I know I am not alone in having to deal with different database platforms. It seems to be more and more that way in companies. Reasons to have different databases for different projects, and we as DBAs don't really want to say no to different things to manage.
It would be nice to be able to focus in one database, but even with one database platform we probably have different purposes for those databases that we are dealing with. I believe that this is where some of the career growth is available for DBAs. One to understand different systems, two, to be able know why you would use one over another, and three, to be able to be a one stop place for database technologies.
So to add to the different database platforms I have started to learn MySQL this year, to go along with the list of Oracle, SQL Server, Sybase. Even when diving into the database platforms, I am looking for how to do a couple of things like backups, restores, performance tune and monitor for issues. These are the areas that need the translations of syntax and best practices.
Other SQL and how to get the data out of the database or load it, are also areas of translations. One statement or index might work great in one platform but switch over to something else, and you are having to rewrite or even plan another strategy.
I am getting ready to head to Oracle Open World where I can continue to learn about Oracle and now MySQL, but I am also giving a presentation on this topic.
With having to survive in these environments of multi-platforms, how does a DBA leverage their skill set and make those translations easier. I think that besides dealing with a lot of data that this is a challenge we face to learn and understand quickly and jump back and forth between environments.
Ok, so since I already put a shameless plug for my session at Oracle Open World in here, I might as well mention my book is out on the translations from SQL Server to Oracle database administration: "Oracle Database Administration for Microsoft SQL Server DBAs".
Besides supporting different environments there is moving, reading and updating data between the different environments. This could be part of regular processing or moving data to reporting systems for business intelligence, but gathering the data. no matter what the source, to be consumed by the people that need it is the goal.
Maybe this is topic for another time to discuss, linked servers, database links and ways to view and manage data. Besides understanding how to manage these environments it is another issue that DBAs face...so part two coming soon...