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Oracle essentials, 5th edition

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FIFTH EDITION

Oracle Essentials

Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, and
Jonathan Stern

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Oracle Essentials, Fifth Edition
by Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, and Jonathan Stern
Copyright © 2013 Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, and Jonathan Stern. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

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September 2013:

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Fifth Edition

Revision History for the Fifth Edition:
2013-09-04: First release
See http://oreilly.com/catalog/errata.csp?isbn=9781449343033 for release details.
Nutshell Handbook, the Nutshell Handbook logo, and the O’Reilly logo are registered trademarks of O’Reilly
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While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and authors assume
no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained
herein.

ISBN: 978-1-449-34303-3
[LSI]

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Table of Contents

Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii
1. Introducing Oracle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Evolution of the Relational Database
Relational Basics
How Oracle Grew
The Oracle Database Family
Summary of Oracle Database Features
Database Application Development Features
Database Programming
Database Extensibility
Database Connection Features
Oracle Net Services
Oracle Internet Directory
Oracle Connection Manager
The Role of Oracle Fusion Middleware
Oracle’s WebLogic Server
Oracle Tuxedo
Data Integration Tools
Business Intelligence Tools
WebCenter
Identity Management
Distributed Database Features
Distributed Queries and Transactions
Heterogeneous Services
Data Movement Features
Transportable Tablespaces
Advanced Queuing and Oracle Streams
Database Performance Features

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Database Parallelization
Data Warehousing
Managing the Oracle Database
Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c
Real Application Testing Option
Pluggable Databases
Storage Management
High Availability
Database Security Features
Advanced Security Option
Label Security Option
Database Vault Option
Audit Vault and Database Firewall Option
Oracle Database Development Tools
Oracle SQL Developer
Oracle Application Express
Other Oracle Databases
Oracle MySQL
Berkeley DB & Oracle NoSQL Database
Oracle TimesTen
Cloudera Distribution of Hadoop

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2. Oracle Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Databases and Instances
Oracle Database Structures
Pluggable Databases
Database Initialization
Deploying Physical Components
Control Files
Datafiles
Redo Logfiles
Instance Memory and Processes
Memory Structures for an Instance
Background Processes for an Instance
Configuration, Engineered Systems, and the Cloud
The Data Dictionary

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3. Installing and Running Oracle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Installing Oracle
Optimal Flexible Architecture
Supporting Multiple Oracle Versions on a Machine
Upgrading an Oracle Database

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Creating a Database
Planning the Database
The Value of Estimating
Tools for Creating Databases
Oracle Net Services and Oracle Net
Resolving Oracle Net Service Names
Global Data Services
Oracle Net Manager
Oracle Connection Pooling
Auto-Discovery and Agents
Oracle Net Configuration Files
Starting Up the Database
Shutting Down the Database
Accessing a Database
Server Processes and Clients
Application Servers and Web Servers As Clients
Oracle Net and Establishing Network Connections
The Shared Server/Multi-Threaded Server
Database Resident Connection Pooling
Oracle in the Cloud
Oracle at Work
Oracle and Transactions
Flashback
A Transaction, Step by Step

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4. Oracle Data Structures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Datatypes
Character Datatypes
Numeric Datatype
Date Datatype
Other Datatypes
Type Conversion
Concatenation and Comparisons
NULLs
Basic Data Structures
Tables
Views
Indexes
Partitioning
Additional Data Structures
Sequences
Synonyms

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Clusters
Hash Clusters
Extended Logic for Data
Rules Manager
The Expression Filter
Data Design
Constraints
Triggers
Query Optimization
Rule-Based Optimization
Cost-Based Optimization
Specifying an Optimizer Mode
Saving the Optimization
Comparing Optimizations
Performance and Optimization
SQL Translation
Understanding the Execution Plan
SQL Advisors
Data Dictionary Tables

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5. Managing Oracle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Manageability Features
Database Advisors
Automatic Storage Management
Oracle Enterprise Manager
Enterprise Manager Architecture
Oracle Enterprise Manager Consoles
EM Express
Backup and Recovery
Types of Backup and Recovery Options
Oracle Secure Backup
Information Lifecycle Management
ILM in Oracle Database 12c
Working with Oracle Support
Reporting Problems
Automated Patching

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6. Oracle Security, Auditing, and Compliance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Security
Usernames, Privileges, Groups, and Roles
Identity Management
Security Privileges

