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It was back in 1977 when the Software Development Laboratories or SDL were first founded by Larry Ellison along with some colleagues and some previous co-workers, Ed Oates and Bob Miner. Previously, Larry Ellison had been working for the CIA and it was through his work that he had learned of the Oracle Project. Upon creation of his relational database management system, the team decided to name their project Oracle. Today that name has stood as one of the finest databases available and is used in high-security developments such as banks and government networks.

In an Oracle database, a system identifier number or SID is accompanied by at least one instance of the Oracle application and data storage. However, multiple instances too can be developed simultaneously or in expansion of the original network. Working totally on the server side and comprised of a memory structure as an SGA, the Oracle database is capable of handling secure retrieval and storage of data in relatively short periods of time. This SGA or System Global Area is composed of cached information as well as data buffers and the SQL commands.

Furthermore, other than the storage of basic data types, the Oracle system also maintains a redo log which allows for recovery of lost or deleted data even after it has been done away with. This has proven to be very beneficial especially in the financial sector in which mistakes worth thousands of dollars can be made, but repaired as fast as it is noticed.

The structure of the Oracle database is composed of not just tables like in the case of the MySQL and other database technologies, but it can also store the physical files. The tables will contain basically memory of the various segments used on it while in the event a file is added to the database, these too can be stored in it without having to store them in a separate directory of the server. This allows for the files to remain just as secured as the data in the database which has furthered its use in high security networks.

The SYSTEM table space of the Oracle database is where all the magic occurs. It is here where the information about a table is stored. This data is done in indexes and clusters and includes the ability to store this data in a separate location as well. These locally managed set-ups of the Oracle database make use of bitmaps in the header rather than the default SYSTEM table spaces.

Furthermore, the administrator of the network can opt to initiate the RAC or Real Application Clusters which allows for multiple instances of the database to be stored in remote locations which all communicate with a centralised storage system. Much like redundancy, this has proven to be extremely helpful in the situations in which grid or clustered servers are used on a network.

While for a basic website, the Oracle database is not suggested simply for reasons of cost and compatibility, in larger websites; especially ones in which security is important such as banks and financial institutions, Oracle is the preferred way to go. It is important to remember that while PHP can easily communicate with a MySQL database, expansive knowledge of Oracle is needed in order to develop a website making use of it. In most cases, these websites need to be built upon a higher level programming language such as C, C++ or even ASP.

Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 09/02/2009


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