First, I would strongly recommend purchasing a copy of the Oracle 9i Backup and Recovery Handbook by Velpuri & Adkoli on Oracle Press. This is a must read for Oracle DBAs who need to implement solid backup and recovery protocols. There is a lot going on with Oracle backups. The more you know, the better.
This book covers Oracle's backup and recovery utility, Recovery Manager (RMAN). It is a very good utility to backup and recover your database. You can schedule RMAN backup jobs with the DBMS_JOBS utility. In Oracle 10g, this is even easier. You can set up everything in Oracle's Enterprise Manager and create a backup schedule.
This was first published in October 2004