Product Reviews

PocketDBA 1.4.11

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

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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