Oracle8i™ New Features Summary

Features Overview February 1999

Oracle8i, the database for Internet computing, changes the way information is managed and accessed to meet the demands of the Internet age, while providing significant new features for traditional OLTP and data warehouse applications. With solutions developed and deployed with Oracle8i, any organization is able to exploit the unlimited opportunities the Internet provides. Oracle8i not only provides the advanced tools to manage all types of data that is found in today’s most popular web sites, but it also to provides the performance and scalability needed to support these large sites and other mission-critical applications. In today’s fast-paced business climate, application developers have been pushed to produce advanced applications not only quickly, but also with inherent flexibility to meet ever-changing needs. Oracle8i introduces additional support for Java™ – today’s most popular and productive programming language by including a robust, integrated, and scalable Java VM within the server. This expands Oracle’s support for Java into all tiers of applications, allowing Java programs to be deployed where they perform best, either in the client, server, or middle tier without recompiling or modifying the Java code. Oracle8i also includes Oracle® WebDB, a browser-based application development, deployment, and management toolset that makes web-enabling a business easy and inexpensive. Oracle8i is much more than just a simple relational data store. Oracle, having invented the relational database, continues to lead and revolutionize the database industry by introducing iFS (Internet File System) and interMedia with Oracle8i. iFS, the Internet file system, provides the easy-to-use functionality of a file system combined with the advantages of all data, such as text and web pages, in a single server – data integration with the cost savings of a single server.

Oracle8i also introduces interMedia, which allows businesses to manage and access multi-media data, including image, text, audio/video, and spatial data. Not only does Oracle8i introduce significant breakthrough technology, such as a Java VM and iFS, it also has significant new features and functionality for traditional OLTP and data warehouse applications. Oracle8i provides the scalability, availability, and performance needed by mission-critical applications. For data warehouses, Oracle8i now provides sophisticated

summary management features to store aggregates that are commonly queried, reducing query processing significantly. For OLTP applications, Oracle8i introduces many features that improve the availability of the database during routine operations, such as index rebuilds, and in disaster situations, by providing automated standby database support. The deployment of applications is just as critical as the functionality of the application, with performance and manageability the key to the success of the implementation. Oracle8i provides many alternatives to the client/server implementation architecture. Oracle is reducing the

complexity of application management by providing an architecture that allows for thin-clients that are easy to support and maintain, and by consolidating data and logic in a single or replicated server environment. Data can be replicated to servers that are closer to users and have only the data those users need, providing better performance. Finally, Oracle8i includes Oracle® Enterprise Manager, which is the comprehensive management framework for managing the Oracle database and application environment. Oracle Enterprise Manager includes an easy-to-use centralized console, a rich set of management tools, and the extensibility to detect and solve any problems that may arise. It also includes several

administrative applications for performing day-to-day tasks for databases and applications, such as scheduling backup routines. Based on the world’s leading database technology, Oracle8i is designed for efficient application development, superior content management, and successful application deployment on the Internet.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


In today’s ever-changing computing environment, new groups of users demand access to information rapidly and efficiently. Applications that are developed to meet these needs have their own requirements for availability, performance, and functionality. products in the Oracle8i product line:
• Oracle8i delivers unprecedented ease-of-use, power, and price/performance for workgroup or

Oracle offers three

department-level applications. Oracle8i includes a fully integrated set of easy-to-use management tools, full distribution, replication, and web features. From single-server environments for small businesses to highly distributed, branch environments, Oracle8i includes all the facilities necessary to build business-critical applications.
• Oracle8i Enterprise Edition provides efficient, reliable, secure data management for high-end

applications such as high volume on-line transaction processing (OLTP) and query-intensive data warehouse applications. Oracle8i Enterprise Edition provides the tools and functionality to meet the demanding availability and scalability requirements required by today’s missioncritical applications.
• Personal Oracle8i supports single user development and deployment that require full

compatibility with Oracle8i and Oracle8i Enterprise Edition. By bringing the award-winning functionality of Oracle8i to the personal computer, Oracle offers a database that combines the power of the world’s most popular database with the ease of use and simplicity you’d expect in a desktop product.

