As Published In
Oracle Magazine
November/December 2007

AT ORACLE: Oracle New Briefs

Centralized Security and User Authentication Services for Linux

A preview release of Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems, which is designed to make user management in Linux more efficient, secure, and centralized, is now available. A new offering within Oracle Identity Management, Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems is designed to enable Oracle Unbreakable Linux Support users to rapidly experience the benefits of streamlined secure user authentication.

The preview release of Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems features a secure and efficient means for user authentication with zero-touch administration of Linux directories. Additionally, it enables administrators running Linux to use existing graphical and command-line user management tools to manage users.

"The preview release of Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems supports the heterogeneous security capabilities that are reflective of our customers' data centers—and the growth of Linux—while helping them more rapidly centralize the authentication and management of their operating system accounts," says Hasan Rizvi, vice president, security and identity management products, Oracle.

Oracle Berkeley DB 4.6 Available

The latest release of Oracle's open source, embeddable database, Oracle Berkeley DB 4.6, is now available. It features improved performance, ease of use for developers, and portability across new platforms.

Performance enhancements in the new release of Oracle Berkeley DB include a more efficient mutex implementation and a faster hash access method. Improvements for developers include a quick-start tool for generating schema and configuration and new features, including cache size adjustment during runtime, cache operation prioritization, and replica-private temporary databases. Portability enhancements include additional support for Windows CE, S60, and Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW), as well as simple platform verification tools that ease porting.

"The latest release of Oracle Berkeley DB delivers even faster performance and concurrency, while giving developers greater flexibility and control for their applications," says Mike Olson, vice president of embedded technologies at Oracle.

PDF Conversion Simplified

Oracle has released Oracle Outside In PDF Export, the first cross-platform, application-independent portable document format (PDF) conversion solution for the original equipment manufacturer and independent software vendor software market. Part of the Oracle Outside In Technology product line, this software development kit includes its own rendering engine so that native applications are not required to generate PDFs, which simplifies workflow and decreases costs.

Appropriate for content management, document management, Web publishing, or any application that can benefit from application-independent, server-based PDF conversion, the product supports popular PDF conversion features.

"Oracle Outside In PDF Export is unique in the market for its ability to provide a cross-platform PDF conversion solution for more than 400 different file formats," says Julie Garrett, director of product management, Oracle. "Because it doesn't require a document's native application, Oracle Outside In PDF Export simplifies PDF conversion workflow. This is especially beneficial for those customers on platforms other than Windows where the native application may not be available."

New Oracle Validated Configurations

Six new Oracle Validated Configurations are now available on Oracle Enterprise Linux. These configurations provide proven architectures that include software, hardware, storage, drivers, and networking components along with documented best practices for deployment. Tested in real-world environments, the configurations enable Linux customers to achieve standardization, scalability, and reliability while lowering infrastructure costs. The latest Oracle Validated Configurations comprise components from Compellent, Dell, Egenera, EMC, HP, Pillar Data, and Unisys.

"With its focus on the Oracle Validated Configuration Program, Oracle continues to deliver on its commitment of providing the tools, resources, and expertise to help customers accelerate Linux deployments and lower implementation costs," says Wim Coekaerts, vice president of Linux engineering at Oracle. "We are extremely pleased with the adoption of Oracle Validated Configurations. We expect to see more end users deploying Linux for mission-critical applications as they enjoy faster deployment and better supportability with Oracle."

Oracle Coherence 3.3 Available

Did You Know?