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Special Roles: DBA, SYSDBA, and SYSOPER
Policies
Restricting Data-Specific Access
Label Security Option
Security and Application Roles and Privileges
Distributed Database and Multitier Security
Advanced Security Option
Encryption
Data Redaction
Secure Backup
Auditing
Compliance
Oracle Database Vault Option
Oracle Audit Vault Server
Flashback Data Archive
Transparent Sensitive Data Protection

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7. Oracle Performance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Oracle and Resource Usage
Oracle and Disk I/O Resources
I/O Planning Principles for an Oracle Database
Oracle and Parallelism
Block-Range Parallelism
Parallelism for Tables and Partitions of Tables
What Can Be Parallelized?
Partition-Based Parallelism
Oracle and Memory Resources
How Oracle Uses the System Global Area
How Oracle Uses the Program Global Area
Oracle and CPU Resources
Performance Tuning Basics
Defining Performance and Performance Problems
Monitoring and Tuning the Oracle Database for Performance
Using the Oracle Database Resource Manager
Additional Monitoring and Tuning Available for Oracle Exadata
A Final Note on Performance Tuning

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8. Oracle Multiuser Concurrency. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
Basics of Concurrent Access
Transactions
Locks
Concurrency and Contention

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Integrity Problems
Serialization
Oracle and Concurrent User Access
Oracle’s Isolation Levels
Oracle Concurrency Features
How Oracle Handles Locking
A Simple Write Operation
A Conflicting Write Operation
A Read Operation
Concurrent Access and Performance
Workspaces
Workspace Implementation
Workspace Operations
Workspace Enhancements

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9. Oracle and Transaction Processing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
OLTP Basics
What Is a Transaction?
What Does OLTP Mean?
OLTP Versus Business Intelligence
Transactions and High Availability
Oracle’s OLTP Heritage
Architectures for OLTP
Traditional Two-Tier Client/Server
Stored Procedures
Three-Tier Systems
Application Servers and Web Servers
The Grid
OLTP and the Cloud
Oracle Features for OLTP
General Concurrency and Performance
Scalability
Real Application Clusters
Exadata and OLTP
High Availability

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10. Oracle Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Data Warehousing Basics
The Evolution of Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
A Topology for Business Intelligence
Data Marts
The Operational Data Store and Enterprise Warehouse

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OLTP Systems and Business Intelligence
Big Data and the Data Warehouse
Data Warehouse Design
Query Optimization
Bitmap Indexes and Parallelism
Optimization Provided by the Exadata Storage Server Software
Dimensional Data and Hierarchies in the Database
Summary Tables
Materialized Views
OLAP Option
Analytics and Statistics in the Database
Basic Analytic and Statistical Functions
Other SQL Extensions
Advanced Analytics Option
Other Datatypes and Big Data
Loading Data into the Data Warehouse
Managing the Data Warehouse
Business Intelligence Tools
Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite
Business Intelligence Applications
Data Discovery and Oracle Endeca Information Discovery
Oracle Exalytics
The Metadata Challenge
Putting It All Together
A Complete Analytics Infrastructure
Best Practices
Common Misconceptions
Effective Strategy

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11. Oracle and High Availability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
What Is High Availability?
Measuring High Availability
The System Stack and Availability
Server Hardware, Storage, and Database Instance Failure
What Is Instance Recovery?
Phases of Instance Recovery
Protecting Against System Failure
Component Redundancy
Disk Redundancy
Automatic Storage Management
Site and Computer Server Failover
Oracle Data Guard and Site Failures

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Oracle Active Data Guard and Zero Data Loss
Oracle GoldenGate and Replication
Real Application Clusters and Instance Failures
Oracle Transparent Application Failover
Oracle Application Continuity
Recovering from Failures and Data Corruption
Developing a Backup-and-Recovery Strategy
Taking Oracle Backups
Using Backups to Recover
Recovery Manager
Read-Only Tablespaces and Backups
Old-Fashioned Data Redundancy
Point-in-Time Recovery
Flashback
Planned Downtime

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12. Oracle and Hardware Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
System Basics
Symmetric Multiprocessing Systems and Nodes
Clustered Solutions, Grid Computing, and the Cloud
Disk and Storage Technology
Oracle’s Engineered Systems
Oracle Exadata Database Machine
Oracle Exalogic
Oracle SuperCluster
Oracle Database Appliance
Other Engineered Systems
Choosing and Defining the Right Platform
Sizing and Planning for Growth
Maximum Availability Architecture Considerations
Justifying an Oracle Engineered System

