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JANUARY/FEBRU ARY 2 0 0 7 O R A C L E.

C O M / O R A C LEMA GA ZI NE

ALWAYS
AVAILABLE
ORACLE HIGH-AVAILABILITY
TECHNOLOGIES DRIVE BUSINESS 24/7

GO XML/39

SMBs EXPAND
TO MEET
DEMANDS/44
SECURITY GOES
MAINSTREAM/71

JF07_Cover.indd 5 11/17/06 3:47:47 PM


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Fujitsu_Primequest.indd 3 9/15/06 10:54:25 AM


 Number of silos in which your customer data resides.
Coincidentally, also the number of totally different
definitions you have for “customer.”

definition —
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CONTENTS VOLU M E XXI , I SSUE 1

F EATU RES
GO
XML
ALWAYS Business transactions on the Web and
content-rich applications have put new

AVAILABLE demands on enterprise databases. XML—


the markup language that is used to store
and exchange all kinds of data—can meet
Does your business depend
these demands. Find out how Oracle XML
on expensive hardware for
DB manages diverse XML data.
disaster insurance? New
—David Baum
high-availability technologies
run on inexpensive commodity /39
hardware, provide disaster

EXPANDING TO
insurance, and improve the
performance of day-to-day
operations. See how Oracle MEET DEMANDS
helps growing businesses Small and medium businesses still have to
stay up and running. meet big demands—for fast performance, high
—Alan Joch
availability, data security,
/30 and scalability—usually
under tight budgets. Discover
Cover: Image by Corbis, enhanced what Oracle is doing to help
by Stephanie Lee SMBs meet these challenges,
satisfy their customers, and grow and thrive under
changing market conditions. —David A. Kelly

/44
DE PAR T M E NTS

From Our Readers / 9


Readers tell us what they think.
From the Editor / 11
12 AT OR AC LE
Events / 12 OTN Bulletin / 14
Available and working Learn what’s happening with Oracle’s most
Find out about current and
—Tom Haunert dynamic online community.
upcoming industry events.
Oracle Resources / 13 Oracle News Briefs / 15
Here’s your guide to Oracle’s Oracle News / 21
broadband, education, and Oracle is offering enterprise-class Linux
support offerings, plus what’s support—the same level of support that
new at Oracle. Oracle provides for the database—through
the Unbreakable Linux program.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 3

JF07_TOC.indd 3 11/20/06 3:51:48 PM


CONTENTS

57 TEC HNOLOGY

P L/S QL P R AC TIC ES
The Right Place for PL/SQL / 57
Best practices for PL/SQL location, location, location
—Steven Feuerstein

23 CH A NNEL S
Commitment / 23
R EC OV ERY
Recover in a Flash / 59
Reduce database recovery time, using the Oracle flash
The Nature Conservancy protects
recovery area. —Arup Nanda
endangered species and drinking water.
Partner News / 24
AS K TOM
GridApp Systems, IBM, EMC, Adobe, HP,
Intel, Itemfield, Genpact, Turnkey Solutions, On Top-n and Pagination Queries / 63
NAVTEQ, Application Security, Inc., Our technologist gets more results using ROW_NUMBER,
and SilverStorm. RANK, and DENSE_RANK. —Tom Kyte
Book Beat / 24
Peer-to-Peer / 27
Steve Karam,
Nicolas Gasparotto,
Dave Moore
Cutting Edge / 29
Encrypted hard drives and perching planes

67
49
R ES OUR C ES
Oracle Certified Partner Index / 67
D EVEL O PER Advertisers’ Index / 70
O PEN SO U RCE
Embedding Open Source / 49

69
The Oracle Berkeley DB family of products exemplifies
Oracle’s open source commitment. —Rich Schwerin
C OMMENT
F RA MEWO RKS
Modeling Tables and Components / 51 IN THE FIELD
Maintain your data-centric business services with Listening to You / 69
visual diagrams. —Steve Muench IOUG surveys provide guidance for expanding
databases and open source software issues.
O D P.NET —Ari Kaplan
Using PL/SQL Associative Arrays / 53
Bring the power of PL/SQL stored procedures to ODP.NET. ALL S EC UR E
—Mark A. Williams Security Goes Mainstream / 71
Security is too important to be left to experts.
B RO WSER-B A SED —Mary Ann Davidson
Sizing Up Performance / 55
ANALY S T’ S C OR NER
Tips and techniques for optimal Oracle Application
Express performance —Mike Hichwa The Right Stuff / 72
Small businesses can compete on a big scale if
they have enterprise-caliber software.
—David Baum

