Better to know some
... than all
History of Oracle
Being an Oracle database operator or administrator can be a demanding but rewarding career that carries with it a great deal of responsibility as well as authority. This book is intended to help you embark on this exciting path. I hope that within the pages of this book I can convey some of the enthusiasm and excitement I feel when working with state-of-the-art hardware and software such as Oracle8.
I think the best way to grasp a concept is to fully understand why actions are taken and the consequences of those actions. If you understand how Oracle works and its interactions with the operating system and hardware, you can more easily predict and anticipate the result of actions you take. In this book, I attempt to fully explain the workings of Oracle and the supporting software and hardware.
A Brief History of Oracle
In 1977, Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates formed a company called Relational Software Incorporated (RSI). This company built an RDBMS called Oracle. Ellison, Miner, and Oates made a key decision: to develop their RDBMS using C and the SQL interface. Soon after, they came out with version 1, a prototype. In 1979, RSI delivered its first product to customers. The Oracle RDBMS version 2 worked on the Digital PDP-11 running the RSX-11 operating system and was soon ported to the DEC VAX system.
1983 heralded the release of version 3, which touted changes in the SQL language as well as performance enhancements and other improvements. Unlike earlier versions, version 3 was written almost entirely in C. At this point, RSI changed its name to Oracle Corporation.
Oracle version 4 was released in 1984. This version supported both the VAX system and the IBM VM operating system. Version 4 was the first version to incorporate read consistency. Version 5, introduced in 1985, was a milestone because it introduced client/server computing to the market with the use of SQL*Net. Version 5 was also the first MS-DOS product to break through the 640KB barrier.
In 1988, Oracle presented version 6, which introduced low-level locking as well as a variety of performance improvements and functionality enhancements, including sequence generation and deferred writes. I was introduced to Oracle6 back in the days when we ran the TP1, TPC-A, and TPC-B benchmarks. At this point, Oracle was running on a large variety of different platforms and operating systems. In 1991, Oracle introduced the Oracle Parallel Server option on version 6.1 of the Oracle RDBMS on the DEC VAX platform. Soon the Parallel Server option was available on a variety of platforms.
Oracle7, released in 1992, included many architectural changes in the area of memory, CPU, and I/O utilization. Oracle7 is the full-featured RDBMS to which you are accustomed, the one you've been using for many years. Oracle7 introduced many advances in the area of ease of use, such as the SQL*DBA tools and database roles.
Finally, in 1997 Oracle introduced Oracle8, which added object extensions as well as a host of new features and administrative tools.
For more information about the history of Oracle (specifically about the Oracle server), check out the two-part article by Ken Jacobs in the January/February and March/April 1995 issues of Oracle Magazine.
For more information about the Oracle corporation, its products, and about working with Oracle, check out www.oracle.com. This Web site contains a wealth of information about Oracle parterships and products as well as information about the Oracle Developer Program, which specifically assists developers.