Database Answers Bienecke Reference Library, Yale University

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  This shows the Oracle Data Dictionary

Oracle uses a Data Dictionary to store details of all the Tables, Columns etc.. (check out the associated Data Model). You will normally be interested only in your own Tables, which are provided by the 'USER' views, which are for the User who is currently logged in.
The System Administrator or DBA will usually be interested in the 'ALL' Views, which show data for all Users.

These details can be confirmed in SQL*PLus
View Description
ALL_CATALOG Contains every Tables, View and Synonym.
ALL_OBJECT_TABLES All Object-Oriented Tables.
ALL_TAB_COMMENTS comments for every Table, which are usually a short description of the Table.
ALL_TAB_GRANTS All owner Privileges, including PUBLIC('everyone').
ALL_TAB_GRANTS_RECD Privileges granted by others to others.
ALL_TYPES All Object Types.
ALL_TYPES_METHODS All Object Types that are Methods.
ALL_USERS Names and Create Dates for all Users.
DATA_DICT ('DICT') This item is in bold because it is very important. If you know nothing, you can start with 'SELECT * FROM DATA_DICT'. It is a top-level record of everything in the Data Dictionary.
DBA_FREE_SPACE Remaining Free Space in each Tablespace. A DBA typically spends a lot of time increasing Free Space as Databases have to hold more data than originally planned.
USER_CATALOG All Tables, Views and Synonynms that the currently logged-in User can see.
USER_INDEXES Details of User-specific Indexes.
USER_TABLES Details of User-specific Tables, with some statistics, such as record counts.
USER_TAB_COLUMNS Details of Columns within each User Table, which is very useful when you want to find the structure of your Tables.
USER_TAB_GRANTS Details of User-specific Privileges for Table access.
USER_VIEWS Details of User-specific Views, and the SQL for each View,(which is essential).


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