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Principal Oracle Applications DVA at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Incredibly useful for drawing up the SQL, scalable, reliable, and has good support
Pros and Cons
  • "It's a useful feature to be able to see the top SQL, the number of executions, the CPU, and the resources that it's using."
  • "In my opinion, rather than a younger DBA, think the user interface could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

When we have a tuning problem, we use this solution. 

It's incredibly useful for drawing up the SQL that's being run, identifying and resolving a problematic SQL. You can monitor performance using the various performance data which is what some employees in the companies where I work use it for. 

The majority of the time, I use it to aid in the detection of a performance issue.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes things a lot faster. 

We used to have to try to run down the SQL by using queries against the database and run explain plans and go through a number of different processes by hand, which would be very time-consuming. I am pointing and clicking, seeing what the top SQL is in terms of performance and utilization, taking up resources, and I am more or less navigating through it to get to the problem. What used to take hours to solve a problem, can be done in a matter of minutes.

What is most valuable?

It's a useful feature to be able to see the top SQL, the number of executions, the CPU, and the resources that it's using.

Also, being able to utilize that to look at the plans that are being generated for that piece of SQL and then determine how we can change that to increase the performance.

What needs improvement?

In my opinion, rather than a younger DBA, think the user interface could be improved.

I like the tree-type system. In all of Oracles products, you can get anywhere in several different ways, and I find that navigation to be a little bit tedious. For instance, you might wonder, "How did I get there that time?" " Oh, I got there a different way" the next time. It would be easier for me to remember if there was only one route to get there. 

This is my point of view. If you spoke with a younger DBA who has just started, they would have no trouble at all. When you have been doing something for the past 30 years, or how you learned to do it, or how you learned to learn when you were younger versus what they are doing today.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been providing Oracle Enterprise Manager since its inception.

The version used, varies from customer to customer and what they have. 

Currently, we don't have it installed on a local machine.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of Oracle Enterprise Manager is very good.

When it first came out, and I started using it, I was working for Oracle in Oracle Education. You could utilize it, and the SQL behind it to gather statistics was wrong. But they have that sorted out now, and things are looking up today.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. You can expand it to cover everything you need in that environment.

It could range between 10 and 20, depending on the size of the customer and the number of DBAs they have. However, DBAs and system administrators will use it in some cases. I have one customer where there are some power users who can look at things. Then we try to get the developers to use it as well, so they can look at their SQL to tune it. In my area, it's usually 10 to 20, but once you open it up to developers, it could be another 50 to a hundred. It all depends on the company, its size, and how it is used.

A good percentage of Oracle clients use this solution, but I don't have any personal plans to use it more or to use it less. We use it when it's available.

How are customer service and support?

Oracle technical support is pretty good, but you have to know how to work with them.

You have to know when to bring on a duty manager, or when to raise the level of support that you need, but they're pretty good. They do a pretty good job overall.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I've used Toad before, as well as a SQL developer that they have, which does some of the same things as this, but none of those products provide the overall picture that Enterprise Manager does, though Toad is frequently used. That's something I've done for a variety of customers. Quest Spotlight was a product that was used in the past. There were a few products that did the same thing, and it's possible that those were the only ones. But these days, if I walk into a client and they're using a tool, I'd probably prefer it to be Enterprise Manager.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. It's not as simple as Microsoft products for example, but it's not difficult.

Oracle products, in general, are not Microsoft products; you will always have some configuration or some tweaking that you will have to do.

I haven't deployed this solution in quite some time. It has always just been there. I would say deployment, is typically part of a larger project. It's just one of the tools that you're going to deploy along the way.

In terms of timing, and how it takes to deploy, would be days, and planning would be on the backend of a larger project. You are preparing databases and applications before you get to the core of what is to be done, then you can start including tools around it, which is normally on the backed.

One person can easily deploy and maintain this solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is the responsibility of our customers.

Other than having the expertise to put it together, and then use it properly, there are no additional costs incurred beyond the standard licensing fees that I have encountered.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to find someone with experience who has implemented it before, and if they're not on staff, bring them in as a consultant. Have them work with the staff to show the staff how to do it. As I am a consultant, of course, this would be my recommendation.

You can save yourself a lot of time and a lot of heartaches, by working with someone that knows what they're doing. Of course, you want to ensure that all of that knowledge is transferred, but if you find someone who knows what they're doing, it can save you a lot of time and they can set things up correctly and show you how to use it efficiently.

Because it's a good product, and I worked for Oracle when they first released it, which was more than 20 years ago, but things have changed dramatically since then. 

It did not replace the DBA as they claimed when it was first introduced, but we, the DBAs, knew it wouldn't. It's a really good product and can be a really good tool in the right hands. I would rate Oracle Enterprise Manager a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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