As Published In
Oracle Magazine
July/August 2008

AT ORACLE: Oracle News Briefs

Oracle In-Memory Database Cache Option Available

Oracle has released Oracle In-Memory Database Cache, a new option for Oracle Database Enterprise Edition that provides real-time, updatable caching for the database. Based on Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database, the new option delivers a real-time, dynamic, updatable cache for frequently accessed data in Oracle Database.

"Oracle In-Memory Database Cache can significantly improve the response time and throughput of applications that require real-time performance," says Willie Hardie, vice president of database product marketing, Oracle. "This new option is well-integrated with Oracle Database and will help Oracle Database customers meet their extreme application performance needs as well as reduce development time."

For performance-critical applications in industries such as communications, financial services, and defense, the Oracle In-Memory Database Cache option delivers application response times in the microseconds by bringing frequently accessed data closer to the application and processing queries in memory.

Oracle Role Manager Released

Now available, Oracle Role Manager (formerly Bridgestream Role Manager) helps customers define and manage organizational relationships, roles, and associated privileges for improved security and regulatory compliance. The new offering, part of the Oracle Identity Management component of Oracle Fusion Middleware, enables business users to manage business roles accurately and efficiently by using advanced statistical analysis and administrative automation tools. In addition, users can define roles and ownership structure through simplified navigation and a flexible data model.

"Historically, organizations have struggled to easily define and manage enterprise user roles that reflect their business structure and are typically left with an overpopulation of roles dispersed across their various enterprise systems," says Hasan Rizvi, vice president, identity management and security products, Oracle. "The new release of Oracle Role Manager provides customers with automated tools to mine and model roles and to efficiently manage multiple interrelated hierarchies across diverse IT systems on an ongoing basis."

The new product also features multidimensional hierarchies that support enterprisewide business process automation that reflects real-world organizational structures. In addition, application-centric identity management provides rich role and approver information to heterogeneous applications and automates business process transaction approvals across the enterprise.

Oracle Contributes XQilla XQuery Engine Under Apache License

Oracle has contributed the XQilla XQuery engine code, an embeddable XQuery engine for developers building XML-based applications, under the open source Apache 2.0 license.

The XQilla XQuery engine, an implementation of the XQuery 1.0 standard published by the W3C, enables developers to query XML data, similar to using SQL to query relational data. Developers can use the XQilla XQuery engine in commercial and open source applications at no cost and modify and improve it, as well as distribute it in binary and source code form.

For applications requiring XQuery and an XML document repository, Oracle has also integrated the XQilla XQuery engine within Oracle Berkeley DB XML, an embeddable, open source XML database.

"XQuery will play an increasingly important role in the future of information processing," says Dana Florescu, Oracle architect and coauthor of the XQuery specification. "Making XQilla broadly available as a commercial-grade XQuery processor for use by developers is an important enabler in the next generation of XML applications."

Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 Available

Oracle has released Oracle SQL Developer 1.5, a new version of its free, lightweight, database-browsing tool for Oracle and third-party databases. The tool offers utilities for day-to-day database tasks, such as creating and altering database objects, and an environment for running scripts and doing ad hoc reports.

Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 introduces version control capabilities that allow users to navigate through their repositories of versioned objects and edit their files in Oracle SQL Developer. The new versioning support also includes merge and compare facilities.

"Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 has a multitude of new functionality based on requests from the community," says Sue Harper, senior principal product manager, Oracle. "Our aim is to make Oracle SQL Developer indispensable for the database developer, and who better to ask than the users themselves." 

Did You Know?

