Technology Changes Role of Database Administrator

The database administrator (DBA) is responsible for managing and coordinating
all database activities. The DBA\'s job description includes database design,
user coordination, backup, recovery, overall performance, and database
security. The database administrator plays a crucial role in managing data for
the employer. In the past the DBA job has required sharp technical skills
along with management ability. (Shelly, Cashman, Waggoner 1992). However, the
arrival on the scene of the relational database along with the rapidly changing
technology has modified the database administrator\'s role. This has required
organizations to vary the way of handling database management.
(Mullins 1995)

Traditional database design and data access were complicated. The database
administrator\'s job was to oversee any and all database-oriented tasks. This
included database design and implementation, installation, upgrade, SQL
analysis and advice for application developers.. The DBA was also responsible
for back-up and recovery, which required many complex utility programs that run
in a specified order. This was a time-consuming energy draining task. (Fosdick
1995)

Databases are currently in the process of integration. Standardizing data,
once done predominately by large corporations, is now filtering down to medium-
size and small companies. The meshing of the old and new database causes
administrators to maintain two or three database products on a single network.
(Wong 1995)

Relational database management systems incorporate complex features and
components to help with logic procedures. This requires organizations to
expand the traditional approach to database management and administration. The
modern database management systems not only share data, they implement the
sharing of common data elements and code elements. (Mullins 1995)

Currently, the more sought after relational database products are
incorporating more and more complex features and components to simplify
procedural logic. Due to the complexity of todays relational database,
corporations are changing the established way of dealing with database
management personnel. Traditionally, as new features were added to the database,
more and more responsibility fell on the DBA. With the emergence of the
relational database management system (RDBMS), we are now beginning to see a
change in the database administrator\'s role.(Mullins 1995)

The design of data access routines in relational database demands extra
participation from programmers. The database administrator simply checks the
system\'s optimization choice, because technology is responsible for building
access paths to the data. Program design and standard query language (SQL) tools
have become essential requirements for the database administrator to do this
job. However, this technology requires additional supervision and many DBAs are
not competent in SQL analysis and performance monitoring. The database
administrator had to learn to master the skills of application logic and
programming techniques. (Mullins 1995)

The database administrator\'s job description and responsibilities have changed
with technology. The DBA is greatly concerned with database quality,
maintenance and availability . If the relational database fails to perform, the
database administrator will be held accountable for the failure.

The role of the database administrator is expanding to include too many
responsibilities for a single person. This has led to the DBA\'s job being split
into two separate titles: a traditional DBA along with a procedural DBA.

The traditional database administrator is responsible for organizing and
managing data objects. However, with new technology, the DBA is not always
responsible for debugging, utilities or programming in C, COBOL or SQL. (Mullins
1995). These tasks go to object builder programming personnel who are familiar
with object-oriented programming languages. With the database manager
unqualified in SQL, the job is referred to object builders well versed in using
C, COBOL, SQL. (Sipolt 1995). The traditional database administrator\'s
strength is in creating the physical design of the database. The procedural
database administrator is an expert in accessing data. Procedural DBAs are
responsible for procedural logic support, application code reviews, access path
review and analysis, SQL rewrites, debugging, and analysis to assure optimal
execution. (Mullins 1995)

Along with the changing job description, administrators are facing increased
demands from the corporations for which they work. Database administrators are
responsible for staff cost control, hardware, software, and are becoming
increasingly responsible for the work quality and response time of their staff.
(Riggsbee 1995)

The job modifications are not the only change in this industry. Database
administrators received a substantial increase in their wages in 1995. The
average earnings for a DBA are now $52,572 according to the 1995 survey source.
However, salaries differ according to the specific region of the country in
which one resides. The mid-level database administrator in San Francisco earns
$55,000 to $65,000, substantially more than our survey states. However, Salt
Lake City database administrator\'s salary fell between $30,000 to $35,000.
Another area of salaries on the rise is the health care profession. Previously
lower end on the pay scale,