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Oracle Essentials: Oracle9i, Oracle8i and Oracle8, Second Edition by Jonathan Stern, Robert Stackowiak, Rick Greenwald

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Chapter 8. Oracle and Transaction Processing

The insatiable corporate appetite for even larger and more sophisticated transaction-processing systems has been one of the main forces driving the evolution of computing technology. As we discussed in the previous chapter, transactions form the foundation of business computing systems. In fact, transaction processing (TP) was the impetus for business computing as we know it today. The batch-oriented automation of core business processes like accounting and payroll drove the progress in mainframe computing through the 1970s and 1980s. Along the way, TP began the shift from batch to users interacting directly with systems, and online transaction processing (OLTP) was born. In the 1980s the computing infrastructure shifted from large centralized mainframes with dumb terminals to decentralized client/server computing with graphical user interfaces (GUIs) running on PCs and accessing databases on other machines over a network.

The client/server revolution provided a much better user interface and reduced the cost of hardware and software, but it also introduced additional complexity in systems development, management, and deployment. After a decade of use, system administrators were being slowly overwhelmed by the task of managing thousands of client machines and dozens of servers, so the latter half of the 1990s has seen a return to centralization. Open systems server vendors such as Sun, HP, Sequent (acquired by IBM in 1999), and others ...

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