What is Oracle? - An Introduction for beginners When you discuss Oracle, you have to consider this from two aspects. There is Oracle the company and Oracle Technology. We will first look at Oracle the company. Oracle the company have come a long way since their appearance as Oracle the database company, and appearing with the Oracle name in 1982, as Oracle Systems. The company was originally founded by Larry Ellison but under the name of Software Development Laboratories, in 1977. Based upon its flagship relational database, the company changed its name to Relational Software Inc, in 1979. They developed a database which was relational in nature, and named this Oracle. The company then took the name of the product as the company name, and hence it has been called Oracle ever since. Larry Ellison is still the CEO of the Oracle Corporation. In 2007, Oracle was ranked third in the world in the list of largest software companies. In the beginning Oracle specialised in their relational database product. This product allows you to view data from a central perspective. The origins of the idea were based on a paper written by Edgar F. Codd in 1970 on relational database systems named "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks". Now Oracle provides not only database systems, but a whole suite of applications. They are no longer database only specialists. They provide services to companies all over the world. Now we come to Oracle the technology. Well, as mentioned Oracle are mostly known for their database products, which allow data to be controlled and viewed from several perspectives while removing redundant data and duplication in a database. The database product provided by Oracle is the world leader. It is provided as a back-end information centre to a great number of websites owned by large corporations. It has its own language, PL/SQL. It provides XML support and has supporting tools for developers, such as Forms, Reports, and recently has become the global leader in CRM technologies, having taken over Siebel Systems in 2006. Oracle technology includes Application Server, which serves all the various applications available in the Oracle suite of products. This has high availability built into its server functionality so that the applications are reliable in their operation. Oracle have continued to improve their technology and release new versions of their database product on average every two years or so. The latest releases include automatic back-end optimisation and database cleansing in the background. This means that it basically tidies up after itself when data is removed and added to the database, without DBA intervention. The latest versions also include additional features for internet based technologies. The advantage of Oracle based technologies are that they are secure, reliable and conform to government requirements, and is hence the reason Oracle is used in a great number of government departments. Oracle databases can handle millions of records. In summary, Oracle is, as their marketing campaign goes - the information company virtually attempting to take over all the information requirements of modern enterprises with database technology at it's heart of operations.