Oracle DBA Re-certification Requirement and 12c DBA OCP upgrades Derek Mott. Softsmiths Ltd – October 2014. firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer • I’ve tried to be accurate in the information herein. Some things are my own opinion. Some information will change with time. You are responsible for yourself for checking from original sources before allocating resources or decisions. Prices are approximate and meant to give a feel for relative costs. • In other words let the hearer take caution … I may have got it wrong! Overview • The recertification requirement for Oracle DBA’s was announced in October 2014. • These certifications will go inactive: – 9i database version certifications from November 1st 2015 – 10g database version certifications from March 1st 2016 • GREAT NEWS (for most of us): – You are not affected AT ALL if you are certified on a higher version; e.g. 11g/12c DBA OCA/OCP/OCM. Nothing at all goes inactive. • If affected as only having 10g DBA certification or earlier: – certifying at 12c DBA OCP (or OCA) is obvious solution – … we explore this in part II of the presentation Oracle Certifications Lifetime • Previously Oracle Certifications were valid for life – Though the subject of the certification might become irrelevant with time. • New policy is one’s (database) certifications will become inactive one year after a certification is retired. BUT ONLY IF ONE DOES NOT HOLD A DATABASE CERTIFICATION AT A VERSION THAT IS ACTIVE Terminology From Oracle Website (except on notice) • RECERTIFICATION - Recertification is the process by which a certification holder demonstrates they have kept up with current technology by earning a current Oracle Database Administration credential. • RETIRED - Oracle Database Administration Certification - the Oracle Database Administration certification is no longer attainable for new candidates. If a candidate already holds it, it will remain valid until 12 months from the certification retirement date. • CURRENT - Oracle Database Administration Certification - the certification is available for new candidates. All candidates that hold a CURRENT Oracle Database Administration certification are considered in ACTIVE status. • ACTIVE certification status -the certification holder holds at least one Oracle Database OCA, OCP or OCM certification credential that is CURRENT (non-retired). • INACTIVE certification status - all of the certification holder's Oracle Database credentials are retired and at least 12 months have passed since the latest credential held has retired. • ON NOTICE: A candiate is on when notice their certification will go inactive in a years time. Recertification Requirement (From Oracle Website) • Certification credentials will be CURRENT or RETIRED according to their version (e.g 9i, 10g, 11g, 12c etc.). • If you hold an Oracle Certified Database Administrator Associate, Professional, Expert and/or Master credential on a RETIRED version, you are required to earn a credential on a CURRENT (non-retired) version of Oracle Database to remain in ACTIVE status. • All candidates that hold Oracle Database credential in ACTIVE status will have all their credentials remain in ACTIVE status, even if the credentials are retired. • You will lose access to your certificate and logo on CertView if your credential becomes inactive. Comparison to Other Certification Programs • A large number of other programs have recertification requirements – Some are time based and some version based. • Examples include LPIC, RHEL, (MySQL before going under Sun stewardship). • If your certifications go inactive then for Oracle DBA you can get them back active again by one current certification earned with one exam. – The consequence of lapsing on other programs can set further back and you may need to start from the beginning. Example • Larry holds: – 9i DBA OCM – 10g DBA OCP – 10g RAC OCE • If Larry does nothing then in March 2016 all his certifications become inactive. He is no longer a OCM; OCP; or OCE and neither he nor his employer can present himself as such. • If in August 2017 Larry attains 11g DBA OCA – all his certifications become active again and he can again present himself as an OCM and again wear the T-shirt! – Of course a 12c DBA OCA/P would be better! Scope • In Scope – Oracle Database versioned Certifications Only – EBS APPS DBA 11i OCP • Not in Scope (at least for the moment) – Oracle PL/SQL OCP & SQL OCE etc are not in scope • These are considered versionless .. • Not with a strong linkage to the version of the database. – Other certifications … MySQL … etc … etc • This is not currently in scope but could be later. Affected Certifications ( From oracle website) Recertification required by November 1, 2015 • • • • • • • • • • • Oracle7.3 Database Administrator Certified Professional Oracle8 Database Administrator Certified Professional Oracle8 Database Operator Certified Professional Oracle8i Database Administrator Certified Professional Oracle8i Database Operator Certified Professional Oracle9i Database Administrator Certified Associate Oracle9i Database Administrator Certified Associate Oracle9i Database Administrator Certified Professional Oracle9i Database Administrator Certified Professional - Special Accreditation: Managing Oracle9i on Linux Oracle E-Business Suite 11i Applications Database Administrator Certified Professional Oracle9i Database Administrator Certified Master Recertification required by March 1, 2016 • • • • • Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Professional Oracle Database 10g Managing Oracle on Linux Certified Expert Oracle Database 10g Real Application