Thinking about using Python scripts like SQL scripts

I’ve used Python to make graphs of Oracle database performance information. I put the scripts out on GitHub at https://github.com/bobbydurrett/PythonDBAGraphs. As a result I’m keeping my Python skills a little fresher and learning about git for version control and GitHub as a forum for sharing Open Source. Really, these Python scripts were an experiment. I don’t claim that I have done any great programming or that I will.

But, as I review what I have done so far it makes me think about how to change what I am doing so that Python would be more usable to me. I mainly use SQL scripts for Oracle database tuning. I run them through sqlplus on my laptop. I think I would like to make the way I’m using Python more like the way I use SQL scripts. My idea is that all the pieces would be in place so that I could write a new Python script as easily and quickly as I would a SQL script.

I started out with my PythonDBAGraphs project with a main script called dbgraphs.py that gives you several graphs to choose from. I also have a script called perfq.py that includes the code to build a select statement. To add a new graph I have added entries to both of these files. They are getting kind of long and unwieldy. I’m thinking of breaking up these to scripts into a separate script for each graph like ashcpu.py, onewait.py, etc.

You may wonder why I am talking about changes I might make to this simple set of scripts. I am thinking that my new approach is more in line with how businesses think about using Python. I have heard people say that business users could use Python and the same graphing library that I am using to build reports without having a developer work with them. Of course, people think the same about SQL and it is not always true. But, I think that my first approach to these Python scripts was to build it like a large standalone program. It is like I am building an app to sell or to publish like a compiler or new database system. But, instead I think it makes sense to build an environment where I can quickly write custom standalone scripts, just as I can quickly put together custom SQL scripts.

Anyway, this is my end of the week, end of the work day blogging thoughts. I’m thinking of changing my Python scripts from one big program to an environment that I can use to quickly build new smaller scripts.

Bobby

P.S. It took less time than I thought to split this up. Pushed out the new version with dbgraphs.py and perfq.py split up across each script for each graph. I did keep one class in a file by itself, signatures.py,  because several graphs use it. I guess I won’t really know if splitting these large scripts up is better until I need to build a new graph. But it seems less overwhelming to just build a new script instead of editing some large existing scripts.

About Bobby

I live in Chandler, Arizona with my wife and three daughters. I work for US Foods, the second largest food distribution company in the United States. I have worked in the Information Technology field since 1989. I have a passion for Oracle database performance tuning because I enjoy challenging technical problems that require an understanding of computer science. I enjoy communicating with people about my work.

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