4 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_TOC.indd 4 11/20/06 3:51:51 PM


When information
comes together,
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To see what EMC can do for you, talk to your EMC Velocity2 Partner or call 866-796-6369.

EMC2, EMC, and where information lives are registered trademarks of EMC Corporation. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. © 2006 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.
ED ITOR IA L

Editor in Chief Tom Haunert tom.haunert@oracle.com


Senior Managing Editor Caroline Kvitka caroline.kvitka@oracle.com
Features Editor Kay Keppler kay.keppler@oracle.com
Contributing Editor and Writer Blair Campbell
Editor in Chief, OTN Justin Kestelyn justin.kestelyn@oracle.com
Technology Advisors Tom Kyte, Christopher Beck
Contributing Writers Marta Bright, Liz Campbell, Ed DeJesus, Jeff Erickson, Andre Kvitka,
Aaron Lazenby, Fred Sandsmark, Rich Schwerin

D ES IGN
Senior Creative Director Susan Olsen
Design Director Richard Merchán

PUBLISH ING
Publisher Jeff Spicer jeff.spicer@oracle.com

A DV ERTISING SA LES
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6 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_TOC.indd 6 11/20/06 3:51:52 PM


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f r o m o u r READERS

Your corrections, your opinions, and your requests:


Here’s your forum for telling us what’s right and
wrong in each issue of Oracle Magazine, and for
letting us know what you want to read.

MORE DIGITAL away from repeating what’s available GO WEEKLY


Thank you for sending the digital copy elsewhere as commodities—the syntax I am a regular reader of your magazine.
of the November/December 2006 issue and all that good stuff. Instead he I suggest that you publish the maga-
of Oracle Magazine. Can you send digital describes an issue faced by architects zine once a week instead of every two
copies of previous issues of Oracle and designers day in and day out. months. This way you can publish data-
Magazine? How can I get these older The layout of the article is particularly base technology details from fundamen-
magazine issues? attractive—with the decision points tals to advanced levels.
spelled out as they would be discussed
Rojan Shrestha in a real meeting. Km. Ravichandran
exchhattu@yahoo.com I have to mention this: Just around krv@thechennaisilks.com
the time this article was published,
Digital back issues from the start of the we were going through a series of BEGINNING WITH THE PAST
digital subscription program are available meetings to decide on our own parti- I subscribe to Oracle Magazine, and I
to digital subscribers only. When viewing tioning strategy, and the resemblance am new to the Oracle PL/SQL language.
a digital issue, digital subscribers can click of the proceedings was, well, uncanny, I want to see past issues of Oracle
the “Archives” tab to access back issues. to say the least! This article helped Magazine to see basic and important
Oracle Magazine back issues are also us significantly in our decision-making PL/SQL information.
available to all in HTML format at oracle process, especially the section on
.com/oramag/oracle. data movement. Chandra Kishore Bakshi
Any reader of Oracle Magazine who Please continue to publish these chandrakishore2007@gmail.com
wants to change the preference of print types of articles. They are not just rep-
or digital format can do so on the printed etition of the ideas available in manuals. There’s an index of past Oracle Magazine
subscription card or the online subscrip- PL/SQL articles at oracle.com/technology/
tion form at www.submag.com/sub/ Brian Lentini oramag/oracle/plsql. There’s also an index
oc?pk=orafaq. brianlentini@excite.com of past OTN PL/SQL articles at oracle
.com/technology/pub/articles/tech_dev
PRO PARTITIONING I would like to thank you for the .html#plsql. And the PL/SQL technology
I started reading the article “Partition very informative article by Arup Nanda center at oracle.com/technology/tech/
Decisions” by Arup Nanda (September/ on Oracle Partitioning (“Partition pl_sql includes links to additional PL/SQL
October 2006, oracle.com/technology/ Decisions.”) We as an organization articles, as well as links to book excerpts,
oramag/oracle/06-sep/o56partition have been grappling with Oracle sample code, Oracle University PL/SQL
.html) with only mild interest, but I Partitioning issues and best practices classes, and the PL/SQL discussion forum.
can’t describe in words how wonderful for a while, and this article was
and useful the article is. It is written very timely.
from a real-world point of view few
other articles could lay claim to. Mike Stearman
send mail to the EDITOR
This is exactly the type of article michael_t_stearman@newyorklife.com Send your opinions about what you read in Oracle
Magazine, and suggestions for possible technical
I would like to see in the magazine. articles, to opubedit_us@oracle.com.
There are articles, and there are articles, Or click on the Write the Editors link on our Web
where the authors seem to align very We received many responses regarding site, oracle.com/oraclemagazine.
closely with the real-world issues Oracle Partitioning and this article. Thanks Letters may be edited for length and clarity and
may be published in any medium. We consider
of the readers. For instance, in this to all who sent feedback on Arup Nanda’s any communications we receive publishable.
article, the author has clearly moved “Partition Decisions.”