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13. Oracle Distributed Databases and Distributed Data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Accessing Distributed Databases
Distributed Data Across Multiple Oracle Databases
Access to and from Non-Oracle Databases
Two-Phase Commit
Oracle Tuxedo
Replication and Data Transport
Replication Basics
History of Oracle Replication Offerings
Oracle GoldenGate

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Global Data Services
Data Transport Using Database Features

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14. Oracle Extended Datatypes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339
Object-Oriented Development
Object-Relational Features
Java’s Role and Web Services
JavaBeans
Extensibility Features and Options
Oracle Multimedia
Oracle Text
XML DB
Oracle Spatial and Graph Option
The Extensibility Architecture Framework

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350

15. Oracle and the Cloud. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 351
Cloud Definitions
Common Characteristics
Cloud Levels
Is the Cloud New?
Use Cases for Cloud Computing
Oracle Database in the Cloud
Oracle as a DBaaS
Oracle as a PaaS
Consumer and Provider
Oracle Database Cloud Service
History of Application Express
Architecture
Development with the Database Cloud Service
SQL Developer and the Database Cloud
Implementing Provider Clouds

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369

A. What’s New in This Book for Oracle Database 12c. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
B. Additional Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379
Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389

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Preface

We dedicate this book to the memory of one of our original coauthors, Jonathan Stern.
Jonathan unexpectedly passed away in March of 2007. Yet his memory lives on for those
of us who knew him and, in many ways, for those who will read this book. Let us explain.
The original outline for this book was first assembled at the ubiquitous coffee shop
located in the Sears Tower in Chicago. It was 1998 and the authors had gathered there
with a common goal. We were all Oracle employees working in technical sales roles and
had visited many organizations and companies. We found that many IT managers,
Oracle Database Administrators (DBAs), and Oracle developers were quite adept at
reading Oracle’s documentation, but seemed to be missing an understanding of the
overall Oracle footprint and how to practically apply what they were reading. It was as
if they had a recipe book, but were unclear on how to gather the right ingredients and
mix them together successfully. This bothered all of us, but it particularly frustrated
Jonathan.
Jonathan was the kind of person who sought to understand how things worked. Nothing
delighted Jonathan more than gaining such an understanding, then spending hours
thinking of ways to translate his understanding into something that would be more
meaningful to others. He believed that a key role for himself while at Oracle was the
transfer of such knowledge to others. He continued to perform similar roles later at
other companies at which he worked.
Writing the first edition of Oracle Essentials was a lengthy process. Jonathan wrote
several of the original chapters, and he also reviewed some of the other original work
and was quick to identify where he thought something was wrong. For Jonathan,
“wrong” meant that the text could be misinterpreted and that further clarity was needed
to make sure the right conclusion was drawn. The first edition became much more useful
through Jonathan’s efforts. He was always quite proud of that effort. Even as the book
changed with succeeding editions and Jonathan moved on to other companies, he con‐
tinued to feel that this book remained an important accomplishment in his life.

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Some explanations of how Oracle works are fundamental to the database and have not
changed in subsequent editions of the book, so some of Jonathan’s original work remains
here, although much of the surrounding text is now considerably different. Of course,
some entire sections describing the complex steps that were once needed to manage
and deploy older releases of the database are no longer relevant and thus are no longer
included. Jonathan would probably view Oracle’s self-managing, self-tuning, and cloudenabling improvements as incredible achievements, but would also wonder whether it
is a good thing that people can know even less today about how the database works but
still deploy it.
So, we introduce you to the fifth edition of Oracle Essentials. We have made many
changes in this edition. Some, of course, result from changes in features in Oracle Da‐
tabase 12c and the ways that you can now use and deploy the latest release of the database.
But we have also made a considerable effort to go back and rewrite parts of the book
that we did not believe possessed the clarity needed by our readers—clarity that Jonathan
would want in such a book. So, he influences us still.

Goals of This Book
Our main goal is to give you a foundation for using the Oracle Database effectively and
efficiently. Therefore, we wrote with these principles in mind:
Focus
We’ve tried to concentrate on the most important Oracle issues. Every topic pro‐
vides a comprehensive but concise discussion of how Oracle handles an issue and
the repercussions of that action.
Brevity
One of the first decisions we made was to concentrate on principles rather than
syntax. There simply isn’t room for myriad syntax diagrams and examples in this
book.
Uniqueness
We’ve tried to make this an ideal first Oracle book for a wide spectrum of Oracle
users—but not the last! You will very likely have to refer to Oracle documentation
or other, more specific books for more details about using Oracle. However, we
hope this book will act as an accelerator for you. Using the foundation you get from
this book, you can take detailed information from other sources and put it to the
best use.
This book is the result of more than 65 combined years of experience with Oracle and
other databases. We hope you’ll benefit from that experience.

