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Next-Generation Oracle Database

By Catherine Varmazis

August 8, 2007 | Oracle Corp. unveiled the latest version of its Oracle Database in a live webcast hosted by science historian and BBC presenter James Burke. The event included live testimonials from Oracle Database customers.

Charles Phillips, president of Oracle, said the Oracle 11g relational database contains hundreds of new features requested by users. “The secret sauce of success,” Phillips said, “is to solve problems customers tell you they have.” He said 11g is the highest-quality release Oracle has ever issued, having undergone more than 15 million hours of testing.

Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president at Oracle, said the new release includes features that help accelerate adoption and growth of Oracle grids, which were pioneered in the previous version, 10g (See “A Perfect 10?” Bio•IT World, Feb. 2004). Oracle 11g also includes more-customized features for specialized industries, including the ability to handle new data types, such as RFID tag data and DICOM medical images data.The major new features of 11g include the following:

•            Advanced compression enables up to 3x data compression.

•           Online upgrades and patching so databases do not have to be taken offline for routine maintenance.

•            Enhanced information lifecycle and storage management reduces storage costs with automated data partitioning and compression capabilities.

•           Real Application Testing lets users test and manage changes to their database in a controlled, cost-effective manner.

•           Data Guard lets users offload workloads from their production database to their standby database to improve the performance of their production systems.

•           Fast Files stores large objects such as images and advanced data files, and retrieves them quickly and easily.

•           Total Recall lets users query data in designated tables “as of” their status in a certain time in the past.

Among the advanced security features offered in 11g are Kerberos authentication and strong passwords. The new Audit Vault feature, which adds multi-factor DBA controls, was cited by Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, as his favorite new feature.

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