Research Database Complex (RDC) usage policies

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The Indiana University Research Database Complex supports research-related databases and data-intensive applications that require databases. The RDC provides an environment for database-driven web applications focusing on research, and offers the following database accounts:

  • MySQL: The RDC supports MySQL Enterprise Server.
  • Oracle: MySQL can meet most database needs. However, if your research has an immediate requirement for specific functionality in Oracle, you may request to be considered for an Oracle database account. To do so, follow the instructions in the RDC Database and Web Services Account Application.

Access to Indiana University's Research Database Complex (RDC) is provided to all IU graduate students, faculty, and staff. Access is also provided to undergraduate students and non-IU collaborators, if they have IU faculty sponsors.

The RDC is strictly devoted to supporting research. The RDC is not an instructional, classroom environment.

To obtain a database login on the RDC:

  1. Go to Create Additional Accounts in One.IU, and click Start.

  2. Click the radio button next to Research Database Complex (RDC), and then click Create Account. You will receive a confirmation email message once your account is created.

Once you receive your confirmation email message, to complete the process, you must request a database login. The confirmation email message will direct you to the online RDC Database and Web Services Account Application. Once your database login has been created, you will receive another confirmation email message with your login and information about connecting to your database.

By submitting the RDC and Web Services Account Application, you will be affirming that:

  • You understand the database is to be used only for research purposes.
  • You will acknowledge use of IU's high-performance systems in publications resulting from your research.
  • You will provide periodic listings of citations of those publications upon request.

Database group accounts

Database group accounts, where a username is shared by more than one researcher, are available on the RDC. You will be able to indicate that you want a database group account on the RDC and Web Services Account Application.

If you request a database group account:

  • You must first have an IU Network ID for your group or department.
  • You will be considered the responsible party for the group database account.
  • You will be asked to provide a list of the Network ID usernames of those who will be using the database group account.
  • You are responsible for communicating with the users of your group database account regarding system downtime and other information.

For more, see Request IU computing accounts for groups or departments.

Database security


The Research Technologies division of UITS provides several systems and services that meet certain requirements established in the HIPAA Security Rule thereby enabling their use for research involving data that contain protected health information (PHI). However, using a UITS Research Technologies resource does not fulfill your legal responsibilities for protecting the privacy and security of data containing PHI. You may use these resources for research involving data containing PHI only if you institute additional administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that complement those UITS already has in place. For more, see Your legal responsibilities for protecting data containing protected health information (PHI) when using UITS Research Technologies systems and services. For help with HIPAA-related issues on UITS systems, contact UITS HIPAA Consulting.

In accordance with standards for access control mandated by the HIPAA Security Rule, you are not permitted to access data containing protected health information (PHI) using a group (or departmental) account. To ensure accountability and maintain appropriate levels of access control, you must use your personal IU username and passphrase for all work involving PHI.


Once your RDC Database and Web Services Account Application is processed, you will receive a confirmation email message that describes how to access your Oracle database and how to reset your initial database password. Your initial database password will be sent under separate cover as a second email message.

It is important to employ methods that do not transmit passwords across the internet in plain-text format. If you use SQL*Plus to access an Oracle database, invoke it without the password. The following example shows how to connect to Oracle from

  doe@RDC:~> sqlplus

Provide the password when prompted:

  SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Fri Mar 14 13:49:03 2008

  Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

  Enter password: 

To connect to MySQL from, you would enter:

  doe@RDC: $mysql --host=<host> --port=<port> -u <username> -p

Replace <host>, <port>, and <username> with your appropriate values. When prompted, enter your password.


You are responsible for:

  • Creating and managing your schema objects (e.g., tables, views, procedures, triggers, and schema privileges)
  • Changing datatypes
  • Any data processes, such as data imports, deletes, modifications, transformations, and retrievals
  • Creating and maintaining copies of scripts
  • Emailing the High Performance Systems (HPS) group about changes in space or database administration, or if you no longer need access to the research database
  • Adapting your schema and data as required during system and database upgrades
  • Adapting client applications and tools to system and database versions

RDC database administrators are responsible for:

  • Backing up the database (Oracle databases only; see below for additional information)
  • Managing space allocation
  • Managing database and tablespace creation
  • Monitoring and reporting database performance
  • Monitoring and reporting invalid schema objects
  • Installing database and system upgrades and patches

Email the HPS group if you have questions or need further assistance.

Acknowledging grant support

The Indiana University cyberinfrastructure, managed by the Research Technologies division of UITS, is supported by funding from several grants, each of which requires you to acknowledge its support in all presentations and published works stemming from research it has helped to fund. Conscientious acknowledgment of support from past grants also enhances the chances of IU's research community securing funding from grants in the future. For the acknowledgment statement(s) required for scholarly printed works, web pages, talks, online publications, and other presentations that make use of this and/or other grant-funded systems at IU, see If I use IU's research cyberinfrastructure, what sources of funding do I need to acknowledge in my published work?

Database backup and recovery

Incremental backups of the RDC Oracle databases are done at various times between 1am and 6am, Monday through Sunday, depending on the instance. A full backup occurs between 1am and 5am once a week, but the time and day are staggered each week to ensure that only one full backup is underway at any given time. Backups are retained for 30 days. In the event of system failure, research databases can be restored to the point of the last good backup, which is usually from that morning. Data recovery for individual accounts is not guaranteed if data loss is the result of user error.

Recovery of a table is typically not part of the database recovery process. Dropped tables can often be recovered using Oracle's recyclebin feature; see In Oracle 10g and later, how do I recover a dropped database table?

Backups for MySQL database servers on the RDC are the responsibility of the user. Use the following command:

  shell> mysqldump [options] > dump.sql

For more about using the mysql command, see the MySQL documentation.

Scheduled downtime

The scheduled monthly maintenance window for IU's high-performance computing systems is the second Sunday of each month, 7am-7pm.

Make sure to plan for this downtime each month. Notice of any emergency downtime will be posted at Status.IU.

Disk space for data loading and other applications

If you need space on the RDC for staging data, or for data-related packages and applications, email the HPS group, which will evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.

Mail usage

Production mail service is not provided on the RDC.

Reporting problems

Support staff are available from approximately 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. Email the HPS group to report problems with the RDC. Be sure to include:

  • The name of the database server to which you were connecting
  • A description of what you were trying to do
  • A description of the problem
  • The name and version of the tool you were using to connect to the Oracle database server
  • Your computer's operating system
  • The error message number and text, if applicable
  • The time the problem occurred

Questions and comments

The policies described in this document were established with the goal of providing a stable, powerful, and efficient research computing environment for IU graduate students, faculty, and staff. UITS welcomes any questions or comments about these policies; email the HPS group.

This is document awmi in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-05-14 14:39:24.

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