12c Release 2 (22.214.171.124) / 1 March 2017
|Written in||Assembly language, C, C++|
It is the world's most popular database for running online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing (DW) and mixed (OLTP & DW) database workloads. The latest generation, Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (commonly referred to as 12.2), is available on-prem, on-Cloud, or in a hybrid-Cloud environment. 12.2 may also be deployed on Oracle Engineered Systems (e.g. Exadata) on-prem, on Oracle (public) Cloud or (private) Cloud at Customer (e.g. Exadata Cloud at Customer). At Openworld 2017 in San Francisco, Executive Chairman of the Board and CTO, Larry Ellison announced the next database generation, Oracle Autonomous Database.
- 1 History
- 2 Oracle Database deployment
- 3 Database options and features
- 4 Use
- 5 Market position
- 6 Physical and logical structures
- 6.1 Storage
- 6.2 Database schema
- 6.3 Process architectures
- 6.4 Concurrency and locking
- 6.5 Configuration
- 7 Administration
- 8 Network access
- 9 Internationalization
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
- 13 External links
Larry Ellison and his two friends and former co-workers, Bob Miner and Ed Oates, started a consultancy called Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. SDL developed the original version of the Oracle software. The name Oracle comes from the code-name of a CIA-funded project Ellison had worked on while formerly employed by Ampex.
Releases and versions
Oracle products follow a custom release-numbering and -naming convention. The "c" in the current release, Oracle Database 12c, stands for "Cloud". Previous releases (e.g. Oracle Database 10g and Oracle9i Database) have used suffixes of "g" and "i" which stand for "Grid" and "Internet" respectively. Prior to the release of Oracle8i Database, no suffixes featured in Oracle Database naming conventions. Note that there was no v1 of Oracle Database, as Larry Ellison, "knew no one would want to buy version 1". Oracle's RDBMS release numbering has used the following codes:
- Oracle v2 : 2.3
- Oracle v3 : 3.1.3
- Oracle v4 : 126.96.36.199-188.8.131.52
- Oracle v5 : 5.0.22, 5.1.17, 5.1.22
- Oracle v6 : 6.0.17-6.0.36 (no OPS code), 6.0.37 (with OPS)
- Oracle7: 7.0.12–7.3.4
- Oracle8 Database: 8.0.3–8.0.6
- Oracle8i Database Release 1: 184.108.40.206–220.127.116.11(patchset as of February 1999[update])
- Oracle8i Database Release 2: 18.104.22.168–22.214.171.124(patchset as of November 1999[update])
- Oracle8i Database Release 3: 126.96.36.199–188.8.131.52 (patchset as of August 2000[update])
- Oracle9i Database Release 1: 184.108.40.206–220.127.116.11 (patchset as of December 2003[update])
- Oracle9i Database Release 2: 18.104.22.168–22.214.171.124 (patchset as of April 2007[update])
- Oracle Database 10g Release 1: 10.1.0.2–10.1.0.5 (patchset as of February 2006[update])
- Oracle Database 10g Release 2: 10.2.0.1–10.2.0.5 (patchset as of April 2010[update])
- Oracle Database 11g Release 1: 126.96.36.199–188.8.131.52 (patchset as of September 2008[update])
- Oracle Database 11g Release 2: 184.108.40.206–220.127.116.11 (patchset as of August 2013[update])
- Oracle Database 12c Release 1: 18.104.22.168 (patchset as of June 2013[update])
- Oracle Database 12c Release 1: 22.214.171.124 (patchset as of July 2014[update])
- Oracle Database 12c Release 2: 126.96.36.199 (patchset as of March 2017[update])
The Oracle Database Administrators Guide includes a brief history on some of the key innovations introduced with each major release of Oracle Database.
Patch updates and security alerts
Oracle Corporation releases Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) or Security Patch Updates (SPUs) and Security Alerts to close security holes that could be used for data theft. Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) and Security Alerts come out quarterly on the Tuesday closest to 17th day of the month.
- Customers may receive release notification by email.
- White Paper: Critical Patch Update Implementation Best Practices
Oracle Database deployment
Oracle Database may be licensed and deployed on-premises on a choice of platforms including Oracle Engineered Systems, and on-Cloud with a choice of services running on general purpose hardware or Exadata. The various editions and Cloud services provide different levels of database functionality for difference use cases (e.g. dev/test, departmental and non-critical apps, mission-critical workloads) with different levels of performance, availability, etc. service levels.
- Oracle Database Cloud Services: for on-Cloud and Cloud at Customer deployments
- Oracle Database editions: mainly for on-prem deployments
- Engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata specifically built for Oracle Database deployment (on-prem, on-Cloud, Cloud at Customer)
Oracle Corporation provides a wide-range of database cloud services on its Oracle Cloud platform that are designed for different database use cases; from test/dev deployments to small and medium sized workloads to large mission-critical workloads. Oracle Database Cloud Services are available on a choice of general purpose hardware and Exadata engineered systems, in either virtual machines environments or 'bare metal' infrastructure (now known as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure).
- Oracle Database Enterprise Edition (EE): offers industry-leading scalability and reliability in both clustered and single system configurations and imposes no limitation on server resources available to the database.
- Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2): intended for small- to medium-sized implementations, SE2 includes Real Application Clusters and may be deployed on servers or clusters with a maximum of 2 sockets total and capped to use a maximum of 16 concurrent user threads. SE2 uses the same code base as EE, and therefore upwardly compatible and simple to upgrade to EE.
- Oracle Database Personal Edition (PE): A single-user, single-machine development and deployment license that allows use of all database features. PE is upwardly compatible to SE2 and EE.
Oracle Corporation also makes the following edition available:
- Oracle Database Express Edition (XE), a free-to-use entry-level version of Oracle Database available for Windows and Linux platforms limited to using only one CPU, up to 1 GB of RAM and storing up to 11 GB of user data. It provides a subset of SE2 functionality (lacking features such as Java Virtual Machine, managed backup and recovery and high availability), is community-supported and comes with its own license terms. XE was first introduced in 2005 with Oracle Database 10g Release 2 with a limitation to a maximum of 4 GB of user data. XE for Oracle Database 11g was released on 24 September 2011, and increased user data capacity to 11 GB.