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Audience for This Book
We wrote this book for people possessing all levels of Oracle expertise. Our target au‐
diences include DBAs who spend most of their workday managing Oracle, application
developers who build their systems on the data available in an Oracle Database, and
system administrators who are concerned with how Oracle will affect their computing
environments. Of course, IT managers and business users interact more peripherally
with the actual Oracle Database, but can still gain from a better understanding of the
product. On the one hand, anticipating the appropriate technical level of all our potential
readers presented difficulties; on the other hand, we’ve tried to build a solid foundation
from the ground up and believe that some introductory material benefits everyone.
We’ve also tried to ensure that every reader receives all the fundamental information
necessary to truly understand the topics presented.
If you’re an experienced Oracle user, you may be tempted to skip over material in this
book with which you are already familiar. But experience has shown that some of the
most basic Oracle principles can be overlooked, even by experts. We’ve also seen how
the same small “gotchas” trip up even the most experienced Oracle practitioners and
cause immense damage if they go unnoticed. After all, an ounce of prevention, tempered
by understanding, is worth a pound of cure, especially when you are trying to keep your
systems running optimally. So we hope that even experienced Oracle users will find
valuable information in every chapter of this book—information that will save hours in
their busy professional lives.
Our guiding principle has been to present this information compactly without making
it overly tutorial. We think that the most important ratio in a book like this is the amount
of useful information you get balanced against the time it takes you to get it. We sincerely
hope this volume provides a terrific bang for the buck.

About the Fifth Edition (Oracle Database 12c)
The first four editions of this book, covering the Oracle Database up to the Oracle
Database 11g version, have been well received, and we were pleased that O’Reilly Media
agreed to publish this fifth edition. In this update to the book, we have added informa‐
tion describing the latest release of Oracle, Oracle Database 12c.
For the most part, the task of preparing this fifth edition was fairly clear-cut, because
the Oracle Database 12c release is primarily incremental—the new features in the release
extend existing features of the database. We’ve added the information about these ex‐
tensions to each of the chapters, wherever this information was most relevant and ap‐
propriate. However, manageability has greatly changed over the release, and is reflected
in many of the most significant changes to content.

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Of course, this fifth edition cannot possibly cover everything that is new in Oracle
Database 12c. In general, we have followed the same guidelines for this edition that we
did for the first four editions. If a new feature does not seem to be broadly important,
we have not necessarily delved into it. As with earlier editions, we have not tried to
produce a laundry list of every characteristic of the Oracle Database. In addition, if a
feature falls into an area outside the scope of the earlier editions, we have not attempted
to cover it in this edition unless it has assumed new importance.

Structure of This Book
This book is divided into 15 chapters and 2 appendixes, as follows:
Chapter 1 describes the range of Oracle Databases and data stores and Fusion Middle‐
ware products and features and provides a brief history of Oracle and relational data‐
bases.
Chapter 2 describes the core concepts and structures (e.g., files, processes, pluggable
databases, and so on) that are the architectural basis of Oracle.
Chapter 3 briefly describes how to install Oracle and how to configure, start up, and
shut down the database and Oracle Net.
Chapter 4 summarizes the various datatypes supported by Oracle and introduces the
Oracle objects (e.g., tables, views, indexes). This chapter also covers query optimization.
Chapter 5 provides an overview of managing an Oracle system, including the advisors
available as part of Oracle Database 12c, the role of Oracle Enterprise Manager (EM)
12c, information lifecycle management through the use of heat maps, and working with
Oracle Support.
Chapter 6 provides an overview of basic Oracle security, Oracle’s security options, basic
auditing capabilities, and ways you can leverage database security and audit options to
meet compliance needs.
Chapter 7 describes the main issues relevant to Oracle performance—especially the
major performance characteristics of disk, memory, and CPU tuning. It describes how
Oracle Enterprise Manager, the Automatic Workload Repository, and the Automatic
Database Diagnostic Monitor are used for performance monitoring and management,
as well as parallelism and memory management in Oracle.
Chapter 8 describes the basic principles of multiuser concurrency (e.g., transactions,
locks, integrity problems) and explains how Oracle handles concurrency.
Chapter 9 describes online transaction processing (OLTP) in Oracle.
Chapter 10 describes the basic principles of data warehouses and business intelligence,
Oracle Database features used for such solutions, the role of Hadoop in Big Data solu‐

