SQL SERVER – DBA Types (Logical DBA Vs Physical DBA)

Days ago I was talking with some colleagues about the existing DBA types, so we were discussing about Logical DBA and Physical DBA. Hence I am going to show some DBA types according two authors.

According to Craig S. Mullins (Book: Database Administration: The Complete Guide to Practices and Procedures) (
http://www.CraigSMullins.com), (http://media.techtarget.com/digitalguide/images/Misc/DBA_types.pdf)

There are DBAs who focus on logical design and DBAs who focus on physical design;
DBAs who specialize in building systems and DBAs who specialize in maintaining and
tuning systems; specialty DBAs and general-purpose DBAs.

System DBA: A system DBA focuses on technical rather than business issues, primarily in the system administration area. Typical tasks center on the physical installation and performance of the DBMS software. System DBAs are rarely involved with actual implementation of databases and applications. They might get involved in application tuning when operating system parameters or complex DBMS parameters need to be altered.

Database Architect: The database architect is involved in new design and development work only; he is not involved in maintenance, administration, or tuning of established databases and applications. The database architect designs new databases for new or existing applications. The rationale for creating a separate position is that the skills required for designing new databases are different from the skills required to keep an existing database implementation up and running. A database architect is more likely than a general purpose DBA to have data administration and modeling expertise.

Database Analyst: Sometimes junior DBAs are referred to as database analysts. Sometimes a database analyst performs a role similar to that of the database architect. Sometimes the data administrator is referred to as the database analyst or perhaps as the data analyst. And sometimes a database analyst is just another term used by some companies instead of database administrator.

Data Modeler: A data modeler is usually responsible for a subset of the DA’s responsibilities.

Application DBA: In direct contrast to the system DBA is the application DBA. The application DBA focuses on database design and the ongoing support and administration of databases for a specific application or applications. The application DBA is likely to be an expert at writing and debugging complex SQL and understands the best ways to incorporate database requests into application programs. The application DBA must also be capable of performing database change management, performance tuning, and most of the other roles of the DBA.

Performance Analyst: Performance analysts are a specific type of task-oriented DBA. The performance analyst, more common than other task-oriented DBAs, focuses solely on the performance of database applications.

Data Warehouse Administrator: Organizations that implement data warehouses for performing in-depth data analysis often staff DBAs specifically to monitor and support the data warehouse environment. Data warehouse administrators must be capable DBAs, but with a thorough understanding of the differences between a database that supports OLTP and a data warehouse.

According to Brad McGhee. He defines the following classification for DBA:

  • DBA System Administrator
  • DBA Database Designer
  • DBA Developer
  • DBA High Availability Specialist
  • DBA Business Intelligence Specialist
  • DBA Report Writer

For details of each type, please check the ebook. (Book: How to become an exceptional DBA)

As we can see, both authors have the same idea, in the following table I put the DBA classification for each author and the equivalent between each other. From my point of view I did a classification of DBA Logical or Physical as well.


The Logical DBA is the person in charge of developing, design, debugging, etc, the Logical stuff for the database and the Physical DBA is the person in charge of the configuration, maintenance, physical design, etc. From my perspective exist some DBA types that is necessary to perform both activities Logical and Physical.

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