As Published In
Oracle Magazine
September/October 2008

AT ORACLE: Oracle News Briefs

Oracle Updates Entire Berkeley Database Family

Oracle has unveiled Oracle Berkeley Database Release 4.7, Oracle Berkeley Database XML Release 2.4, and Oracle Berkeley Database Java Edition Release 3.3 and has certified all three new versions with Oracle VM. Oracle Berkeley Database is a family of high-performance, open source, embeddable database engines that developers can integrate directly into software applications, devices, and equipment.

“Oracle is committed to continued development, enhancement, and support for the Oracle Berkeley Database product family, while maintaining the same open source dual license business model that it has always used,” says Rex Wang, vice president, embedded systems marketing, Oracle.

The Oracle Berkeley Database products are designed to be embedded within applications that must store data locally and run unattended. New features of Oracle Berkeley Database Release 4.7 include improved caching efficiency, faster database recovery, and support for the Java Direct Persistence Layer API and QNX real-time operating system. Oracle Berkeley Database XML Release 2.4 now supports XQuery update, cost-based query optimization, and XQilla for XQuery processing. Oracle Berkeley Database Java Edition Release 3.3 has improved scalability and caching and more-efficient in-memory and on-disk storage, as well as support for Google Android and Apache Maven.

Oracle Audit Vault Supports SQL Server

Oracle Audit Vault Release 2, now available, supports Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005 database auditing in addition to Oracle databases. Oracle Audit Vault consolidates audit data into a secure, centralized Oracle Data Warehouse and analyzes that data in real time for unauthorized activities that violate security and regulatory mandates.

“Oracle Audit Vault Release 2 allows organizations to turn database audit data into mission-critical business intelligence for ensuring enterprise security and regulatory compliance,” says Vipin Samar, vice president of database security, Oracle. “With this latest release, Oracle Audit Vault customers can now also monitor SQL Server databases. Additionally the enhanced alerting and reporting capabilities make the product an even more powerful tool for detecting unauthorized activities and automating critical compliance reporting functions.”

The new release offers more built-in compliance reports related to Sarbanes-Oxley, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and other data privacy protection regulations. It also features improved capabilities in filtering of audit data, highlighting rows with condition values, and generating charts and graphs. Custom reports can be saved and shared within the enterprise or with external auditors.

Oracle WebLogic Suite Available

Oracle has released Oracle WebLogic Suite, a single, unified application server offering that features high-performance scalability and manageability.

Part of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle WebLogic Suite brings together two industry-leading Java-based application servers to support enterprise applications and services: Oracle WebLogic Server Enterprise Edition and Oracle Application Server Enterprise Edition. The suite also includes Oracle Coherence Enterprise Edition, which provides scalability, and Oracle WebLogic Operations Control, which automates application provisioning and resource allocation. Oracle JRockit Java Virtual Machine is the underlying engine that drives Oracle WebLogic Suite, and a variant of it, Oracle JRockit Real Time, is also included to ensure predictable, smooth-running systems.

“Oracle WebLogic Suite includes a combination of application infrastructure products that deliver unique scale-out capabilities to Java applications,” says Rick Schultz, vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware product marketing. “The suite combines Oracle WebLogic Server, the industry’s leading Java application server, with Oracle Coherence, the industry’s leading in-memory data grid, and includes dynamic system provisioning and predictable performance to enable customers to run highly scalable Java applications including those that require an extreme transaction processing infrastructure.”

Oracle WebLogic Application Grid Released

Oracle has introduced Oracle WebLogic Application Grid, an industry-leading extreme scale-out grid platform that works with any application server, including Oracle WebLogic Server, IBM WebSphere Application Server, and JBoss Application Server. It also works in a pure grid environment without an application server. Built to serve a growing list of industries needing transactional power and dealing with skyrocketing business growth, Oracle WebLogic Application Grid can help organizations minimize the cost of running business-critical applications, deliver new products and services quickly, and manage ever-increasing quality-of-service demands.

“Oracle’s customers are seeing tremendous increases in demand for transaction processing,” says Adam Messinger, vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware. “Oracle is unique in its ability to deliver an integrated stack for extreme performance that enables predictable latency and scalability on commodity hardware. Oracle WebLogic Application Grid meets customer demand for transaction processing power today, while protecting against unexpected growth tomorrow.”

