Oracle Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to commonly asked questions about our Oracle products and services.

If your question is unanswered or you need more information, call us on 020 8465 9100.

Frequently asked questions

  • Most frequently asked questions

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been offering database services to our clients since 1996, and company references are available on request.
    • Will we be legally protected against mistakes?

      Yes, we carry indemnity insurance which pays out a maximum of £1,000,000 per incident, and this can be increased for individual clients. Our consultants are highly experienced, careful professionals, and we have never had call to claim on this insurance.
    • How can we be sure that the quality of your work meets our standards?

      All work performed carries a warranty, and we document all technical tasks performed. We follow an ISO 9001 certified quality management model. You are entitled to have final sign-off on all consultancy undertaken. We also follow ITIL standards and are ISO 20000-1 certified.
  • Oracle Support FAQ's

    • How can you maximise our database uptime?

      We believe in prevention rather than cure. Our proactive and continual monitoring regime ensures that outages are extremely rare.
    • How do you access our database servers?

      We will use whatever remote access technology suits you best. We currently use a combination of VPN (Virtual Private Networks), SSH (Secure Shell) and Password Token technologies to ensure that we can access your servers securely, reliably and quickly.
    • What service levels can we expect?

      Our helpdesk consultants are ready to take your call. Your support call will be immediately passed to an appropriate database support consultant. We guarantee a technical response within 30 minutes on all contracts (and we can guarantee quicker responses where this is required), but in practice you will receive a response well within this period.
    • Due to the nature of our systems, it is inappropriate to perform maintenance tasks during office hours. Can you perform these tasks outside office hours?

      All maintenance tasks are performed at times that suit you. We perform out-of-hours work at no extra cost.
    • Which Oracle database versions do you support?

      We support all Oracle versions, but most of our clients are currently using either Oracle 11g or 10g. We understand that some clients wish to remain on older versions due to application vendor support constraints, and we are happy to support these older versions. We perform upgrades and patches on agreement with the client, and at no extra cost.
    • Does your support price include database recoveries when required?

      Yes. All our database support consultants are trained in a range of database recovery scenarios, and our fast recovery service is included in the price.
    • Where are your support consultants physically based?

      All our consultants are based in the UK, and most are in Greenwich, London. When issues with UK-based clients' databases cannot be resolved remotely, we will travel to the client datacentre free-of-charge to fix the problem.
    • We have special requirements. Can you cater for these?

      Yes. All our packages are flexible to meet clients' individual needs.
    • What documentation can we expect?

      All maintenance tasks performed are fully documented, and this documentation is available on request. Details of all maintenance tasks performed is also included in our periodic reports.
    • We require support for our clients. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.
    • What are your payment terms?

      We invoice after each month of the support term has expired. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date. Alternative payment terms are available on request.
  • Oracle Installation FAQ's

    • Will you set up our application schema(s) for us?

      Yes, provided you have this in a format we can use (e.g. scripts or an export). We can also review your set-up DDL scripts and provide recommendations free-of-charge, if you'd like to send them to us prior to the installation.

    • Can you perform a Real Application Clusters or Oracle Fail Safe Installation?

      Yes, we can negotiate a price for RAC or OFS installations. Depending on your exact requirements, this will typically be between £1200 and £1600.

    • We have special requirements. Can you cater for these?

      Yes. All our packages are flexible to meet clients' individual needs.

    • Which Oracle database versions can you install for us?

      We can install whichever version is best for you (this is sometimes dictated by application vendor certifications). Currently most clients are choosing Oracle 11g Release 1 or Oracle10g Release 2, as these ares now stable releases.

    • Do you provide warranties for the installation work?

      We will ask you to assess and sign-off the work performed before our consultant leaves your site. We also provide free remote support for two weeks.

    • When can we expect documentation for the tasks performed?

      We typically write up the tasks performed within one week of the Oracle installation. We guarantee that you will receive documentation within two weeks.

    • We require an installation to be performed for our clients. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been offering Oracle installations to our clients since 1996, and company references are available on request.

    • What are your payment terms?

