Database Administration, otherwise known as DBA, is the group of people that oversee and co-ordinate all operations and activities that involve the database. They take care of and manage the access of users to the database. The DBA has several important functions:
To co-ordinate users: The DBA sorts out disputes between users pertaining to the database, and helps the users figure out what information they want.
To enforce standards: The DBA ensures that the methods of access to the database, data formats and data names are constant throughout all users, to avoid confusion, and maintains any documentation for the database is current and accurate.
To monitor system performance: The DBA keeps statistics on the performance of the database, such as access times. These stats are correlated and published regularly, and if a trend showed, such as slowing access times, then the DBA would be responsible for getting it fixed.
To plan recovery procedures: If the database becomes corrupt, contracts a virus, or is destroyed by natural disasters, then it is up to the DBA to bring the system back up with minimal interruption. This requires forward planning; another of the DBA's tasks.
To monitor security: The DBA is responsible for maintaining system security - if a user logs on, then the DBMS is supposed to ask for user ID, such as passwords. The DBA makes sure that the DBMS does this, and does it correctly.