Up to (and including) Oracle Database 12c release 188.8.131.52, Oracle also offered the following:
- Oracle Database Standard Edition (SE) for single or clustered servers with a maximum capacity of 4 CPU sockets. It was largely the same as the current SE2 edition and included Real Application Clusters for use on server clusters with a maximum of 4 CPU sockets.
- Oracle Standard Edition One (SE1), was first introduced with Oracle Database 10g. It offered the same features as SE and was licensed to run on single servers with a maximum of 2 CPU sockets.
Oracle Corporation discontinued SE and SE1 with the 184.108.40.206 release, and stopped offering new licenses for these editions on December 1, 2015.
Oracle Database 12c is supported on the following OS and architecture combinations:
- Linux on x86-64 (only Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux and SUSE distributions are supported)
- Microsoft Windows on x86-64
- Oracle Solaris on SPARC and x86-64
- IBM AIX on POWER Systems
- IBM Linux on z Systems
- HP-UX on Itanium
In 2008, Oracle Corporation announced the availability of Oracle Exadata Database Machine (V1), the first generation of Engineered Systems specifically designed for Oracle Database workloads.
In 2011, Oracle Corporation announced the availability of Oracle Database Appliance, a pre-built, pre-tuned, highly available clustered database server built using two SunFire X86 servers and direct attached storage.
Some Oracle Enterprise Edition databases running on certain Oracle-supplied hardware can use Hybrid Columnar Compression for more efficient storage.
Database options and features
The Oracle Database offers a wide range of options and features in the areas of Availability, Scalability, Analytics, Performance, Security, Management, Developers and Integration. These aim to enhance and complement existing database functionality to meet customer-specific requirements. All Database Options are only available for Enterprise Edition and offered for an extra cost. An exception to these two rules is Oracle Real Application Clusters option, which comes included with Oracle Database 12c Standard Edition 2 at no additional cost.
- Oracle Active Data Guard extends Oracle Data Guard functionality with advanced features, allowing read-only access to data in a physical standby database to offload primary of such tasks as reporting, ad-hoc queries, data extraction and backup, offloading redo transport and minimizing standby impact on commit response times (using Far Sync feature), providing option for rolling upgrades for non-RAC customers, managing clients workload across replicated database and improving automated service failover (using Global Data Services), etc.
- Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is the computer cluster version of Oracle Database.
- Oracle RAC One Node is a one-node version of Oracle Real Application Clusters, providing capabilities for database failover and high availability in the form of rolling upgrades, online instance migration, application continuity and automated quality of service management.
- Oracle Advanced Analytics allows access to in-database data mining algorithms and use of Oracle R Enterprise functionality, an integration with open-source R statistical programming language and environment.
- Oracle Partitioning allows partitioning of tables and indices, where large objects are stored in database as a collection of individual smaller pieces at the same time appearing on application level as a uniform data object.
- Oracle On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) is Oracle implementation of online analytical processing.
- Oracle data models: pre-built data models with database analytics and business intelligence capabilities for specific industries including
- Retail Data Model
- Communications Data Model
- Airlines Data Model
- Utilities Data Model
- Oracle Advanced Compression complements Enterprise Edition basic table compression feature with comprehensive data compression and Information Lifecycle Management capabilities, including those specifically tailored to Oracle's engineered systems, like Oracle Exadata.
- Oracle Database In-Memory, an in-memory, column-oriented data store, has been seamlessly integrated into the Oracle Database. This technology aims to improve the performance of analytic workloads without impacting the performance of transactions that continue to use Oracle's traditional row format in memory. The product's performance comes through the in-memory, columnar compressed format and through the use of SIMD vector processing (Single Instruction processing Multiple Data values).
- Oracle Real Application Testing enable testing of system changes in a simulation of production-level workload and use.
- Oracle TimesTen Application-Tier Database Cache allows caching subsets of a database in the application tier for improved response time. It is built using Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database.
- Oracle Advanced Security provides Transparent Data Encryption and Data Redaction security features, the former allowing encryption of data stored in a database (all or a subset of it), exported using Data Pump, or backed up using Oracle Recovery Manager, and the latter allowing redaction of sensitive database data (e.g., credit card or social security numbers) returned to database applications.
- Oracle Database Vault enforces segregation of duties, principle of least privilege and other data access controls, allowing protection of application data from access by privileged database users.
- Oracle Label Security is a sophisticated and flexible framework for a fine-grained label based access control (LBAC) implementation.
- Oracle Multitenant is the capability that allows database consolidation and provides additional abstraction layer. In a Multitenant configuration, one Oracle database instance known as "container database" (CDB) acts as a federated database system for a collection of up to 252 distinct portable collections of database objects, referred to as "pluggable databases" (PDB), each appearing to an outside client as a regular non-CDB Oracle database.
- Management Packs: integrated set of Oracle Enterprise Manager tools for maintaining various aspects of Oracle Database including:
- Diagnostics Pack
- Tuning Pack
- Database Lifecycle Management Pack
- Data Masking and Subsetting Pack
- Cloud Management Pack for Oracle Database
- Oracle Spatial and Graph complements the Oracle Locator feature (available in all editions of Oracle Database) with advanced spatial capabilities enabling the development of complex geographic information systems and includes network data model and RDF/OWL Semantic graphs
- Oracle GoldenGate 11g (distributed real-time data acquisition)
Apart from the clearly defined database options, Oracle databases may include many semi-autonomous software sub-systems, which Oracle Corporation sometimes refers to as "features" in a sense subtly different from the normal use of the word. For example, Oracle Data Guard counts officially as a feature, but the command-stack within SQL*Plus, though a usability feature, does not appear in the list of "features" in Oracle's list.[original research?] Such "features" may include (for example):
- Automatic Storage Management
- Data Aggregation and Consolidation
- Data Guard for high availability
- Generic Connectivity for connecting to non-Oracle systems.
