Getting to Know Oracle8i
Release 8.1.5






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application context

A secure data cache for storing information used by fine-grained access control to make access control decisions. Used in conjunction with fine-grained access control.

autonomous transactions

Transactions within an autonomous PL/SQL block, which is a block that has a transaction scope independent of the transaction scope of the calling PL/SQL block. Autonomous transactions are not nested transactions, since they do not share resources with the calling transaction and committed changes are immediately visible to other transactions regardless of whether the calling PL/SQL block commits or rolls back.

cache fusion

A new "diskless" ping architecture, used in the Oracle Parallel Server, that provides copies of blocks directly from the holding instance's memory cache to the requesting instance's memory cache.

composite partitioning

Partitions data using the range method and, within each partition, subpartitions it using the hash method (see hash partitioning). It provides the manageability and availability benefits of range partitioning with the data distribution advantages of hash partitioning.


One of the Oracle8i operators that can be used in a GROUP BY clause for dimensional analysis. Similar to the ROLLUP operator (see ROLLUP), but also includes cross-tabulations--i.e., it uses every possible combination of the columns or expressions in the GROUP BY clause to produce super-aggregate rows.

data sampling

A process used by the ANALYZE command or the DBMS_STATS package to estimate statistics for a database object (table, index, or cluster). It involves analyzing a specified (or default) percent (or number) of random rows or blocks to estimate statistics.

Database Configuration Assistant

A Java-based utility that enables the creation, modification, or deletion of an Oracle database. It can be invoked as a standalone Java application from the Oracle Universal Installer or as an applet from the Java-based Oracle Enterprise Manager.


Used in structuring materialized views (see materialized view), a dimension defines hierarchical (parent/child) relationships between pairs of columns or column sets. A hierarchical relationship is a functional dependency from one level of a hierarchy to a more abstract level in the hierarchy. Each value at the child level is associated with one and only one parent-level value.

DISABLE VALIDATE constraint state

A database state that saves space by requiring no index on a unique or primary key, and guarantees the validity of existing data in the table. This state also enables efficient loading of data from a non-partitioned table into a partitioned table.

domain index

A user-defined index for a complex datatype. The application software is responsible for defining the index structure, maintaining the index content during load and update operations, and searching the index during query processing. The index structure itself can be stored either in the Oracle database as tables or externally as files.

enterprise roles

Stored in the Oracle Internet Directory, they enable centralized authorization of users by defining a users privileges in the enterprise. If a user changes jobs, his enterprise role assignment can be changed, altering his privileges in multiple databases throughout the enterprise. Also, an administrator can add capabilities to enterprise roles (granted to multiple users) without having to update the authorizations of each user independently.

event triggers

Refers to triggers that can now be specified on database and schema events. These are:


Capability of being extended. For example, the Oracle8i extensibility framework allows partners to easily provide their own implementations of RDBMS services and register them with the server.

Fast-Start Fault Recovery

A cluster of features that provide high availability by enabling the database to recover quickly from instance failures. Fast-Start Parallel Rollback rolls back transactions in parallel. Fast-Start On-Demand Rollback recovers individual blocks in large transactions that require user access. Fast-Start Checkpointing allows users to set an upper limit for the number of blocks requiring recovery. Replaces incremental checkpoint feature of Oracle8.

fine-grained access control

A feature that supports user-defined security policy for row-level access control. Rather than embedding security rules in views, the server dynamically appends a WHERE condition to a query that allows security rules to be acquired when a table or view is referenced in a DML statement. This enforces security 100%, across all applications, since it is in the database that the security is enforced.

function-based index

The value of a function or expression is precomputed and stored in the index. Performance is dramatically improved when a computationally intensive expression is used to build the index. When an application uses such an expression in its where clause, much faster access is provided to the data. This greatly enhances the use of parallel I/O.

hash partitioning

Partitions data according to a hash function. Hash partitioning provides a very simple way to break data into evenly sized containers to be spread across multiple I/O devices, or even multiple machines in a shared-nothing cluster. This greatly enhances the use of parallel I/O.


Oracle8i interMedia. This is Oracle's offering for managing multimedia data in an integrated fashion with other enterprise data. It is specifically aimed to support the data requirements of the Internet. See multimedia data.

Internet Computing

Using the infrastructure of the Internet to bring business applications to the enterprise. These applications are deployed on scalable, professionally managed servers, and are accessible across the organization in a low cost computing environment. Internet computing makes use of such components as browsers, Web servers, and internet standards such as SSL and LDAP.

Internet File System (iFS)

A Java application that runs within Oracle8i and provides universal access to any data in the database. The iFS appears as if it were just another volume on the network. Relational data can appear as files; so too can hybrid documents that combine relational and non-relational data. Whether the user accesses the contents of iFS through Windows Explorer, a Web browser, an FTP client, or an e-mail client, the files appear the same.

Java VM

A complete, JDK 1.1-compliant Java execution environment. The Java VM runs in the same process space and address space as the database kernel, sharing its memory heaps and directly accessing its relational data. This design optimizes memory use, increases throughput, and delivers an open, highly available, secure, and manageable Java server.


A utility that translates user-defined types to Java wrapper classes. It is similar to the Object Type Translator (OTT) utility used in C/C++ environments.


Oracle's Java Virtual Machine (Java VM). It includes Java stored procedures, methods, and triggers. It also provides EJB, CORBA, and HTTP support.