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 9

JF07_Readers.indd 9 11/17/06 12:02:28 PM


OMAG0506p024 24 3/8/06 10:55:30 AM
f r o m t h e EDITOR

Available and Working


Inexpensive resources for high availability improve enterprise performance.
t 5 p.m. on October 17, 1989, I was ending my give DBAs the ability to easily pinpoint and “flash back” to
workday in the San Francisco Bay Area, backing up data in a previous state using log information. And the flash
my PC data to tape. A few minutes after 5 p.m., my recovery area—automatically managed disk space for recovery-
tape backup still in progress, a major earthquake hit related data files—can allow for faster recovery than going to
the area. There were fatalities, and bridges, roadways, and a backup tape and also simplifies Oracle Recovery Manager
homes collapsed. At my office the damage was minor—it (RMAN) administration. For more information on Oracle
included shattered windows and a power outage. Flashback technology, see the nextSTEPS box below, and for
Power was restored to the office the next morning, and more information on using the flash recovery area, check out
when I went back into work, my focus shifted from trying Arup Nanda’s article, “Recover in a Flash,” on page 59.
to find out if my friends and family were OK after the quake
(they were) to seeing if I still had a working PC, a working HIGH AVAILABILITY MEANS HIGH PERFORMANCE
tape backup, and the data I had been trying to preserve. While businesses still need to go to disk or tape to recover
PC hardware in 1989 was not nearly as reliable as it is from data errors—I had to have Support restore an acciden-
today, and for its capabilities, it was also quite expensive. tally deleted network folder for me last week—the demands
Some of my concern about my PC came from my company; I of today’s 24/7 businesses have of necessity eliminated the
worked at a PC hardware company that consistently warned time frame for recovery from hardware failure. Today’s busi-
its customers—and employees—that interrupting power to nesses don’t stop running at 5 p.m., and they can’t stop
disk and tape drives while they were operating could cause running because of a failed server.
permanent drive failure. In his feature article, “Always Available,” on page 30, Alan
Luckily my hardware and data survived. I did not need Joch reports on Oracle customers who are using Oracle Real
to recover data from an earlier backup—but I was certainly Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) and Oracle Data Guard
glad that I had an archive of tape backups, just in case—and on inexpensive commodity hardware—not just as insurance
didn’t need to requisition expensive new hardware. for high availability, but to add continuous computing power
to the enterprise. Oracle RAC automatically redistributes the
UPPING AVAILABILITY workload of a failed server to the remaining healthy servers,
DBAs and system administrators deal with backup and recov- and it enables companies to scale up—to add servers to the
ery in much more reliable and sophisticated ways than I did cluster to support more users and more transactions. Oracle
in on my old desktop PC. Tape and disk backups are cen- Data Guard provides a “standby” database, ideal for a sec-
trally managed and widely used, and powerful backup and ondary site, but companies use synchronized, data-error-free
recovery capabilities are giving DBAs opportunities to recover Oracle Data Guard standby databases for ad hoc queries,
data without ever going to the backup tapes. backups, reporting, and other activities for better performance
Oracle Flashback technologies, for example, including of these activities and the transactions at the primary site.
Flashback Query, Flashback Table, and Flashback Database, In 1989, backup to disk was not a common solution, in
part because of the high cost of this storage. Today, both
disk and tape backups offer fast recovery and provide inex-
pensive archive solutions that can also meet compliance
requirements using technologies such as Oracle RMAN
READ more about
Oracle Database high availability and Oracle Secure Backup. And enterprise high availability
oracle.com/database/high-availability.html that once required proprietary and expensive mainframe
oracle.com/technology/deploy/availability
and minicomputers now starts with inexpensive commodity
Oracle Real Application Clusters hardware, and, along with technologies such as Oracle RAC
oracle.com/start keyword: RAC2
and Oracle Data Guard, provides both high availability and
Flashback technologies high performance.
oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/flashback