Flash Drives Pose Security Risks

In a recent survey about flash drive use, 77 percent of corporate end users surveyed have used personal flash drives for work-related purposes. The most-likely datafiles to be copied to a personal flash drive are customer records (25 percent of respondents), financial information (17 percent), business plans (15 percent), employee records (13 percent), marketing plans (13 percent), intellectual property (6 percent), and source code (6 percent). 12 percent of respondents said they had found a flash drive in a public place. The U.S.-based telephone survey was conducted in March 2008.
Source: SanDisk

Tech Workers Anxious About Jobs

In the first quarter of 2008, 62 percent of technology workers in the U.S. expressed confidence in the future of their current employers, down from 66 percent in the last quarter of 2007. 55 percent say that fewer jobs are available (up from 35 percent), but 48 percent are confident in their own ability to find a new job. The online survey was conducted in January to March of 2008 and polled 578 information technology workers.
Source: Spherion Corporation/Technisource IT Employment Report

Most Corporate Professionals Unaware of Information Leaks

An online and paper survey of 55 corporate professionals showed that 60 percent of respondents were unaware of the number of unreported information leaks that occur in their companies. 32 percent said they were aware that such leaks had occurred. Nearly 70 percent of companies use shared directories to store sensitive information, and 62 percent cite access control as a major challenge to secure sharing of electronic information.
Source: Thru Annual Information Management and Intellectual Property Benchmark Report

Oracle Grows Content Management Portfolio

Oracle has expanded its enterprise content management offering with Oracle Universal Online Archive and Oracle E-Mail Archive Service, two new components of Oracle Fusion Middleware. Oracle Universal Online Archive provides a highly scalable and manageable archiving system that combines the proven infrastructure of Oracle Database and the standards-based hot pluggability of Oracle Fusion Middleware with a high-volume data ingestion engine to simplify archiving, management, and rapid retrieval of multiple content types.

Oracle E-Mail Archive Service works with Oracle Universal Online Archive to provide an optimized e-mail archiving interface for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Notes, and SMTP-based e-mail systems. Together, these new offerings help organizations decrease storage and IT operations costs, improve e-mail performance and security, and reduce the cost and risk associated with e-discovery and litigation preparation.

"Oracle has decades of experience in managing huge volumes of data efficiently and securely. Oracle Universal Online Archive takes that deep understanding and brings it to bear on actively archiving multiple types of unstructured content and particularly e-mail," says Frank Radichel, vice president, software development, Oracle. "The result is a uniquely flexible archiving platform that helps lower IT costs, simplify the integration of security and records management policies into the archiving process, and improve end-user access to current and archived information."

Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems Released

Now available, Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems is a new offering within Oracle Identity Management that centralizes user management and authentication in Linux- and UNIX-based environments. While organizations have traditionally had to store and manage access and identity information locally on individual Linux or UNIX servers throughout the enterprise, Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems allows IT managers to centralize this information in a single corporate directory. This results in improved management and allows end users to access enterprise applications as well as Linux or UNIX servers through a single sign-on login.

"Business-critical applications are not secure unless the underlying operating system is secure," says Mark Diodati, senior identity and privacy analyst, Burton Group. "Scalable operating system security includes authenticating users, controlling access to resources, and doing these things across multiple, heterogeneous systems."

Organizations with UNIX or Linux servers can also enforce consistent security and compliance policies across these systems with Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems. For example, administrators and auditors can centrally disable accounts or more easily report orphaned accounts, which helps ensure that administrator access is compliant with organizational policies.

"Although the challenge of effectively and efficiently managing access to mission-critical applications deployed on Linux and UNIX is not new to organizations, this is an area that security and identity vendors have failed to address until now," says Hasan Rizvi, vice president, identity management and security products, Oracle. "Oracle is filling the void by delivering Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems."

New Oracle Enterprise Manager Plug-ins Available

Oracle has released six new Oracle Enterprise Manager system monitoring plug-ins that extend the capabilities of several products beyond the Oracle platform to allow customers to reduce the number of tools administrators need to monitor and manage complex heterogeneous IT environments. New plug-ins are available for Microsoft Exchange, EMC CLARiiON CX, VMware ESX, Apache Tomcat, Sybase Adaptive Server, and SAP applications. Additionally, enhancements to existing plug-ins for IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Juniper Networks' Netscreen Firewall, and Check Point Firewall are also available.

Developed in conjunction with third-party vendors, the plug-ins leverage Oracle Enterprise Manager's plug-in framework, which uses open, standards-based technologies with published APIs.

