Oracle Expects Database 11g to Set the Database Bar

By Brian Prince

Database market leader Oracle released its latest database version, Oracle Database 11g, July 11, and company officials anointed it the next king of the market.

After more than a year of beta testing and anticipation, Oracle executives, customers, industry analysts and members of the media packed the Equitable Auditorium in New York City July 11 to meet the product Oracle officials said is packed with a host of new features and enhancements that will preserve and grow 47 percent share of the database market.

"We don't mind defining the road map for them," said Oracle President Charles Phillips, referring to rivals in the database market and their reaction to 11g's enhancements.

Among the most highly touted features of 11g are its real application testing capabilities, which company officials said make it the first database to help customers test and manage changes to their IT environment in a controlled, cost-effective manner. 11g also has significant new data partitioning and compression capabilities. It automates many manual data partitioning operations and extends existing range, hash and list partitioning to include interval, reference and virtual columns.

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Oracle Database 11g includes significant performance enhancements to XML DB, a feature of Oracle database enabling customers to natively store and manipulate XML data. Company officials said the support for binary XML was added to offer customers a choice of XML storage options to match their specific application and performance requirements. Special Report: Data Integration

Other features include advanced data compression for both structured and unstructured data managed in transaction processing, data warehousing and content management environments. 11g also includes a recovery feature, Oracle Total Recall, which enables administrators to query data in designated tables from earlier times in the past.

"These are features that customers have been asking for, in some cases demanding," said Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group. A survey of IOUG members found 35 percent are planning to upgrade to 11g in a year, he added.

While Phillips said it was difficult to predict what he called the "upgrade cycle," he noted that customers adopted Oracle Database 10g faster than many expected.

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