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We all hate the  BR*TOOLS, don’t we?

  

You won’t believe how often we in support get asked about if SAPDBA is available for use with Oracle 10g. Even more customers tell us, how they dislike the BRTOOLS and want the SAPDBA back.

 

The plain answer they all get is: SAPDBA is out of maintenance now for ages – use the current BRTOOLS.

 

But what is behind all this? Is SAP really ignorant against customer wishes? What are the main reasons for customers to reject the BRTOOLS.

 

I believe the biggest issue for customers is the changed user-interface. While SAPBA used a rather classic-approach with a central starting menu from which the DBA could jump between functions as he liked the BRTOOLS are designed by a task-oriented way.

 

What does that mean? The idea is, that the DBA does not use the BRTOOLS for “just looking” or “trying out things”. When the DBA starts the BRTOOLS he already knows exactly, what he wants to do, which task he wants to accomplish. To support this approach, most menus in the BRTOOLS do appear in a wizard-like-sequence, usually starting with rather general settings ending up with the options for choosing details on the desired function.

 

Let’s check this on an example: Let’s create a UNDO-tablespace.

 

   > brtools
   BR0651I BRTOOLS 7.00 (26)
    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.05.08
   BR0656I Choice menu 1 - please make a selection
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   BR*Tools main menu
    
    1 = Instance management
    2 - Space management
    3 - Segment management
    4 - Backup and database copy
    5 - Restore and recovery
    6 - Check and verification
    7 - Database statistics
    8 - Additional functions
    9 - Exit program
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
   2
    

 

As you may have noticed I can either select a function from the menu or choose ‘c’ for continue. Whenever there is a ‘=’ between the menu number and the description that’s the default choice of the current menu and you can just use ‘c’ to go ahead.

 

In this case the ‘Instance Management’ is the default choice – but I like to add a UNDO tablespace so I go for ‘2 – Space Management’.

 

   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.05.59
   BR0663I Your choice: '2'
    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.05.59
   BR0657I Input menu 82 - please check/enter input values
   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   BRSPACE options for create tablespace
    
    1 - BRSPACE profile (profile) ...... [initTDB.sap]
    2 - Database user/password (user) .. [/]
    3 ~ Tablespace name (tablespace) ... []
    4 - Confirmation mode (confirm) .... [yes]
    5 - Scrolling line count (scroll) .. [20]
    6 - Message language (language) .... [E]
    7 - BRSPACE command line (command) . [-p initTDB.sap -s 20 -l E -f tscreate]
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
    

 

In that menu I can enter additional information like the name of the tablespace I’m about to create, but I don’t have to. That’s visible by the ~ (tilde) sign at the menu point.

 

Due to the modular concept of the BRTOOLS the tool BRSPACE will now be called. You can see the command line parameters used for this at menu entry 7. If you would start BRSPACE with these options, it will work the exact same way.

 

Anyhow, I continue with ‘c’.

 

   #####################################################################
    
   BR1001I BRSPACE 7.00 (26)
   BR1002I Start of BRSPACE processing: sdvmycvk.tsc 2007-06-18 12.47.48
   BR0484I BRSPACE log file: C:ORACLETDBsapreorgsdvmycvk.tsc
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.47.52
   BR1009I Name of database instance: TDB
   BR1010I BRSPACE action ID: sdvmycvk
   BR1011I BRSPACE function ID: tsc
   BR1012I BRSPACE function: tscreate
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.47.53
   BR0656I Choice menu 304 - please make a selection
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
   Tablespace creation mainmenu
    
    1 = Create tablespace
    2 - Show tablespaces
    3 - Show data files
    4 - Show disk volumes
    5 * Exit program
    6 - Reset program status
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
    

 

We see a line of hashes (‘#######…’) indicating hat an external tool – BRSPACE in this case – has been called and that we now see the output of this tool. Additionally we see the BRSPACE header, so we can be pretty sure, that we’re now using BRSPACE.

 

The default choice is now automatically set to ‘create tablespace’, so if we already know what we want, we can just move on with ‘c’. Otherwise we can check what tablespace are already there, how much space on the physical disks are left and so on with the other menu entries.

 

Let’s move on with ‘c’.

