Who is a DBA?

A Database Administrator (DBA) is a technical person who is responsible for the environmental aspects of a database. In general, these include the following database aspects:

  • Recoverability
  • Integrity
  • Security
  • Availibilty
  • Performance
  • Development and testing support

In other words, a DBA is a person who is responsible for designing, developing and implementing programs, as required, to support the technical capabilities in a database environment.

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Responsibilities of a DBA

There have been many controversial discussions regarding the responsibilities of a DBA. Here is an attempt to mention some of them. The responsibilities vary according to the requirements and usage of human resources. They also vary and depend on the job description, corporate and Information Technology (IT) policies, and the technical features and capabilities of the DBMS being administered. Following are some of the experienced responsibilities:

  • Develop new or maintain existing databases based on specifications.
  • Develop, implement and maintain unit tests of database programs.
  • Share knowledge by effectively documenting work.
  • Respond quickly and effectively to production & development issues and take responsibility for seeing those issues through resolution.
  • Resolve database performance issues, database capacity issues, replication, and other distributed data issues.
  • Design & implement data models and database designs into physical databases.
  • Install and maintain database software.
  • Manage backup and recovery of databases.
  • Manage security of database structures and corporate data held within databases.
  • Develop database procedures, triggers and SQL scripts for development teams.
  • Maintain database changes from Development, QA to Production.
  • Assist in the definition and implementation of database standards.
  • Monitor databases for errors and perform problem determination when necessary.
  • Design and implement highly available production systems.

Qualification and skills of a DBA
When thinking about the qualification of a DBA, it comes to mind that he/she must be holding a doctorate or an equivalent degree. Fortunately, it is not so. He/ she can just be a graduate degree holder from any recognized university or college. However, the degree in technical discipline is preferred. A clear picture of a DBA’s qualification/ skills is given below:

  • Bachelor’s degree in technical discipline; or equivalent professional experience.
  • Experience in writing complex SQL, triggers, and procedures.
  • Relational database analysis and modeling experience.
  • Experience in configuring database network connectivity.
  • Understanding of database backup and recovery techniques.
  • Clear and effective written and verbal communication skills

Therefore, a DBA is a technical person who is the whole sole in-charge of the database environment being adopted in any organization.

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