Oracle Secure Backup Tom Haunert, Editor in Chief


oracle.com/database/secure-backup.html
tom.haunert@oracle.com

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 11

JF07_EdNote.indd 11 11/20/06 3:43:30 PM


a t O r a c l e EVENTS
ORACLE USERS
GROUPS
Packerland Local Users Group Meeting

Technology Events
January 10, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
www.wi-plug.org/calendar.htm
Georgia Oracle Users Group
January 11, Dunwoody, Georgia
Conferences and sessions to help you stay on the cutting edge www.gouser.org
Nashville Oracle Users Group Meeting
January 17, Nashville, Tennessee
www.noug.net/meeting.htm
RSA Conference 2007
February 5–9 Sacramento Oracle Users Group
Meeting
San Francisco January 17, West Sacramento,
The RSA Conference is the largest, most California
comprehensive gathering of analysts, www.sacoug.org
technology providers, service providers, Twin Cities Oracle Users Group
and end consumers in information security. Quarterly Meeting
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will give a keynote January 18, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
address at this weeklong educational forum. www.tcoug.org/calendar
Visit www.rsaconference.com/2007/us Atlanta Oracle Applications Users
for more information. Group Meeting
January 19, Dunwoody, Georgia
www.atloaug.org
Los Angeles County Technology Desktop Conference 2007
Northeast Ohio Oracle Users Group
Week 2007 February 20–22, Online Business Meeting
January 22–27, Los Angeles County, Boasting presentations by dozens of Oracle January 19, Independence, Ohio
California experts and with tracks for BI, data warehous- www.neooug.org/generaltab/
generaltab.shtml?events
Technology Week is a series of events show- ing, application development, and more, the
casing the depth and growth of technology Desktop Conference bills itself as the most UKOUG Open Source Seminar
January 23, Berkshire, England
companies throughout Los Angeles County. comprehensive virtual conference of the year.
www.ukoug.co.uk/calendar/show_events
Events are held at a variety of countywide Learn more at www.desktopconference.org. .jsp?year=2007&month=01&day=23
locations. Learn more and register at
Philadelphia Area Oracle User Group
www.latechweek.com. Gartner Business Intelligence Quarterly Meeting
& Information Management January 24, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
GTC Southwest 2007 Summit philadelphia.oracle.ioug.org
January 29–February 1, Austin, Texas February 27–28, Sydney, Australia Dallas Oracle Users Group Data
The Government Technology Conference This event highlights how BI applications and Warehousing Certification Class
February 7–9, Dallas, Texas
provides business and technology learning data infrastructure can affect financial and www.doug.org/meetings2006.cfm
opportunities for government employees and business performance. Technology’s role in
Northern California Oracle Users Group
provides opportunities to network with peers compliance, the continuing data explosion, and Winter Conference
from state and local governments and meet complex business environments are on the February 8, Redwood Shores,
with top technology vendors to the govern- agenda. Sign up at www.gartner.com/ California
www.nocoug.org
ment. Get details at www.govtech.net/gtc/ 2_events/conferences/bi1a.jsp.
index.php/GTCSouthwest2007. Ottawa Oracle User Group Training
Day 2007
OPP2007 February 9, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Gartner Business Intelligence February 28–March 1 www.oug-ottawa.org
Summit San Mateo, California North Carolina Oracle Users
January 30–February 1, London The Oracle Development Tools User Group Group Meeting
Aimed at IT and business professionals who sponsors this “seriously practical” Oracle February 16, Morrisville, North Carolina
www.ncoug.com/ncoug_upcoming_
are defining a business intelligence (BI) strat- PL/SQL Programming Conference for Oracle events.htm
egy, optimizing BI applications, and managing technologists focusing on PL/SQL program-
BI issues, this event highlights new research ming. It includes two days of intensive train-
in organizational competencies, corporate ing by Steven Feuerstein, PL/SQL evangelist, eventsLOCATOR
ALLISON LEVENSON

