The idea behind PocketDBA is simple: it's designed to allow the Oracle
DBA to do their work from anywhere, by using a wireless PocketPC or Palm
device to retrieve information from and send commands to an Oracle installation.
I tried the PocketPC version, which requires no special user interface
components on the PDA; instead, it uses Pocket IE to connect. The Palm
version has a special user interface component that you need to install
on your handheld.
The bulk of the PocketDBA installation goes on the server, of course
-- either on your Oracle server or on another server on your network.
At one end the server software talks to the Oracle database; at the other
it provides both secure (SSL) and insecure web connections. You can also
purchase RSA SecureID integration for additional security.
Once the software is installed and configured(which only took about ten
minutes), using it is simple. The main PocketDBA screen presents a series
of icons that you can use to drill into areas such as user privileges,
database objects, or performance counters related to your Oracle installation.
PocketDBA makes extremely good use of the limited PDA screen real estate,
relying on tables, graphs, and levels of drilldown to let you get to the
information you're interested in. And for the experienced DBA (or developer),
you cnn also send ad-hoc SQL statements off to be executed.
PocketDBA is both secure and functional, if you happen to be an Oracle
DBA. The company tells me that a Microsoft SQL Server version is in the
works, but there's no release date yet. That's definitely something I'll
be watching for. Meanwhile, the prospect of using a PDA for relatively
untethered system management remains an exciting one. You can get more
information or a test drive from the Expand Beyond web site.
[This review originally appeared in developer central 1.12.editor]
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.