- Database Resource Manager (DRM), which controls the use of computing resources.
- Expression filtering
- Fast-start parallel rollback
- Fine-grained auditing (FGA) (in Oracle Enterprise Edition) supplements standard security-auditing features
- Flashback for selective data recovery and reconstruction
- Heterogeneous Services (HS), providing connectivity to non-Oracle systems and code.
- iSQL*Plus, a web-browser-based graphical user interface (GUI) for manipulating data in an Oracle database (compare SQL*Plus)
- Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC), tools that consist of:
- Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET)
- Oracle Developer Tools (ODT) for Visual Studio
- Oracle Providers for ASP.NET
- Oracle Database Extensions for .NET
- Oracle Provider for OLE DB
- Oracle Services for Microsoft Transaction Server
- Oracle-managed files (OMF) – a feature allowing automated naming, creation and deletion of datafiles at the operating-system level.
- Recovery Manager (RMAN) for database backup, restoration and recovery
- SQL*Plus, a program that allows users to interact with Oracle database(s) via SQL and PL/SQL commands on a command-line. Compare iSQL*Plus.
- SQLcl, a command-line interface for queries, developed on the basis of Oracle SQL Developer
- Universal Connection Pool (UCP), a connection pool based on Java and supporting JDBC, LDAP, and JCA
- Virtual Private Database (VPD), an implementation of fine-grained access control.
- Oracle Application Express, a no-cost environment for database-oriented software-development
- Oracle Text uses standard SQL to index, search, and analyze text and documents stored in the Oracle database.
- Workspace Manager version-enables tables using the WMSYS schema.
Oracle database provides a long list of supported data models that can be used and managed inside Oracle database:
- Oracle Spatial and Graph Oracle Database provides native support for managing spatial and location data
- Oracle Locator – a freely-available subset of Oracle Spatial and Graph
- Oracle XML DB, or XDB,, a no-cost component in each edition of the database, provides high-performance technology for storing and retrieving native XML.
- Oracle Text, a no-cost component in each edition of the database. It provides native support for managing free text, in multiple languages inside the database.
- Oracle Multimedia (known as "Oracle interMedia" before Oracle 11g) for storing and integrating multimedia data within a database
- Object-relational database support, a no-cost component in each edition of the database. It provides native support for objects inside the database.
Oracle Corporation classifies as "utilities" bundled software supporting data transfer, data maintenance and database administration.
Utilities included in Oracle database distributions include:
- Data Pump utilities, which aid in importing and exporting data and metadata between databases
- SQL*Loader, utility that facilitates high performance data loading.
- oradebug – interfaces with Oracle session tracing
The most popular application development tool that ships with Oracle Database is Oracle Application Express (APEX), a browser-based tool that allows developers to build responsive, database-driven applications, leveraging their SQL and PL/SQL skills.
Oracle SQL Developer, a free graphical tool for database development, allows developers to browse database objects, to run SQL statements and SQL scripts, and to edit and debug PL/SQL statements. It incorporates standard and customized reporting.
- Oracle Live SQL makes available a test environment for Oracle Database users.
Programming language APIs
Oracle Database can be accessed from many programming languages and environments. These include:
- Java via JDBC, SQLJ
- Microsoft .NET via ODP.NET
- C and C++ via OCI, OCCI, Oracle's ODBC Driver, ODPI-C, OCILIB, Pro*C/C++
- Node.js via node-oracledb
- Python via cx_Oracle
- PHP via PHP OCI8, PDO_OCI
- Go via goracle, ora, go-oci8
- R via ROracle
- Ruby via ruby-oci8, ruby-odpi
- Ruby on Rails via the Oracle "enhanced" ActiveRecord adapter
- Perl via DBD::Oracle
- Erlang via erloci
- Rust via rust-oracle, mimir
- COBOL via Pro*COBOL
- FORTRAN via Pro*FORTRAN
Java based languages like Scala can use JDBC to access Oracle Database.
PL/SQL routines within Oracle databases can access external routines registered in operating-system shared libraries. The DBMS_SCHEDULER package can invoke external scripts at the operating-system level from PL/SQL.
The Oracle RDBMS has had a reputation among novice users as difficult to install on Linux systems. Oracle Corporation has packaged recent[update] versions for several popular Linux distributions in an attempt to minimize installation challenges beyond the level of technical expertise required to preinstall a database server.
Database support options
Users who have Oracle support contracts can use Oracle's "My Oracle Support" or "MOS" web site – known as "MetaLink" until a re-branding exercise completed in October 2010. The support site provides users of Oracle Corporation products with a repository of reported problems, diagnostic scripts and solutions. It also integrates with the provision of support tools, patches and upgrades.
The Remote Diagnostic Agent or RDA can operate as a command-line diagnostic tool executing a script. The data captured provides an overview of the Oracle Database environment intended for diagnostic and trouble-shooting. Within RDA, the HCVE (Health Check Validation Engine) can verify and isolate host system environmental issues that may affect the performance of Oracle software.
Oracle Corporation also endorses certain practices and conventions as enhancing the use of its database products. These include:
- Oracle Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) guidelines on developing high-availability systems
- Optimal Flexible Architecture (OFA), blueprints for mapping Oracle-database objects to file-systems
Oracle Certification Program
- Oracle Certified Associate (OCA)
- Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
- Oracle Certified Master (OCM)
A large number of User Groups for Oracle Database administrators, developers and users has been established on geographical/region, industry and product basis, including:
- Geographical/regional user groups (e.g. The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG))
- Industry-centric user groups (e.g. Oracle Health Sciences User Group)
- Product-centric user groups (e.g. The OakTable Network)
The Oracle User Group communities also host regular events for customers/users to share their experiences and knowledge.
