As Published In
Oracle Magazine
March/April 2007

AT ORACLE: Oracle News Briefs

Oracle News Briefs

Oracle Releases Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database 7.0

Now available, Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database 7.0 provides enhanced integration and caching with Oracle Database 10g to meet the instant response times and high-throughput requirements of real-time enterprises. The new release builds on its core strengths of real-time performance and reliability.

Oracle TimesTen 7.0 delivers dynamic database caching for Oracle databases for performance-critical enterprise applications such as high-volume transaction processing, business activity monitoring, real-time business intelligence, customer relationship management, and customer self-service.

"Responding in microseconds is essential in industries such as financial services, telecommunications, defense, and intelligence," says Jim Groff, senior vice president, Oracle. "The tight integration between Oracle TimesTen for real-time data management in the middle tier and Oracle Database for enterprisewide data management is absolutely unique in the industry."

Oracle TimesTen 7.0 delivers several key enhancements to help customers capture, access, and manage information significantly faster. For example, familiar Oracle Database 10g datatypes are now available in Oracle TimesTen 7.0, for easier application development and integration. The new release also includes enhanced SQL functionality, with similar semantics and behaviors as Oracle Database 10g.

Oracle ILM Assistant Helps Reduce Storage Costs

Available for download, Oracle ILM Assistant is a free tool that provides a comprehensive range of information lifecycle management (ILM) capabilities for Oracle Database 10g.

The amount of information flowing through the enterprise is on the rise. At the same time, organizations are required to store large amounts of data for extended periods of time to meet regulatory retention and protection requirements. By implementing an ILM strategy, customers can reduce storage costs by keeping a minimum quantity of data on high-cost storage devices.

Combined with the partitioning capabilities of Oracle Database 10g, Oracle ILM Assistant allows users to define lifecycles—when it is time to move or purge data—enabling the maximum quantity of data to be retained at the lowest possible cost.

"Effective ILM is one of the key challenges organizations face today," says Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of Database Server Technologies at Oracle. "Customers can easily and efficiently manage their information lifecycles and reduce their related storage costs with Oracle ILM Assistant and Oracle Partitioning."

Oracle Berkeley DB XML Release 2.3 Available

Oracle has unveiled a new version of Oracle Berkeley DB XML, an open source, embeddable XML database with XQuery-based access to documents stored in containers and indexed based on their content. Built on top of Oracle Berkeley DB, Oracle Berkeley DB XML Release 2.3 adds an XML query layer with flexible document and node-level storage and indexing to the rich features already available in Oracle Berkeley DB.

The new version includes improvements in many aspects of query planning and execution, increasing performance and efficiency. In addition, a new event-style API enables tight coupling between Oracle Berkeley DB XML and external XML processing, which enhances integration with programming languages and XML parsing libraries by eliminating the need to parse the same XML content repeatedly in different parts of an application.

The new release features several performance improvements, including an updated internal storage format, enhancements to the query optimizer and execution engine, and support for multiversion concurrency control document containers. It is compliant with the latest W3C Proposed Recommendation for the XQuery 1.0 specification.

Did You Know?

Top IT Organizations Spend More; Their Companies Save More

"World-class" IT organizations spend US$9,024 per year per end user—a figure 7 percent higher than typical companies, according to the Hackett Group. The added expense has bottom-line benefits: world-class finance organizations spend 45 percent less, world-class procurement organizations spend 25 percent less, and world-class HR organizations spend 13 percent less than typical companies. "World-class" organizations, in Hackett's analysis, achieve top-quartile performance across a range of efficiency and effectiveness metrics.
Source: The Hackett Group

Different Countries, Different IT Goals

In the U.S., more than 80 percent of IT executives are equally focused on reducing costs, improving IT performance, and using IT to enable business growth; less than 20 percent use IT to drive innovation, according to an Accenture survey of 847 IT executives. In the U.K., a majority of IT executives view IT as an enabler of business growth, while in Japan IT executives are mostly focused on reducing IT costs. In France and Germany, they are focused on improving their IT performance in the short term. In the midterm—one to three years—IT executives in the U.S., U.K., France, and Italy will focus mostly on IT as an enabler of business growth and innovation.
Source: Accenture

Employees Unhappy with Their Information

A survey of 300 U.S. employees in a variety of industries—finance, government, healthcare, high tech, insurance, and manufacturing—showed that 55 percent are not easily able to find the information they need to do their jobs. Another 45 percent said that the information they use in their business is not accurate, complete, and up-to-date, and 44 percent said that the information doesn't contain the right amount of detail.
Source: Information Mapping

