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Oracle Trots Out Laundry List Of 11g Database Perks

Details emerge on E-Biz Suite 12, Siebel 8, and the company's flagship database.
Oracle has blasted out a list of planned improvements for its upcoming Oracle 11g database.

About to enter beta mode, Oracle 11g will have 482 new features, Oracle Executive Vice President Chuck Rozwat said at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco on Monday.

No timing was announced but sources say the company is optimistically targeting early next year for availability, although the reality will likely be closer to April.

Those wanting details on the new and improved features had to read fast to catch the PowerPoint list that flashed on screen. But the feature chart could be found after digging around the Oracle OpenWorld Web site.

The features fall in such broad areas as: high availability, performance and scalability, content management, change assurance, business intelligence, security, very large database (VLDB) and information life-cycle management (ILM), and management and diagnostics.

For high-availability, Oracle is promising online application upgrades, snapshot standby and flashback archiving. In performance and scalability, its wish list includes unspecificied Real Application Cluster (RAC) technology enhancements, a partition adviser and an I/O resource manager.

New SQL replay and query replay capabilities and "hot patching" are slated to improve change assurance. Promised in the area of business intelligence is "next-generation" OLAP, and in content management Oracle plans binary XML storage and enhanced XML indexing. Security features include an audit vault and "tablespace LOB" engine.

Though reporters and analysts at the show are looking for big new product news -- namely, details on the database and upcoming Oracle E-business Suite 12 -- Oracle partners said most of their customers are getting comfortable on the current Oracle 10g database release 2, which has been out for just more than a year. Oracle 10g is going on three years old.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is expected to talk more about the 11g database during his OpenWorld keynote Wednesday afternoon. John Wookey, senior vice president of applications, is set to speak Wednesday as well.

At that point, attendees stand to hear more about the E-business Suite 12 and Siebel 8 applications. The new E-business Suite is expectd to come out in the middle of next year, April at the earliest, and will more tightly integrate with Oracle's portal and XML publisher. It, along with all upcoming Oracle apps, will stress business intelligence.

Siebel 8 is expected for release by the year's end and as previously reported by CRN add support for Linux servers. It will also integrate more prebuilt Web services capabilities. In the area of order management, for example, it will be easier to update shopping cart items and change item pricing from a rich Web client. One option is designed to allow sales reps to validate a customer-requested product configuration. For instance, a feature called "multi-select configurator validation" would let customers make product option selections before submitting them into the system, eliminating the annoying serial entry process.

Solution providers at OpenWorld said they were glad to hear about all the upcoming bells and whistles. Still, many Oracle partners said a good number of their customers are only now getting comfy on Oracle 10g, and some customers remain on the previous release. Most customers don't upgrade their databases immediately and may wait until the first point upgrade is released, VARs said.

Sean Harmon, founder and vice president of sales at TriCore Solutions, a Quincy, Mass. database and applications partner, estimated that half of his customers are now on Oracle 10g. That's not to say they're not doing sophisticated things, adding that many are implementing RAC, for example.

Harmon and other longtime Oracle partners hope that the software giant's new All Partner Territory channel game plan will boost sales of applications and databases through solution providers.

In advance of this week's show, Keith Inouye, president of Core Services, a Morristown, N.J.-based solution provider, said the APT effort has driven "a fair share of revenue" his way.

This story was updated Tuesday afternoon with more information about 11g shipping schedule.