In the market for relational databases, Oracle Database competes against commercial products such as IBM's DB2 UDB and Microsoft SQL Server. Oracle and IBM tend to battle for the mid-range database market on UNIX and Linux platforms, while Microsoft dominates the mid-range database market on Microsoft Windows platforms. However, since they share many of the same customers, Oracle and IBM tend to support each other's products in many middleware and application categories (for example: WebSphere, PeopleSoft, and Siebel Systems CRM), and IBM's hardware divisions work closely with Oracle on performance-optimizing server-technologies (for example, Linux on z Systems). Niche commercial competitors include Teradata (in data warehousing and business intelligence), Software AG's ADABAS, Sybase, and IBM's Informix, among many others.
Increasingly, the Oracle database products compete against such open-source software relational database systems as PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and Couchbase. Oracle acquired Innobase, supplier of the InnoDB codebase to MySQL, in part to compete better against open source alternatives, and acquired Sun Microsystems, owner of MySQL, in 2010. Database products licensed as open source are, by the legal terms of the Open Source Definition, free to distribute and free of royalty or other licensing fees.
- Customers can choose from a wide range of database services on Oracle Cloud that are available as 'pay as you go' hourly and monthly rates, and also have the option to re-use existing on-prem licenses on Oracle Cloud via a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) program.
- Prospective purchasers can obtain licenses for on-prem deployment based either on the number of processors in their target machines or on the number of potential seats ("named users").. The term "per processor" for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition is defined with respect to physical cores and a processor core multiplier (common processors = 0.5*cores). e.g. An 8-processor, 32-core server using Intel Xeon 56XX CPUs would require 16 processor licenses.: The low entry cost, Oracle Database Standard Edition 2 (SE2), includes Real Application Clusters and may be deployed on servers or clusters with a maximum of 2 sockets total and capped to use a maximum of 16 concurrent user threads.
- Oracle Database Express Edition (XE)) (beta version released in 2005, production version released in February 2006), offers a free version of the Oracle RDBMS, but one limited to 11 GB of user data and to 1 GB of memory used by the database (SGA+PGA). XE uses no more than one CPU and lacks an internal JVM. XE runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Linux, but not on AIX, Solaris, HP-UX and the other operating systems available for other editions. Support is via a free Oracle Discussion Forum only.
Physical and logical structures
An Oracle database system—identified by an alphanumeric system identifier or SID—comprises at least one instance of the application, along with data storage. An instance—identified persistently by an instantiation number (or activation id: SYS.V_$DATABASE.ACTIVATION#)—comprises a set of operating-system processes and memory-structures that interact with the storage. Typical processes include PMON (the process monitor) and SMON (the system monitor). Oracle documentation can refer to an active database instance as a "shared memory realm".
Users of Oracle databases refer to the server-side memory-structure as the SGA (System Global Area). The SGA typically holds cache information such as data-buffers, SQL commands, and user information. In addition to storage, the database consists of online redo logs (or logs), which hold transactional history. Processes can in turn archive the online redo logs into archive logs (offline redo logs), which provide the basis for data recovery and for the physical-standby forms of data replication using Oracle Data Guard.
The Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters) option uses multiple instances attached to a central storage array. In version 10g, grid computing introduced shared resources where an instance can use CPU resources from another node in the grid. The advantage of Oracle RAC is that the resources on both nodes are used by the database, and each node uses its own memory and CPU. Information is shared between nodes through the interconnect—the virtual private network.
The Oracle DBMS can store and execute stored procedures and functions within itself. PL/SQL (Oracle Corporation's proprietary procedural extension to SQL), or the object-oriented language Java can invoke such code objects and/or provide the programming structures for writing them.
The Oracle RDBMS stores data logically in the form of tablespaces and physically in the form of data files ("datafiles"). Tablespaces can contain various types of memory segments, such as Data Segments, Index Segments, etc. Segments in turn comprise one or more extents. Extents comprise groups of contiguous data blocks. Data blocks form the basic units of data storage.
A DBA can impose maximum quotas on storage per user within each tablespace.
The partitioning feature was introduced in Oracle 8. This allows the partitioning of tables based on different set of keys. Specific partitions can then be added or dropped to help manage large data sets.
Oracle database management tracks its computer data storage with the help of information stored in the
SYSTEM tablespace. The
SYSTEM tablespace contains the data dictionary, indexes and clusters. A data dictionary consists of a special collection of tables that contains information about all user-objects in the database. Since version 8i, the Oracle RDBMS also supports "locally managed" tablespaces that store space management information in bitmaps in their own headers rather than in the
SYSTEM tablespace (as happens with the default "dictionary-managed" tablespaces). Version 10g and later introduced the
SYSAUX tablespace, which contains some of the tables formerly stored in the
SYSTEM tablespace, along with objects for other tools such as OEM, which previously required its own tablespace.
Disk files primarily represent one of the following structures:
- Data and index files: These files provide the physical storage of data, which can consist of the data-dictionary data (associated with the tablespace SYSTEM), user data, or index data. DBAs can manage these files manually or leave their administration to Oracle itself. Note that a datafile has to belong to exactly one tablespace, whereas a tablespace can consist of multiple datafiles.
- Redo log files, recording all changes to the database – used to recover from an instance failure. Often, a database stores these files multiple times for extra security in case of disk failure. Identical redo log files are associated in a "group".
- Undo files: These special datafiles, which can only contain undo information, aid in recovery, rollbacks, and read-consistency.
- Archive log files: These files, copies of the redo log files, are usually stored at different locations. They are necessary (for example) when applying changes to a standby database, or when performing recovery after a media failure. One can store identical archive logs in multiple locations.
- Tempfiles: These special datafiles serve exclusively for temporary storage data (used for example during large sorts or for global temporary tables)
- Control files, necessary for database startup. Oracle Corporation defines a control file as "[a] binary file that records the physical structure of a database and contains the names and locations of redo log files, the time stamp of the database creation, the current log sequence number, checkpoint information, and so on".
Most Oracle database installations come with a default schema called
SCOTT. After the installation process sets up sample tables, the user logs into the database with the username
scott and the password
tiger. The name of the
SCOTT schema originated with Bruce Scott, one of the first employees at Oracle (then Software Development Laboratories), who had a cat named Tiger.