These Oracle8i products are all built using the same robust and reliable database engine architecture. Oracle8i and Personal Oracle8i are both 100 percent compatible with Oracle8i Enterprise Edition on more than 90 different platforms, so your database applications can scale from the laptop to the desktop to the enterprise without re-engineering. This document describes all features and functionality found in all three Oracle8i products. For details on each product, please consult the collateral specific to that product.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999



Java has quickly become today’s most popular programming language because it appeals to everyone, from developers who find the language robust and object-oriented, to CIOs and managers who see Java as reducing costs and simplifying application development and support. Oracle8i extends Oracle’s Java strategy by integrating a scalable Java Virtual Machine (Java VM) with the database server. Oracle8i also supports SQLJ, a syntax for embedding SQL in Java code. Java in the database allows developers to create high performing, scalable applications based on open, industry standards. The Java VM in the Oracle database enables developers to write, store, and execute Java code within the database. This means developers can create stored procedures, functions, or triggers in Java. A Java VM within the database server also dramatically reduces the skill set required for database programming. As opposed to C, Oracle Call Interface, PL/SQL™, and other languages, developers can now create applications using only Java. SQLJ provides a powerful and easy to use interface between relational databases and Java. It is an open standard being developed by Oracle, IBM, and Sun. Using SQLJ, SQL can easily be embedded in client or server Java code for communication with a relational database. Client-side Java code with SQLJ statements are run through a Java pre-compiler to create executable Java programs based on JDBC. Server-side Java code directly accesses the database, via native interfaces. Oracle8i also provides support for Enterprise JavaBeans™ and communication via the CORBA communication standard, IIOP. Distributed Java objects can connect directly to Java objects in an Oracle Data Server via native CORBA protocols. JDeveloper™ is Oracle’s next generation component-based Java development environment. JDeveloper allows developers to build complete Oracle and 100 percent Java business solutions. JDeveloper supports any kind of development from a simple JavaBeans component to an enterprise-wide application development environment.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle8i also integrates closely with Oracle Application Server, which provides an open, standards-based architecture for developing and deploying real-world business and commerce applications. Its scalable, distributed architecture and superior database integration are the

foundation for supporting business-critical, transaction-based applications.

Oracle WebDB is the solution for building, deploying, and proactively monitoring web database applications, and content-driven Web sites. By combining an intuitive, HTML interface with a complete set of robust, browser-based HTML tools, Oracle WebDB enables users to easily and quickly develop Web database applications. Oracle WebDB is the fastest and easiest way to webenable Oracle databases. Oracle WebDB comes with all the tools necessary to build dynamic Web applications and content-driven Web sites. Applications and Web sites developed using Oracle WebDB are completely contained within the Oracle database. The only client software needed to develop and deploy Oracle WebDB applications is a Web browser. There is no need to install software on every machine being used, no need to use FTP to remotely manage files, and no need to have a complex deployment plan every time a developer fixes a bug and needs to upgrade the system. Oracle WebDB truly meets the demanding challenges the Internet poses to the traditional IT shop — fast application development and simplified deployment.

Oracle8i includes the powerful, flexible, scalable application development features necessary to construct a new generation of sophisticated applications at low cost. Declarative functionality such as constraints ensure scalable, reliable enforcement of data integrity, while minimizing development, maintenance, and administration costs. PL/SQL, an advanced procedural 4GL language that is tightly integrated with the Oracle8i Server, provides the power to easily express complex business rules as stored, procedural code in the form of stored procedures or triggers. Java is also available as an open alternative to PL/SQL. Wherever PL/SQL can be programmed, so can Java. The Oracle8i programmatic interfaces enable 3GL programs to access and

manipulate Oracle8i data and schemas.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle8i National Language Support (NLS) ensures that error messages, sort order, date format, and other conventions automatically adapt to the native language. Parameter settings at the Oracle8i and operating system levels determine the behavior of individual conventions Oracle8i’s productive development features improve application performance, scalability, and security, to support hundreds of applications and thousands of users.

The Web and the Internet bring many new challenges to organizations. Today’s Web sites are usually a series of Web pages that take too much time and too many human resources to develop, deploy, and manage. In addition, their infrastructure is usually not stable or robust enough to support mission-critical applications. Everything you need to transform data into a powerful application and content-driven Web site development environment is included with Oracle8i. It essentially eliminates the differences between the way in which database stores data and the way web sites store files.

