So, before I start you should know that I’m not a database expert. The only reason I took this certification was because it was free. Oracle was doing this massive promotion couple of months (during COVID-19 lockdown) back where they announced that most of their Oracle Cloud Infrastructure certification and training is free. Autonomous Db is technically a PaaS offering from Oracle and not part of OCI cert family. But hey, it was free and thats a good reason to take it besides knowing more about the features of this great db.
Now back to business. The cert measures you on following topics:
- Autonomous Database Technical Overview
- Migration and Data Loading into Autonomous Database
- Monitoring Autonomous Database
- Provisioning and Connectivity
- Managing and Maintaining Autonomous Database
- Tools, Reporting and Analytics using Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW)
I did some retrospective from my results summary. Below is the screenshot from my exam results:
As you can see, I marked wrong answers in quite a few areas. Primarily areas in #6, #2, and #5 above needs improvement. The unfortunate thing is that there are no practice exams in the official training link. However, the good news is that passing percentage is only 64% and you have 85minutes to complete. The total number of questions I got is 55.
Important Tips and Exam Topics:
- It goes without saying to go through the official videos (Learning Path) on Oracle University. As always I think the Oracle content could be made better. Hopefully Oracle is listening. “Dear Oracle, Let me know if you need help on how to make your content engaging.”
- I believe the topic of data migration and High Availability is very important. Understand Data Pump, Golden Gate, RMAN, Data Sync, SQL Loader. You should know what to use when. Read through Oracle official website on each of these topics. I definitely saw around 10 questions for these topics. And I did not get some of those answers right on the actual exam as you can tell from my note above.
- You might see a question or two on billing on ADB. It is important to understand how you are charged in ADB, especially in stopped state.
- Another important item to remember is tnsnames.ora. The tnsnames.ora file is a configuration file that contains network service names mapped to connect descriptors for the local naming method, or net service names mapped to listener protocol addresses.
- The tnsnames.ora file provided with the credentials zip file contains five database service names identifiable as tpurgent, tp, high, medium, and low. The predefined service names provide different levels of performance and concurrency for Autonomous Transaction Processing. Read through this link for more details. This is important and you will get some questions on this.
- Know the retention period of backups for ADB is 60 days.
- As I’ve never been a DBA in my IT career, so there are few things one must memorize. Remember that DWROLE exists in ADB that has common privileges used by DW Developer and ADMIN role created by default can create other users and roles.
- Please know what is customer responsibility vs Oracle responsibility in the ADB – Backups, Patching, Db upgrades are done by Oracle. Data Masking for example, is customer responsibility.
- Security as always is shared responsibility. Understand what is Oracle’s responsibility in data security. Data is always encrypted at rest. You can use client credential wallet to encrypt network connections from clients to ADB. Oracle applies automatic security updates.
- Remember how you can connect to the ADB. There are screenshots in the learning slides. You might see a question or two around this.
- Know that you can still use Terraform for provision ADB.
- Read through my Flashcards to remember important concepts, metrics, thresholds etc. Unfortunately, you need to memorize some of these to pass the exam.
- The FAQs are must read and you should memorize all of them.
- Mark the questions for review later if you are not sure of the answer. Sometimes you might get the right answer in the related subsequent questions.
- During the exam, the process of elimination is the right approach to narrow down on the answers rather than marking a random option. You will have plenty of time to spare to go through the answers once again.
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Author: Haman Sharma is a life long learner, MBA (from UNC Kenan-Flagler) and founder of reviewNprep. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.
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