May 5, 1999
Keep Good Habits to Avoid Fatal Errors to Your Database
As a database administrator, you will unfortunately be called upon to respond at times when you are not at your best. It is exactly at those times that you need good habits to protect you. One of my biggest fears is that I will inadvertently do the right thing, but on the wrong machine ("You mean the account table I dropped wasn't from the development server?!"). Therefore, you should consider following these steps to ensure that you can't possibly make such a mistake. First, name all your databases differently. If production has an accounting database, development at best should have a "testaccounting" database. Any script that you write to drop, create, or modify any objects has the database name coded in. Also, every system you administer should have a different password. You should always log into the system using OSQL for changes rather than using Enterprise Manager where you might have many servers available. In this way, you can't accidentally log into the wrong server. Finally, it's a good idea to type out commands rather than double click your way through the GUI. You're more likely to realize that you don't want to "DROP DATABASE PROD" when typing it than if you just point and shoot.