Oracle highlighted a number of new database features and related topics at OpenWorld 2008. This entry provides just a quick description of some of the topics you might want to explore further.
The big news item of the week was the introduction of the HP Oracle Database Machine. This builds upon the Optimized Warehouse Initiative experience Oracle gained in working with various platform partners as described in the most recent Oracle Essentials book (the 4th Edition). However, there are a number of important differences:
- Oracle is single point of sales and initial support for this
- The Oracle Exabyte Storage Server Software was introduced
- The software is designed for new HP Exabyte Storage Server Hardware from Oracle
- Support for the hardware requires the just released Oracle Enterprise Edition version 18.104.22.168
Think of the Machine as a data warehouse appliance. The balanced hardware assures adequate throughput to disk. The Oracle Exabyte Storage Server Software is important in that predicates are pushed to the disk level determine what subset of data should be retrieved to the database. So, for example, in a full table scan, only relevant rows are returned from disk to the database resulting in performance speed-up. The software also provides better performance for star schema and certain join conditions.
Other database features highlighted included the in-memory data cache, porting of Real Application Testing to Oracle Database 9i (release 2) and Oracle Database 10g, and availability of new beta versions of SQL Developer and Application Express. SQL Developer provides migration toolkits from a variety of databases to Oracle and now will include extensive design capabilities matching E/R diagrams and physcial tables. Application Express now provides Forms file conversion capabilities and replaces the old Forms Developer (see http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database/application_express).
Oracle added to the buzz regarding Cloud Computing by introducing the ability to do database backups using RMAN to the Amazon cloud. The Amazon cloud also hosts the Oracle database.
The recent Enterprise Manager 10.2.0.4 release was highlighted with a focus on Applications operational and quality management. For example, performance can be monitored at the user level, can be simulated through the use of beacons, and can be measured against service level agreements.
There was a lot more, of course. See http://www.oracle.com/openworld for information on how to download key sessions for replay.