Oracle iFS combines the power of Oracle8i with the ease of use of a file system. Completely integrated with Oracle8i, the Internet File System is a Java application that runs on the Oracle8i Java VM. From the end user’s standpoint, iFS appears as if it were just another volume on the network. Whether the user accesses the contents of iFS through Windows Explorer, a Web browser, an FTP client, or an e-mail client, the files appear the same. Relational data can appear as files; so too can hybrid documents that combine relational and non-relational data. It also supports intelligent text searches and queries of files and data stored in iFS. From a developer’s standpoint, iFS is the single data store containing the data for many different applications. And for the system administrator, iFS provides a single system for file storage and messaging, rather than several separate systems to maintain and administer. In short, iFS is a simpler way of storing different types of files in the database.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


As part of Oracle8i, iFS provides universal access to any data in the database. While the iFS runs within Oracle8i, it appears as if it were simply another file system volume on the network. Any data or files in iFS can be accessed using any of these different protocols:
• SMB for Windows 95, 98 or NT Clients - Users can drag files into and out of iFS, or edit them

directly within iFS.
• HTTP Or FTP For Web Browsers And Network Computers - The contents of iFS are displayed

as normal web pages or standard FTP directories.
• SMTP, IMAP4, POP3 - For using iFS like an e-mail system through clients like Netscape

Communicator, Eudora, Microsoft Outlook, and others.

Web applications require advanced data management services that support the rich data types used in Web repository, e-commerce, and other Internet applications. Oracle interMedia adds support that enables Oracle8i to manage multimedia content, both for Internet, and traditional applications that need access to image, audio, video, text, and location information. interMedia includes the following: Oracle’s award-winning ConText® text services, to deliver the powerful text retrieval capabilities fundamental to Web applications. This lets users query and analyze documents stored in document archives, online news feeds, customer call reports, and other online text information sources. Users can query for data in the most common formats, including HTML, Word, Excel, and Acrobat/PDF formats. Audio, video, and image services support integrated management of audio, video, and image information within an Oracle8i database. These services enable access to audio, video, and image data in dozens of Internet formats from a variety of sources, both within Oracle8i and from external locations such as Web URL sites or specialized servers. interMedia supports delivery of video through any streaming server such as the Oracle Video Server, or RealNetworks RealAudio and RealVideo Servers. interMedia also supports drag and drop of audio, video, and image data through the interMedia clipboard into web applications and web authoring tools such as Oracle WebDB, Symantec Visual Page, and Microsoft FrontPage. Geometric locator services to support the development of Internet applications that help users locate information, such as stores, distribution points, and events, based on their location or

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


distance from a given address. interMedia locator enables Oracle8i to perform location queries, and supports the Internet’s leading online geocoding services, including Centrus from QMSoft and MapXtreme from MapInfo.

Oracle8i expands upon the high-end functionality of release 8.0 and includes new features for managing multi-user data warehouses, more partitioning options, better interaction with on-line analytical processing (OLAP) tools, and a fast and easy mechanism for moving data between identical Oracle databases.

Managing CPU and disk resources in a multi-user data warehouse or OLTP application is challenging. As more users require access, contention for resources becomes greater. Oracle8i introduces resource management functionality to provide greater control of system resources assigned to users. Important online users, such as order entry clerks, can be given a high priority, while other users — those running batch reports — receive lower priorities. High priority users are given more system resources than lower priority users. Users are assigned to resource classes, such as “order entry” or “executive,” and each resource class is then assigned an appropriate percentage of machine resources.

Partitioning stores large tables and indexes in pieces, instead of as one large monolithic object. Partitions are a “divide and conquer” technique which provides scalable performance with a large amount of data. Oracle8™ introduced range partitioning which provides better manageability, availability, and performance. Oracle8i introduces two new partitioning types: hash and

