Database Administrators Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for database professionals who wish to improve their database skills and learn from others in the community. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just installed Oracle Database Express Edition 11g Release 2.This is the first time I am using Oracle. Earlier I have used MySql and MSSql and I bet this one is a lot different !

These are the things I see in the start menu :

enter image description here

To start the oracle database, I click start database. Then in the prompt I do :

C:\Windows\system32>SQLPLUS / AS SYSDBA

SQL*Plus: Release Production on Sat Mar 2 20:37:14 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2010, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Express Edition Release - Production

ORA-01081: cannot start already-running ORACLE - shut it down first

I did exactly the same as written in DOCS but then why does I see that message as I run the command STARTUP.

Also certain commands like :

  • show databases;
  • use database db_name;

don't work in it ! Why is that ?

And isn't there a graphical query browser that comes packed with this RDMS ?

share|improve this question

migrated from Mar 4 '13 at 13:40

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Your DB is already up. By default it automatically runs when Windows starts. SQL Developer (graphical query browser) is part of Oracle client. – Egor Skriptunoff Mar 2 '13 at 15:40
I need to download and install it separately ? – saplingPro Mar 2 '13 at 15:45
Yes – Egor Skriptunoff Mar 2 '13 at 16:18
SQL Developer is part of the Oracle 11g installation. No need to download it seperatel - although the one to download might be newer than the one that came with Oracle itself. – a_horse_with_no_name Mar 2 '13 at 17:27
@a_horse_with_no_name I have searched and do not see SQL Developer anywhere. Only the tools shown in the snapshot are there – saplingPro Mar 3 '13 at 5:20

To restart Oracle, connect via SQL-PLUS as SYSDBA as you did previously, and type in the commands

shutdown normal;
startup mount;
alter database open;

Oracle SQL Developer can help you graphically administer the Oracle Database.

Most Oracle metadata are stored in special tables. For example,

  • To show all tables: select * from cat;
  • To show all users/schemas: select * from dab_users;
  • To change schemas: alter session set current_schema=NEW_SCHEMA_NAME;

Are there any other specific Oracle commands you were looking for?

share|improve this answer

The message indicates the instance is already running.

On Windows check the services to see if Oracle is running

In SQL Plus you can also

select status from v$instance;

to find the status of the Oracle instance.

In your case it would have shown


When you first connect using sql plus and the instance is not running you will see

SQL*Plus: Release Production on Wed Apr 10 11:40:02 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

SQL> conn /as sysdba
Connected to an idle instance.

Connected to an idle instance indicates that the instance you just connected to is not running and you startup the instance and database.

share|improve this answer

show databases or the use command are not valid for Oracle.

Please read the manual. All valid statements are documented there:

As for the "graphical" SQL Tool: SQL Developer is already part of your Oracle installation. It is usually located in ORACLE_HOME\product\11.2.0\dbhome_1\sqldeveloper. The exact path depends on the version, the edition and the installation options (the dbhome_1 is probably different on your computer, but under 11.2.0 there should be only a single directory)

There also should be an entry in the Windows Start Menu's Oracle folder for SQL Developer. Possible something like "Development tools".

share|improve this answer
There isn't an entry of that type. – saplingPro Mar 3 '13 at 5:19
@saplingPro: That's strange. Did you search the start menu for sql developer? Anyways, you can download it from the Oracl website:… – a_horse_with_no_name Mar 3 '13 at 8:35
yeah I searched – saplingPro Mar 3 '13 at 11:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.