 

   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.51.05
   BR0657I Input menu 305 - please check/enter input values
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   Main options for creation of tablespace in database TDB
    
    1 ? Tablespace name (tablespace) ......... []
    2 - Tablespace contents (contents) ....... [data]
    3 - Segment space management (space) ..... [auto]
    4 # Database owner of tablespace (owner) . []
    5 ~ Table data class / tabart (class) .... []
    6 - Data type in tablespace (data) ....... [both]
    7 # Joined index/table tablespace (join) . []
    8 ~ Uniform size in MB (uniform) ......... []
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
    

 

Now I’ve to enter the name for the new tablespace – the ‘c’ won’t work until all menu entries marked with ‘?’ have been filled. For the contents and segment space management part there are default choices that should fit the majority of all use cases. Anyhow for my test, I’ll change the contents-type to UNDO and go ahead with ‘c’

 

   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.53.19
   BR0657I Input menu 306 - please check/enter input values
   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Space options for creation of tablespace PSAPUNDOX (1. file)
    
    1 - Tablespace file name (file) .......... [C:undox.data1]
    2 # Raw disk / link target (rawlink) ..... []
    3 - File size in MB (size) ............... [10]
    4 # File autoextend mode (autoextend) .... [no]
    5 # Maximum file size in MB (maxsize) .... []
    6 # File increment size in MB (incrsize) . []
    7 - SQL command (command) ................ [create undo tablespace PSAPUNDOX datafile 'C:undox.data1' size 10M autoextend off]
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:

  

The last screen before the actual command is send to the database give the option to setup the sizes and locations of data files for the tablespace. Again default values are given (especially the filename) and can be used by just entering ‘c’.

 

One nice feature is that the SQL command is visible AND editable at menu entry 7. So if you want to edit it manually, you can do this easily (ever tried that with SAPDBA?).

 

The next menu is a hurdle for many BRTOOLS users:

 

   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.56.35
   BR1091I Next data file can be specified now
   BR0675I Do you want to perform this action?
   BR0676I Enter 'y[es]' to perform the action, 'n[o]/c[ont]' to skip it, 's[top]' to abort:
    

 

The question is: do you want another data file right now or not? If so, enter ‘y’es. If not, you can simply use ‘c’ again to go on. Sometimes this is over read and DBAs end up with far more data files than they wanted – because they always entered ‘y’, ‘y’, ‘y’… So better stick to ‘c’!

 

   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.39
   BR0370I Directory C:ORACLETDBsapreorgsdvmycvk created
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.41
   BR0319I Control file copy created: C:ORACLETDBsapreorgsdvmycvkCNTRLTDB.old 22036480
   BR0252W Function CreateFile() failed for 'C:hiberfil.sys' at location BrFileStatGet-9
   BR0253W errno 2: No such file or directory
   BR0252W Function CreateFile() failed for 'C:pagefile.sys' at location BrFileStatGet-9
   BR0253W errno 2: No such file or directory
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.41
   BR1089I Creating tablespace PSAPUNDOX...
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.43
   BR1016I SQL statement 'create undo tablespace PSAPUNDOX datafile 'C:undox.data1' size 10M autoextend off' executed successfully
   BR1060I Tablespace PSAPUNDOX created successfully with file: C:undox.data1 10M
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.44
   BR0340I Switching to next online redo log file for database instance TDB ...
   BR0321I Switch to next online redo log file for database instance TDB successful
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.47
   BR0319I Control file copy created: C:ORACLETDBsapreorgsdvmycvkCNTRLTDB.new 22036480
    
   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 12.58.47
   BR0256I Enter 'c[ont]' to continue, 's[top]' to cancel BRSPACE:

  

Ok, we see some warnings here – they are the result of the non-standard, non-sensible and non-recommended location of my data file. I just put it into c: – so at least I get a warning when I do such nonsense.

 

To finish the action, you guess it, press ‘c’.

 

   BR0280I BRSPACE time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.00.41
   BR0656I Choice menu 304 - please make a selection
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   Tablespace creation main menu
    
    1 + Create tablespace
    2 - Show tablespaces
    3 - Show data files
    4 - Show disk volumes
    5 = Exit program
    6 - Reset program status
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   ---------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
    

 

We’re back at BRSPACE menu and since we’re rather finished with our action, the exit is already the default choice, so ‘c’ is again the correct key.

