|Oracle Master Glossary||
packages A method of encapsulating and storing related procedures, functions, and other package constructs together as a unit in the database. While packages provide the database administrator or application developer organizational benefits, they also offer increased functionality and database performance.
packet Information, including data and control elements, that is switched and transmitted as a whole unit of information. The data and control elements (and any error control information) are arranged in a specified format.
page (1) In SQL*Forms, an application can consist of one or more pages. Just as in the paper equivalent, you are able to move back and forth between the various pages on a form. A page should not be confused with a screen, which is simply a terminal display area and is not directly related to a page. A page may be greater in size than a screen, and a screen may display multiple pages at one time. (2) A sheet of printed data in a report. (3) A unit of disk storage; same as block.
page break (Layout objects) Controls whether to move onto the next logical page. You can set page breaks to occur either before or after an object appears in the report output.
page height (Report Global Properties) The height of the physical page in lines.
page width (Report Global Properties) The width of the physical page in characters.
painter Work area in which you define the layout of the report data model, output, and Runtime Parameter Form.
painting region The area of a painter in which you can create, modify, position, or delete objects while viewing their graphical representations of the screen.
palette (1) A window consisting of a collection of small symbols, each of which represents an operation or state. (2) An interface element that displays all of the tools, colors, and patterns available in a painter or editor.
pane A division you can create in the Results Window that enables you to see and independently scroll separate parts of the query data. Each part is called a pane. See also split bar.
panel (1) A screen that is dedicated to a particular set of tasks. (2) The number of physical pages needed to print one logical page. (3) A portion of the Oracle Data Browser Query Window that you use for a specific set of tasks. There are two panels in the Query Window: the Datasource Panel, used for bringing datasources into a query, and the Conditions Panel, used for adding conditions to a query.
parallel mode An ORACLE instance running in parallel mode can share access to the database with other instances in the same ORACLE Parallel Server.
Parallel Server Some hardware architectures (e.g., loosely coupled processors) allow multiple computers to share access to data, software, or peripheral devices. With systems that have the parallel server option, ORACLE can take advantage of such hardware platforms by running multiple database instances that share a single physical database. In appropriate applications, the ORACLE Parallel Server allows access to a single database by the users on multiple machines with increased database performance.
parameter (1) Object of a command. A parameter can be a file specification, a symbol value passed to a command procedure, or a word defined by the operating system. (2) In SQL*Plus, a substitution variable consisting of an ampersand followed by a numeral (&1, &2, etc.). See also argument. (3) A global variable that you can change at runtime. See also bind reference, lexical reference.
parameter entity This type of entity is used only within a DTD or SGML markup declaration. Parameter entities are referenced using the `%' character.
parameter file File that contains information to initialize the database and instance.
Parameter Form menu The menu from which you can access all objects that define the appearance and definition of the Runtime Parameter Form.
parameter list A named list of parameters. A parameter list defines all the parameters and their associated values that are to be passed to another product at runtime.
parent An object that is immediately above another object in its group tree. A group object is the parent to each of the objects that compose it. Every object is the parent of its children.
parent (GUI Definition) Views within a window are related hierarchically, with a view's position within the hierarchy expressed relative to its parent. The parent may be a drawn view, scroll bar alley, or client-defined view. The parent is passed to the view creation function as an argument whenever one of its children is created.
parent group (Query Definition) A group that owns a query or another group.
parent key The unique key or primary key of the same or different table that is referenced by a foreign key. Individual values in a key are called key values.
parent query The outermost query (the one that displays a result) in a query containing a subquery. See also nesting.
parent-child relationship Way in which to define the relationship of a "primary key to foreign key" connection between two different tables.
parse A phase of SQL statement execution in which a SQL statement is examined and validated to make sure it is properly formed (it meets syntax rules) and that all necessary information is accessible, so ORACLE Server can execute it. A parse error can occur because of incorrect syntax or naming of non-existent database objects.
parse lock A shared dictionary lock, acquired on behalf of a user who is referencing one or more tables in a SQL statement. Contrast to DDL lock.
partial backup An operating system backup of a database that is something less than a full backup. The backup of an individual tablespace's data files or the backup of a control file are examples of partial backups. Partial backups are useful only when the database's redo log is operated in ARCHIVELOG mode. A variety of partial backups can be taken to accommodate any backup strategy.
partition (1) A logical division of an ORACLE database. Partitions are treated the same across operating systems. (2) A contiguous range of blocks on a physical disk. (3) The striped file system used by ORACLE on the nCUBE 2 supercomputer is based on logical volumes that consist of one or more physical partitions, usually on separate disks.