"Enterprise IT environments will continue to have complex management requirements as customers look for the best solutions—whether private source or open source—to solve business problems," says Leng Leng Tan, vice president, applications and systems management, Oracle. "With the new Oracle Enterprise Manager system monitoring plug-ins, Oracle is demonstrating its commitment to delivering superior top-down application management and reducing the complexity of heterogeneous IT environments."

Oracle Application Access Controls Governor 8.0 Available

Oracle is shipping Oracle Application Access Controls Governor 8, the latest release of its application access controls solution that enables compliance, audit, and security officers to automatically enforce authorization policies across Oracle and non-Oracle systems. A key component of the Oracle Governance, Risk, and Compliance applications suite, the latest release provides best-practice segregation of duties policy libraries for Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise and Oracle E-Business Suite to natively embed real-time preventive controls within the applications.

The new release also leverages a service-oriented adapter framework and integration templates that extend capabilities to non-Oracle applications. The service-oriented approach is designed to provide end-to-end access control across heterogeneous application environments. Other new features include an access policy engine that supports fine-grained controls authoring and handling, and a central work queue console that includes contextual reports with embedded heat maps, which are reports that rank the level of risk for control failures to allow users to focus their attention on the highest-risk failures.

"Oracle Application Access Controls Governor Release 8 enables organizations to resolve access and authorization pain points on a global level," says Chris Capdevila, vice president of Oracle governance, risk, and compliance strategy. "With the prebuilt library of segregation of duties controls, customers can meet their corporate governance, regulatory compliance, and risk management goals with the greatest assurance."

Oracle Deal Management Unveiled

Web Locator

 Oracle In-Memory Database Cache
Oracle Role Manager
XQilla XQuery Engine
Oracle SQL Developer 1.5
Oracle Universal Online Archive
 Oracle Authentication Services for Operating Systems
Oracle Enterprise Manager system monitoring plug-ins
Oracle Application Access Controls Governor
 Oracle Database Vault
Oracle and Empirix

Now available, Oracle Deal Management enables sales professionals to optimize the deal process, control price erosion, and make better pricing decisions in negotiations. Built on Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Deal Management supports Oracle Applications including Oracle's Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 8.0 and Oracle E-Business Suite, and has open APIs for integration with non-Oracle applications.

"Companies are realizing the need to cut costs by increasing margins through pricing initiatives to more fully capture the value of their product offerings to customers," says Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM, Oracle. "With Oracle Deal Management, companies can finally equip their sales teams with the essential deal and decision support tools to help achieve maximum profit from every deal."

Oracle Database Vault Certified with Oracle's Siebel CRM

Oracle has certified Oracle Database Vault for use with Oracle's Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to provide extensible, out-of-the-box policies that prevent unauthorized access to critical application data by privileged users. Oracle Database Vault prevents ad hoc access by Siebel business users to Siebel CRM application data, protecting against application bypass and enforcing access through the Siebel application account.

"Database access control and segregation of duty solutions are key to effective, comprehensive compliance and data protection initiatives in order to limit the potential impact of privileged users," says Trent Henry, vice president and research director, Burton Group.

With its separation of duty feature, Oracle Database Vault enables Siebel CRM application database administrators to bring new business users onboard without giving them the ability to view application data.

"Oracle Database Vault enforces real-time preventive controls and extensible, out-of-the box policies for Siebel CRM, [Oracle's] PeopleSoft Enterprise, and the Oracle E-Business Suite applications to transparently safeguard access to sensitive data within the database and help ensure regulatory compliance," says Vipin Samar, vice president of database security, Oracle.

Oracle Acquires Assets from Empirix

Oracle has agreed to acquire the e-TEST suite products from Empirix, a provider of voice and Web application testing and monitoring solutions. Empirix' e-TEST suite is a set of Web application testing solutions that help customers deploy higher-quality applications more efficiently and at lower cost. The e-TEST suite will be incorporated into Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Real Application Testing.

"Application testing is becoming increasingly important as customers seek to deploy applications faster, at a lower cost, and with higher quality of service," says Leng Leng Tan, vice president, applications and systems management, Oracle. "Customers are looking for automated application testing solutions that help prevent costly application performance problems, avoid unplanned outages of business-critical applications, and automate the manual steps involved in application testing."

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