A new energy is rising within CNS. Over the past year, many members of our administrative computing team have been developing Oracle applications. It is a new challenge to both CNS and our clients. We journey up the learning curve together and over the trial-and-error hurdles. Each day offers a new opportunity to understand another concept or process.
Some faculties and departments are already using Oracle applications in their day-to-day operations. As time goes by, more and more information users will be working with an application based on Oracle database technology. If you get the opportunity to be a member of an application development team, you will become familiar with the workings of Oracle and relational databases. Other users may have to learn about this popular database management system through their own experience. This article is for our readers who, as of yet, have no access to Oracle databases but have a yearning for learning what they're all about.
What is a Database?
A database management system, or DBMS, gives the user access to their data and helps them transform the data into information. Such database management systems include dBase, Paradox, IMS, and Oracle. These systems allow users to create, update, and extract information from their databases. Compared to a manual filing system, the biggest advantages to a computerized database system are speed, accuracy, and accessibility.
A database is a structured collection of data. Data refers to the characteristics of people, things, and events. Oracle stores each data item in its own field. For example, a person's first name, date of birth, and their postal code are each stored in separate fields. The name of a field usually reflects...
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Not only does Oracle allow you to link multiple tables, it also maintains consistency between them. It can prevent you from deleting a department which still has employees in it. Or if you change an employee's ID number, then all records of their work hours will also reflect that change. Ensuring that the data among related tables is correctly matched is referred to as maintaining referential integrity. This also applies to the previous example where a user enters an invalid department number for an employee. Oracle won't accept a department number that isn't in the DEPARTMENT table.
Oracle's relational databases represent a new and exciting database technology and philosophy on campus. As the Oracle development projects continue to impact on University applications, more and more users will realize the power and capabilities of relational database technology.
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