As database management systems change and become more complex, the role of database administration must adapt. Database management systems are taking on more functionality and being used in more situations than ever before. No longer do databases store only traditional simple structured data types such as characters, numbers and dates; they also store more complex unstructured data types such as audio, video, images and compound documents. As a result, databases are growing in size. However, this is not the only factor causing database growth. The business intelligence needs of today's organizations have caused data warehouses to grow large and out of control.

Furthermore, today's databases do not just store data. They also store processes that act upon that data. Stored procedures, triggers and user-defined functions managed by the database management system (DBMS) place new requirements on database administrators. Additionally, databases are being placed on more diverse platforms than ever before, including mainframes, midranges, workstations, PCs and even PDAs. Databases are increasingly being connected to the Internet to enable e-business applications which further complicates the way in which databases are managed. All of these new technologies and trends impact the job of the database administrator (DBA).

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