Did You Know?

Some IT Staffers Sneak a Peek

In a survey of 300 senior IT professionals conducted at Infosecurity Expo 2008, one-third of respondents admitted to using their privileged rights to access confidential or sensitive information, and 47 percent said that they had accessed information that was not relevant to their job role. 30 percent said that the privileged passwords in their organizations get changed every quarter, while 9 percent said that privileged passwords never get changed.
Source: Cyber-Ark

RDBMS Market Continues Growth, Led by Oracle

In 2007, the worldwide relational database management system (RDBMS) market is estimated to have grown by 12.6 percent, from US$16.7 billion in 2006 to US$18.8 billion. Oracle led the RDBMS market again and increased its market share in 2007. The top five vendors—Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Teradata, and Sybase—collectively represent more than 90 percent of the market.
Source: IDC

Web 2.0 Use Widespread, But Decision-Makers Remain Cautious

While 50 percent of corporations and 30 percent of government organizations surveyed have deployed Web 2.0 tools, worries persist. Of 1,060 IT decision-makers surveyed, 31 percent are concerned that personal use of these technologies will overshadow work-related use, 28 percent worry about information security, and 27 percent think employees will waste time with Web 2.0 technologies.

In the private sector, use of Web 2.0 technologies correlates with company size: they’re deployed by 67 percent of large companies, 53 percent of medium businesses, and 27 percent of small businesses.
Source: CDW

Oracle WebLogic Application Grid is based on a set of industry-leading technologies for scalability and performance, including Oracle Coherence, Oracle JRockit, and Oracle Enterprise Manager.

Oracle Tuxedo Brings Modern Architecture to Mainframe Applications

Now available, Oracle Tuxedo is the best-in-class application server for C, C++, and COBOL applications and is a proven choice for transaction processing and integration among customers who migrate applications from mainframe systems. Oracle Tuxedo currently runs many large transactional systems, including wire transfers, ATMs, airlines, and telecommunications systems.

“[Oracle] Tuxedo has established an excellent track record and large loyal customer base due to its superior performance and outstanding reliability,” says Frank Xiong, vice president, software development, Oracle. “Now [Oracle] Tuxedo is playing a critical role in the applications rehosted from the mainframe among more than 100 customers worldwide. We expect that more and more customers will leverage its top-rated performance and far lower total cost of ownership than mainframe for rehosting their applications to distributed and open systems.”

In addition to its high-throughput engine for mission-critical applications, Oracle Tuxedo features distributed transaction processing, an extensible integration infrastructure, advanced security features, resource management tools, and a powerful system and applications monitor.

Oracle Acquires AdminServer

Oracle has acquired AdminServer, a provider of insurance policy administration software. AdminServer’s products will become components of Oracle’s insurance industry software offering, which is used by all 20 top global insurance companies and more than 1,000 insurers worldwide.

Web Locator

 Oracle Berkeley Database
Oracle Audit Vault
Oracle WebLogic Suite
Oracle WebLogic Application Grid
Oracle Tuxedo
Oracle and AdminServer
Oracle and Skywire

“Most insurers still rely on legacy policy administration applications that are extremely inflexible and impede enterprise agility and efficiency,” says Oracle President Charles Phillips. “Together, Oracle and AdminServer plan to deliver the most modern, comprehensive, standards-based, and well-integrated enterprise software suite for the insurance industry.”

Oracle Buys Skywire Software’s Application Business

Oracle has agreed to acquire the application software business of Skywire Software, a provider of insurance software and document management applications. Skywire’s software assists insurers in managing the lifecycle of an insurance policy, including insurance policy creation, rating, insurance agent and broker management, and information exchange.

“Insurance is a strategic industry for Oracle, with growth focused on integrated packaged applications. Insurance applications, such as Skywire Software’s for insurance policy lifecycle management, help insurers navigate an increasingly complex business environment,” says Oracle President Charles Phillips. “Adding Skywire Software to our growing portfolio of insurance software products further accelerates our investment in and commitment to providing the most modern and complete software solutions for this industry.”

The addition of Skywire Software will also expand the Oracle Enterprise Content Management solution with customer communication management and document automation capabilities.

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