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Database Administration: Oracle’s Exceptional Journey

Author: Chuck Farman | | December 3, 2019

The word “Oracle” invokes the image of a sage adviser from whom all life’s answers can flow. To Larry Ellison, one of the founders of the ‘Oracle’ company, the label was an apt one for the relational database product it had developed in 1977. Even back then, he could see how well-managed data – all forms of information in all kinds of formats – could provide relevant information in response to virtually every corporate question. With the proper parameters in place to ensure its accuracy, data could, indeed, offer god-like responses to a company’s most pressing problems.

From that original Oracle database administration product to today’s powerful Oracle 19c, the software giant has continued to lead the way in harnessing and managing data so it can solve almost any sized problem for virtually any entity.

From Humble Beginnings …

Ellison’s Oracle v2* gave its users the most sophisticated (for the time) database management tools for saving, organizing, and utilizing their data. Users were quickly able to maximize their corporate information and use it to open new markets or develop new products. (*The original ‘Oracle’ product was renamed ‘Oracle 2’ to assuage consumer concerns about purchasing the first iteration of a new product.)

As new forms and styles of data and systems emerged, Oracle was consistently introducing new controls in subsequent Oracle versions, all of which added new or improved features to enhance and broaden the program’s data management and analysis capabilities. The company also maintained support for its earlier iterations, ensuring that all of its users had the help they needed.

However, it eventually became apparent that those older programs simply weren’t capable of keeping up with more modern data administration requirements. Oracle’s support “End of Life” (EoL) strategy sets a date certain when it will cease providing support for a particular Oracle version, giving users the time they need to transition into a newer Oracle Database version before losing support for their current iteration.

The release of Oracle Database 19c comes well in advance of the extended support EoL terms for both Oracle 11.2 (extended support ends December 2020) and Oracle 12.1 (extended support ends July 2021).

… a Giant Emerges

Oracle’s newest database administration program, Database 19c, is the 22nd release of the popular software and represents the long-term support version of the 12c and 18c Oracle Database products. It includes Premier and Extended support through to March 2023 and March 2026, giving users years of exceptional service and providing plenty of time to transition what will surely be another exceptional database management programming iteration.

From a 30,000 foot perspective, 19c responds to opportunities arising in multiple aspects of database management. Today’s technology is cloud-based (sometimes), multi-tenant (sometimes), and security challenged (a lot of the time). The new system addresses both known and projected concerns in each of those sectors, as well as boosts productivity by adding performance, warehousing, and application development capacities.

From a more down-to-earth perspective, 19c offers both administrators and developers a variety of back up and performance supports that will alleviate a lot of future stress. Here are just a few:

  • Imagine patching your grid infrastructure with no downtime. That’s a new feature with 19c that permits fixes of foundational elements without otherwise interrupting database operations. The programming patches one node at a time, and rolls through the base till the work is done.
  • 19c also reduces CPU and I/O drains by quarantining SQL statements that consume too many of those resources. The feature prevents performance degradation caused by overactive SQL queries.
  • Information guards are enhanced with Flashback Standby when the primary database is flashed back. This feature eliminates a step found in earlier versions that required a manual intervention to bring a standby site current with the primary site for flashback purposes. Now, that standby site flashes back automatically along with the primary.
  • Data availability is also enhanced by eliminating the disable requirement prior to connecting to a Fast-Start Failover (FSFO) target. Earlier versions required the disabling of the primary base before connecting with the failover standby, which left a gap in data availability. That manual disabling is no longer necessary, and the gap is gone, too.
  • Developers also win with the REST Enabled SQL support. The feature allows developers to create REST Enabled SQL references from any REST endpoint simply by defining the name, authentication information, and endpoint URL in the Shared resources space.

Between the constant flow of innovative database management products and the advance notice of support end of life, Oracle Database users can be confident that they’ll always have the data administration tools they need to manage today’s and tomorrow’s database opportunities and challenges.

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