Pass list List of all allowable terms in the index. See also Go list.
password (1) A secondary identification word (or string of alphanumeric characters) associated with a username. A password is used for data security and known only to its owner. Passwords are entered in conjunction with an operating system login ID, ORACLE username, or account name in order to connect to an operating system or software application (such as the ORACLE database). Whereas the username or ID is public, the secret password ensures that only the owner of the username can use that name, or access that data.
paste To place the contents of the paste buffer (cut or copied SQL*ReportWriter, Oracle Project Manager, CASE*Designer, or Oracle Graphics objects) at the current cursor location.
path (1) A series of points connected by arcs and lines. (2) A series of nodes traversed by a TNS connection, to send data from one end of a connection to the other. A path is made up of hops, which are addresses of the next points on the path.
path correction The process by which a Navigator determines that a particular connection is taking a less than optimal path, and so redirects the connection so that it follows the best path.
path status table List of all servers, active users, and IUCV control paths maintained by the Master Control machine.
pattern (1) A description of a text item's value, which may be used in search criteria to match more than one value. (2) A graphic property you can apply to the edge or fill of most objects.
PC*I Personal Computer Integration, Data General's NetBIO Simplementation for PC-MV connectivity
PCC (Precompiler, Common) See precompiler.
PCDATA The "parsed character data" declared content character type. This type indicates that all SGML characters are processed as such. Since this character type is a reserved word, it must be preceded by the # character when used in an element declaration.
PCM lock A distributed lock that covers one or more database blocks. (PCM is an acronym for parallel cache management.) ORACLE on the nCUBE 2 supercomputer has two types of PCM lock mechanisms: hashed locks and individual locks.
PCTFREE A table creation parameter that sets the ratio of space in each data block to be reserved for updates to rows stored in that data block.
PCTINCREASE A table creation parameter that sets the percent by which a subsequent extent of blocks is larger (in number of blocks) than the previous extent of blocks.
PCTUSED A table creation parameter that sets the percent of space in a data block that ORACLE will attempt to keep filled with row data.
peer-to-peer communication See process-to-process communication.
performance indicator See key performance indicator.
permanent fragment A portion of a bit string representing a group of documents. During indexing, temporary fragments are created. Subsequently, the temporary fragments for a particular entry in the word list can be reorganized to create the full bit string for that entry, and then stored in the bit location table. If the temporary fragments are not reorganized, they are stored on the database as permanent fragments.
Phase In CASE*Method, a part of the business that is being taken through the stages of analysis to production.
Phonetic searching A soundex facility.
physical block A standard storage allocation on a disk. The native block size varies across operating systems. The logical ORACLE block size may differ from the native operating system block size. See also block.
physical database structure Determined by the operating system files that constitute the database. Each ORACLE database is comprised of three types of files: one or more data files, two or more redo log files, and one or more control files. The files of a database provide the actual physical storage for database information.
physical page The size of a page output by your printer.
PID Process Identifier.
pixmap An area of memory that defines a physical bit image in terms of a coordinate plane. A pixmap has a height, width, vertical and horizontal resolution, and color support data.
PL/SQL The Oracle procedural language extension of SQL. PL/SQL combines the ease and flexibility of SQL with the procedural functionality of a structured programming language, such as IF ...THEN, WHILE, and LOOP. Even when PL/SQL is not stored in the database, applications can send blocks of PL/SQL to the database rather than individual SQL statements, thereby reducing network traffic.
placeholder A variable, preceded by a colon, that an operator enters into a text item as part of the search criteria. When a placeholder is used in any text item, SQL*Forms prompts for a logical expression, using a Query Where dialog. The placeholder may then be used to represent the value of the text item in which it was entered.
plot type The type of element used to plot a field on a chart, such as bar, line, or symbol.