Oracle Corporation now de-emphasizes the
SCOTT schema, as it uses few features of more recent Oracle releases. Most recent[update] examples supplied by Oracle Corporation reference the default HR or OE schemas.
SYS(essential core database structures and utilities)
SYSTEM(additional core database structures and utilities, and privileged account)
OUTLN(used to store metadata for stored outlines for stable query-optimizer execution plans.)
SH(expanded sample schemas containing more data and structures than the older
System Global Area
Each Oracle instance allocates itself an SGA when it starts and de-allocates it at shut-down time. The information in the SGA consists of the following elements, each of which has a fixed size, established at instance startup:
Every Oracle database has one or more physical datafiles, which contain all the database data. The data of logical database structures, such as tables and indexes, is physically stored in the datafiles allocated for a database.
Datafiles have the following characteristics:
- One or more datafiles form a logical unit of database storage called a tablespace.
- A datafile can be associated with only one tablespace.
- Datafiles can be defined to extend automatically when they are full.
Data in a datafile is read, as needed, during normal database operation and stored in the memory cache of Oracle Database. For example, if a user wants to access some data in a table of a database, and if the requested information is not already in the memory cache for the database, then it is read from the appropriate datafiles and stored in memory.
Modified or new data is not necessarily written to a datafile immediately. To reduce the amount of disk access and to increase performance, data is pooled in memory and written to the appropriate datafiles all at once.
- the redo log buffer: this stores redo entries—a log of changes made to the database. The instance writes redo log buffers to the redo log as quickly and efficiently as possible. The redo log aids in instance recovery in the event of a system failure.
- the shared pool: this area of the SGA stores shared-memory structures such as shared SQL areas in the library cache and internal information in the data dictionary. An insufficient amount of memory allocated to the shared pool can cause performance degradation.
- the Large pool Optional area that provides large memory allocations for certain large processes, such as Oracle backup and recovery operations, and I/O server processes
- Database buffer cache: Caches blocks of data retrieved from the database
- KEEP buffer pool: A specialized type of database buffer cache that is tuned to retain blocks of data in memory for long periods of time
- RECYCLE buffer pool: A specialized type of database buffer cache that is tuned to recycle or remove block from memory quickly
- nK buffer cache: One of several specialized database buffer caches designed to hold block sizes different from the default database block size
- Java pool:Used for all session-specific Java code and data in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
- Streams pool: Used by Oracle Streams to store information required by capture and apply
When you start the instance by using Enterprise Manager or SQL*Plus, the amount of memory allocated for the SGA is displayed.<link>
The library cache stores shared SQL, caching the parse tree and the execution plan for every unique SQL statement. If multiple applications issue the same SQL statement, each application can access the shared SQL area. This reduces the amount of memory needed and reduces the processing-time used for parsing and execution planning.
Data dictionary cache
Oracle databases store information here about the logical and physical structure of the database. The data dictionary contains information such as:
- user information, such as user privileges
- integrity constraints defined for tables in the database
- names and datatypes of all columns in database tables
- information on space allocated and used for schema objects
The Oracle instance frequently accesses the data dictionary to parse SQL statements. Oracle operation depends on ready access to the data dictionary—performance bottlenecks in the data dictionary affect all Oracle users. Because of this, database administrators must make sure that the data dictionary cache has sufficient capacity to cache this data. Without enough memory for the data-dictionary cache, users see a severe performance degradation. Allocating sufficient memory to the shared pool where the data dictionary cache resides precludes this particular performance problem.
Program Global Area
The Program Global Area or PGA memory-area of an Oracle instance contains data and control-information for Oracle's server-processes or background process. Every server or background process has its own PGA, the total of PGA elements is called Instance PGA.
The size and content of the PGA depends on the Oracle-server options installed. This area consists of the following components:
- stack-space: the memory that holds the session's variables, arrays, and so on
- session-information: unless using the multithreaded server, the instance stores its session-information in the PGA. In a multithreaded server, the session-information goes in the SGA.
- private SQL-area: an area that holds information such as bind-variables and runtime-buffers
- sorting area: an area in the PGA that holds information on sorts, hash-joins, etc.
DBAs can monitor PGA usage via the system view.
Dynamic performance views
The dynamic performance views (also known as "fixed views") within an Oracle database present information from virtual tables (X$ tables) built on the basis of database memory. Database users can access the V$ views (named after the prefix of their synonyms) to obtain information on database structures and performance.
The Oracle RDBMS typically relies on a group of processes running simultaneously in the background and interacting to monitor and expedite database operations. Typical operating environments might include – temporarily or permanently – some of the following individual processes (shown along with their abbreviated nomenclature):
- advanced queueing processes (Qnnn)
- archiver processes (ARCn)
- checkpoint process (CKPT) *REQUIRED*
- coordinator-of-job-queues process (CJQn): dynamically spawns slave processes for job-queues
- database writer processes (DBWn) *REQUIRED*
- Data Pump master process (DMnn)
- Data Pump worker processes (DWnn)
- dispatcher processes (Dnnn): multiplex server-processes on behalf of users
- main Data Guard Broker monitor process (DMON)
- job-queue slave processes (Jnnn)
- log-writer process (LGWR) *REQUIRED*
- log-write network-server (LNSn): transmits redo logs in Data Guard environments
- logical standby coordinator process (LSP0): controls Data Guard log-application
- media-recovery process (MRP): detached recovery-server process
- memory-manager process (MMAN): used for internal database tasks such as Automatic Shared Memory Management (ASMM)
- memory-monitor process (MMON): process for automatic problem-detection, self-tuning and statistics-gathering
- memory-monitor light process (MMNL): gathers and stores Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) data
- mmon slaves (Mnnnn—M0000, M0001, etc.): background slaves of the MMON process
- netslave processes (NSVn): Data Guard Broker inter-database communication processes
- parallel query execution servers (Pnnn)
- process-monitor process (PMON) *REQUIRED*
- process-spawner process (PSP0): spawns Oracle background processes after initial instance startup
- queue-monitor coordinator process (QMNC): dynamically spawns queue monitor slaves
- queue-monitor processes (QMNn)
- recoverer process (RECO)
- remote file-server process (RFS): in Oracle Data Guard, a standby recipient of primary redo-logs
- monitor for Data Guard management (RSM0): Data Guard Broker Worker process
- shared server processes (Snnn): serve client-requests
- space-management coordinator process (SMCO): coordinates space management (from release 11g)
- system monitor process (SMON) *REQUIRED*
User processes, connections and sessions
Oracle Database terminology distinguishes different computer-science terms in describing how end-users interact with the database:
- user processes involve the invocation of application software
- a connection refers to the pathway linking a user process to an Oracle instance
- sessions consist of specific established groups of interactions, with each group involving a client process and an Oracle instance.
