The impetus for this discussion comes from the automation in Oracle 10g and Nicholas Carr’s assertions about the end of corporate computing being software sold as services.
As I get more familiar with the new Oracle 10g Grid Control/Database Control (GC/DC), I see my technical knowledge of the management of Oracle becoming obsolete. Up to now, we have had to use sometimes arcane tables and views with complicated SQL to manage Oracle. A lot of DBAs have made a career of mastering that complicated technical knowledge. There are dozens of archives of scripts and whitepapers on the Net devoted to this.
While we still can use all that, it is a whole lot faster to just point and click through the GC/DC GUI and wizards. Today they certainly won’t do everything all those scripts and DBAs do, the trend is clear, the wizards and GUI will replace more and more of the technical work with automation.
It is not a big leap to see Oracle adding an AI Expert System on top of what GC/DC do already and automating virtually the whole day to day operation of the database instance.
I can see a day when managing the instance becomes directing the Expert System rather running SQL commands. A day of pouring over complex views and queries replaced by a one line directive to the ES. Knowing which directive will still be key so I don’t think the DBAs will completely disappear but there could a lot fewer of us.