What’s New From Oracle Database Development

Wondering what’s new from the Oracle Database develop­ment team? William Hardie, vice president of Oracle Data­base product management, shared the latest information about features and enhancements and Oracle’s database strategy with regard to on-premise, in-cloud, and hybrid cloud deployments.

Hardie covered a variety of new features and enhancements available on Oracle Cloud, including:

  • Data Safe
  • Autonomous JSON Database
  • Oracle APEX Application Development Service
  • Database Management Service
  • GoldenGate Service
  • Database Migration Service
  • Always Free Databases Services
  • Oracle’s Expanded Vision for Autonomous Data Warehouse
  • Self-Service Tools for Data Analysts
  • Self-Service Tools for Data Scientists and Citizen Data Scientists
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Customer Incentives

Data Safe

Data Safe is now available for hybrid cloud and inter-cloud deployments—helping secure customers’ databases everywhere. Database Security Service protects customers’ enterprise data—on-premise, in any public cloud, on Cloud@Customer, and through Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer.

Autonomous JSON Database

Autonomous JSON Database is a push-button upgrade to ATP (Autonomous Transaction Processing) Service. This low-cost cloud service is optimized for JSON-centric apps. It provides native JSON storage and JSON APIs, more JSON features than MongoDB for a lower price, and is faster than MongoDB and AWS DocumentDB, according to Hardie. Autonomous JSON Database has all the bene­fits of Autonomous Database, including availability, security, trans­parent scale-out without loss of ACID transactions or the use of SQL for cross-collection queries, reporting, and analysis.

Oracle APEX Application Development Service

Oracle APEX Application Development Service is low cost and elastic. This service automatically scales up and down to support dozens or millions of users, and can scale up to 128 OCPUs and 128TB storage. Each OCPU supports hundreds of thousands of page views per hour. There are no extra fees per user, per devel­oper, or per application.

Database Management Service

Database Management Service offers fleet management of Oracle Databases on-premise, in OCI, and on third-party clouds. It provides a consistent view of Oracle Databases in hybrid/multi-cloud deploy­ments. Database Management Service also provides an integrated view of database activity for easy performance diagnostics and an advanced SQL execution plan analysis for monitoring and optimi­zation. Organizations can take advantage of simplified space, configuration, users, and backup management with this service.

GoldenGate Service

With GoldenGate Service, market-leading data replication is available as a fully managed service. This service provides best-of-breed real-time data through changed data capture (CDC) data replica­tion and is cloud-native with auto-scaling. It runs GoldenGate 21c, managed by Oracle, and offers true cloud elasticity and low operation cost.

Differentiated user cases include:

  • Active-active, real-time data warehouses, and more
  • Capture or deliver data for Autonomous Databases
  • Databases may be in multi-cloud or on-premise deployments

Database Migration Service

Database Migration Service provides fully managed, easy-to-use database migrations into Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Core use cases include machine-assisted migrations for Oracle Databases, Data Marts, and Data Warehouses into Oracle Cloud. Benefits include:

  • Simplification of underlying technologies and resources
  • Logical offline and online migration
  • Schema/metadata migration
  • Based on enterprise-strength Oracle tools such as Zero Downtime Migration, GoldenGate, and Data Pump

Always Free Databases Services

Always Free Databases Services are available for JSON docu­ment management and APEX application developments. Always Free Autonomous JSON Database has the same functionality as Autonomous JSON Database Service. It includes one OCPU (shared) and up to 20GB of storage. It is also upgradable to full Autonomous Database Services. Always Free APEX Application Development has the same functionality as APEX Application Development Service. It includes one OCPU (shared) and up to 20GB of storage. It is also upgradable to full Autonomous Database Services.

Expanded Vision for Autonomous Data Warehouse

Oracle’s expanded vision for Autonomous Data Warehouse supports innovation with new self-service data management tools for data analysts, data scientists, and line-of-business developers.

