database administrator

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database administrator (DBA) A person or member of a group that is responsible for the specification, design, implementation, efficient operation, and maintenance of a database. The identification of a distinct role for database administration (DBA) follows from the concept of data independence, and from the realization that databases form an important and valuable corporate resource.

The DBA person or group would work with users in establishing application requirements and creating an appropriate data model of the information to be held in the database as part of the activity of system specification; would encode the data model as the logical schema of the database using the appropriate data description language together with any required user views; would specify the initial storage schema after consideration of the relative importance of the various activities to be carried out against the database; would advise and work with programmers whose programs access the database; and would be responsible for the initial setting up and loading of the database as part of the activity of system implementation.

The activity is an ongoing one involving the monitoring of performance and any consequential modification of the storage schema to improve it, responsibility for backup and recovery, for creating further user views as required, and generally with database integrity, security, and efficiency. The work is usually seen as encompassing both the business modeling role at one extreme and, at the other, the day-to-day technical problems of making the database system work effectively in practice.