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Oracle Performance Tuning and Optimization

by Edward Whalen
Sams, Macmillan Computer Publishing
Database management software and the manipulation of data has evolved to where it touches every aspect of our lives. A day doesn’t go by in which we don’t access a database. Whether we are withdrawing money from an ATM machine, opening a checking account, or purchasing groceries, every aspect of our lives is affected by databases. Hand in hand with the new power of information comes the frustration of having to wait for data to be retrieved. I’m sure there isn’t a person today who hasn’t had to wait for a credit card to be approved. Although the speed of computers has been increasing every year, so has the amount of data being manipulated. Amounts of data that several years ago were unheard of are now a daily part of many companies. In years past, databases were used strictly in the realm of big business because large mainframes cost millions of dollars; today, gigabytes of data are being manipulated on the same types of computer you may have in your own home.
No matter how fast new generations of computers get, applications will always be written to take advantage of them. As the cost of storage continues to drop, the amount of data stored will continue to increase. A perfect example of this is the CD-ROM. The advent of the CD-ROM allowed large amounts of data to be inexpensively stored; predictably, many new applications have arisen to take advantage of that technology. These applications are now augmenting written text with video and audio clips. The same type of information revolution is also happening in the database industry.
Oracle already has the capability to store video, documents, and large binary objects in the database and allow quick access to this data. Oracle databases can store hundreds of gigabytes of data and can easily retrieve it; Oracle has the potential of storing terabytes of data in a single database in the near future.

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