Oracle Content Database and Oracle Records Database, both new options for the Oracle Database 10g Enterprise Edition, are designed to allow enterprises to store, search and retrieve many different types of document files, including Microsoft Office, text files, graphics and document images, company officials said.
Oracle President Charles Phillips described the products as content management "for the masses" that can be used by enterprise workers in many roles rather than by highly trained knowledge workers with specialized skills.
The products are a further development of the enterprise content management platform, previously code-named "Tsunami," that Oracle has been talking about for more than 18 months.
Oracle became rich and successful selling relational database technology for managing large amounts of "structured" data, mostly terabytes of numbers organized in the rows, columns and tables of a relational database. But Phillips noted that about 80 percent of existing corporate data is "unstructured"; it is in the form of text, document files and images that are in many different formats and sometimes in a number of different document management and content management systems.
Of this huge mass of unstructured data, 90 percent of it isnt being managed in any kind of computerized database, he noted.
Corporate CIOs are paying closer attention to this unmanaged mass of data now, he said, because the federal Sarbanes-Oxley regulations say that businesses have to retain and preserve records for finite periods of time in forms that allow them to be searched for and recovered when needed.
In the past, it has been far too difficult to use document management and content management systems to create large repositories of unstructured data because they used a wide range of proprietary user and document access interfaces, he said.
An enterprise that even considered setting up some kind of comprehensive document management system over the past 15 years might have had to deal with "six or eight" different companies to solve the problem, Phillips said.
Now he contends that Oracle has solved that problem because the Content and Records database products use standard Windows and Web interfaces to let users capture, store and search for documents.
The packages also use SOA (service-oriented architecture) and Web services to allow large corporations to access documents and records wherever they may be stored in the organization, noted Andrew Mendelsohn, Oracles senior vice president of service technologies.