Oracle8 Enterprise Edition Getting Started 
Release 8.0.5 for Windows NT 

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admin privileges

The authorization to perform certain administrative procedures on a system.


(1) An alternative name for an existing network object, such as a host (server), or a set of parameters. (2) In SQL, a temporary name assigned to a table, view, column, or value within a SQL statement, used to refer to that item later in the same statement or in associated SQL*Plus commands.


One or more program modules used to achieve a specific result. Applications can be nested within other applications.


The process of verifying the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, often as a prerequisite for allowing access to resources in a system.


Permission given to a user, program, or process to access an Oracle8 database.

call interface

A set of standard software routines used to access an Oracle8 database. Also called the Oracle Call Interface (OCI).

data dictionary

Where the Oracle8 database stores information about the structure of the database; describes how the data in the server is organized. Collection of tables and views commonly used by the Oracle8 database. Owned by the user SYS. Includes:


Dynamic Link Libraries. Microsoft Windows operating system-loadable executable files.

dynamic data dictionary

An online data dictionary is an integral part of the data source and always reflects the current definition of the data source. Data structures can be changed while the data source is being accessed. See also data dictionary.

external procedure

Function or procedure written in a third-generation language (3GL) that can be called from PL/SQL code. Only C is supported for Oracle8 external procedures.


Represents the Oracle home name if you use multiple Oracle homes. This convention is not applicable for a single Oracle home.


Represents a unique registry subkey for each Oracle home directory in which you install products. A new HOMEID is created and incremented each time you install products to a different Oracle home directory on one computer. Each HOMEID contains its own configuration parameter settings for installed Oracle products.

initialization parameter file

File that contains information to initialize the database and instance.


Combination of processes and threads that begins each time a database is started. Identified with a unique SID. A default SID, ORCx, is installed during installation of the Oracle8 database.

When you install the Oracle8 database for the first time on a machine, your SID is typically ORCL. For each subsequent Oracle8 database installation into a different Oracle home on the same computer, ORCL is automatically incremented by one (that is, for a second Oracle8 database installation, the SID is ORC1, for a third Oracle8 database installation, the SID is ORC2, etc.).

The background threads and memory areas required to access an Oracle8 database. A database system requires one instance and one database. Every Oracle8 instance has a single system global area (SGA); a multiple-user instance also requires several background threads.

instance failure

Failure that occurs when a problem arises that prevents a database instance (SGA and background processes) from continuing work. Instance failure can result from a hardware problem such as an outage, or a software problem such as an operating system crash. When an instance failure occurs, the data in the buffers of the SGA is not written to the data files.

instance identifier

A name or ID used to distinguish one instance from another when multiple instances exist on one CPU. The identifier is specified in an operating-system specific manner.

instance recovery

Recovery of an instance in the event of software or hardware failure, so that the database is again available to users. If the instance terminates abnormally, then instance recovery automatically occurs at the next instance startup.


The server process that listens for and accepts incoming connection requests from client applications. Oracle listener processes start up Oracle database processes to handle subsequent communications with the client.


A configuration file that describes one or more Transparent Network Substrate (TNS) listeners on a server.


To associate a database with a started instance, in order to perform maintenance on the database, or to open it and make a database accessible to database users.

mounted database

A database associated with an Oracle instance. The database can be opened or closed. A database must be both mounted and opened to be accessed by users. A database that has been mounted but not opened can be accessed by DBAs for some maintenance purposes.


The Oracle client/server communication software that offers transparent operation to Oracle tools or databases over any type of network protocol and operating system.

Network Computing Architecture

Network Computing Architecture is a common set of technologies that enables all PCs, network computers, and other client devices to work with all Web servers, database servers, and application servers over any network. It is a robust, scalable, and open infrastructure that serves as the basis for the next generation of distributed computing.

network listener

A listener on a server that listens for connection requests for one or more databases on one or more protocols. See listener.

network service

In an Oracle application network, a service performs tasks for its service consumers; for example, a Names Server provides name resolution services for clients.


National Language Support. Oracle support of national languages. Data can be entered, stored, and displayed in the language of the administrator's choice.

NULL value

The absence of a value.


Default Oracle home directory where Oracle Installer installs the Oracle8 database on Windows NT.


Default Oracle home directory where Oracle Installer installs Oracle products on Windows 95.


Default Oracle home directory where Oracle Installer installs Oracle products on Windows 98.

offline redo log

A redo log file that has been archived.

online redo log

Redo log files that have not been archived, but are either available to the instance for recording database activity or are filled and waiting to be archived or reused.

online redo log file

File that records all committed changes made to the database. Whenever a transaction is committed, the corresponding redo entries temporarily stored in redo log buffers of the SGA are written to an online redo log file by the background process LGWR. An online redo log file can be individual or mirrored; in the latter case, it is an online redo log group, made up of online redo log members.

Oracle Call Interface (OCI)

An optional Oracle product that allows users to embed Oracle calls directly into high-level languages. It is the program call interface to an Oracle8 database. See also call interface.

Oracle Database

The Oracle8 database is an Object Relational Database Management System (ORDBMS).

Oracle Protocol Adapter

A product that maps the functions of a given network protocol into Oracle Transparent Network Substrate (TNS) architecture. This process translates TNS function calls into requests to the underlying network protocol. This allows TNS to act as an interface among all protocols. Net8 requires protocol adapters.

Oracle service

Created and associated with an Oracle8 database. Similar to Windows NT services.


The Oracle procedural language extension of SQL. PL/SQL combines the ease and flexibility of SQL with the procedural functionality of a structured programming language, such as IF...THEN, WHILE, and LOOP. Even when PL/SQL is not stored in the database, applications can send blocks of PL/SQL to the database rather than individual SQL statements, thereby reducing network traffic.


