History is the basis on which civilizations evolve. It tells us that from where we have come and to where we are going. It's the yard-stick through which the progress of an era is measured. Oracle has also got a rich historical background which helps in understanding the evolution of Oracle in particular and databases in general.
According to the Greek mythology, Appollo, the god of fine arts and reflections, chose city of Delphi on Mount Parnassus, for his prime place of worship. To help his followers in the matters ranging from public policies to personal affairs, he selected an older woman Pythia. Appollo spoke through Pythia in the form of meaningless cries, which were interpreted by the priests. She was called as Oracle. Oracle was the ultimate source of wisdom.According to the American legend, Oracle was the name of project sponsored by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The project vanished but Lary Ellison and Bob Miner materialized it in the form of Relational Software In-corporation (RSI) in 1977.
The RSI Company started its work on the basis of research done by Codd in early 70's. The Codd's work stressed on the use of relational model for databases instead of network or hierarchical model. RSI went to build its flagship product Oracle according to this relational model. Oracle version 1, written in Assembly language and running in PDP-11, was never marketed.
In 1980, Oracle version 2 was released and with it RSI became the first ever company to release a commercial relational database using SQL. 1982 version 3 was released, written in C and the major feature was transaction processing .In 1983, RSI changed its name to Oracle Corporation. In 1984, Version 4 was released; its main feature was read consistency. In 1986, Version 5 was released; its major feature was a true client/server database. In 1988 Version 6 was released and its prime features included PL/SQL language. In1989, Version 6 was commercialized; whose main feature was Oracle Parallel Server.
In 1992, Oracle released its version 7 for UNIX. In 1994, there came out the version 7.1. In 1997, Oracle 8 was released; its prime features included more scalability and object relational features. In 1999, Oracle 8i came out equipped with internet technologies. In 2000, Oracle 8i Release 2 with Oracle 9i Application Server (AS) was released. In 2001, Oracle 9i R1 wade made public.
Its major features include Real Application Cluster (RAC) and analytical functions. In 2002, Oracle 9i R2 got released. In 2004, Oracle 10g was released, the first ever database to support grid infrastructure. In 2005, Oracle 10g R2 was commercialized for major platforms. Now the 11g version of Oracle is in offing.