Understanding database diagnostic information

One of the most important abilities needed for a DBA is the ability to diagnose database problems. The data dictionary is often used for this task. However, Oracle has several other tools that we can use to diagnose problems, including logfiles, trace files, and the Automatic Diagnostic Repository.

Understanding the alert log

The most primary diagnostic tool used by DBAs is the database alert log . The alert log is a plain text log (with an exception for Version 11g that we will discuss shortly) that contains both messages and errors regarding the functioning of the database. As such, many DBAs consider the alert log to be the "first stop" when attempting to diagnose a database problem.

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