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Oracle releases next database

Oracle has released the next version of its flagship database management system, Oracle 11g. The company claims the new version of the software is a significant upgrade from the Oracle 10g platform, and has over 400 new features.

"Our customers are facing the challenges of rapid data growth, increased data integration and data connectivity IT cost pressures," said Andy Mendelsohn, Oracle senior vice president of database server technologies, in a statement. "Oracle Database 11g delivers the key features our customers have asked for."

Among the new features are:
  • Oracle Data Guard, which allows a stand-by database to be read and written to, making it available for additional duties such as reporting and live use during the periods when the main database is being upgraded.
  • Automated data partitioning, for speeding up the provisioning process.
  • Enhanced compression capabilities that can reduce database sizes, for both structured and unstructured data.
  • Querying of past states of the database, allowing administrators to query older versions of database tables that have subsequently updated.
  • Hot patching, or the ability to patch a database while it remains running.
  • Oracle Audit Vault and Oracle Database Vault, a set of features that permits users to enter data in specialized areas not accessible by database administrators or other outside parties.
Ari Kaplan, president at the Independent Oracle Users Group, said he felt most excited about the vault features, noting that no other commercial database has this capability. The IOUG, a global organization of Oracle users, offered input when Oracle designed the upgrade.