PMON (Process Monitor) See Process Monitor.
point To move the mouse so that the pointer rests on the desired location in a window.
pointer The image displayed on the screen that corresponds to the position of the mouse. In most Oracle Data Browser operations, the pointer takes the form of an arrow; in the Conditions Panel and certain dialog boxes, the mouse pointer takes the form of a crossbar.
pointer file A set of bit strings that indicate the documents which contain each indexed word. See also location list.
pop-up list A list that provides no visual cue to its existence, but simply pops up when the user performs a particular action.
port (1) One point of access to a CPU. (2) In TCP/IP, an address associated with a specific application. See also socket. (3) An operating system that supports ORACLE Server. While much information regarding Oracle products is the same for all ports, some information necessarily varies depending on the operating system; this information is usually called port-specific or operating-system dependent.
port parameters The set of parameters that defines the communications information for the local port.
portability The concept of being able to work under different operating systems in the same way. Applications developed for ORACLE can be ported to any operating system with little or no modification.
Portable NetWare Software that runs on non-386-based machines and allows NetWare clients (DOS and OS/2) to access files on that machine.
post-block trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator leaves the block.
post-change trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator changes a value in a field.
post-delete trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed after any row is deleted from a table.
post-field trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator leaves a field.
post-form trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator exits a form.
post-insert trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed after each row is inserted into a table.
post-query trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed whenever a record is retrieved into the workspace during a query.
post-record trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator leaves a record displayed in a block.
post-update trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed after each row is updated in a table.
posting Individual entry in the pointer file representing the occurrence of one entry of a word in the original text.
pre-block trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed when an operator enters a block.
pre-delete trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed before a row is deleted from a table.
pre-record trigger In SQL*Forms, a block-level trigger that is performed as an operator enters a record.
pre-update trigger In SQL*Forms, a trigger that is performed before each row is updated in a table.
precedence The rules that define the order in which ORACLE performs operations in an expression, if no parentheses are used to set precedence. For example, because multiplication has a higher precedence than addition, in the expression 2+3*4, first 3 is multiplied by 4, and then 2 is added to the result, resulting in 14. If addition had a higher precedence it would be done first, and the result would be 20.
precision (1) The number of digits that are saved and considered significant by ORACLE Server. Users may set a precision up to 40 when defining columns with datatype NUMBER. (2) The measure of a text retrieval system's ability to deliver only the relevant documents to a user query. Precision is calculated as the ratio of relevant documents retrieved to the total number of documents retrieved.
precompiler A tool that allows a user to embed any SQL statement in a 3GL (host language) program. The precompiler takes this program as input and produces as output another program, in the same 3GL, in which all the embedded SQL calls are translated into host language procedure calls. This resulting program can be compiled, linked, and executed. Oracle supports precompilers for the languages C, FORTRAN, Pascal, PL/I, COBOL, and Ada.
predicate A portion of a SQL statement, typically the WHERE clause, which imposes a set of criteria on the data to be returned by a query. See also expression.
primary access controlled element An element in CASE*Dictionary that is directly owned by an application system; for example, entity, table, module. Such elements may only be inserted, updated or deleted in the context of a version of the owning application system or by another application system that has been granted the access rights to manipulate them. See also secondary access controlled element.
primary index An index used to improve performance on the combination of columns most frequently used to access rows in a table.
primary key (1) In a database table, a set of columns used to enforce uniqueness of rows. The combination of column values is unique for each row in the table. The primary key is the most frequently-used means of accessing rows. (2) In SQL*Forms, a group of one or more text items in a block. If the application enforces uniqueness on the primary key, and if two rows in the associated table have the same value in every primary key text item, no commit operation can result.
print condition (Layout objects) Defines when a SQL*ReportWriter object is printed in relation to other SQL*ReportWriter objects.
print direction (Repeating Frame Properties) The direction in which each record of the repeating frame prints relative to the prior record. The valid options are Across, Across/Down, Down, and Down/Across.
print titles An option in the Oracle Data Browser Format... dialog box that enables you to change the names of the column headings for the results window.
printer code A reference in your report definition to a printer control code. Printer codes enable you to highlight text and fields using any print capabilities of the printer.
printer control code In a printer definition file, an escape sequence to which you assign a printer code that can be referenced in a report.
priority See business priority.
private database link A DBlink created by one user for exclusive use. See also database link.
private rollback segment A rollback segment whose name has been specified in the INIT.ORA file for a particular instance, and is thus reserved for use by that instance. Contrast with public rollback segment.
private synonym A synonym defined by an ORACLE user for a database object, so that user can more conveniently refer to that object; contrast with public synonym.
privilege A right to successfully execute a particular type of SQL statement. Some examples of privileges include rights to connect to the database (create a session), to create a table in your schema, to select rows from someone else's table, and to execute someone else's stored procedure. The privileges of an ORACLE database can be divided into two distinct categories: system privileges and object privileges.
privilege auditing The auditing of the use of powerful system privileges without regard to specifically named objects. Privilege auditing can be broad and audit all user or focused to audit only selected users.
