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11g 1. SecureFiles Basically, this is an enhancement to LOBs which allows traditional files to be stored in the database.

Oracle is claiming similar or better performance to a local file system. They've done this before. Originally this feature was in 8i as the Internet File System (IOS). Later, it was in 9i as Oracle Files Online (OFO). Oracle tends to get things right on the third try. If this works, it could be a serious threat to traditional NAS, such as NetApp. 2. Multimedia Oracle has increased the functionality of images and video inside the database. Basically, Oracle is going after the multimedia and video-streaming market with this feature. Also, Oracle has introduced support for the DICOM format, used by the medical industry for storing X Ray images and the like. 3. 3D and Spatial There are many enhancements to the spatial package included in previous releases. 4. Native Compilation Previous attempts by Oracle to allow compilation of PL/SQL procedures have been weak. You needed a C compiler handy. You had to link it in. This one is much better. The PL/SQL source is translated directly into a DLL (or similar concept on the target OS). No linking is required. 5. XML Improvements If you use XML in the Oracle database, you should be interested in this release. I don't do this, so the enhancement is greek to me. But check it out. 6. Java Enhancments Similarly, this is only interesting if you use the Java features in Oracle. Again, many enhancements. Not relevant to me. 7. RAC Oracle is claiming a 70% improvement on read intensive workloads on this release. We'll see. Keep reading my blog (shown below), and I will update you on our testing. 8. OEL/Grid Control Enhancements Needless to say, they tweaked the GUI. It is much nicer. You can tile instance charts for the first time in a RAC environment, so you can see all the instances at the same time. In 10g, this was a real pain. Much better. 9. ADDM and AWR "RAC-ized" The performance tools are now much more RAC aware. 10. ASM Enhancements There are many changes to the Oracle storage layer. For example, ASM is now aware if you are running RAC and allows a local read to occur on mirrored ASM volumes that span the RAC. Likewise, you have faster resync of ASM mirrored volumes. You can also perform a rolling upgrade for the first time on your ASM instances. One I like is the ability to relabel and mount on the same database server a clone of your ASM disk groups created by such things as snapshots. 11. Results Cache

There is now a new memory structure called a results cache. This is an optional feature, but should prove very useful for data warehousing. Basically, this is a structure which holds the results of a query. A subsidiary query that occurs later can use the results cache to structure its results. This can save significant I/O if it is done correctly. There is a lot of work to be done in figuring out how to make this work well. 12. Optimizer Changes Oracle is recognizing that the optimizer is not a black box that works perfectly. The philosophy on 11g is to allow for stability and controlled evolution and migration of execution plans. A plan which will result in a better result than the existing plan will be used. Previously, this was not the case, and physical changes in the database could result in much worse performance. Similarly, the gathering of statistics has changed. Previously, if you analyzed a table, that set of statistics took effect immediately. Now, this set of statistics is marked as pending. You apply the statistics once you verify that they produce better plans.