Training aid

Flashback to 2001: This IT project's development database suddenly crashes and burns, and no one can log in, reports a pilot fish on the team.

"We kept getting errors about insufficient privileges," fish says. "I went over to the project's senior DBA to ask him to look into it.

"He logged in as the SYS superuser -- the highest level of database permissions -- and discovered that all permissions to the data dictionary had evaporated."

Fish has a large Oracle data dictionary poster that arrived sometime before in a big, heavy cardboard mailing tube. He grabs the tube and walks over to the junior DBA's desk.

What did you do to the development database? fish asks.

"I didn't do anything!" junior DBA exclaims. "All I did was run this script in the application schema to drop all object privileges, so I could recreate them without using the DBA role, like you requested."

Fish looks at the junior DBA's screen. There are several windows open that each contain a Telnet session.

And which of those sessions did you run your "Revoke All" script from? fish asks politely.

"The application schema owner! This one!" junior DBA says, and clicks on the window -- which is when he realizes he ran his script with the all-powerful SYS permissions, not from the application's schema window.

Says fish, "That's when I smacked him on top of the head with my mailing tube, which made a satisfying, hollow bonk that could be heard several cubicles away.

"I then instructed him on several useful tenets of How Not to Trash the Database -- not the least of which was color-coding your Telnet sessions so you can readily identify which session is which.

"The senior DBA reran the Catalog script on the development database, and everything got more or less back to normal. But that junior DBA didn't last very long in our shop."

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