9 Online Oracle Resources - dummies

9 Online Oracle Resources

By Chris Ruel, Michael Wessler

Being an Oracle professional requires constant education and research. One of the things any budding database administrator (DBA) should know is that having a brain chock-full of information and facts about Oracle isn’t what makes you a good DBA . . . finding the answers quickly when you need them is. Of course, having certain things memorized will help you with your job, but, realistically speaking, the immensity and complexity of the Oracle software always leaves room for more techniques to discover. The following sites described are free (sometimes requiring registration) unless otherwise noted.

Oracle Documentation

Oracle Documentation is going to be your master resource for all things Oracle. This site includes not only documentation about the database but also all the Oracle products offered. It has installation guides, administration guides, features guides, SQL syntax guides . . . pretty much everything related to Oracle. Knowing your way around the documentation will help you immensely in your job as an Oracle professional.

Oracle Technology Network (OTN)

The OTN is a great portal for technical information from Oracle. It contains things like white papers, tutorials, code examples, blogs, newsletters, wikis, APIs, and links to many other resources. It also has links to the documentation, support websites, and software download portals.

OTN forums

The OTN forums are an online community of Oracle professionals and beginners alike. You can read though posts and questions submitted from the most seasoned of experts to people who aren’t really Oracle professionals at all but have been handled a system they must run.

If you’re going to submit technical questions, keep in mind that you can get much better help from the community if your post includes these details:

  • Your software version

  • The OS on which you run

  • Any patchsets or patches that you apply

  • Snippets of trace files if you’re asking about error conditions

  • Code examples of what you’re doing

  • A humble, modest, and undemanding appeal for help

It’s true; you sometimes have to have some thick skin because a lot of people just scan these forums for ways to give other people are hard time. However, don’t let that discourage you. For every bad apple, there are 99 good ones who are willing to help if you seem like you’re making an effort to learn. Don’t go in there hoping for a handout with no research on your behalf.

Oracle Support

Formerly known as Metalink, Oracle Support is the primary portal you go through to get help from the Oracle corporate technicians themselves.

This site requires you to log in with a CSI (Customer Service Identifier) number for you to have access to the material and open SRs (support requests). Within the support portal and hundreds of thousands of technical documents, how-tos, bug reports, and documentation that isn’t available to the general public. You also go through this website to download patches and software updates.

Oracle Software Delivery Cloud

The Oracle Software Delivery Cloud is similar to the downloads portal on the main Oracle website.

The Oracle Software Delivery Cloud is a central clearing house of all Oracle software. Some of the software here, such as Oracle Enterprise Linux, isn’t available in the general downloads section of the normal Oracle website.

Oracle University

Oracle University is the central portal for all of the Oracle Educational offerings.

Much of the education offerings at Oracle University are for-pay classes. You can find classes with instructor-led training, software-based training, or even online classroom environments. Furthermore, Oracle University also devotes a large section of the site to certification.

Oracle Magazine

Oracle Magazine is a periodical from Oracle that is published every two months.

Although you can opt to have the magazine delivered to your home or office, a handy online version is also available. This bimonthly magazine contains technical articles and interviews of industry titans at corporations that heavily leverage Oracle software. There are also sections with how-to’s, code examples, or excerpts from blogs of the most popular Oracle “celebrity” technicians.


AskTom is a technical website put out by Oracle Corporation Vice President Thomas Kyte.

The AskTom website format is a clearing house of questions that have been submitted by Oracle software users all over the world. The questions range from the very basic to highly technical in nature. Tom is very thorough in his explanations but also expects you to be thorough when making submissions. He backs everything up with hard examples and references to the Oracle documentation. Many of the questions go on for years with rebuttals and follow-ups from Tom himself and other users of the system. It’s a great resource for seeing how a lot of Oracle features work in the real world.

Oracle blogs

Many of the Oracle industry heavyweights publish blogs with all sorts of advice and ruminations. Not all Oracle blogs are linked in one place, but it’s a good place to start.

Some of the top authors of books, white papers, and technical articles on the various websites listed earlier also have their own blogs, and they use their blogs to expound on all things Oracle (and even some things non-Oracle just for fun). Seeking out an author from a book or white paper you read gives you the opportunity to find other valuable information he or she has written. Also, as you spend more time in the Oracle-web-o-sphere, you will begin to recognize the rock stars of Oracle.