composite. Hash partitioning provides an easy-to-use mechanism for evenly striping data across devices, retaining the benefit of performance. Composite partitioning combines the best of both approaches. Data is first partitioned by a range of values, then each partition is sub-partitioned into several hash partitions.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Hash partitioning provides a very simple way to break data up into evenly sized containers to be spread across multiple I/O devices, or even multiple machines in a shared-nothing cluster. Query performance is improved by spreading I/O across multiple devices. Manageability is simple if the number of partitions doesn’t change, which makes this approach inappropriate for rolling change windows of historical data. Composite partitioning provides the superior manageability and availability benefits of range partitioning with the data distribution advantages of hash partitioning. Administrators can specify ranges of values for the primary partitions of the table or index, then specify a number of hash sub-partitions. Data skew is unlikely because sub-partitions can always be added or dropped within a partition to maintain even distribution of each container. Administrators can also easily maintain rolling change windows of historical data by adding/dropping primary partitions without affecting sub-partitions in other primary partitions. All partitioning techniques are transparent to applications and standard DML statements run against partitioned tables. The optimizer is partition-aware, and partitions which do not contain any data for a query are eliminated from the search, often resulting in a substantial performance increase.

OLAP tools, such as Oracle® Express® Analyzer, provide superior performance while allowing substantial flexibility in viewing data in multiple ways. The tools require a multidimensional data model to provide acceptable performance as the data dimensions are changed. Oracle8i provides a mechanism for storing multiple dimensions and summary calculations of a table. So, when a query requests a summary of detail records, the query is transparently re-written to access the stored aggregates, rather than summing the detail records every time the query is issued, resulting in dramatic query performance improvements. These summaries are automatically maintained from data in the base table. Oracle8i also provides summary advisory functions that assist database administrators (DBAs) in choosing where summary tables will be the most effective, depending on actual workload and schema statistics. Oracle8i also includes the CUBE and ROLLUP operators for OLAP analysis via SQL.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Moving data from a data warehouse to a data mart or from an OLTP system to a staging area for a data warehouse can be cumbersome and time consuming. Direct path loading via SQL*Loader® or parallel DML makes the task faster, but the process should be simpler for data movement between identical databases. Oracle8i provides a mechanism for copying tablespaces (datafiles) between identical systems and allowing the same data to be accessed by both systems. Now data movement can be as fast as simply transferring the file between machines. This greatly improves performance and operational simplicity of transferring data.

Oracle8i provides an API to the direct path load mechanism. This provides a way for ISVs and system management tool partners to create easy-to-use and high-performance data loading tools. Access to all load functionality is available through the API. Performance of any third party data loading tool can therefore be comparable to SQL*Loader.

Oracle8i also includes many new features that improve the management and performance of data warehouse applications. Index rebuilds can now be done online, without interrupting inserts, updates, or deletes that may be occurring on the base table. Function-based indexes can be used to index expressions, such as arithmetic expressions or functions that modify column values. Indexes can now also be created as descending indexes, which provides fast access when rows returned by the index need to be sorted in descending order. Progress of long running operations, such as an index build or backup operation, can now be monitored by users to determine an approximate completion time. The sample function has been introduced to allow queries run and only access a specified percentage of the rows or blocks of a table, useful for getting meaningful aggregate amounts, such as an average, without accessing every row of a table. Finally,

optimizer statistics can be copied from one database to another and execution plans can be stored so that they remain the same across Oracle releases, database changes, or other factors which could cause the cost-based optimizer to choose another access path.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Demanding OLTP applications benefit from a number of new features which improve availability, scalability, performance, and manageability.

Oracle8i improves upon the standby database features introduced in Oracle7™ release 7.3. Redo log files are now automatically shipped and applied to the standby database. This greatly

simplifies the administration of the standby system and allows it to be quickly available in the event of a failure at the primary site. Optionally, Oracle8i allows for performing read-only operations on the standby database. Administrators can halt the application of the redo log files to perform queries and produce reports on the standby so as not to consume resources on the primary system. Once the reports are complete, automatic application of redo log files can resume.

Advanced queuing adds direct support in the database for high performance queuing or messaging operations. This capability adds asynchrony and eliminates the dependency on

external systems for applications requiring high scalability. The enqueue and dequeue operations may also be used to shift processing from within a transaction to a background process, improving the transaction response time. In Oracle8i, advanced queuing has been improved with a robust rule-based publish/subscribe model for automatic forwarding of messages to registered clients. Applications can subscribe to a queue using a rule to determine what queue messages they are “interested” in. With a business event framework, integrated applications that subscribe to messages for seamless communication can be created. New event triggers now allow a database event, such as a database startup or user login, fire a trigger to execute an operation.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Numerous enhancements in Oracle Parallel Server improve performance, scalability, and manageability. Oracle Parallel Server provides Cache Fusion technology for transparently scaling non-partitioned applications such as enterprise resource planning applications and Internet applications in a highly available computing environment. Cache Fusion is a superior parallel cache management scheme that uses the cluster interconnect for establishing cache coherence, across nodes, and eliminates disk I/O.

