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Oracle Database (commonly referred to as Oracle DBMS or simply as Oracle) is a multi-model
database management system In computing, a database is an organized collection of Data (computing), data stored and accessed electronically from a computer system. Where databases are more complex they are often developed using formal #Design and modeling, design and mode ...
produced and marketed by
Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational ...
. It is a database commonly used for running
online transaction processingIn Online transaction processing (OLTP), information systems typically facilitate and manage transaction-oriented applications. The term "transaction" can have two different meanings, both of which might apply: in the realm of computers or database ...
(OLTP),
data warehousing In computing, a data warehouse (DW or DWH), also known as an enterprise data warehouse (EDW), is a system used for Business reporting, reporting and data analysis and is considered a core component of business intelligence. DWs are central repos ...
(DW) and mixed (OLTP & DW) database workloads. Oracle Database is available by several service providers on-prem,
on-cloud
on-cloud
, or as hybrid cloud installation. It may be run on third party servers as well as on Oracle hardware ( Exadata on-prem, on
Oracle Cloud Oracle Cloud is a cloud computing Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally us ...
or at Cloud at Customer )


History

Larry Ellison Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American business magnate, investor who is a co-founder, the executive chairman and chief technology officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American Multinational ...
and his two friends and former co-workers,
Bob Miner Robert Nimrod Miner (December 23, 1941 – November 11, 1994) was an American businessman. He was the co-founder of Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American Multinational corporation, multinational computer Technology company, tec ...
and
Ed Oates Edward A. Oates (born 1946) is an American businessman. He co-founded Software Development Labs in August 1977 with Larry Ellison, and Bob Miner. Software Development Labs later became Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American M ...
, started a consultancy called Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. SDL developed the original version of the Oracle software. The name ''Oracle'' comes from the code-name of a
CIA The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States The federal government of the United States (U.S. ...
-funded project Ellison had worked on while formerly employed by
Ampex Ampex is an electronics company founded in 1944 by as a spin-off of Dalmo-Victor. The name AMPEX is a , created by its founder, which stands for Alexander M. Poniatoff Excellence.AbramsoThe History of television, 1942 to 2000– McFarland, ...
.


Releases and versions

Oracle products follow a custom release-numbering and -naming convention. The "c" in the current release, Oracle Database 21c, stands for "Cloud". Previous releases (e.g. Oracle Database 10g and Oracle9i Database) have used suffixes of "g" and "i" which stand for "Grid" and "Internet" respectively. Prior to the release of Oracle8i Database, no suffixes featured in Oracle Database naming conventions. Note that there was no v1 of Oracle Database, as co-founder
Larry Ellison Lawrence Joseph Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is an American business magnate, investor who is a co-founder, the executive chairman and chief technology officer (CTO) of Oracle Corporation Oracle Corporation is an American Multinational ...
"knew no one would want to buy version 1". Oracle Database release numbering has used the following codes: Th
Introduction to Oracle Database
includes a brief history on some of the key innovations introduced with each major release of Oracle Database. See My Oracle Support (MOS) note

' for the current Oracle Database releases and their patching end dates.


Patch updates and security alerts

Prior to Oracle Database 18c, Oracle Corporation released Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) and Security Patch Updates (SPUs) and Security Alerts to close security vulnerabilities. These releases are issued quarterly; some of these releases have updates issued prior to the next quarterly release. Starting with Oracle Database 18c, Oracle Corporation releases Release Updates (RUs) and Release Update Revisions (RURs). RUs usually contain security, regression (bug), optimizer, and functional fixes which may include feature extensions as well. RURs include all fixes from their corresponding RU but only add new security and regression fixes. However, no new optimizer or functional fixes are included.


Market position

A 2016
Gartner Gartner, Inc, officially known as Gartner, is a Stamford, Connecticut Stamford () is a city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It is the second-most populous city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Fairfield County and Connecticut (behind B ...

Gartner
report claimed to show Oracle holding #1 RDBMS market share worldwide based on the revenue share ahead of its four closest competitors –
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multination ...

Microsoft
,
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
,
SAP SAP SE () is a German multinational software corporation based in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ) is a States of Germany, state (''Land'') in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the southern part of Ge ...
and
Teradata Teradata Corporation is a provider of database A database is an organized collection of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" ...
.


Competition

In the market for relational databases, Oracle Database competes against commercial products such as IBM's
DB2 Db2 is a family of data management products, including database servers, developed by IBM. They initially supported the relational model, but were extended to support object–relational features and non-relational structures like JSON and X ...
UDB and
Microsoft SQL Server Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system A relational database is a digital database based on the relational model of data, as proposed by E. F. Codd in 1970. A software system used to maintain relational databases is a ...
. Oracle and IBM tend to battle for the mid-range database market on Unix and Linux platforms, while Microsoft dominates the mid-range database market on
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor