Handling the introduction at today's launch of Oracle Database 11g was famed science historian James Burke, founder of the Knowledge Web Project and probably best known for his old television mini-series "Connections".
Burke didn't spend much of his introduction speaking about Oracle and relational databases, instead he delved into issues of scientific discovery, mentioning breakthroughs like the printing press, and discussing the abilities of the human mind.
Of course the fact that he didn't mention databases much was likely OK with the Oracle gang, since they probably liked simply being associated with a breakthrough like the printing press.
But really the main issue at hand was the fact that Oracle was finally, after four years, releasing a new version of their flagship database platform. And while the Oracle Database 11g doesn't look right now to be as revolutionary a change as the 10g was, it is a pretty big upgrade, with hundreds of new features and lots of added functionality. Customers will have to evaluate and test in order to decide how (or if) the new Oracle upgrade will fit into their enterprise infrastructure.
We here at eWEEK Labs will also soon be beginning our testing and evaluation of the Oracle Database 11g and, if it is anything like the 10g, it will definitely take some time to get a full and comprehensive review completed.
However, that doesn't mean I can't comment right now on some of the new capabilities of the 11g and on the potential impact of Oracle's upgraded database platform.
Some of the big new capabilities of the 11g that jump out at us immediately include the heavy focus on change management, the much improved storage and disaster recovery capabilities, and its much tighter security and compliance controls. Some of the advantages that these will bring include the ability to jump back to previous states of a database, an improved ability to offload capabilities to other systems, and systems that make it possible to track all changes within a database system.
All of these capabilities, along with many of the other new features, definitely make the 11g worth taking a serious look at. Of course, in the database world, it isn't just time between releases that is long. Customers also tend to take their time when it comes to upgrading (which is a smart move in my opinion). So don't expect to see a mad rush to upgrade from the 10g to the 11g.