PRN The file extension used to denote an ASCII comma-delimited file. See also ASCII and comma-delimited.
Pro*Ada An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of Ada programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in Ada programs to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*C An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of C programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in C programs to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*COBOL An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of COBOL programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in COBOL programs to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*FORTRAN An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of FORTRAN programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in their FORTRAN programs, to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*Pascal An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of Pascal programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in Pascal programs to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*PL/I An Oracle precompiler product that allows developers of PL/I programs to embed standard database calls to an ORACLE database in PL/I programs to manipulate ORACLE data.
Pro*REXX A new product for the ORACLE for VM environment. Pro*REXX provides an interface between the IBM Restructured Extended Executor (REXX) language (also known as the System Product Interpreter) and ORACLE Server Pro*REXX is a programming tool that allows you to embed SQL statements in REXX programs. Pro*REXX receives requests from the program, translates them into ORACLE calls either before or during runtime, and passes them to ORACLE.
procedure A set of SQL and PL/SQL statements grouped together as an executable unit to perform a very specific task. Procedures and functions are nearly identical; the only difference between the two is that functions always return a single value to the caller, while procedures do not return a value to the caller.
procedural gateway A gateway that is accessed using Oracle PL/SQL. See also mapped routine, Oracle-developed gateway, Procedural Gateway Developer's Kit, target system, transparent gateway.
Procedural Gateway Builder A utility, supplied with the Procedural Gateway Developer's Kit, that uses a GDDL source to generate wrapper code.
Procedural Gateway Developer's Kit An Oracle Open Gateway Technology product with which you can build procedural gateways. See also Transparent Gateway Developer's Kit.
process (1) A thread of control in an operating system; that is, a mechanism in an operating system that can execute a series of steps. Some operating systems use the terms job or task. A process normally has its own private memory area in which it runs. An ORACLE database system has two general types of processes: user processes and ORACLE processes. (2) A series of predefined operations that SQL*Forms performs in order to accomplish specific validation or navigation tasks. (3) A definition of how one or more business functions are to be carried out by a system. A business function is what a business need to do; a process is what a system needs to do; a mechanism is how the system does it. In other methodologies the term "process" has the same meaning as business function or elementary business function when used in a business context. See also business function and elementary business function. (4) Essentially a synonym for "user," a single entity performing a set of tasks in an operating system environment or in a database. See background process. SQL*Net provides code that creates "proxy" or "shadow" processes to mimic the user processes on a distributed processing system. See also shadow process.
process failure A failure in a user process accessing ORACLE, such as an abnormal disconnection or process termination. The failed user process cannot continue work, although ORACLE and other user processes can. ORACLE background process PMON automatically detects the aborted user process (or is informed of it by SQL*Net) and resolves the problem by rolling back the uncommitted transaction of the user process (if one was in progress) and releasing any resources that this process was using.
Process Monitor (PMON) One of five background tasks used by an ORACLE instance. Process Monitor performs recovery when a process accessing a database terminates abnormally.
process recovery Recovery performed on a process accessing an ORACLE database, by the background process PMON (Process Monitor). Process recovery includes releasing database resources held by the process when it terminated abnormally.
process-to-process communication Communication between two tasks, or processes, in which they coordinate to guarantee reliable data transmission. Same as task-to-task or peer-to-peer communication.
process-to-process protocol A communications protocol that provides services for programs on one machine to initiate processes on another machine, thus establishing a dialogue.
processing node (array node) An nCUBE 2 node (CPU and associated memory) connected to other processing nodes in a hypercube topology.
