Oracle Database 10g logo Extensibility Framework
Oracle Database 10g Extensibility Framework provides unprecedented capabilities to effeciently store, retrieve, query, and process specialized data types (e.g., spatial, multimedia, bioinformatics data). Many of these data types are well beyond the reach of traditional databases. Oracle has consistently strengthened the Extensibility Framework since its introduction in Oracle8. As a result, independent software vendors have built diverse data cartridges using the Extensibility Framework. A data cartridge can be built with user-defined data types, operators, index types, optimizer functions, aggregate functions, pipelined parallel table functions, and other essential components of the Extensiblity Framework. Once built, a data cartridge can be plugged into Oracle database servers to manage specialized data types.

Technical Information
Oracle Database 10g Extensibility Framework A Technical Presentation
Data Cartridge Developer's Guide
Sample Data Cartridges
Protein Secondary Structure Sample Application Downloadable Data Cartridge sample
Data Cartridge Scenarios and Examples Part III of the Data Cartridge Developer's Guide