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Oracle Concepts

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Introduction to Oracle Concepts

This is a brief introduction to Oracle Concepts for the DBA.  Conceptually, you can think of an Oracle database as nothing more than a large electronic filing cabinet, a place to store and retrieve information. At the computer level, Oracle is a computer program that manages an electronic filing cabinet.

Oracle Platform Concepts

One reason that Oracle has become the world dominant database is because it runs on just about every platform imaginable, from a mainframe to a Macintosh.

Today, most shops run Oracle in UNIX, Linux, and Windows.
Oracle runs on almost every computer ever made, with over 60 diverse platforms such as Intel (like your PC does), Sun Solaris, old IBM mainframes, and many, many others.

Conceptually, Oracle is considered the world?s most powerful, flexible and robust database. Along with this power comes complexity.

Oracle flexibility concepts

Oracle has become the world?s most flexible database and it stores much more than text and numbers. An Oracle database support video, audio and complex spatial applications that are used to build jet fighters and submarines.

Unlike simpler databases, you can control every aspect of Oracle?s behavior. You can control how rows are placed on the data blocks and you can control how Oracle performs hundreds of resource management issues.

Oracle Concepts for Automation

However, Oracle can be simple too! In Oracle 10g, artificial intelligence tools provide basic management, making Oracle a very simple database. You can choose to make your Oracle database simple or robust, it?s your choice.  See the book "Easy Oracle Automation" for details.

As with all software, Oracle must interface with your computer in order to utilize your hardware. You will find that Oracle is extremely knowledgeable about how to partake of your processor power, RAM, and other resources, as we will see in the next sections.

Oracle Database Administration Concepts

Now that we have installed Oracle and created a database, we need to learn a thing or two about how to manage Oracle. First we will talk about the Oracle documentation, and then we will talk about how to startup and shutdown the database. Then we will discuss the data dictionary and database parameter files, wrapping-up with administration of the Oracle online redo logs, UNDO segments, and the administration of Oracle tablespaces.

Oracle Database Documentation

Oracle is a big product, and it is well documented with thousands of pages of documentation. That much documentation can be really hard to find your way though, but Oracle does a nice job of helping you. Oracle provides a web site located at that has all the current Oracle documentation and you can also search the Oracle documentation at

Oracle documentation comes in the form of books, each written on different subjects. There is documentation about Oracle concepts, database administration, backup and recovery and there is also reference documentation that contains details on parameters and SQL command syntax.

The documentation change with almost every release, but the basic topics remain the same.

These are the books/topics you will be most interested in during your Oracle DBA career:

* The SQL Reference Guide
* The Oracle Database Reference
* The Oracle Concepts Guide
* The Oracle Administrators Guide
* Oracle Backup and Recovery

We recommend reviewing the Oracle Concepts Guide after you are done reading this book. It will be a nice second step to becoming an Oracle Certified Master DBA!

This is an excerpt from the bestselling "Easy Oracle Jumpstart" by Robert Freeman and Steve Karam (Oracle ACE and Oracle Certified Master).  It?s only $19.95 when you buy it directly from the publisher here.

If you like Oracle tuning, you may enjoy the new book "Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference", over 900 pages of BC's favorite tuning tips & scripts. 

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  

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