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Oracle 18c Database (DBA): Top 5 New Features

Author: Steve Thompson | | April 23, 2019

With the release of Oracle 18c in January of 2019, database administrators can draw on a range of new features and functional improvements throughout the product.

Some of the changes are relatively minor and incremental. In earlier versions of Application Express, for example, the end date in a range was excluded from the range. In version 5.1, included with Oracle 18c, the end date in a range is now inclusive as it is with all other Application Express components. Version 5.1 now also allows end users to navigate their calendars with the keyboard’s arrow keys, a small but usefully intuitive tweak to the interface.

Other refinements in the new Oracle are more consequential and can have a larger impact on your daily operations. These five strike us as the most meaningful.

  1. Integration with Microsoft Active Directory

    Starting with Oracle 18c, the database can authenticate and authorize users from Microsoft’s Active Directory, without the need for any intermediate directories.

    This is a new, simpler way to integrate with Active Directory. In previous versions, intermediary software such as Oracle Enterprise User Security was required to achieve integration.

    This new feature is named Centrally Managed Users (CMU) and allows you to manage authorization for Active Directory users to access the Oracle database. Active Directory account policies are enforced by the Oracle database when users are authenticated in this manner.


  3. Schema Only Accounts

    In the past, a schema could be more closely associated as a user account that owned those objects. But this also meant that a user could log in to the schema and have control over those objects.

    With schema only accounts, users cannot directly login to the schema. These types of accounts can be created without a password and can be assigned permissions or granted roles just like a regular user account.


  5. Server Draining Ahead of Planned Maintenance

    In a RAC environment Oracle 18c, the database can now failover the sessions to another service or node. For instance, once a service is relocated to another node the database marks existing sessions for draining so the application is not interrupted. Any new sessions will be directed to a different functioning service that is available.

    The database uses a set of rules to establish when a session is completed and can be removed from the database. These rules include custom SQL connection tests and request boundaries where no request is active or work has ended and the session has one or more states that are recoverable and can be recreated at failover.


  7. Automatic In-Memory

    Oracle In-Memory was introduced in version 12c as a way to accelerate performance by storing columnar-compressed database segments into memory. In 18c, Oracle furthers development on In-Memory by introducing Automatic In-Memory (AIM). AIM works by building a heat map of the in-memory enabled objects and makes room for those objects that are more frequently accessed. AIM will only kick in when there is not enough space to add another object to the memory store.


  9. SQL Cancel

    In past versions of Oracle whenever a database administrator needed to cancel a SQL query, the session that was running the SQL had to be killed. This meant the session had to be removed from the database and a new connection would have to be initiated. Now in Oracle 18c the SQL statement itself can be canceled and rolled back.

Making the most of Oracle 18c’s new features will take time and planning. Contact us today to learn how Datavail’s Oracle expertise can help shorten your learning curve.

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