Each session within an instance has a session identifier – a session ID or "SID" (distinct from the Oracle system-identifier SID), and may also have an associated SPID (operating-system process identifier).
Concurrency and locking
Oracle databases control simultaneous access to data resources with locks (alternatively documented as "enqueues"). The databases also use "latches" – low-level serialization mechanisms to protect shared data structures in the System Global Area.
Oracle locks fall into three categories:
- DML locks (or data locks) protect data
- DDL locks (or data dictionary locks) protect the structure of schema objects
- System locks (including latches, mutexes and internal locks) protect internal database structures like data files.
Database administrators control many of the tunable variations in an Oracle instance by means of values in a parameter file. This file in its ASCII default form ("pfile") normally has a name of the format
init<SID-name>.ora. The default binary equivalent server parameter file ("spfile") (dynamically reconfigurable to some extent) defaults to the format
spfile<SID-name>.ora. Within an SQL-based environment, the views
V$SPPARAMETER give access to reading parameter values.
K: Kernel KA: Kernel Access KC: Kernel Cache KCB: Kernel Cache Buffer KCBW: Kernel Cache Buffer Wait KCC: Kernel Cache Control file KCCB: Kernel Cache Control file Backup KCCCF: Kernel Cache Copy Flash recovery area KCCDC: Kernel cache Control file Copy KCP: Kernel Cache transPortable tablespace KCR: Kernel Cache Redo KCT: Kernel Cache insTance KD: Kernel Data KG: Kernel Generic KGL: Kernel Generic library cache KGLJ: Kernel Generic library cache Java KJ: Kernel Locking KK: Kernel Compilation KQ: Kernel Query KS: Kernel Service(s) KSB: Kernel Service Background KSM: Kernel Service Memory KSR: Kernel Service Reliable message KSU: Kernel Service User KSUSE: Kernel Service User SEssion KSUSECON: Kernel Service User SEssion CONnection KSUSEH: Kernel Service User SEssion History KT: Kernel Transaction(s) KTU: Kernel Transaction Undo KX: Kernel Execution KXS: Kernel eXecution Sql KZ: Kernel Security K2: Kernel Distributed Transactions
The "Scheduler" (DBMS_SCHEDULER package, available from Oracle 10g onwards) and the "Job" subsystems (DBMS_JOB package) permit the automation of predictable processing.
Oracle Resource Manager aims to allocate CPU resources between users and groups of users when such resources become scarce. As of Oracle Release 10.2, Database Resource Manager operates in Enterprise Edition.
Oracle Corporation has stated in product announcements that manageability for DBAs improved from Oracle9i to 10g. Lungu and Vătuiu (2008) assessed relative manageability by performing common DBA tasks and measuring timings.  They performed their tests on a single Pentium CPU (1.7 GHz) with 512 MB RAM, running Windows Server 2000. From Oracle9i to 10g, installation improved 36%, day-to-day administration 63%, backup and recovery 63%, and performance diagnostics and tuning 74%, for a weighted total improvement of 56%. The researchers concluded that "Oracle10g represents a giant step forward from Oracle9i in making the database easier to use and manage".
Logging and tracing
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (September 2016)
- background dump (bdump) destination: contains files generated when an Oracle process experiences unexpected problems. Also holds the "alert log".
- core dump (cdump) destination
- user dump (udump) destination
Oracle Database software comes in 63 language-versions (including regional variations such as British English and American English). Variations between versions cover the names of days and months, abbreviations, time-symbols (such as A.M. and A.D.), and sorting.
Oracle Corporation has translated Oracle Database error-messages into Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.
Oracle Corporation provides database developers with tools and mechanisms for producing internationalized database applications: referred to internally as "Globalization".
- Comparison of relational database management systems
- Comparison of object-relational database management systems
- Database management system
- List of relational database management systems
- List of databases using MVCC
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You should not get confused between Critical Patch Update (CPU) and Security Patch Update (SPU) as CPU terminology has been changed to SPU from October 2012.
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Oracle Database Hybrid Columnar Compression is included at no extra cost with the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance and Pillar Axiom Storage System [...] Oracle's Hybrid Columnar Compression technology [...] uses a combination of both row and columnar methods for storing data. This approach [...] achieves the compression benefits of columnar storage, while avoiding the performance shortfalls of a pure columnar format.
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The Oracle Spatial and Graph option for Oracle Database 12c includes advanced features for spatial data and analysis; physical, network, and social graph applications; and a foundation to help location-enable business applications.
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A majority of the functionality of spatial indexes and spatial operators is part of Oracle Locator (included in all editions of the Oracle Database).
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The Database Resource Manager (DRM) was first introduced in Oracle 8i [...] to place limits on the amount of computer resources that can be used [...]
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The Expression Filter feature can be installed on an Oracle 10g Standard or Enterprise Edition database. It is provided as a set of PL/SQL packages, a Java package, a set of dictionary tables, catalog views. All these objects are created in a dedicated schema named EXFSYS.
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In the fast-start parallel rollback method, the background process SMON [...] rolls back a set of transactions in parallel [...] This feature is particularly useful when a system has transactions that run a long time before committing [...]
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...the standard audit (available in all versions) and the fine-grained audit (available in Oracle 9i and up ...