Online IT Communities Are Widespread and Helpful
100 percent of IT professionals surveyed who participate in online communities say they benefit professionally from online interaction. But a large number—94 percent—say they have to visit more than one source of information for each problem they set out to solve. A similar number—93 percent—claim that they do their jobs more efficiently and save time by using IT communities to solve system administration problems.
Source: KACE and King Research

"Total Geek" Bosses Help Small Companies Grow
A survey of 152 CEOs and senior officers of midsize companies—100 to 5,000 employees—showed that having a tech-savvy top boss correlates with fast company growth. 73 percent of respondents who rated themselves "total geeks" reported double-digit average annual growth in their businesses over the past five years. Almost half—48 percent—of total geeks also reported that their businesses reached the 100-employee milestone within five years of launch, compared to just 33 percent of all survey respondents.
Source: CDW Business Rearview Mirror Survey

Java Increases, .NET Declines in SOA Platform Deployments
The number of companies planning or executing service-oriented architecture (SOA) deployments on a Java platform increased slightly during the first six months of 2007, while those planning to build SOA implementations on .NET decreased by almost 20 percent. .NET deployments for SOA were still ahead, with 31 percent targeting that platform, but 28 percent now expect to target Java technologies. Three-quarters of all companies that have built or are building Web services now plan to implement SOA, and more than 70 percent of those writing Web services have experienced cost savings, primarily from code reuse and automation of processes.
Source: Evans Data Corporation

Oracle Coherence 3.3, an in-memory data grid and the latest hot-pluggable component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, is now shipping. To address growing extreme transaction processing (XTP) requirements, this release features enhanced performance, quality-of-service, and clustering capabilities; tighter integration with Oracle Fusion Middleware; and support for Microsoft's .NET Framework.

Designed to meet an organization's need to predictably scale mission-critical applications, Oracle Coherence 3.3 enables customers to push data closer to the application for faster access and greater resource utilization.

"As elements of a modern application infrastructure such as service-oriented architecture, Web 2.0, and event-driven architecture push the scalability, reliability, and performance envelope, organizations are increasingly relying on middleware to distribute application processing and more efficiently utilize resources," says Cameron Purdy, vice president of development, Oracle. "Combining the in-memory data grid infrastructure of Oracle Coherence with Oracle Fusion Middleware, we now offer customers a comprehensive solution to address their evolving XTP requirements."

Read more about Oracle Coherence in Oracle Magazine 's interview with Purdy.

Oracle's Latest Linux Contributions

Oracle has announced several new projects and code contributions designed to augment the enterprise-class capabilities of Linux.

First, Oracle has developed the Btrfs file system, which is designed to address the expanding scalability requirements of large storage subsystems, common in today's data centers. Btrfs will allow enhanced scalability and simplified management for large storage configurations, while also adding flexible snapshotting and fast incremental backups.

Second, Oracle has ported the popular system management tool Yet another Setup Tool (YaST) to Oracle Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Third, the Oracle Linux Test Kit is now available as open source under General Public License and Artistic License. This kit is designed to verify Linux kernel functionality and stability essential for Oracle Database.

Web Locator

 Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems
Oracle Berkeley DB 4.6
Oracle Outside In PDF Export
Oracle Validated Configurations
Oracle Coherence 3.3
Btrfs file system (alpha release)
Oracle Linux Test Kit
Oracle and Netsure
Oracle and Bridestream

"One of the greatest assets of the Linux operating system is the Linux and open source communities—which are directly responsible for the success that Linux has had in the market," says Al Gillen, research vice president of system software, IDC. "With contributions from individuals and from the vendor community alike, Linux continues to grow and evolve as an enterprise-class platform for data center deployments."

Oracle Buys Netsure Telecom Limited

Oracle has agreed to acquire Netsure Telecom Limited, a leading provider of network intelligence, analytics, and network data integrity software. Netsure offers communications service providers critical network intelligence and analytics software, which is vital to ensuring efficient operation and utilization of existing and next-generation networks and services.

"The addition of Netsure's products to Oracle's comprehensive communications applications suite is expected to help Oracle's customers improve network utilization, optimize capacity planning and financial modeling, and streamline end-to-end network lifecycle management," says Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle.

Oracle Buys Bridgestream

Oracle has acquired Bridgestream, a provider of enterprise role management software. Bridgestream's role discovery, definition, and management capabilities will be added to Oracle's access management and user provisioning solutions, which expands Oracle's comprehensive identity management solution.

"With the acquisition of Bridgestream, Oracle can help organizations streamline compliance-related tasks and automate role management," says Hasan Rizvi, vice president, identity management and security products, Oracle.

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