Self-Service Tools for Data Analysts

Data analysts can quickly navigate from data to insights with new built-in self-service data tools. These tools enable:

  • Simple drag-and-drop loading
  • Declarative transformations and data cleansing
  • The ability to automatically create powerful multi-dimen­sional business models
  • Guided discovery of hidden patterns and anomalies

Self-Service Tools for Data Scientists and Citizen Data Scientists

With self-services tools, data scientists and citizen data scien­tists can build and deploy machine learning models quickly and easily. These tools enable:

  • Simple drag-and-drop loading
  • Exploring, preparing, and transforming datasets
  • The easy creation of models with AutoML
  • Integration of ML models into apps via REST or SQL

OCI Customer Incentives

To help accelerate customer success on Oracle Cloud Infrastruc­ture (OCI), there are new OCI customer incentives. Cloud Lift Ser­vice is a free cloud service to help customers migrate to OCI. With this service, customers have access to Oracle cloud engineers and pre­mier technical services. The service is available to existing and new OCI customers worldwide. Through the Oracle Support Rewards program, customers receive credit based on their spend on OCI. Cus­tomers will get a credit of 25% of their quarterly spend on OCI, and the credit may be used against their next bill for customer support for licensed technology products.

New in Oracle Database 21c

New features in Oracle Database 21c offer more innovations for developers, architects, analysts, data scientists, and DBAs, said Hardie. New features include these (with descriptions of some in the paragraphs that follow):

  • Blockchain Tables
  • Gradual Password Rollover
  • SQL Macros
  • AutoML
  • Persistent Memory
  • Gradual Password Rollover
  • In-Database JavaScript
  • New ML Algorithms
  • In-Memory Enhancements
  • Multitenant Enhancements
  • Native JSON Type Support
  • Better Graph Analytics
  • Better Sharding

Blockchain Tables—For Developers and Architects

Blockchain Tables are immutable SQL tables with cryp­tographically chained rows. These tables are simple to create and use, and look similar to standard tables with declarative SQL. They provide analytics and transactions on block­chain data along with multiple layers of fraud protec­tion through:

  • Cryptographic signing of new data by blockchain owner that enables non-repudiation
  • Cryptographic blockchain hashing that detects any change to data
  • Cryptographic signing of new data by users that protects against impersonation

SQL Macros—For Developers and Architects

SQL Macros are a simple method for encapsulating complex SQL expressions. SQL Macros make it easy to create reusable and portable code. They act as pre-processors for SQL, and there is no expensive context switching, which enables faster performance.

There are two types of SQL Macros:

  • Table expressions in a FROM-clause
  • Scalar expressions in a SELECT list: WHERE/HAVING, GROUP BY/ORDER BY clauses

AutoML—For Analysts and Data Scientists

AutoML provides simplified development of machine learning models for analysts and data scientists. Auto Algorithm Selection helps identify the best prediction algorithm for each workload. Auto feature selection identifies data that best predicts an outcome. Auto Model Tuning identifies model parameters for best performance.

Persistent Memory (PMEM)—For DBAs

PMEM provides faster performance with no application changes and keeps database date and redo log files in local PMEM. SQL runs directly on data stored in a mapped PMEM file system. PMEM elimi­nates the I/O code path, so there is no need for large buffer cache. New database algorithms prevent partial or inconsistent stores to PMEM, and scaleout is done using native database sharding.

Gradual Password Rollover—For DBAs

Gradual Password Rollover ensures security compliance without application downtime. DBAs can set a new password limit PASS­WORD_ROLLOVER_TIME in the user profile and create new ser­vice account password in the database. Both old and new passwords will be valid for a period, and passwords will be updated on the appli­cation side. Old passwords will expire, leaving the new password as the only valid credential.

The new Oracle Database features are available cloud-first on Autonomous Database Free Tier and Database Cloud Service. Block­chain Tables, SQL Macros, AutoML, PMEM, and Gradual Password Rollover have been backported to an Oracle Database 19c release update.

Oracle Database 19c Premier Support goes through 2024, and Extended Support ends April 30, 2027. Premier Support for Ora­cle Database 21c ends April 30, 2024. For the latest Oracle Data­base releases and support timelines, check My Oracle Support Note 742060.1.

For more information, check out Hardie’s Database & Technology Week 2021 presentation at­ings-presentations/whats-new-from-oracle-database-development