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The core of Oracle's database virtual federation strategy is Heterogeneous Services (HS). Heterogeneous Services provides [sic] transparent and generic gateway technology to connect to non-Oracle systems. Heterogeneous Services is an integrated component of the database. Therefore, it can exploit all the capabilities of the Oracle database including PL/SQL and Oracle SQL extensions.
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The Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET) features optimized ADO.NET data access to the Oracle database.
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SQLcl is a new Java-based command-line interface for Oracle Database. [...] The new take on SQL*Plus, SQLcl, is based on the script engine in Oracle SQL Developer and is attached to a Java-based command-line interface.
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The UCP is a Java-basd connection pool that supports JDBC, the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Java EE Connector Architecture (JCA) connection types from any middle tier.
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Oracle's Virtual Private Database (VPD) [...] is a practically implemented model for fine-grained access control wherein one or more security policies are attached to each table and view in the database. These polices are sets of functions coded in PL/SQL, C or Java. A user query that accesses a table or view having a security policy, is dynamically and transparently modified by appending a predicate. This predicate is returned by the policy function for the relation/view and is a function of the user who has fired the query. A secure application context is created for each user at log in.
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Oracle Application Express is a no-cost option of the Oracle database.
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[...] Oracle provides the Workspace Manager, a feature you can use to version-enable tables, so different users can maintain different versions of the data.
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The WMSYS account owns the schema used to store metadata information for the Oracle Workspace Manager. Workspace Manager is a tool used to manage multiple versions of data within the same database.
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Oracle XML DB is a high-performance, native XML storage and retrieval technology that is delivered as a part of all versions of Oracle Database.
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The Oracle XML Database (also known as XDB) furnishes a native XMLType data type for managing XML documents directly in the database.
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Oracle Multimedia is a feature that enables Oracle Database to store, manage, and retrieve multimedia data in an integrated manner with other enterprise information.
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Oracle Utilities [...] This chapter describes Oracle database utilities for data transfer, data maintenance, and database administration.
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The oradebug utility can be used to enable and disable tracing for a session.
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Oracle Corporation has started a drive toward wizard-driven environments with a view to enabling non-programmers to produce simple data-driven applications.
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Oracle REST Data Services is a Java EE-based alternative for Oracle HTTP Server and mod_plsql. The Java EE implementation offers increased functionality including a command line based configuration, enhanced security, file caching, and RESTful web services.
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[...] Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) [...] provides a REST-based interface to data in relational tables.
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The Database Upgrade Assistant (DBUA) is a GUI tool that guides you through the various steps in the upgrade process and configures the database for the target release.
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The DBUA is a GUI that is designed for upgrading your Oracle database [...]
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Native compilation provides a speed increase ranging from two to ten times the speed of the bytecode interpretation.
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OPatch is a collection of Perl scripts and Java classes providing the capability to apply and roll back interim (one-off) patches to an Oracle database environment.
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[...] fast Oracle SQL tuning with SQLTXPLAIN, or SQLT as it is typically called [...]
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Oracle Live SQL exists to provide the Oracle database community with an easy online way to test and share SQL and PL/SQL application development concepts.
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An external program must be executed as a shared library to be accessed in PL/SQL. [...] The shared libraries may include multiple programs, which can be invoked as external programs.
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If users have the CREATE LIBRARY, or any of the other library privileges. then they have the ability to run arbitrary code through external procedures.
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Search Oracle's My Oracle Support (MOS) web site at http://support.oracle.com.
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Run the Install checklist for Oracle 10.2.0 (Metalink Note 250262.1: RDA 4 – Health Check / Validation Engine Guide): The Health Check Validation Engine (HCVE) rule set for Oracle Database 10g R2 (10.2.0) PreInstall (AIX) is described in: Oracle.com
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Oracle products are currently licensed using two different licensing models: Per Named User. [...] Per Processor [...]
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The SID automatically defaults to the database name portion of the global database name (sales in the example sales.us.example.com) until you reach eight characters or enter a period. You can accept or change the default value.
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The set of programs also lets you start a database instance. They allocate a shared memory realm where other programs process SQL statements. This shared memory realm is the active database instance.
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Oracle databases are logically divided into one or more tablespaces. An Oracle tablespace is a logical entity that contains the physical datafiles.
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You can use tablespaces to achieve the following goals: [...] Assign a quota (space allowance or limit) to a database user [...]
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In 10g, Oracle introduced a new kind of storage for its database product. Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is a logical volume manager that takes physical disk partitions and manages their contents [...] Until ASM, there were only two choices: file system storage and raw disk storage.
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X$ tables are fixed tables created in memory at database startup [...] V$ views are created on one or more X$ tables
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V$INDEXED_FIXED_COLUMN displays the columns in dynamic performance tables that are indexed (X$ tables).[dead link]
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The worker process is named <instance>_DWnn_<pid>. It is the process that actually performs the heavy-duty work of loading and unloading data. The master process (DMnn) creates the worker process.
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Data Guard Monitor (DMON)[:] This Broker-controller process is the main Broker process and is responsible for coordinating all Broker actions as well as maintaining the Broker configuration files.
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The job queue is handled by the job queue coordinator process CJQ0 and job queue slave processes (JNNN).
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The optional net_timeout parameter to the log_archive_dest_n parameter allows the DB As to specify the number of seconds the log writer process (LGWR) waits for a response from the logwriter network server (LNS) before terminating the process.
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MMON Memory Monitor process is associated with the Automatic Workload Repository new features used for automatic problem detection and self-tuning. MMON writes out the required statistics for AWR on a scheduled basis.
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M000 These are MMON background slave (m000) processes.
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NSVn[:] Data Guard Broker NetSlave Process[:] Performs broker network communications between databases in a Data Guard environment
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Pnnn: Parallel Query Execution Servers [...] Oracle 7.1.6 introduced the parallel query capability into the database. [...] When using parallel query, you see processes named Pnnn. These are the parallel query execution servers themselves.