A tool that enables a user to embed any SQL statement in a third-generation language (3GL) (host language) program. The precompiler takes this program as input and produces as output another program, in the same 3GL, in which all the embedded SQL calls are translated into host language procedure calls. This resulting program can be compiled, linked, and executed. Oracle supports precompilers for the languages C, FORTRAN, Pascal, PL/I, COBOL, and Ada.


A right to successfully execute a particular type of SQL statement. Some examples of privileges include rights to connect to the database (create a session), create a table in your schema, select rows from someone else's table, and execute someone else's stored procedure. The privileges of an Oracle8 database can be divided into two distinct categories: system privileges and object privileges.


(1) A thread of control in an operating system; that is, a mechanism in an operating system that can execute a series of steps. Some operating systems use the terms job or task. A process normally has its own private memory area in which it runs. An Oracle8 database has two general types of processes: user processes and Oracle processes. (2) A synonym for "user," a single entity performing a set of tasks in an operating system environment or a database.


A SQL SELECT statement that retrieves data, in any combination, expression, or order. Queries are read-only operations; they do not change data, they only retrieve.


A limit on a resource, such as a limit on the amount of database storage used by a database user. A DBA can set tablespace quotas for each Oracle user name.

redo log

A sequential log of all changes made to the data. The redo log is written and used in the event that a failure caused the changes to not be written to disk; it is used to re-apply the changes to disk. The redo log consists of two or more redo log files; one is optionally being saved while another is being written to by the Oracle8 database. When the file currently being written fills, the other file is re-used. See also online redo log and off-line redo log.

redo log file

A file containing records of changes to the databases. These files are used for recovery purposes. See also redo log.

remote computer

A computer on a network other than the local computer.

remote database

A database on a computer other than the local database. Usually a computer on the same network, but at a different node (that is, a database that you use through a database link).


A list of user names that can be granted privileges to use form and/or menu modules.


Named groups of related privileges that are granted to users or other roles.


The second half of the recovery procedure. After the roll forward, any changes that were not committed must be undone. After the redo log files have been applied, the rollback segments are used to identify and undo transactions that were never committed, yet were recorded in the redo log. Oracle completes this step automatically.


A collection of table definitions.

schema objects

A collection of related objects. Schema objects are the logical structures that directly refer to the database's data. Schema objects include such structures as tables, views, sequences, stored procedures, synonyms, indexes, clusters, and database links. There is no relationship between a tablespace and a schema: objects in the same schema can be in different tablespaces, and a tablespace can hold objects from different schemas.


(1) The provider of services requested by a client.


An executable process installed in the Windows NT Registry database and administered by Windows NT. Once created and started, it can run even while no user is logged on to the Oracle8 database.

service name

The name used by clients to identify a Net8 server. A service name is mapped to a port number and protocol.


A unique name for an Oracle database instance. To switch between Oracle databases, users must specify the desired SID. The SID is included in the CONNECT DATA parts of the connect descriptors in a TNSNAMES.ORA file, and in the definition of the network listener in the LISTENER.ORA file. Also known as system ID.


Information stored in rollback segments to provide transaction recovery and read consistency. Rollback segment information can be used to recreate a snapshot of a row before an update.


Structured Query Language--the internationally accepted standard for defining and manipulating relational databases.

Starter Database

The starter database is the core of Oracle8. Oracle Corporation recommends that you use the starter database and modify it to suit your needs.

static data dictionary

A data dictionary that contains data definitions that are not an integral part of the data source. Changes to data structures require the data source to be rebuilt. See also dynamic data dictionary.


An alias for a table, view, sequence, or program unit; a synonym is not actually an object itself, it is a direct reference to its base object. Synonyms are used to mask the real name and owner of an object, provide public access to an object, provide location transparency for tables, views, or program units of a remote database, and simplify the SQL statements for database users. A synonym can be public or private.


A special database administer role that contains all system privileges with the ADMIN OPTION, and the SYSOPER system privilege. SYSDBA also permits CREATE DATABASE and time-based recovery.


A special database administer role that permits a database administrator to perform STARTUP, SHUTDOWN, ALTER DATABASE OPEN/MOUNT, ALTER DATABASE BACKUP, ARCHIVE LOG, and RECOVER, and includes the RESTRICTED SESSION privilege.

system ID

A synonym for instance identifier. Often abbreviated to SID.

SYSTEM user name

One of two standard DBA user names automatically created with each database (the other is SYS). The Oracle user SYSTEM is created with the password MANAGER. The SYSTEM user name is the preferred user name for DBAs to use when performing database maintenance.


The basic unit of storage in a relational database management system. A table represents entities and relationships, and consists of one or more units of information (rows), each of which contains the same kinds of values (columns).


A logical portion of an Oracle8 database used to allocate storage for table and index data. Each tablespace corresponds to one or more physical database files. Every Oracle8 database has a tablespace called SYSTEM and may have additional tablespaces. A tablespace is used to group related logical structures together. For example, tablespaces commonly group all of an application's objects to simplify certain administrative operations.


Objects within processes that concurrently execute program instructions. This enables one process to use threads to run different parts of its program on different processors simultaneously.


A file that contains connect descriptors mapped to service names. The file may be maintained centrally or locally, for use by all or individual clients.

trace file

A file created when a problem or exceptional condition is encountered while using a software program. Also called a dump file, the file contains information useful in diagnosing or locating the problem.


A named object that can be assigned a value and whose assigned value may change over time. SQL*Plus uses substitution, system, and user variables.

variable parameters

(1) Parameters whose value can change or can be reset. (2) The INITSID.ORA parameters whose values can vary and affect the performance of a database. DBAs may wish to "tune" or experiment with the variable parameter values in order to optimize their database's performance.

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