Clusters Administrator Certified Expert Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Master Does it matter to me? • Some people say oracle certifications a waste of time • Some people will not be concerned about their certifications becoming inactive • Others will be more concerned about becoming current or demonstrating they are up to date • Others may find it a vehicle to steer them to update their skills and knowledge Impact on OPN Partners ? This is not really my scene of expertise. However these are my thoughts … • I don’t currently know if inactive certifications will count towards a partner’s OPN status. – But this could be impacting in some circumstances if they don’t count. – Could have a bigger impact if recertification required in other areas. It’s all about Oracle Grabbing Money! • I don’t think it is as simple as Oracle thinking this will cause ‘x’ number of extra certification exams to be taken and we will make ‘y’ amount of profit. • In the end however it will be about money … though probably in a more indirect route. e.g. if more people are trained/certified on 12c then there’s more chance of upgrades and database options being taken up … leading to revenue sales Reasons Behind Policy Change: “There are a number of business reasons why we are implementing this requirement. It was a decision that was not taken lightly at all. We also spent a great deal of time and energy creating upgrade paths that would allow candidates who still have not upgraded from quite old versions a reasonable path to upgrade to a current version of certification. We do feel that this is a positive step for our program and that it strengthens the value of certification. Policies change as businesses grow. That is not meant to be a flippant statement at all. We do understand the impact that this policy change can have on some candidates and we have tried to minimize the impact by creating streamlined upgrade paths. We welcome your comments (positive and negative) and we also welcome your questions and concerns. We will do our best to keep you informed and help you through this process.” Brandye Barrington (Certification Forum Moderator) on certification forum. As a forum answer IMHO it can’t be taken as gospel .. Merely a helpful answer. Possible Reasons (Conjecture) • Number DBA certifications awarded too skewed to lower releases to be healthy. • Certification devalued as Qualified OCP’s not demonstrating at expected level: – Exam cheating prevalent at lower releases (exam security now significantly improved) – Oracle WDP program abuse at 9i/10g. – Holders not in practice with current versions • Feedback of barriers to taking 12c certification. Recertification might incentivise the balance a little (stick). – Extended Preparation time for 12c upgrade exam – Perhaps relatively low Oracle 12c take up in some areas. – Increased cost of certification exams My Rule of Thumb actions (Audience: for pre 11g DBA OCPs wishing to avoid going inactive) To avoid becoming inactive consider the following: 1. Get 11g DBA OCA (1z0-052) – Should be lowest possible (knowledge) gap and shortest preparation from what you already know. But you will need to take another exam when 11g retires 2. Get 12c DBA OCA (1z0-062) – Probably still quite a short preparation time and low gap. ( Also 1z0-063 to 12c DBA OCP should now be a lower preparation time and gap than 1z0-060). 3. Get 12c DBA OCP (via 1z0-060 upgrade) – Because of the longer preparation time and bigger gap this will probably take longer than the other 3 options, but it will be the cheapest and introduce you to more topics Recertification References • https://blogs.oracle.com/certification/entry/1055_01 (Blog introducting recertification requirement) • https://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plqdad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=767 (Official recertifcation page with Process, Policy and Definition Subtabs. • https://education.oracle.com/education/html/pages/Ora cleDatabaseRecertificationUpgradePaths.pdf PDF of all recertification options … read carefully. • https://community.oracle.com/thread/3616640 Thread on the oracle certification forum discussing this. Part 2 : Upgrading 12c DBA OCP • 1z0-060 : Upgrades an OCP DBA from any Previous Version, no additional training requirement – ( Previously 1z0-00 would jump 1 release, 1z0-0 two releases) • 1z0-062 + 1z0-063 : Alternative route, no additional training requirement • 1z0-067 : Effectively For 11g DBA OCAs. – NEEDS ACCOMPANIED BY 12c “AUTHORISED” TRAINING. – Long exam, 220 topics, long preparation. – arguably candidate might sometimes be advised to use an alternative … (via 1z0-053 to 11g DBA OCP if they have 11g training or 1z0-062/3 if they have 12c training) 1z0-060 versus 1z0-062+1z0-063 • 1z0-060 (Single Exam – one cost – one big step) – Two section exam, one new features (51 topics); one section core dba skills revalidation (34 topics); both must be passed. – Longish topic list. • possibly some may not identify treat core dba skills to be revised with sufficient respect. Not all preparation materials cover core DBA skills. – If preparation is thorough there should be no problem, may be temptation of not revising core dba skills. – Great list of topics for current DBA • 1z0-062+1z0-063 ( Two exam – double cost – two smaller steps ) – Probably lower gap to existing skills meaning less preparation time for each exam. Hopefully lower failure risk – Probably more revamping over previously learned topics; omits some from 1z0-060 route. – Probably more preparation materials available precisely mapping to exam. Resources Oct/2014 - Exam Status Oct/2014 1z0-060 1z0-062 1z0-063 Current Current (In dev) Oracle Press Certification Books [12c] Sybex Certification Books 1z0-067 Cost (Beta) Apprx Y Dec2014 £35 Y Y £35 £x000 OU Courses [12c] Y Y OU Self Learning CD [12c] y y Oraclecertifcationprep Guide Y(Full) Y Oraclecertifcationprep Site Link Page * * Oracle Gwen exam prep Video Course Y(Full) Y Oracle Online Documentation Y(Full) Y Kaplan Exam Tests [12c?] Oracle Learning Library Oracle Learning Streams £10 * * Free (soon) £500 Y Y Free y y y £80 * * * * Free * * * * $1000/ free Gotcha : Core DBA Skills 1z0-060 • When preparing for 1z0-060 be aware if your reference material covers the core DBA skills or not. • Not sure of best approach here: – You could revise old notes material • (watch out for 12c changes) – You could go over 1z0-062/063 material – You could use material that covers. • Remember if this is the second section in your exam and you run into time crunch then answering badly or not answering 5 questions on this short section has a bigger impact (51/34) than not answering 5 questions on the dba new features (section order may be random). Resource: Online Oracle Docs • http://docs.oracle.com/database/121/index.htm • Free • Authorative. ( The Oracle Press books claims its authorative …. IMHO it isn’t!) • All you need to know is there. • Sometimes explains it better than study guides. If you your brain is getting twisted and bamboozled from other material come back here. • Some would argue, possibly correctly, it’s the best source to learn from. • The questions and answers from the certification tests come from information in the online resources. • You need to back it up with practice. • Beware of versions. The exam is currently at 188.8.131.52. Are you? ( And at some point it will move to be based on 184.108.40.206, and even have topic updates (and your study guide might not!). Check back to the certification at points Resource: Certification Study Books • Oracle Press’s 1z0-060 book only covers new features • Sybex books no longer come with a CDROM, you need to register and take practice test s online. • Notice how sybex’s 1z0-063 book is out before it is out of beta … check the topics are up to date! http://oraclecertificationprep.com/ • Series of guides covering oracle certification exams. • Backs up guides with freely available online reference links in one place. • These are guides … study aids … author would probably claim not perfect but give an opportunity for gap analysis. • Guide for 1z0-060 includes coverage of core dba skills. The delta’s between that and the Oracle Press book are interesting. • Done by Matthew who writes these regularly posts on oracle certification forum and elsewhere. Oracle University Courses • These usually map closely with exam topics – Exam Coverage IS NOT guaranteed whatever: • Though it is often close gaps are almost certain. – For 1z0-060 most relevant course is: • Oracle Database 12c: New Features for Administrators – Available in class or LVC (online) – CD ROM also available (1/2 the price) (Does not count as authorised certification learning … relevant WRT OCM). – Possible Ed. 2 is now 220.127.116.11 whereas exam is at 18.104.22.168 Exam Prep Seminar (Oracle UK Gwen) • Cost £495 • http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prodplq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=609 • About 12 hours and 43 videos. • Also available for 1z0-062 and I understand 1z0-063 an 1z0-067 may be planned. Resource: Oracle Learning Streams • https://education.oracle.com/education/html/pa ges/OracleDatabaseRecertificationUpgradePaths. pdf • This is NOT orientated towards and some argue little relevant to certification exams on it. • Cost is $1000/year … discount for teams. • Or FREE 90 days access if you attain an oracle certification after 8th Sept 2014. ( Not sure if a one off or one per certification earned). Exam Preparation Tests (Kaplan) • Available for 1z0-060/62/67 … • For 1z0-060 Transcender has 110 exam questions and 150 flashcards (comment: seems low). • Kaplan trade under SelftestSoftware and Transcender – The Transcender offering will be marginally upmarket and a superset of the SelftestSoftware offering. – BEWARE OF PHISHING WEBSITES • BEWARE OF OTHER SITES OFFERINGS. Most are braindumps and if you use you can get banned. • Kaplan Transcender seem also offering some e-learning videos for $299. • DO NOT USE OR OVERUSE EXAM CERTIFICATION TESTS TO LEARN, USE THEM TO IDENTIFY KNOWLEDGE GAPS. (BY THEIR NAURE THEY ALSO CAN PUT WRONG THINGS INTO YOUR MIND BY EXPOSING YOU TO WRONG ANSWERS!). Other 1z0-06x Comments • Oracle UK GWEN has a 12c Upgrade exam webinar replay available from https://blogs.oracle.com/certification/entry/0856 _28_03 • 1z0-067 is just ending beta …(25oct2014) • I assume 1z0-063 is about to go beta shortly … an opportunity to attempt it on the cheap (£40) if that happens. • Certification website and help is at http://certification.oracle.com Finally • BIG GOTCHA: the training requirements associated with a certification can be the biggest cost … plan carefully especially for OCM • When are you ready to take a certification exam: – My suggested Startpoint: • When you are 80% confident of scoring more than half way between the pass mark and 100%. • Matthew, Brandye, myself and a few others tend to answer most certification questions on the forum at https://community.oracle.com/community/technology_network_commun ity/certification • Certification website is at http://certification.oracle.com … checkout the help area as well! • Remember Oracle Certified People never expire … … they simply go inactive!