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Picking up a database after previous DBA left no documentation

What is the best and fastest way to pick up a production database that the previous Oracle DBA left with no documentation? How do I determine what user applications are running on the server and where to find the aggregation programs in the database? Please give me some suggestions.

The data dictionary is your best friend! You can look at anything and everything contained in the database using data dictionary views. For example, you can see what is running against your database at any given time by using the following query from the data dictionary views v$session and v$sqltext:

break on sid skip 1 on username
column sid format 999
column username format a10

SELECT a.sid,a.serial#,a.username,b.sql_text
  FROM v$session a,v$sqltext b
 WHERE a.username is not null
   AND a.status = 'ACTIVE'
   AND a.sql_address = b.address
 ORDER BY 1,2,b.piece;
There are also lots of sites (including this one) where you can find lots of free tools and scripts to help you find your way through your database. The best advise I can give is to just dive in and explore!

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