Oracle Streams enables the propagation and management of data, transactions and events in a data stream either within a database, or from one database to another. The stream routes published information to subscribed destinations. The result is a new feature that provides greater functionality and flexibility than traditional solutions for capturing and managing events, and sharing the events with other databases and applications. As users' needs change, they can simply implement a new capability of Oracle Streams, without sacrificing existing capabilities.
Senior Director for Oracle Streams Development
Location: Redwood Shores, California
Technology: Oracle Streams
Q: What makes Oracle Streams innovative?
A: It's an extremely flexible feature that enables customers to detect and process database changes in a fast, low latency, and efficient manner. Oracle Streams captures database changes by mining the database log. This mining can be performed on the source database itself or on another, less-loaded site. Oracle Streams lets users control which information to share and where to send it by specifying SQL-like rules. You can then modify the captured data by declarative transformations. Finally, you consume the captured data, for example, by applying the changes at a replicated Oracle database or by distributing changes via messaging, or by applying through gateways, or by defining customized PL/SQL handlers. All this Oracle Streams flexibility is built into the Oracle database, and can be combined in different innovative ways to match customer needs and requirements.
Q: Why is innovation important?
A: Innovation prevents stagnation. The Oracle database is the gold standard. It leads the competition by a wide margin. IBM and Microsoft are playing catch up by adding features we already have, but we need to continue to innovate to maintain this lead.
Q: Can you think of examples where Oracle has helped our customers become more innovative?
A: The key to Oracle Streams is its flexibility and how it enables customers to get things done in innovative ways. ComputerWeekly.com published an article called "CERN leads the way in database innovation" that describes how they use Oracle Streams to capture, filter and synchronize the huge amount of information generated by the Large Hadron Collider in a world-wide grid. Imprivata has embedded Oracle Streams within its own product. Bharti Airtel used Oracle Streams to enable online reporting. Worthington Industries used Oracle Streams to provide high availability during planned maintenance. Bonnier Corporation used Oracle Streams to migrate its data to a larger data center. In addition to replication and data warehousing, Oracle Streams is being used to audit changes for security purposes and interoperability between applications. We love it when customers use Oracle Streams in new ways!
Q: How do you think Oracle's innovative culture helps our customers?
A: Oracle's culture enables innovation in all sorts of hidden, non-intuitive ways. Corporations store their crown jewels—their data—inside the Oracle database. The Oracle Database is one of the world's largest and most complex applications that is maintained and enhanced by a large, international development team. Yet, we're able to regularly release a new, high-quality version on a regular basis. To accomplish this, Oracle needs to be innovative in its development environment both in terms of tools and hardware resources, and innovative in how we exhaustively test interaction between all features in both expected and unexpected ways. Customers can't see the innovation that resulted in this world-class development process, but it's an important part of Oracle's culture.
Q: Who would you say is the most innovative person at Oracle?
A: In the database context, I believe Juan Loaiza is currently the most innovative person at Oracle. He is the mastermind behind the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server. It's Oracle's first step into the hardware side of the industry. I think this product has great potential and will evolve in exciting ways going forward.
Innovation can also be defined in the business context, where I believe Larry Ellison has been the most innovative. Oracle has done very well in improving our position despite the economic downturn.
Q: Who in the broader world—in world history—do you think of as the most innovative person?
A: The person that immediately comes to mind is Leonardo da Vinci. He was an innovator of many ideas across many disciplines including painting, sculptures, hydraulics, aerodynamics, anatomy, and optics. His now-famous notebooks described innovations that were way ahead of his time including a diving apparatus, gliders, parachutes, and military machines. In many ways, he was an innovator of modern scientific observation.
Q: What non-Oracle technology are you excited about right now?
A: I'm keeping my eye on Amazon Web services. Amazon is trying to reinvent the data center and make it cloud-based. If you are a growing internet startup, Amazon Web services let you scale incrementally. If you are temporarily short of resources or need to run some experiments requiring brute force computation, Amazon web services are a relatively inexpensive and flexible way to go. Again, it's flexibility that is key to fostering innovation.