Modern database systems provide a collection of utilities and programs to assist a database administrator with tasks such as database installation and configuration, import/export, indexing (index wizards are covered in the self-management entry), and backup/restore.
Database Administrators have been skeptical of any form of automation as long as they could control the performance and security of a relatively straightforward installation. The advent of enterprise data management towards the end of the 1990s, where few administrators became responsible for many, possibly diverse database servers, has led to the use of graphical automation tools. In the mid-1990s, third party vendors introduced such tools. With SQL Server 6.5, Microsoft was the first constructor to provide an administration wizard.
Installation and Configuration
Database servers are configured using hundreds of parameters that control everything buffer size, file layout, concurrency control options and so on. They are either set statically in a configuration file before the server is started, or dynamically while the server is running. Out-of-the-box database servers are equipped with a limited set of typical configurations.
The installation/configuration wizard is a graphical user interface that guides the administrator through the initial server configuration. The interface provides high-level choices (e.g., OLTP vs. OLAP workload), or simple questions (e.g., number of concurrent users) that are mapped onto database configuration values (log buffer size and thread pool size respectively).
Import/export wizards are graphical tools that help database administrators map a database schema with an external data format (e.g., XML, CSV, PDF), or generate scripts that automate the transfer of data between a database and an external data source (possibly another database server).
Back-up/restore wizards automate the back-up procedure given a few input arguments: complete/incremental backup, scope of the back-up/restore operations (file, tablespace, database), target directory.
Automation of the central database administration tasks.