There are three major sets of files on disk that compose a database. All the files are binary. These are
1.) Database files
2.) Control files
3.) Redo logs
The most important of these are the database files where the actual data resides. The control files and the redo logs support the functioning of the architecture itself. All three sets of files must be present, open, and available to Oracle for any data on the database to be useable. Without these files, you cannot access the database, and the database administrator might have to recover some or all of the database using a backup, if there is one.