 

   BR0292I Execution of BRSPACE finished with return code 1
    
   BR0668IWarnings or errors occurred - you can continue to ignore them or go back to repeat the last action
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.01.45
   BR0670I Enter 'c[ont]' to continue, 'b[ack]' to go back, 's[top]' to abort:
    

 

Now, what’s that? Errors? We just have successfully created a new UNDO tablespace and now there should have been errors? But wait a minute! It’s just to inform you that there have been WARNINGS or ERRORS. If you’re already aware of them – ignore them by using ‘c’. If you don’t know what errors could have been there: check the scroll back buffer of your terminal or – better – the log file of your current action. With BRGUI (the recommended way to use the BRTOOLS) it’s easy to display the log file – just click on log file and you even get a coloured output so finding warning and errors is really easy.

 

With the command line usage you’ve to check the log file yourself – just scroll up to where BRTOOLS has called BRSPACE. In that very step you’ll find the line

 

   BR0484I BRSPACE log file: C:ORACLETDBsapreorgsdvmycvk.tsc
    

 

That’s the file you should have a look into.

 

But let us go ahead for now.

  

   ###############################################################################
    
   BR0292I Execution of BRSPACE finished with return code 1
    
   BR0668I Warnings or errors occurred - you can continue to ignore them or go back to repeat the last action
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.01.45
   BR0670I Enter 'c[ont]' to continue, 'b[ack]' to go back, 's[top]' to abort:
   c
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.09.34
   BR0257I Your reply: 'c'
   BR0259I Program execution will be continued...
    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.09.34
   BR0656I Choice menu 5 - please make a selection
   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   Database space management
    
    1 = Extend tablespace
    2 + Create tablespace
    3 - Drop tablespace
    4 - Alter tablespace
    5 - Alter data file
    6 - Move data file
    7 - Additional space functions
    8 - Reset program status
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
    

 

Ok, again we see the ‘#’-line to indicate that the current program has changed. We also see again that there has been a minor problem or warning within the BRSPACE function we used.

 

Anyhow we’re now back in the BRTOOLS menu and can either continue with other functions or just leave the program. For that – the first time in the whole procedure – we don’t have to use ‘c’ but ‘b’ instead. Remember we’re still in the ‘space management’ menu so we have to go back to the main menu.

 

    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.10
   BR0663I Your choice: 'b'
   BR0673I Going back to the previous menu...
    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.10
   BR0656I Choice menu 1 - please make a selection
   ----------------------------------------------------------------
   BR*Tools main menu
    
    1 = Instance management
    2 + Space management
    3 - Segment management
    4 - Backup and database copy
    5 - Restore and recovery
    6 - Check and verification
    7 - Database statistics
    8 - Additional functions
    9 - Exit program
    
   Standard keys: c - cont, b - back, s - stop, r - refr, h - help
   ----------------------------------------------------------------
   BR0662I Enter your choice:
   9
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.23
   BR0663I Your choice: '9'
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.23
   BR0680I Do you really want to exit BRTOOLS? Enter y[es]/n[o]:
   y
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.25
   BR0257I Your reply: 'y'
    
   BR0280I BRTOOLS time stamp: 2007-06-18 13.25.25
   BR0653I BRTOOLS completed successfully with warnings
    

 

Obviously, ‘exit’ is not the default choice in the main menu – so choosing it with ‘9’ lets us out. Again we see the information concerning the warnings that appeared so that we would have to be deaf andblind to miss them.

 

What have we learned here? Opposed to SAPDBA the BRTOOLS are far more modular. For nearly every step we take a log is written to make it possible to analyse errors. There are far more security questions. An unwanted ‘drop tablespace’ should not happen that way. Most of the action paths you usually have to take as a DBA a predefined and linked via the ‘c’-continue access.

 

So, yes the BRTOOLS do work different than the SAPDBA.

 

But they are more secure and it’s obvious to work even with new features of the database since the modular concept allows a quick integration into the tools – it just follows the same pattern of menus.

 

From the trainings I’ve given my advice concerning the BRTOOLS is: try them. Use a test system and try your most used actions. Get used to them – these are tools that will be there for the next years.

 

And of course even the next generation is already in pole position…(see BRTOOLS STUDIO in SDN SAP on Oracle ).

  

KR Lars

  

Related SAP notes:

 

#647697 – BRSPACE – New tool for Oracle database administration

#012741 – Current versions of SAPDBA and BR*Tools

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