JServer Accelerator

A native code compiler that speeds up the execution of Java code by eliminating interpreter overhead. It translates standard Java binaries into C programs that are processed by a platform-dependent C compiler into native libraries that the Oracle Java VM can load dynamically.

linguistic-sorted index

An NLS-supported, function-based index that uses a linguistic sort order for optimized performance. For example, you can create an NLS index on a table that returns an extended Spanish collation order.

locally managed tablespaces

A mechanism that manages space within a tablespace by using bitmaps to track all extent information in the tablespace itself. This optimizes space usage and consumption in the tablespace, minimizing fragmentation so that data does not need to be re-organized. Bitmaps require no dictionary access to allocate or update extents for the tablespace.

logical ROWID

Primary-key-based logical identifiers that expand ROWID functionality to index-organized tables (IOTS), whose rows do not have permanent physical addresses. Oracle uses these logical ROWIDs for the construction of secondary indexes on index-organized tables.


A utility that allows you to analyze online or archived redo logs according to user-specified criteria. For example, you can track changes to the database made by a specified user.

materialized view

A stored summary or snapshot (remote materialized view used for replication) containing precomputed results. A CREATE MATERIALIZED VIEW statement containing a subquery, typically a join or a data aggregation, is used to create the materialized view. This provides much faster access to summary data. Local materialized views can be used for query rewrite.

multimedia data

Includes text, audio data, video data, images, and graphic objects. Oracle8i interMedia enables Oracle8i to manage this data in an integrated fashion with other enterprise data.

Oracle Advanced Security

A renaming and expansion of the Oracle Advanced Networking Option.

Oracle Internet Directory (OiD)

An LDAPv3-compliant, hierarchical data repository for storing enterprise user information, including enterprise roles and Oracle Wallets. It combines a native implementation of the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) LDAP v3 standard with an Oracle8i back-end datastore.

Oracle Universal Installer

A Java-based installation utility that has the same interface across all platforms. Oracle Universal Installer interprets the staging area prepared by Oracle Software Packager and performs the appropriate installation actions.

Oracle wallet

An encrypted data structure that contains a user's credentials: a private key, a user certificate, and a list of trustpoints (certificate authorities that the user trusts). Users can store wallets in a directory and thus access their credentials from anywhere in the organization.

plan stability

A method for stabilizing execution plans used by the optimizer that is independent of changes to the system configuration, parameters, statistics, or even the optimizer itself. You can use initialization parameters or SQL statements to create stored outlines containing a set of attributes used by the optimizer. Useful for optimizing applications for multiple environments.

query rewrite

With the Oracle8i summary management feature, this is an automatic rewrite of a query by the Oracle database server to use the summary data, rather than retrieving data from detail tables by doing expensive joins and aggregate operations. This rewrite facility is totally transparent to the application, which is not aware of the existence of the materialized view.

read-only standby database

A standby database that is opened in read-only mode, making it available for queries. You can move a standby database from recovery mode to read-only mode and back again.


One of the Oracle8i operators that can be used in a GROUP BY clause for dimensional analysis. A commonly performed operation in a data warehousing environment, and in producing materialized views, is to show totals at a coarse granularity and then to show subtotals at successively finer levels. ROLLUP produces these results.

rule-based publish/subscribe

An Advanced Queuing model in which the sending applications anonymously publish messages and the receiving applications independently and autonomously subscribe to these messages (using SQL-based rules). This feature allows messages to be filtered by content.

secondary index

An index on an index-organized table that enables performing operations based on a column that isn't part of the primary key. Oracle constructs secondary indexes on index-organized tables using logical row identifiers (logical ROWIDs) that are based on the table's primary key.

security policy

Defines who is allowed access and to which data. Various means are available within Oracle8i for enforcing security policies including, but not limited to, privileges, roles, the virtual private database feature, and network authentication and authorization.

snapshot refresh group templates

A feature that allows a single refresh group to contain up to 400 snapshots (or remote materialized views) and also reduces the number of round trips required to refresh snapshots in a group.


Oracle's precompiler for Java source code. It enables a user to embed SQL statements in the Java source. The precompiler takes the source code and produces as output new Java source code, where all of the SQL statements are translated into Java class definitions that implement these statements.

summary advisor

A DBMS_OLAP package to help users design and evaluate materialized views for query rewrites.

temporary LOBs

LOBs (Large object datatypes) that do not exist permanently in the database, but exist mainly for the purpose of performing transformations on LOB data. Many applications have a need for temporary LOBs, which act like local variables.

temporary tables

A table with session-specific or transaction-specific data that is empty when a session or transaction begins and discarded when it ends. Temporary tables are useful for saving intermediate results that can be joined back into another table.

transportable tablespaces

A feature that allows a user to move a subset of an Oracle database into another Oracle database. It is also possible to clone a tablespace in one database and plug it into another, thereby copying the tablespace between databases.

user-defined operator

A SQL operator whose definition and implementation is provided by the user. Part of the extensibility architecture, the Oracle database server allows these user-defined operators to be used in SQL statements in the same manner as any of the predefined operators provided by Oracle.

vertical partitioning

Selecting only the relevant columns for replication to a remote site. In addition to minimizing the amount of data sent to a site, it provides protection from changes at the master site. When adding a column to a master table (or dropping a column not in use by a dependent snapshot), the snapshot can continue to perform fast refreshes, without being affected by the DDL change.

virtual private database

A feature consisting of the fine-grained access control and application context.


An HTML-based development tool for building HTML Web pages with content based on data stored in the Oracle database. It also provides an ease of use GUI interface to Oracle data, so a user is not required to know SQL to access their data.


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