Cluster load balancing features with Oracle Parallel Server enable large numbers of user connections to be balanced across cluster nodes, enhancing transaction throughput and maintaining system response. These features make Oracle8i a powerful platform for deploying Internet applications that have thousands of on-line users. Oracle Parallel Server presents the cluster computing environment as a single management entity. This enables “perform once and replicate cluster-wide” features such as installation and configuration of the cluster database. System monitoring is more effective because the Database Administrator (DBA) is able to view aggregate statistics charts for the entire cluster and then drill down a particular node of the cluster.

Recovery Manager has been enhanced in Oracle8i to provide significant manageability improvements. Recovery Manager now has an integrated media management layer so that it can direct the media management software to perform the copy operation on Oracle’s behalf. Recovery Manager also cross checks its catalog with the media management software’s catalog and marks deleted backups as “expired.” Recovery Manager also allows the administrator to preview a planned restore/recovery, thus allowing them to know what will happen before the restore/recovery starts. For multiple copies of backups, Recovery Manager now allows for duplexing backup sets to multiple I/O devices. For easy rollout of multiple identical databases, Recovery Manager allows administrators to restore duplicate databases and restore a database in multiple locations, for example, for the purpose of deploying a distributed database.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Recovery Manager also improves the performance of massively parallel processing (MPP) systems by being aware of disk affinity on each node. Recovery Manager will attempt to perform local read-and-write operations as opposed to remote operations. Oracle8i introduces the LogMiner™ feature which allows DBAs to view the contents of the transaction log files, allowing them to view what SQL DML and DDL operations were executed, by whom, and at what time. It also creates the SQL necessary to “backout” any operation that was inadvertently executed by a user, such as many inserts statements to re-create records that were accidentally deleted from a table. DBAs now have the means to control the time required for instance and crash recovery, allow them to enforce a desired bounded recovery time. This feature allows the DBA to specify an upper limit on the number of blocks that require recovery during instance recovery.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Version 2 is delivered with Oracle8i. The latest version of Oracle's management framework includes many enhancements to improve its scalability, reliability, and usability. The architecture is now 3-tier, greatly improving scalability and providing automatic load-balancing and failover for critical management services. This architecture also provides support for multiple EM administrators using different consoles to share real-time management information stored in a common repository. The Oracle Enterprise Manager console is now a Java-based application that can be run as an installed Java application or run from a browser.

Oracle8i dramatically improves the installation, configuration, and manageability of Oracle applications. Oracle Universal Installer and the Database Configuration Assistant are Java-based applications used to install, pre-tune, and configure an Oracle8™ database environment by detecting hardware characteristics and prompting for information, such as the number of concurrent users the database will support. The installation and management of Oracle Parallel Server has been dramatically improved since Oracle Universal Installer is cluster-aware and distributes and installs software on all nodes in the cluster.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle8 release 8.0 included cartridges for most popular datatypes, such as images, video, text, and spatial data. Oracle8i includes a comprehensive set of APIs for data cartridge developers. This allows partner-developed data cartridges to have the same internal access mechanisms as Oracle-developed data cartridges. New data cartridges have low-level access to memory, the optimizer, indexing, and other database internals. Partners can develop highly-customized data cartridges and meet performance goals of demanding multimedia applications.

Oracle8i introduces fine-grained access control and an improved security model for multitiered environments. Fine-grained access control uses a parameter-driven, extensible application

context to allow applications to control users’ access based on a user attribute, such as their customer number. For example, in a web application, an administrator may wish to give access to external customers, but allowing them access only their own orders. Using fine-grained access control, this can be easily accomplished without the administrative overhead of views, by using the context area to store the customer number and a security policy to determine what rows can be accessed. Currently, in multi-tier architectures, the middle tier is typically insecure and can perform any action on behalf of any user. Middle-tiers, especially web servers or application servers, may often sit on or outside a firewall, so limiting their access and auditing their actions is important. Oracle8i provides the ability to limit which users a middle tier can connect and the ability to audit the middle-tier as a particular user.