      We invoice after the Oracle installation has been completed and you are in possession of our documentation. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date.

  • Oracle Tuning FAQ's

    • What is your usual strategy for tuning a database and its environment?

      Our strategy will depend on your circumstances. However, we typically gather a number of key performance measurements, both at system and database level. These are used in conjunction with user and support staff testimony (where available and appropriate) to identify the main high-level bottlenecks. We then drill down using custom scripts and standard tools to identify the sources of these bottlenecks, before devising solutions to eliminate them.

    • A specific part of my application is performing particularly badly. Can you fix it?

      We will always concentrate first on tuning any functionality identified by the client as causing most problems. In the vast majority of cases you will see a marked performance improvement in those areas when we have finished.

    • If you find inefficient code in our applications, can you rewrite it?

      If the code is stored within the database as PL/SQL, we can amend the code on request (but you should check the support implications for 3rd party products). We will not normally amend other code, but will document the inefficiencies (and can provide details of how these pieces of code could be better rewritten) so that you can report these to the vendor for amendment.

    • Do you provide warranties for any amendments done?

      We provide two weeks of free remote support for any changes made.

    • Which Oracle database versions can you tune?

      We can tune all versions of Oracle.

    • When can we expect documentation for the tasks performed?

      We typically write up the tasks performed within one week of the tuning exercise. You are guaranteed to have a copy of the documentation within two weeks of work completion.

    • We require an installation to be tuned for our client. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission.

    • Can you independently verify a client

      Yes, this is one of our more commonly-requested services. Please contact us for further details.

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been tuning Oracle databases and environments for our clients since 1996, and company references are available on request.

    • What are your payment terms?

      We invoice after work has been completed and you are in possession of our documentation. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date.

  • Oracle Backup FAQ's

    • What types of backups can you set up for us?

      We can implement whichever backup strategy best suits your needs and wishes. This may incorporate Oracle RMAN (Recovery Manager), third party backup products with or without Oracle plug-ins, or bespoke backups via custom scripts, We can also advise you on Disaster Recovery considerations.

    • Will your documentation describe how to recover from all possible failure scenarios?

      No. The vast number of possible Oracle recovery scenarios makes this a huge task. The example scenarios documented for you will cover the most commonly performed recoveries. You should refer to Oracle's Backup and Recovery guide for all others.

    • Do you provide warranties for the work performed?

      Yes. We provide two weeks of free remote support for backups deployed.

    • When can we expect documentation for the tasks performed?

      We typically write up the tasks performed within one week of our site visit. You are guaranteed to have a copy of the documentation within two weeks of work completion.

    • We require a backup and recovery strategy to be devised and implemented for our client. Do you offer resales/subcontracts?

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission.

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been advising our clients on best backup and recovery strategies since 1996, and have successfully performed countless recoveries in that time. Company references are available on request.

    • What are your payment terms?

      We invoice after work has been completed and you are in possession of our documentation. Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date.

  • Oracle Data Warehousing FAQ's

    • Our data warehouse is already set up. Can you tune/enhance it?

      Yes, we are database tuning specialists. Some data warehouse performance issues stem from non-optimal design, however. Correcting such design errors can involve significant effort.

    • Are you affiliated with any ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) or Business Intelligence product vendors?

      No, Pro-DBA.com is a completely independent company, and receives no commission from any third party. We therefore give entirely impartial advice on ETL, Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation products.

    • Which database technologies do you deal with?

      We are Oracle database experts, and are also highly experienced in Microsoft SQL Server data warehousing technology. Although we can work with other database technologies our main body of database expertise lies with these two database vendors.

    • Do you provide warranties for the work performed?

      We will ask you to assess and sign-off the work performed before our consultants leave your site. However, we also provide free remote support for four weeks.

    • When can we expect documentation for the tasks performed?

      We typically write up project tasks performed within one week of completion. You are guaranteed to receive our documentation within two weeks.

    • We require assistance with a client

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been providing database consultancy to household name clients since 1996, and have carried out large-scale warehousing projects for international companies during that time. Company references are available on request.

