Oracle FAQ Your Portal to the Oracle Knowledge Grid

Home -> Community -> Mailing Lists -> Oracle-L -> Re: what is oracle rdb?

Re: what is oracle rdb?

From: Jonathan Gennick <>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 16:59:25 -0800
Message-ID: <>

Monday, November 24, 2003, 3:49:26 PM, ( wrote: rcn> I see it referred to on metalink alot. I know its seperate from the rdbms.

Rdb was the database I cut my teeth on. So easy to use. As I recall, you could create a database with just the following:

CREATE DATABASE; Everything, including the database name, would default. It was great, especially for learning on.

Digital's online help was unsurpassed too. I learned a lot from that, and from their Rdb manual set. All Rdb's commands worked consistently and logically, and everything was so orthogonal. Heck, if you wanted to see what a table looked like, you just issued commands such as:

SHOW TABLE SHOW TABLE /CONSTRAINTS (to see constraints too)


I recall beginning my database education by tying HELP RDB at the operating system, and then progressing from there. Typing HELP from within RDB's interactive-SQL utility was sheer joy.

One of the first things I did when I made the move to Oracle was to fire up SQL*Plus and issue the SHOW TABLE command to see the structure of a table I was trying to insert into. I was baffled that there was no such command. HELP SHOW didn't help much either, because I discovered that SHOW seemed to show a whole bunch of things I didn't care about and nothing that I did care about. I was even more astounded when I discovered DISPLAY, which didn't, and still doesn't, even begin to give you the information you needed in order to be able to get work done with a table. It took me over a day, as I recall, before I managed to find someone who could show me how to look at constraints on a table. I'd heard all these great and wonderful things about Oracle, that it was *the* database to learn. Well, from a career standpoint that's probably true, Oracle was the database to learn, but certainly not from a usability standpoint.

Best regards,

Jonathan Gennick --- Brighten the corner where you are * 906.387.1698 *

Join the Oracle-article list and receive one article on Oracle technologies per month by email. To join, visit, or send email to and include the word "subscribe" in either the subject or body.


Please see the official ORACLE-L FAQ:

Author: Jonathan Gennick

Fat City Network Services    -- 858-538-5051
San Diego, California        -- Mailing list and web hosting services
To REMOVE yourself from this mailing list, send an E-Mail message to: (note EXACT spelling of 'ListGuru') and in the message BODY, include a line containing: UNSUB ORACLE-L (or the name of mailing list you want to be removed from). You may also send the HELP command for other information (like subscribing). Received on Mon Nov 24 2003 - 18:59:25 CST

Original text of this message