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DBA Duties: Development DBA <-> Application DBA <-> System DBA

DBA Duties and Application Support Duties:
Job-Description and Self-Assessment.

Checklist to ensure that all 60 DBA-duties are assigned:
System DBA, Development DBA and Application DBA versus Application Support

If you have just a job role "DBA", but not a dedicated job role "Application DBA" those 19 duties must be explicitly assigned to either "Application Support" or to the "DBA" - otherwise they might not be executed!

Detect unassigned tasks before an auditor reports them !

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| Summary | Risk | SOX | Solution | Audience | Why you need this report | Deliverables |

Summary and Scope

This toolkit for Self Assessment addresses the problem that there are many tasks which are NOT assigned - the managers think that's that done by the DBA-team, but that feels themselves as pure SYSTEM-DBA's and just ignore the duties of Development- and Application DBA's.

The Risk

Your DBA-team feels themselves as pure System DBA and typically tasks of Application DBA's are not executed. But as in your organization no dedicated Application DBA exist, you will run in long term into troubles, as many important tasks are just not executed. In case of in house development the missing Development DBA will result in production problems. This situation is not immediately obvious, it's a “ticking time bomb”. This will be detected long time later - in the optimal case you will just need a huge repair / reorganization project (for which of course neither budget nor headcount was planned) and of course a big outage will be required, or you will suffer from shortcomings until application retirement.

An increasing number of laws e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) or Basel II require external audits of IT systems. And even if in your organization everyone knows what he has to do, auditors often ask for documented evidence. But even if you are not affected by those laws, clearly documented and assigned duties, optimal validated quarterly or once per year, e.g. by an self-assessment, will help you to pass checks from internal auditors, internal QA-department or internal Revenue Assurance (RA) department.

The Solution

Part 1, the base document breaks down the DBA's work to 60 detailed tasks and indicates for an usual situation which tasks are assigned to System DBA, Application DBA and Development DBA. Additionally it contains a description of the tasks.

Part 2 contains two templates for Self-Assessment: Ask each of your DBA's and members of application support to mark in that template which tasks are in scope of their work Afterwards an evaluation of the returned templates might indicate tasks which are not executed at all.


Proactive DBA-team leaders: ensure clear, documented assignment of all duties.
Proactive team leaders of application support: identify and address misunderstandings between application support and DBA-team
Internal or external auditors, members of QA-team, members of Revenue Assurance (RA) team: Identify gaps

Why you need this report

Production Stability: Identify unassigned duties

Production Quality: Ensure that during a project the right DBA is involved at the right time






648 KB

Zip-file containing all of the following files

Within this ZIP-file you will find following files:






Base document in Acrobat-Format, Acrobat Reader required



Template DBA-tasks in Acrobat Format.


Same content as .PDF-file, but this file is in "Rich Text Format" (RTF) which can be imported into (nearly all) text processing programs. This enables you to fill out the documents



Template Tasks for Application Support in Acrobat Format.


Same content as PDF-file, but in RTF-format.

The author has 12 years DBA experience and is vendor certified DBA for a leading database system.

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