Oracle8i Advanced Replication contains major performance improvements and significant new functionality specifically targeted at users deploying front-office automation applications.

Oracle8i continues moving more of the replication code into the database kernel, further improving replication performance. Just as the triggers used to capture replication changes were

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


internalized with release 8.0, the generated packages used to apply these replicated transactions at the remote locations have now been internalized. Not only does this significantly improve data propagation performance and reduce instantiation times, but it improves manageability as well. Internal packages are secure from user tampering and do not require regeneration. Snapshot refresh performance has also been improved. While the “push” phase is able to take advantage of the performance improvements provided by internal packages, the performance of the “pull” phase has been dramatically improved by greatly reducing the number of round-trips required. This optimization is especially beneficial to users of large refresh groups.

Many of the features in Oracle8i are designed to aid users implementing front-office automation applications, especially mass deployment applications, such as field service and sales-force automation applications. Snapshot refresh group templates, additional monitoring capabilities in Oracle Replication Manager, and improved off-line instantiation allow administrators to centrally define and administer hundreds of remote snapshot sites. Snapshot refresh group templates allow master-side definition of remote snapshots. The snapshot definitions can contain multiple

parameters, yielding the greatest flexibility in defining snapshots. Additionally, these snapshots can be partitioned both horizontally, as well as vertically, to deploy the minimum amount of data needed by a remote site. Vertical partitioning provides protection from changes at the master site. When adding a column to a master table (or dropping a column not in use by a dependent snapshot), the snapshot can continue to perform fast refreshes, without being affected by the DDL change. Because all of these new Oracle8 Advanced Replication features are also supported by Oracle Lite, organizations are free to deploy their applications on a lightweight, mobile database, without sacrificing any functionality.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle8 release 8.0 made a major leap in data management technology with the introduction of an object-relational paradigm. Oracle8i completes some of the functional areas introduced in release 8.0, and improves upon many of the features. Object types can now be columns of partitioned tables and can be loaded using SQL*Loader. Parallel queries can now operate on tables with object type columns or object tables. There are also several performance improvements when using object types and LOB columns. Variable-width character sets are supported in CLOB and NCLOB columns. Also, the client-side object cache has been improved to allow tracing and debugging, as well as supporting optimistic locking.

Oracle8i provides advances in networking performance and administration and introduces the Oracle Internet Directory. configuration of Net8 Manager. Oracle Internet Directory is an LDAPv3-compliant, hierarchical data repository for storing enterprise user information, including X.509 certificates, enterprise roles, and Oracle Wallets. Online schema management permits schema enhancements, extending the already extensive predefined directory schema. OSD implements Secure Socket Layer (SSL) v3 for authenticated access and data privacy. OSD tightly integrates with the Oracle family of products, including Oracle Application Server and Internet Messaging. Oracle8i, along with Net8, allows sites to leverage investments in existing applications while at the same time exploit new major Internet standards, such as Java, IIOP, and SSL.

Network administration has been simplified by automating the

and by integrating administrative functions with Oracle Enterprise

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle8i also contains improvements in several other areas. National Language Support (NLS), ANALYZE performance and functionality, space management, and diagnostic tools have also been improved. NLS has been improved to support Unicode UCS2 character sets in Oracle Call Interface, ODBC, and the pre-compiler products. Functional indexes now support a linguistic-sorted index on column data. Also, the Euro currency symbol is now supported. NT environments also have support for new character sets, and new defined territories in Europe (Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan), Asia Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore), and Africa (South Africa). ANALYZE functionality has been improved and extended to analyze tables in parallel as well as have more granularity and gather subsets of statistics. Space management has been improved to allow for defined tablespaces to use bitmaps to indicate free blocks, resulting in more efficient storage management. Temporary tables can now be created where the rows are only exist for the duration of the session or transaction, simplifying applications that may need to store temporary results in a table. Also, Oracle8i adds the functionality to drop a column from a table. Oracle8i also contains advanced diagnostic tools to be used in conjunction with World Wide Support in analyzing and troubleshooting.

