BR*Studio console provides a special status display to inform user about the current state of an instance of the database at any point of time. There is no need to refresh the display manually as it is automatic status update display.
Any pre-configured tasks can be saved for frequent use or later use. This task will be saved on the favorite task toolbar on the BR*Tools Studio.
The connection to BR*Tools Studio are created by using secure connection protocols like HTTPS, SSL etc. this is valid for the connections among the clients and the server also.
When a client request some operation from the BR*Tools Studio Server, then the server accepts the requests and executes it autonomously. Thus, there is no need for the client to wait for the job to be done. The client can log off. Later on the client can log in from some other device or location to check the result of the request or the status of the operation requested previously.
The function and features of BR*Tools Studio are categorized into the following categories.
Console is the collection of the interfaces that helps in doing the tasks, viewing the jobs etc. it provides following information,
It shows the latest instance of the database. The status may show that there is a SAP system connected to the database or in archived. As, the status displays are always updated automatically, so user will get information about the status updates of the instance of database after some specific interval of time.
This section on the console shows a list of the favorite tasks set by the user. These tasks can be requested for execution by a single click from this section (SAP, 2015)
This section on the console helps to quick understanding of the status.
Administration section helps in administering all items belonging to the BR*Studio instance where the client is currently logged in. The roles set in the BR*Tools Studio will restrict the further actions by a client.
Further subsections are, (Nüßer, Stein, Hass, Kugelberg, & Kley, 2009)
There is an individual, password protected user accounts for each user in BR*Tools Studio. Each of these user profiles has default database user settings and initializations for the attributes of their profiles. Additionally, a user can set up job package and favorite tasks.
The profiles can be modified. If there is sufficient authorization for user profile of a client then they can view or edit profiles of other users, create new user, remove existing user.
Roles are assigned to individual user profiles. A role describes some operations allowed for the user. In this case, the roles required for performing database administration operations will be set for administrator profile.
Jobs that are already requested to the server are stored in the job section of the client profile. If a job is listed for immediate execution at the server end, then that will be executed immediately. Otherwise, jobs can be schedules or later execution or recurrence execution.
The status of the jobs that are already executed, also shown here.
A task that is already executed, can be set up as favorite task and can be used later on or can be used frequently. A task can be added or removed from favorite task list. But it may need more authorization.
Wizard tab represents the interface of BR*Tools and BR*Tools Studio. The menu structure is a bit different. A wide range of operation can be performed on the database using wizard. (SAP, 2015)
Level of authorization may restricts the access to features of wizards as described,
A database instance can be started up or shut down. Also there may be several operations specific to an instance. A detailed status report of the database instances can also be viewed from this section.
In this section a detailed view of the database architecture is available. A database architecture contains tables, table space, indexes etc., the file structure from the operating systems, like control files, data files, log files etc. owners of SAP objects.
Major database administration operations like re-organization, administration, maintenance of statistics, importing or exporting different types of database objects are kept under this section.
This section offers functions to ensure availability of data and contains recovery options, copying databases, restore, recovery, backups etc.
There is a command line tool available on the BR*Tools Studio platform. It helps in performing advanced levels of functions on the database instances.
In this category, the server landscape is maintained through the BR*Tools Studio environment. An administrator can log into to the studio server for a database instance. This special type of user account is marked as administrator account and is password protected.
The features of this category are,
The server can be shut down to change the password for the server administrator. Until all jobs are done, the server cannot be suspended or shut down.
All clients are needed to logged in the BR*Tools Server.
All required administrative profiles and instances are listed here.
BR*Tools Studio is available to be implemented on UNIX, Linux and windows based systems. For Windows based systems, the installation is pretty straight forward. SAP provides the installation files, user just need to download it and install it. (Höding, 2008)
On the other hand, on the UNIX and Linux systems the software mainly works on command interfaces. There is very little scope of graphical user interface.
On the contrary, on the Windows server systems, BR*Tools Studio works on GUI mode. Thus it gives more user friendly interface than the same in the UNIX or Linux systems. Hoever, command interface is also available for Windows server systems also.
A typical example on Windows server system is,
Screenshot for adding new data file through BR*Tools on Windows
Otherwise, in both cases, the software works in the same way.
A database administrators can have several benefits from BR*Tools. It gives them ease of database administration tasks from a single place. All clients and database instances are connected to the same studio server. Thus this is a single point of management. A DBA can add new users, remove user, and manage roles of the users. (Kreines & Laskey, 2006)
In this report, the details and roles of different types of database administrations, roles of DBAs have been discussed. Then the discussion has become focused on application database administration. An example, BR*Tools Studio from SAP for managing Oracle Databases on different Operating system has been discussed. The BR*Tool with details on its architecture and functions have been discussed first, then, there is a discussion on how it is implemented on different operating systems like Windows, UNIX, LINUX etc.
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