At Oracle: OTN Bulletin
XML Marks the Spot
By Justin Kestelyn
Oracle XML Database turns Oracle Database into an XML navigation and query machine.
With XML-based data interchange becoming more pervasive—and with XML being such an intense focus area in Oracle Database 10g—it's an opportune time to become familiar with Oracle XML Database (Oracle XML DB).
A feature in all editions of Oracle Database, Oracle XML DB makes any Oracle database a rich, native environment for storing, manipulating, and retrieving XML data. Oracle XML DB is intended to fully absorb the W3C XML data model into Oracle Database, and it provides new standard access methods for navigating and querying XML.
In his Oracle Technology Network (OTN) technical article "Getting into SQL/XML," veteran DBA Tim Quinlan explains the fundamental characteristics of SQL/XML interoperability and provides an overview of its implementation in Oracle Database—covering the XMLType datatype introduced in Oracle9i Database; structured and unstructured storage of XML data; use of namespaces; and the standard-compliant XQuery implementation in Oracle Database 10g, including XPath, XMLSequence, and FLWOR expressions, and the XQuery() and XMLTable() functions. The end result is a guide that will help you get started working with XML documents with no exhaustive review of documentation required—although an afternoon with Oracle XML DB Developer's Guide 10 g Release 2 (10.2) would certainly be time well spent.
Read "Getting into SQL/XML;" the Oracle XML DB Developer's Guide. Finally, there is much more XML-related technical information (as well as downloads and discussions) available at oracle.com/technetwork/tech/xml.
Database Performance Tuning Head Start
Beyond well-understood baseline performance measures and solutions, database performance tuning is historically an arcane process often left to specialists.However, the release of Oracle Database 10g, the first "self-managing" database, and Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control, with its GUI for tuning and administrative tasks, dispelled this reputation for many learners and DBAs with relatively modest administrative skills. The new Oracle Database 2 Day + Performance Tuning Guide 10g Release 2 (10.2) offers relative newcomers—as well as experienced DBAs who are unfamiliar with nonroutine performance tuning tasks—a guided approach to troubleshooting and resolving performance problems.
This guide approaches database performance tuning from a more business-centric perspective than the traditional bottoms-up approach. It seeks to help DBAs quickly get answers to some of the most commonly asked performance-related questions, using a new structured and guided methodology.
Justin Kestelyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the editor in chief of Oracle Technology Network.