Product Change Request (PCR) Technical request to fix a bug or enhance functionality in an Oracle product. PCRs are worked on by Oracle Development. A Technical Assistance Request (TAR) problem may become a PCR if the difficulty is identified as a bug. TAR requests for enhancements may be entered as PCRs after evaluation. See Technical Assistance Request.
product order (Column Definition) The order in which groups are evaluated in the cross product when computing summaries.
profile A file or set of information that is called or used at a particular time. For example, all of the settings for various functions may be specified in a system profile, including the number of concurrent sessions the user can establish, the CPU processing time, the amount of logical I/O, the allowed amount of idle time for the user's session, and the allowed amount of connect time for the user's session. Different profiles can be created and assigned individually to each user of the database. A default profile is present for all users not explicitly assigned a profile. The resource limit feature prevents excessive consumption of global database system resources.
program A set of computer instructions that can enter, change or query database items, and provide many useful computer functions.
program global area (PGA) A memory buffer that contains data and control information for a server process. A PGA is created by ORACLE when a server process is started. The information in a PGA depends on the configuration of ORACLE. Contrast with system global area.
program interface The mechanism by which a user process communicates with a server process. It serves as a method of standard communication between any client tool or application (such as SQL*Forms) and ORACLE software. Its functions are to act as a communications mechanism, and perform conversions and translations of data.
program unit A legal PL/SQL library. Anonymous blocks, subprograms, and packages are all program units.
programmatic interface A procedural interface to the database that provides access to ORACLE Server for user application programs. Examples are Pro*C and Pro*FORTRAN. The program interface is divided into two halves: the UPI and the OCI.
prompt (1) A message from a computer program that instructs you to enter data or take some other action. (2) Word(s) used by the system as a cue to assist a user's response. Such messages generally ask the user to respond by typing some information in the adjacent field. See also command line.
propagation The programmatic (automatic) copying of a value from one field to another, logically related field, or computing a value to be stored in a related field.
property (1) Any detail that serves to qualify, identify, classify, quantify, or express the state of an element in a CASE environment. See also attribute. (2) An attribute of an object that determines the effect or presentation of an object or item. Examples of properties are Navigable, Required, and Fixed Length. See also setting.
property dialog A dialog box that shows information about a component of a display or an object.
property sheet 1) A rectangular area that appears in a window, displaying all of the information on one object (e.g., a query). 2) In CASE*Designer, a separate control box presenting information on an object.
protected mode The multitasking property of OS/2, allowing applications to run concurrently. Protected mode requires the 80286/80386 architecture, and allows applications to address up to 16Mb of memory.
protocol (1) A set of standards or governing rules. See communications protocol. (2) A string you can enter when connecting to a database or server that allows you to connect to a remote database or server.
protocol adapter Software that integrates TNS functionality with an industry-standard protocol used in a client/server connection. See also Oracle Protocol Adapters.
prototyping A technique for demonstrating a concept rapidly in order to gain acceptance and check feasibility. Within CASE*Method use of a prototype is recommended during: Analysis- to check requirements and then be discarded. Design- to check feasibility of alternative options and to agree style (optionally discarding it). Build- to incrementally construct modules that need close user involvement.
proximity searching Searching for two words, where the user specifies their relative location to each other; for example, words must be adjacent or within a given number of words of each other.
pseudo-column In the SQL language, an item in the SELECT list that yields a value when selected, but which is not a column in the table being queried. Two examples are ROWID and ROWNUM.
PU (Physical Unit) In an SNA network, usually a terminal or printer connected to a controller.
public Visible or available to all users. Though by default all objects are private, many database objects can be made public. An object that is not public is visible or available only to its creator. While only DBAs can create public synonyms or database links, any user may GRANT PUBLIC access to his own objects.
public identifier Used in SGML as part of an external entity declaration, the reserved keyword PUBLIC determines that the referenced value is a portable identifier without respect to the operating system.
public query A query available to all users of Oracle Data Query. If users want to change a public query, they must first copy it and then modify the copy.
public rollback segment A rollback segment that may be allocated by any instance accessing the database. See rollback segment and contrast with private rollback segment.
public synonym A synonym for a database object created by a DBA to make access to that object more convenient for all database users. Contrast with private synonym.
pump The Interchange component responsible for transferring data between two communities as a part of a TNS connection. The Interchange's Connection Manager controls several data pumps, starting them as required.
push button A control that is drawn as text surrounded by a border.
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