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Process Spawner Process [...] Spawns Oracle background processes after initial instance startup
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In Oracle 10.1, a queue monitor coordinator (QMNC) process [...] dynamically spawns queue monitor slaves (q000 to q009).
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Redo data transmitted from the primary database is received by the remote file server (RFS) process on the standby system, where the RFS process writes the redo data to archived log files or standby redo log files.
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Performs monitoring management tasks related to Data Guard on behalf of DMON
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New Oracle Background Processes [...] SMCO: the space management coordinator process is in charge of coordinating the work of space management-related tasks such as space reclamation, for example.
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When a user runs an application program (such as a Pro*C program) or an Oracle tool (such as Enterprise Manager or SQL*Plus), Oracle creates a user process to run the user's application.
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A connection is a communication pathway between a user process and an Oracle instance.
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A session is a specific connection of a user to an Oracle instance through a user process
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V$SESSION displays session information for each current session. [...] SID [...] Session identifier
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[...] Oracle assigns a unique session ID into the v$session table for each individual user logged on to Oracle.
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SPID VARCHAR2(12) Operating system process identifier
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enqueue[:] This is another term for a lock.
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latch[:] A simple, low-level serialization mechanism to protect shared data structures in the System Global Area.
- Ashdown, Lance; Kyte, Tom (2014). "Oracle Database Concepts, 12c Release 1 (12.1): Data Concurrency and Consistency". Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2015-08-19.
- Strohm, Richard; et al. (October 2008). "Parameter Files". Oracle Database Concepts 11g Release 1 (11.1). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
Parameter files contain a list of configuration parameters for that instance and database.
- Strohm, Richard; et al. (October 2008). "Initialization Parameter Files and Server Parameter Files". Oracle Database Concepts 11g Release 1 (11.1). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Morales, Tony; et al. (April 2009). "V$PARAMETER". Oracle Database Reference 11g Release 1 (11.1). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
V$PARAMETER displays information about the initialization parameters that are currently in effect for the session.
- Morales, Tony; et al. (April 2009). "V$SPPARAMETER". Oracle Database Reference 11g Release 1 (11.1). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
V$SPPARAMETER displays information about the contents of the server parameter file.
- Debes, Norbert (2010). "9: Introduction to X$ Fixed Tables". Secrets of the Oracle Database. The Expert's voice in Oracle. Berkeley, California: Apress. p. 93. ISBN 9781430219538. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
At least a significant part, if not all of the code for the ORACLE DBMS kernel, is written in the C programming language. [...] The basic idea behind V$ views is to expose information in C data structures to database administrators. This is done by mapping V$ views to C data structures through some intermediate layers. X$ tables are one of the intermediate layers. They are the layer closest to C [...] Of course the word table in X$ table has a meaning that is almost entirely different from the meaning in a SQL context.
- Debes, Norbert (2010). "9: Introduction to X$ Fixed Tables". Secrets of the Oracle Database. The Expert's voice in Oracle. Berkeley, California: Apress. pp. 94–96. ISBN 9781430219538. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
Many X$ table names follow a strict naming convention, where the first few letters represent a layer or module in the ORACLE kernel. [...] Abbreviations used in X$ Fixed Table Names [:]
- "Oracle x$ tables". Burleson Consulting. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
Oracle Kernel Database Layers
- "Oracle X$ Tables". Retrieved 2016-10-26.
Updated to Oracle 22.214.171.124
- Bryla, Bob; Thomas, Biju (2006). OCP: Oracle 10g New Features for Administrators Study Guide: Exam 1Z0-040. John Wiley & Sons. p. 95. ISBN 9780782150858. Retrieved 2013-10-10.
Oracle 10g includes a [...] scheduling mechanism to automate routine tasks. [...] It is a collection of procedures and functions in the DBMS_SCHEDULER package. The earlier versions of Oracle included the DBMS_JOB program to schedule jobs; this utility is still available in Oracle 10g.
- Ingram, Geoff (2002). High-Performance Oracle: Proven Methods for Achieving Optimum Performance and Availability. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 354–355. ISBN 9780471430346. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
Oracle Resource Manager is [...] designed to ensure that CPU resources can be allocated fairly between groups of users on a single instance [...]
- "Oracle Database Licensing Information, 10g Release 2 (10.2)". Oracle. 2014. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- Lungu, Ion; Vătuiu, Teodora (2008). Bolunduţ, Ioan-Lucian, ed. "Manageability comparison: Oracle Database 10g and Oracle9i Database" (PDF). Annals of the University of Petroşani, Economics. Petroşani, Romania: Universitas Publishing House. 8 (1): 295–300. ISSN 1582-5949. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
[...] we performed a basic and common DBA tasks on the two products and measured the time taken and the steps required to complete each task, to assess their relative manageability.
- Wessler, Michael (2002) . Oracle DBA on Unix and Linux. Kaleidoscope Series. Indianapolis: Sams Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 9780672321580. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
Background dump (bdump) files are generated when an Oracle process experiences unexpected problems.
- Alapati, Sam (2006). "The Alert Log File". Expert Oracle Database 10g Administration. Expert's Voice. Apress. p. 111. ISBN 9781430200666. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
Every Oracle database has an alert log named alertdb_name.log (where db_name is the name of the database). The alert log captures major changes and events that occur during the running of the Oracle instance, including log switches, any Oracle-related errors, warnings, and other messages. [...] Oracle puts the alert log in the location specified for the BACKGROUND_DUMP_DEST initialization parameter. [...] Commonly, it is located in a directory called bdump, which stands for background dump directory.
- "Locale Languages". Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- "Error Message Languages". Retrieved 2008-02-26.
- Shea, Cathy; et al. (September 2007). "Overview of Globalization Support". Oracle Database Globalization Support Guide 11g Release 1 (11.1). Oracle Corporation. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
In the past, Oracle referred to globalization support capabilities as National Language Support (NLS) features. NLS is actually a subset of globalization support. NLS is the ability to choose a national language and store data in a specific character set. Globalization support enables you to develop multilingual applications and software products that can be accessed and run from anywhere in the world simultaneously.
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