Friday, October 27, 2006

Oracle 11g new Features

Oracle 11G, the line to new features

At Oracle Openworld 2006, Oracle announced some exciting new features of Oracle 11g, and they promise 482 specific new Oracle11g features:

Oracle 11g parallel upgrades - Oracle 11g promises to have a rolling upgrade features whereby RAC database can be upgraded without any downtime. Ellison first promised this feature in 2002, and it is a very challenging and complex 11g new feature.

Data Guard supports "Flashback Standby".

OEM Easy de-install - This will uninstall both successful and unsuccessful Oracle installs.

Interfaces to Applications - This note says "Oracle says that extending Enterprise Manager's capabilities are part of the firm's promise to seamlessly integrate the spoils of its many acquisitions -- including the purchases of Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft Corp. -- into a single platform."

Oracle 11g audit vault - Oracle Audit Vault is a new feature that will provide a solution to help customers address the most difficult security problems remaining today, protecting against insider threat and meeting regulatory compliance requirements.

New Trigger features - A new type of "compound" trigger will have sections for BEFORE, ROW and AFTER processing, very helpful for avoiding errors, and maintaining states between each section.

Disabled state - Another 11g new feature is a "disabled" state for PL/SQL (as opposed to "enabled" and "invalid" in dba_objects).

Partitioning - partitioning by logical object and automated partition creation.

PHP - Improved PHP driver for Oracle.

Database repair wizard - A GUI to guide beginners through the steps to diagnose and repair Oracle issues.

LOB's - New high-performance LOB features.

Compilers - Improved native Java & PL/SQL compilers.

Hot patching - Zero downtime patch application.

Standby snapshot - For the purpose of regression testing.

Quick Fault Resolution
- Automatic capture of diagnostics (dumps) for a fault.

OEM Oracle 11g new features:
Grid provisioning - Oracle 11g OEM has have easy server blade installs where a binary footprint is tar'ed to the server blade and configured, without a cumbersome install process.

OEM Easy de-install - This will uninstall both successful and unsuccessful Oracle installs.

Better OEM Grid tools - Another new Oracle11g feature may be improved RAC and Grid monitoring, especially on the cache fusion interconnect.

Interfaces to Applications - This note says "Oracle says that extending Enterprise Manager's capabilities are part of the firm's promise to seamlessly integrate the spoils of its many acquisitions -- including the purchases of Siebel Systems and PeopleSoft Corp. -- into a single platform."

Oracle 11g SQL and PL/SQL New Features
The /*+result_cache*/ SQL hint - This suggests that the result data will be cached in the data buffers, and not the intermediate data blocks that were accessed to obtain the query results. You can cache both SQL and PL/SQL results for super-fast subsequent retrieval.

PL/SQL "continue" keyword - This will allow a C-Like continue in a loop, to bypass any "else" Boolean conditions. A nasty PL/SQL GOTO is no longer required to exit a Boolean within a loop.

Improved sequence management - A new features of Oracle 11g will bypass DML (sequence.nextval) and allow normal assignments on sequence values.

A "super" PL/SQL keyword - This is used with OO Oracle when instantiating a derivative type (overloading), to refer to the superclass from whence the class was derived.

Improved invalidation mechanism - A new 11g features will be fine grained dependency tracking, reducing the number of objects which become invalid as a result of DDL.

Lewis Cunningham notes these PL/SQL 11g new features:

Fast DML triggers - DML triggers are up to 25% faster. This especially impacts row level triggers doing updates against other tables (think Audit trigger).

Fine Grained Dependency Tracking (FGDT). This means that when you add a column to a table, or a cursor to a package spec, you don't invalidate objects that are dependant on them. Sweet!

Easy PL/SQL compiling
- Native Compilation no longer requires a C compiler to compile your PL/SQL. Your code goes directly to a shared library.

New Data Type: simple_integer. Always NOT NULL, wraps instead of overflows and is faster than PLS_INTEGER.

Intra-unit inlining. In C, you can write a macro that gets inlined when called. Now any stored procedure is eligible for inlining if Oracle thinks it will improve performance. No change to your code is required. Now you have no reason for not making everything a subroutine!

Dynamic SQL. DBMS_SQL is here to stay. It's faster and is being enhanced. DBMS_SQL and NDS can now accept CLOBs (no more 32k limit on NDS). A ref cursor can become a DBMS_SQL cursor and vice versa. DBMS_SQL now supprts user defined types and bulk operations.

FGAC for UTL_SMTP, UTL_TCP and UTL_HTTP. You can define security on ports and URLs.

Read only tables

Specify Trigger firing order.

Compiler warning for a "when others" with no raise.

Named notation when calling a stored procedure from SQL.

Dr. Hall notes these new 11g features:

11g new features in Change Management:
Database Replay
- Allows the total database workload to be captured, transferred to a test database created from a backup or standby database, then replayed to test the affects of an upgrade or system change. Currently, they are working to a capture performance overhead of 5%, so you could conceivably capture real production workloads.

SQL Replay - Similar to the previous feature, but this only captures and applies the SQL workload, not total workload.

Plan Management - Allow you to fix plans for specific statements, regardless of statistics or database version changes.
11g new features in Fault Management:

Automatic Diagnostic Repository (ADR) - When critical errors are detected, they automatically create an “incident”. Information relating to the incident is automatically captured, the DBA is notified and certain health checks are run automatically. This information can be packaged to be sent to Oracle support (see following).

Incident Packaging Service (IPS) - This wraps up all information about an incident, requests further tests and information if necessary, and allows you to send the whole package to Oracle Support.

Feature Based Patching - All one-off patches will be classified as to which feature they affect. This allows you to easily identify which patches are necessary for the features you are using. EM will allow you to subscribe to a feature based patching service, so EM automatically scans for available patches for the features you are using.
11g new features in Performance and Resource Management:

Automatic SQL Tuning - The 10g automatic tuning advisor makes tuning suggestions in the form of SQL profiles that will improve performance. You can tell 11g to automatically apply SQL profiles for statements where the suggested profile give 3-times better performance that the existing statement. The performance comparisons are done by a new administrative task during a user-specified maintenance window.

Access Advisor - The 11g Access Advisor gives partitioning advice, including advice on the new interval partitioning. Interval partitioning is an automated version of range partitioning, where new equally-sized partitions are automatically created when needed. Both range and interval partitions can exist for a single table, and range partitioned tables can be converted to interval partitioned tables.

Automatic Memory Tuning
- Automatic PGA tuning was introduced in Oracle 9i. Automatic SGA tuning was introduced in Oracle 10g. In 11g, all memory can be tuned automatically by setting one parameter. You literally tell Oracle how much memory it has and it determines how much to use for PGA, SGA and OS Processes. Maximum and minimum thresholds can be set.

Resource Manager - The 11g Resource Manager can manage I/O, not just CPU. You can set the priority associated with specific files, file types or ASM disk groups.

- The ADDM in 11g can give advice on the whole RAC (database level), not just at the instance level. Directives have been added to ADDM so it can ignore issues you are not concerned about. For example, if you know you need more memory and are sick of being told it, you can ask ADDM not to report those messages anymore.

AWR Baselines - The AWR baselines of 10g have been extended to allow automatic creation of baselines for use in other features. A rolling week baseline is created by default.

Adaptive Metric Baselines - Notification thresholds in 10g were based on a fixed point. In 11g, notification thresholds can be associated with a baseline, so the notification thresholds vary throughout the day in line with the baseline.

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