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February 18, 2004

Oracle has added new features that will be exploited by both third-party vendors and IT departments. This is a partial list of new or improved functionality in the database.

Feature Significance
BLAST, SVM, NMF Algorithms New mathematical power under the hood will help in finding subtle patterns in large quantities of data, whether structured (in the database) or unstructured (such as scientific literature). No longer necessary to take ever-increasing volumes of data out of the database to be analyzed. Keeping the data in the database simplifies storing and securing data.
Statistics & SQL Analysis Will aid in the creation of models and perform complex calculations without needing to code multiple joins and clauses. Includes hypothesis testing, distribution fitting, improved correlation finding, and cross-tab statistics — all accessed via SQL. Will help users prepare data for more complex analyses (e.g., data mining).
Regular Expression Searches Powerful search-and-replace function found in many Java and Unix environments. Will allow developers to write shorter queries. Enables users to manipulate data in the database to the same extent as occurs outside of the database today with tools such as Perl.
Oracle Scheduler Lets administrators schedule a job. Also permits creation of libraries to be shared by other users and helps allocate scarce computing resources appropriately. Runs PL/SQL, Java, 3GL, OS scripts, internal utilities (RMAN). Can set up job classes, priorities, and workload windows.
Oracle interMedia New support for images, enabling rotating, flipping images; also, adjusting contrast and bit depth. Supports new audio and video formats, including MPEG 4, WMF — and automatic extraction of associated metadata.
Oracle Spatial Network Data Model Tool to diagram relationships in database graphically. Will represent data as nodes and links. Feature was originally designed with U.S. road maps in mind. In life sciences, is being used for modeling metabolic pathways, modeling protein interactions, and integrating many data types (e.g., genes, proteins, expression data).
External Tables Allows access to and querying of external flat files as if they were inside Oracle database. New capabilities for uploading data for data propagation or storage.
Transportable Table Spaces Fast mechanism to move subsets of data from one Oracle database to another. 10g now supports transportable table spaces across platforms.
Oracle XML DB Enhances management of large quantities of XML data stored natively in database. Applications can use SQL/XML operators to generate complex documents from SQL queries and to store XML documents.

Source: Oracle

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