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tions, Oracle’s business intelligence tools, relevant options such as OLAP and data min‐
ing, how Oracle’s engineered systems fulfill key roles such as in infrastructure, and best
practices.
Chapter 11 discusses availability concepts, what happens when the Oracle Database
recovers, protecting against system failure, Oracle’s backup and recovery facilities, and
high availability and failover solutions.
Chapter 12 describes your choice of computer architectures, configuration considera‐
tions, and deployment strategies for Oracle, including the array of engineered systems
that support that Oracle Database.
Chapter 13 briefly summarizes the Oracle facilities used in distributed processing in‐
cluding two-phase commits and Oracle replication and data transport offerings.
Chapter 14 describes Oracle’s object-oriented features, Java’s role, Web Services support,
multimedia and text extensions to Oracle, XML DB support, spatial capabilities, and
the extensibility framework.
Chapter 15 describes cloud definitions, the Oracle Database in the cloud, and the role
of APEX.
Appendix A lists the Oracle Database 12c changes described in this book.
Appendix B lists a variety of additional resources—both online and offline—so you can
do more detailed reading.

Conventions Used in This Book
The following typographical conventions are used in this book:
Italic
Used for file and directory names, emphasis, and the first occurrence of terms
Constant width

Used for code examples and literals
Constant width italic

In code examples, indicates an element (for example, a parameter) that you supply
UPPERCASE
Generally indicates Oracle keywords
lowercase
In code examples, generally indicates user-defined items such as variables

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This icon indicates a tip, suggestion, or general note. For example, we’ll
tell you if you need to use a particular version of Oracle or if an oper‐
ation requires certain privileges.
This icon indicates a warning or caution. For example, we’ll tell you if
Oracle doesn’t behave as you’d expect or if a particular operation neg‐
atively impacts performance.