A simple and fast migration script allows organizations to upgrade from release 8.0.x to Oracle8i. The migration utility is enhanced to allow migration from 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3 directly to Oracle8i. Oracle8i includes a COMPATIBILITY parameter which can be set to a previous release to disallow any new functionality. Export and Import are also supported to move data to and from previous versions to Oracle8i.

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999



• MERGE partition operation • Top “n” query optimization

Application Development Transaction Processing
• Java VM in the database • Java stored procedures, functions, and • Publish and subscribe capabilities • Database event triggers • Autonomous transactions • Single-table hash cluster • Object type columns in partitioned tables • LOBs in partitioned tables • Partitioned index-organized tables • Stable optimizer execution plans

• Seamless interaction between Java, SQL,

and PL/SQL
• SQLJ: embedded SQL in Java code • Enhanced JDBC driver • WebDB to build, deploy, and monitor

Web applications

Content Management Oracle Parallel Server
• interMedia • iFS • Cache Fusion technology for scaling non-

partitioned applications.
• Installation and Configuration Wizards • Automatic connection load balancing • Job execution forced on specific node

Data Warehousing
• Summary management • Hash and composite partitioning • Resource management • Transportable tablespaces • Functional index and virtual columns • Online index build and rebuild • Descending indexes • Automated parallel query degree • Join index and DML-aware

Object Relational Database
• Temporary LOBs • Collection unnesting • Enhancement of object views • Enhancements to object cache • Enhancing SQL*Loader to support loading

of objects, collections, and LOBs
• LOB performance enhancements • LONG to LOB data migration • User-defined object identifiers and nested

single table summary
• Read-only standby database • Direct path load API • New bitmap index features • Sample function • Parallel and fine-grained ANALYZE • Disable validate constraint state • Copy statistics

table identifiers
• Analyze detects dangling REFs

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


• Fine-grained access control • Extensible and parameter-driven

Replication/Front Office Automation
• Snapshot templates for easier

mass deployment
• Off-line instantiation • Column-level subsetting in

application context specification
• LDAP integration • N-tier authentication/authorization • SSL and X.509v3 support • RADIUS adapter

updatable snapshots
• Internalized apply packages • Snapshot refresh performance improvements • Distributed query optimizations

Systems Management and Ease of Use
• Multi-user, Java-based Oracle

• Security model enhancements • Oracle Lite support

Enterprise Manager
• Java-based Oracle Universal Installer • Java-based Database

PL/SQL Improvements
• Manipulate multiple data items with one

SQL statement in PL/SQL (bulk binds)
• Parameter passing by reference in PL/SQL • Embedded dynamic SQL in PL/SQL • PL/SQL code coverage for tools vendors • Unlimited PL/SQL package size

Configuration Assistant
• Automatic instance registration

with listeners
• Parallel recovery of parallel transactions • Drop column • Progress monitor for

long-running operations
• Recovery Manager

• Extensible indexing • Extensible optimizer • Data cartridge services • Pro*C

performance improvements
• Recovery Manager awareness of

disk affinity
• Automated standby database • Bounded recovery time for

external procedures

• Oracle Call Interface callback registrations • Secondary indexes on

instance recovery
• Detection and repair of corrupted blocks • Locally-managed tablespaces • Multiple archive processes and destinations • Simplification of tablespace

index-organized tables
• Support for objects in external procedures

point-in-time recovery

Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


• Euro currency symbol support • Temporary tables • Subprogram execution under

*Some functionality and features described in this document may require licensing a separate option at an additional cost.

invoker’s security context
• Microsoft Transaction Server integration • HTTP protocol adapter for Net8 • Performance improvements to the


Oracle8i New Feature Summary February 1999


Oracle Corporation World Headquarters 500 Oracle Parkway Redwood Shores, CA 94065 U.S.A. Worldwide Inquiries: +1.650.506.7000 Fax +1.650.506.7200 Copyright © Oracle Corporation 1999 All Rights Reserved This document is provided for informational purposes only, and the information herein is subject to change without notice. Please report any errors herein to Oracle Corporation. Oracle Corporation does not provide any warranties covering and specifically disclaims any liability in connection with this document. Oracle, ConText, Oracle Express Analyzer, and SQL*Loader are registered trademarks, and Oracle8i, PL/SQL, JDeveloper, Oracle7, LogMiner, Oracle8, Net8, and Pro*C are trademarks of Oracle Corporation. All other company and product names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.