Storage Virtualization Comes of Age

In a recent survey, IDC found that 49 percent of respondents are evaluating storage virtualization and 34 percent have already implemented it. "Storage virtualization has come of age," says Laura DuBois, research director for Storage Software at IDC. The company predicts that virtualization will drive changes in storage system architectures, spur significant investments in new storage software solutions, and potentially disrupt the current competitive environment.
Source: IDC

"Oracle Berkeley DB XML is an excellent solution for enterprises needing an XML edge cache for their service-oriented architecture [SOA] as well as vendors needing embedded XML storage within their products," says Rex Wang, vice president, Embedded Systems Marketing, Oracle. "It provides fast, reliable, and flexible XML data management in an embeddable package that stores data locally and requires no human administration."

Oracle Berkeley DB XML is used in applications such as integration and SOA, financial services, security, geospatial, healthcare, and content management.

Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Supply Chain Management 9.0 and Supplier Relationship Management 9.0 Unveiled

Now shipping, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Supply Chain Management 9.0 and PeopleSoft Enterprise Supplier Relationship Management 9.0 provide tools for improving business processes, strengthening supplier relationships, and simplifying regulatory compliance.

Both products include enhancements that add efficiency to the procurement of goods and services. For example, PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management 9.0 offers improvements to drive visibility of the history of requisitions and allows the reuse of requisition templates, which helps to increase the efficiency of buying services.

Managing supplier relationships is easier in both applications through a rich set of key performance indicators in the Supplier Relationship Management dashboard. The embedded role-based metrics align information with job function in order to provide the right information to the right supply manager at the right time.

Organizations face increasing pressure to comply with complex industry and government regulations, from Sarbanes-Oxley to Federal Acquisition Regulation to new federal regulations from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management 9.0 and PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management 9.0 provide a portfolio of tools to help organizations comply through tighter controls and documentation of partner and supplier relationships.

For example, PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management 9.0 enables organizations to automatically screen customer, vendor, and partner data against the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals list to ensure that business is conducted only with compliant parties. In addition, PeopleSoft Enterprise Order Management 9.0, part of PeopleSoft Supply Chain Management 9.0, includes a new holds management workbench that facilitates Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and mitigates risk with enhanced credit management capabilities that govern and document who can access, edit, and release credit holds.

Users Investing in Oracle's DBMS Infrastructure

According to a new report from Gartner, Oracle customers are highly satisfied with Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) and Oracle Automatic Storage Management (Oracle ASM) when pursuing scale-out strategies.

The report, Findings from Oracle OpenWorld 2006: Users Are Investing in Oracle's DBMS Infrastructure , is based on user reports gathered at the conference. The author, Gartner Research Director Mark Beyer, writes, "End users are reporting that Oracle's Real Application Clusters and Automatic Storage Management efficiently leverage commodity-class servers and storage, respectively."

According to the report, Oracle RAC, Oracle ASM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control are being adopted more widely. Together, these solutions form an Oracle Grid Computing solution that provides a workload-driven, scalable environment.

Web Locator

Oracle TimesTen 7.0
Oracle ILM Assistant
Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0

"The real news," writes Beyer, "is that various configurations of deployment (for example, Oracle RAC with or without Oracle ASM, or both of those with or without [Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control]) are adopted across the entire spectrum of Oracle customers, from longtime, pervasive Oracle users to minimally committed customers. The result is that organizations with minimal commitment to the Oracle stack are increasing their engagement with Oracle to leverage Oracle RAC and Oracle ASM."

Oracle Forms Embedded Business Unit

To demonstrate the company's ongoing commitment to embedded databases, Oracle has formed a new global business unit dedicated to the needs of customers and partners who embed Oracle software into their own products. In addition, Oracle has established several innovation labs to support development and testing of embedded products. These labs work with embedded partners and customers to help them port, integrate, and test Oracle technologies embedded within their products.

"As intelligent devices multiply, networks accelerate, and data volumes expand, there will be a growing need for embedded databases that run in a lights-out, always-on environment with no administration," says Rex Wang, vice president, Embedded Systems Marketing, Oracle. "Oracle is committed to providing customers and partners with the broadest selection of embedded databases to meet the diverse technical requirements of the market."

Oracle's embedded portfolio includes Oracle Database 10g, Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database, Oracle Berkeley DB, and Oracle Database Lite. 

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