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Audience: Self Learners - System Admins
Last Updated: 3/26/2005 2:06:00 AM
Original Creation Date: 3/26/2005 2:06:00 AM
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Oracle Database Software

By Erik Rodriguez

This article provides information about the Oracle database software. Oracle is a leading database provider for enterprise environments.


Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) was founded by Larry Ellison nearly 26 years ago. Ellison and his co-founders, Bob Miner and Ed Oates, were among the first to push database software to the commercial enterprise market. At the time, there was no universal database solution. Organizations operating in the enterprise environment were forced to use a proprietary solution or opt to build their own. Ellison and his team executed a plan of attack early, and established Oracle as a huge player in the enterprise level database provider.

Oracle Products

Oracle has evolved to include many different types of software. While Oracle database server is the most famous, other products such as application servers and a collaboration suite exist. This article focuses strictly to the database server produced by Oracle. Each release of the database server is released as a "theme." For instance, Oracle 9i was known as the "cluster release," while 10g is aimed towards "grid computing." The database server and other products are supported a variety of platforms that include Windows, Linux, and even proprietary systems like AIX and Tru64. Multiple hardware versions are also available to include x86, SPARC (from sun), and even the 390 (from IBM). This is largely due to the fact the enterprise level organizations are using extremely powerful supercomptuers or mainframes.

Why Oracle?

Many organizations are faced with decision from a financial aspect. While there are other solutions, mainly mySQL or MS-SQL (from Micro$oft), performance and cost are a key issue. Open source solutions like mySQL are completely free and can perform very well sometimes even better than Oracle in a smaller environment. However, Oracle database servers are designed to handle thousands for requests per second. While the performance is excellent, the real strength from Oracle is the management aspect. When a server is processing thousands of requests per second, databases grow very quickly, and with that includes maintenance that must be performed by a database administrator (DBA). Alternative solutions such as mySQL and MS-SQL do not have the back end to properly handle this type of situation. As a result, maintaining other types of databases can be costly. Oracle simplifies the process of administration to free-up a DBA's time for other tasks in the enterprise. So, while the initial licensing of Oracle products is costly, enterprise organizations will save money in the long run.

Try Oracle?

If you already know SQL, then you will be able to jump right in and start using the Oracle database. If you have an existing server you would like to install the database on, you can fetch the files from:

If not, you can do an evaluation of Oracle 10g by using VMware on your windows XP workstation and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. More info is here:

Skullbox.Net recommends the use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux...

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