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Understanding and working with database file extensions

I am a database operator who is striving to learn more about database types. I have no formal training in database work (self-taught) and find myself coming across various "databases" with file extensions I'm unfamiliar with. Where would someone like myself go to understand and work with databases with extensions such as .DAT? Is .DAT files a generic data type? I'm familiar with and perform operational functions with Oracle, SQL and MSAccess database types.

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As far as Oracle is concerned, you can name your data files anything you want. Typical conventions including using extensions such as .DAT or .DBF to indicate data files but there is no convention that belongs uniquely to Oracle.

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This was first published in June 2003

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