  • Business Intelligence FAQ's

    • We have a reporting requirement but are not sure which tool would best fulfil our needs. Can you help?

      Yes we'd be happy to analyse your requirement and recommend appropriate solutions. If you want to outsource some or all of the development work, we will scope the work free-of-charge and with no obligation.

    • Are you affiliated with any ETL or Business Intelligence product vendors?

      Pro-DBA.com is a completely independent company, and receives no commission from any third party. We therefore give entirely impartial advice on 3rd party ETL, Business Intelligence and Data Visualisation products.

    • Which data technologies do you deal with?

      We are Oracle database experts, and are also highly experienced in Microsoft SQL Server data warehousing technology. Although we can work with other database technologies, our main body of database expertise lies with these two database vendors.

    • Do you provide warranties for work performed?

      All work carries warranties. You will also receive technical documentation and initial support for implemented solutions.

    • We require assistance with a client

      Yes. We can rebadge our services, or can pay a one-off commission/referral bounty to you.

    • How can we be sure of your credentials?

      We have been providing database consultancy to our clients since 1996, and company references are available on request. We have recent history of providing fully featured reporting solutions to high profile international clients and niche players alike.

  • Oracle License FAQ's

    • I only use 2 processors on my server, but it can support 4 processors. Can I use Standard Edition Two?

      No. Standard Edition Two can only be licensed for machines with no more than 2 CPU sockets.

    • I would like to cluster my servers using RAC. Which database product should I choose?

      Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is included in Oracle Standard Edition Two for two-node clusters. Each node must be a single-socket server. If you have servers with more than one CPU socket, or you require more than 2 cluster nodes, you must choose Oracle Enterprise Edition. Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters) is a licensable option for Oracle Enterprise Edition.

    • Are there any minimum order requirements when purchasing Named User database licences?

      Yes. The minimum order requirements vary depending on which database product you select. These are:

      Standard Edition Two - 10 Named User Plus licences per server or the total number of actual users, whichever is greater.

      Enterprise Edition - 25 Named User Plus licences per licensable processor or the total number of actual users, whichever is greater.

      Personal and Lite Editions - 1 Named User Plus licence or the total number of actual users, whichever is greater.

    • Do I need to buy Named User Plus or per Processor licenses?

      If you select the Named User Plus licensing option then you must license all the users who are using the Oracle Database, as well as all non-human operated devices accessing the Oracle Database. An example of a non-human device would be a sensor that connects to a database. If a human-operated device such as a bar code scanner connects to the database then all humans operating these devices need to be licensed. If the Named User Plus population is likely to be very high, it would be more cost effective to license per processor. Where it is impossible to quantify the user population (such as in an Internet environment), then you must license per processor.

    • My server contains multi-core processors. How do I price this?

      For Standard Edition Two, the number of cores does not affect the price. For Enterprise Edition, each core of a multi-core chip is priced using a "licensing factor". These licensing factors are as follows:

      Sun UltraSPARC T1 - 0.25

      AMD/Intel - 0.5

      All other multi-core processors - 0.75

      Single core processors - 1

      Therefore if you have two dual-core AMD Opteron processors, the cost will be 0.5*4*list price. Two four-core UltraSPARC T1 processors will cost 0.25*8*list price.

    • Do multi-core processors affect the processor limits on Oracle Standard Edition Two?

      No. Oracle Standard Edition Two can only be used on servers that have a maximum capacity of 2 processors (CPUs), regardless of the number of cores. In a SE2 RAC environment, this limitation applies to the whole cluster (i.e. each node must be single-socket).

    • Can you offer me a discount on Oracle list prices?

      Yes. Please contact us with your requirements and we will advise you on the level of discount we can offer.

    • Once I have placed my order how long will I have to wait for my licence details?

      Your order is logged with Oracle who then issue us with a licence number for you. This process can take up to 10 business days.

    • What are your payment terms?

      Payment is due within 30 days of the invoice date (subject to approval). For larger orders or maximum discounts, payment-on-order is required.

 

Oracle Support Solutions

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