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A Short Oracle Tutorial For Beginners
This is just a short Oracle tutorial to act as an introduction for beginners by providing a brief history of
databases and Oracle's role in that history, explaining relational theory and providing a few practical
examples to show how relational databases work. To learn more about Oracle databases just ask us for our
History of Databases - From Trees To Objects
The storage and management of data is probably the biggest headache for all businesses. It has been so for
a long while and is very unlikely to change any time soon.
As organisations and governments collect and store more
and more details about their customers and citizens and
visitors - their buying habits, the websites they use, the
people they interact with - they need to store and manage
more and more data. The only way this can be done
efficiently and at a reasonable cost is by the use of
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, specialised data management
software appeared - the first database management systems
(DBMS). These early DBMS were either hierarchical (tree)
or network (CODASYL) databases which were complex
and inflexible and could not easily be modified for new
applications or reorganising the data.
The solution to this was relational databases which are based on the concept of normalisation - the
separation of the logical and physical representation of data.
In 1970 the relational data model was defined by E.F. Codd (see "A Relational Model of Data for Large
Shared Data Banks" Comm. ACM. 13 (June 6, 1970), 377-387).
In 1974 IBM started a project called System/R to prove the theory of relational databases. This led to the
development of a query language called SEQUEL (Structured English Query Language) later renamed to
Structured Query Language (SQL) for legal reasons and now the query language of all databases.
In 1978 a prototype System/R implementation was evaluated at a number of IBM customer sites.
By 1979 the project finished with the conclusion that relational databases were a feasible commercial
Meanwhile, IBM's research into relational databases had come to the attention of a group of engineers in
California. They were so convinced of the potential that they formed a company called Relational
Software, Inc. in 1977 to build such a database. Their product was called Oracle and the first version for
VAX/VMS was released in 1979, thereby becoming the first commercial relational database management
system (rdbms), beating IBM to market by 2 years.
In the 1980s the company was renamed Oracle Corporation and throughout the 1980s, new features were
added to the database and performance improved as the price of hardware came down and Oracle became
the largest independent rdbms vendor. By 1985 they boasted of having more than 1000 installations.
As relational databases became accepted, companies wanted to expand their use to store images,
spreadsheets, etc. which can't be described in 2-dimensional terms. This led to the Oracle database
becoming an object-relational hybrid in version 8.0, i.e. a relational database with object extensions,
enabling you to have the best of both worlds.
Click on the link to continue this Oracle tutorial.
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