While most customers are still contending with the intricacies of Oracle Database 10g, Oracle officials here told attendees of the companys OpenWorld show Oct. 23 that it was ready to launch the beta test version of its next-generation Database 11g.
Speed and performance will be the hallmark of 11g, said Chuck Rozwat, executive vice president for server technologies.
The new database will run fast enough so that for the first time it will beat specialized file systems for transferring large blocks of data, Rozwat said. He displayed test results that showed that the 11g beta is capable of transferring 1GB in just under 9 seconds, compared with 12 seconds for a file system.
This level of performance is important to customers who are demanding instant access to data, Rozwat said.
"If systems cant perform fast enough and deliver information in real time, we are in real trouble," he said.
The new version will provide additional features for supporting and provisioning grid systems and will also include compression technology that should reduce data storage requirements by as much as two-thirds, Rozwat said.
Oracles Oct. 9 acquisition of data integration technology developer Sunopsis will augment the data warehousing capabilities of 11g and Oracles Fusion Middleware, Rozwat said.
Sunopsis has developed ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) data integration technology that makes it easier to build data warehouses that combine data from multiple sources, including non-Oracle databases such as IBM DB2 and Microsofts SQL Server, Rozwat said.
Oracle also plans to integrate the Sunopsis technology with its SOA (service-oriented architecture), business intelligence and master data management applications.
Rozwat also demonstrated how, while Oracle has long marketed its own BI applications, it acquired additional BI capabilities when it acquired Siebel Systems, a developer of CRM (customer relationship management) software, in late 2005.
Oracle has been working over the past six months to integrate Siebels technology into its Fusion architecture. The Siebel BI technology allows users to build highly personalized and customizable data views, Rozwat said.
Rozwat also demonstrated how Oracle is integrating maps into BI and interactive database reports.
For example, users can build sales reports that map the locations of hot sales leads and show the proximity of satisfied customers that can serve as references.
Customers can build sales dashboards that use interactive maps as an interface that is linked to a wide range of data, showing sales leads in different geographic districts, by their status or by sales representatives performance.
Rozwat also talked up the importance of Oracles newly shipped Content Database and Records Database for helping corporations organize the huge mass of documents and information stacked in the dark corners of their offices.
This information isnt just in the form of paper documents, Rozwat noted. Increasingly it can be in the form of video, voice, e-mails, instant messages, maps, oil and gas deposit surveys, medical images, and a host of record types.
For example, Rozwat noted that video archive and search company YouTube, which Google recently acquired for $1.65 billion, had amassed a 45TB video archive in little more than a year. That archive is continuing to grow at about 20 percent a month.
The challenge of managing such a huge volume of information that represents a strategic corporate asset is why the Oracle content and records databases were developed.
The databases, which were released on Sept. 20, allow enterprises to store, retrieve and share many different types of documents and files.
They were developed as part of Oracles content management platform, formerly code-named Tsunami.
The databases allow enterprises to organize and access large masses of data "at the individual level, the group level and the corporate level," Rozwat said.