Using Code Examples
This book is here to help you get your job done. Though the nature of this book is such
that you will find minimal code, you may use the code in this book in your programs
and documentation. You do not need to contact us for permission unless you’re repro‐
ducing a significant portion of the code. For example, writing a program that uses several
chunks of code from this book does not require permission. Selling or distributing a
CD-ROM of examples from O’Reilly books does require permission. Answering a ques‐
tion by citing this book and quoting example code does not require permission. Incor‐
porating a significant amount of example code from this book into your product’s doc‐
umentation does require permission.
We appreciate, but do not require, attribution. An attribution usually includes the title,
author, publisher, and ISBN. For example: “Oracle Essentials: Oracle Database 12c, Fifth
Edition, by Rick Greenwald, Robert Stackowiak, and Jonathan Stern. Copyright 2013
O’Reilly Media Inc., 978-1-4493-4303-3.”
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Acknowledgments
Each of the authors has arrived at this collaboration through a different path, but we
would all like to thank the team at O’Reilly for making this book both possible and a
joy to write. We’d like to thank our first editor for this edition, Ann Spencer, and the
rest of the O’Reilly crew, especially Chris Hearse, the production editor. Also, we’d like
to thank our editor from the first three editions, Debby Russell, who was among the
first to see the value in such a book and who stepped in to perform final editing on the
fifth edition as well. It’s incredible how all of these folks were able to strike the perfect
balance—always there when we needed something, but leaving us alone when we didn’t.
We’re all grateful to each other. Giving birth to a book is a difficult process, but it can
be harrowing when split multiple ways. Everyone hung in there and did their best
throughout this process. We’d also like to give our sincere thanks to the technical re‐
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viewers for the fifth edition of this book: Penny Avril and Arup Nanda. Thanks as well
to reviewers of previous editions that have included Darryl Hurley, Dwayne King, Arup
Nanda, Bert Scalzo, Craig Shallahamer of OraPub, Domenick Ficarella, Jonathan Gen‐
nick, Jenny Gelhausen, and Dave Klein. This crucially important work really enhanced
the value of the book you’re reading. And thanks as well to Lance Ashdown for clarifying
Oracle Database writes.
Rick thanks the incredibly bright and gifted people who have shared their wealth of
knowledge with him over the years, including Bruce Scott, Earl Stahl, Jerry Chang, and
many others. In particular, he thanks his first technical mentor, Ed Hickland, who has
repeatedly spent time explaining to and discussing with him some of the broader and
finer points of database technology.
In subsequent years, Rick has benefitted from a wealth of brilliant co-workers and col‐
leagues, who were always willing to share their views and knowledge, including Graham
Wood, Andrew Holdsworth, Tom Kyte, and Bryn Llewellyn. In particular, Rick cherishes
both the expertise and friendship of the marvelous Maria Colgan.
For the later editions of this book, Rick would also like to thank all those colleagues at
Oracle who helped him in his time of need, checking on those last-minute clarifications,
including John Lang, Bruce Lowenthal, Alice Watson, Dave Leroy, Sushil Kumar, Mugh‐
ees Minhas, Daniela Hansell, and Mark Drake. And a special thank you to Jenny TsaiSmith, who always seemed to have the time and knowledge to clear up any Oracle
Database problem. Rick is part of a fantastic team in development at Oracle, whose
members have been a source of advice and friendship. Those members include Mike
Hichwa, Patrick Wolf, Jason Straub, Hilary Farrell, Shakeeb Rahman, Colm Divilly,
Chris Rice, Joel Kalman, and Dom Lindars. And last, but certainly not least, his primary
coauthor, Bob Stackowiak, who has become a good friend over the years of collabora‐
tion.
Bob acknowledges all his friends over the years around the world at Oracle Corporation,
and from earlier stints at IBM, Harris Computer Systems, and the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers. Through personal relationships and social media, they have shared a lot and
provided him with incredible opportunities for learning. At Oracle, he especially thanks
members of Andy Mendelsohn’s team who have always been helpful in providing ma‐
terial ahead of releases, including George Lumpkin, Hermann Baer, Jean-Pierre Dijcks,
Maria Colgan, and many others. Bob and Rick both call out the memory of Mark
Townsend for his key role in Oracle’s database development over the years and whose
talents are missed by all. Bob also extends special thanks to his team in Oracle’s Enter‐
prise Solutions Group, especially Alan Manewitz, Louis Nagode, and Art Licht. His
management continues to recognize the value of such projects, including David O’Neill
and Joe Strada. Paul Cross has served as a mentor over the years. He’d also like to thank
his customers, who have always had the most practical experience using the products
and tools he has worked with and from whom he continues to learn. Finally, collabo‐

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rating on books with Rick Greenwald always makes this process fun and has led to other
memorable experiences including enjoying live performances of Bruce Springsteen to‐
gether.
In early editions of this book, Jonathan thanked many of his professional contacts,
including Murray Golding, Sam Mele, and the Oracle Server Technologies members
and their teams, including Juan Tellez, Ron Weiss, Juan Loaiza, and Carol Colrain for
their help during his years at Oracle. And we thank him for all that he gave us in too
short a life.

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CHAPTER 1

Introducing Oracle

Where do we start? One of the problems in comprehending a massive product such as
the Oracle Database is getting a good sense of how the product works without getting
lost in the details. This book aims to provide a thorough grounding in the concepts and
technologies that form the foundation of Oracle’s Database Server, currently known as
Oracle Database 12c. The book is intended for a wide range of Oracle Database admin‐
istrators, developers, and users, from the novice to the experienced. It is our hope that
once you have this basic understanding of the product, you’ll be able to connect the dots
when using Oracle’s voluminous feature set, documentation, and the many other books
and publications that describe the database.
Oracle also offers an Application Server and Fusion Middleware, business intelligence
tools, and business applications (the E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel,
Hyperion, and Fusion, among others). Since this book is focused on the database, we
will only touch on these other software products as they relate to specific Oracle Data‐
base topics covered.
This first chapter lays the groundwork for the rest of the book. Of all the chapters, it
covers the broadest range of topics. Most of these topics are discussed later in more
depth, but some of the basics—for example, the brief history of Oracle and the contents
of the different “flavors” of the Oracle Database products—are unique to this chapter.
Over the past 30-plus years, Oracle grew from being one of many vendors that developed
and sold a database product to being widely recognized as the database market leader.
Although early products were typical of a startup company, the Oracle Database grew
such that its technical capabilities are now often viewed as the most advanced in the
industry. With each database release, Oracle has improved the scalability, functionality,
and manageability of the database.

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