performance management, data quality, appli- Quest Software; Bryn Llewellyn, PL/SQL Oracle Events
oracle.com/events
cation analytics, and service-oriented architec- product manager, Server Technologies, at
tures. Get more information at www.gartner Oracle; and other PL/SQL experts. Learn more Locate user groups
oracle.com/technology/collaboration/user_group
.com/2_events/conferences/bie8i.jsp. and register at www.odtugopp07.com.

12 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Events.indd 12 11/17/06 11:49:32 AM


a t O r a c l e RESOURCES

What’s New at Oracle


The latest Webcasts, support offers, courses, and more
NEW WEBCASTS reducing the risk of unplanned system agement, and why should architects and
Oracle Presents: Who Stole Mark Drake? downtime. Diagnose system issues before developers care about it? Nishant Kaushik,
oracle.com/markdrake they become critical, increase system a technical staff member from the Oracle
Who stole Mark Drake’s identity? From performance, resolve problems faster, and Identity Management team, provides insight.
San Francisco to Singapore, the hunt is reduce IT risks and costs. Inside a “Power” SMB
on and time is running out. Oracle’s inter- oracle.com/techcasts
active mystery shows how Oracle Fusion ORACLE ON DEMAND Jody McDonough, CE0 and vice president
Middleware can help businesses manage Oracle On Demand Perspectives of development at enetrix, discusses why
risk and gain business insight. oracle.com/pls/ebn/swf_viewer.load? identity management, business intelligence,
Oracle Security Strategy Briefing p_shows_id=4915801 and compliance architecture are important
oracle.com/pls/ebn/live_viewer.main Gartner analysts predict that 30 percent of for his small business.
?p_direct=yes&p_shows_id=5029726 software will be delivered on demand by Oracle Analytic Applications Strategy
Oracle President Charles Phillips discusses 2010. Take a look at the business, technol- oracle.com/appcasts
Oracle’s strategy for a complete, unified, ogy, and financial reasons behind Oracle Chris Leone, Oracle group vice president,
and standards-based security solution to On Demand to determine if it is right for applications strategy, discusses Oracle’s
meet the ever-growing security threat that your business. analytic applications offerings, product road
organizations face. Oracle On Demand for Siebel CRM map, and benefits to customers.
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oracle.com/pls/ebn/live_viewer.main on-demand-siebel-crm.html oracle.com/appcasts
?p_direct=yes&p_shows_id=4967568 Oracle’s On Demand offering now includes Jesper Andersen, Oracle senior vice
John Heimann of Oracle Security Program Oracle On Demand for Siebel CRM, giving president, applications strategy, provides an
management and Roger Raj of Oracle Siebel CRM customers the flexibility and update on Oracle Fusion Applications and
Protected Enterprise discuss database choice of managed applications, hosting, discusses the benefits of moving to current
security challenges, implementing a data- and software management services. releases and what customers can do to
base security checklist, and developing a prepare for Oracle Fusion Applications.
critical patch update strategy. NEW PODCASTS
Extracting More from Identity Management Designing the Dynamic Data Center ORACLE UNIVERSITY
Using an Application-Centric Approach oracle.com/techcasts Oracle Identity Manager: Develop Identity
oracle.com/pls/ebn/live_viewer.main Dr. Bernd Kosch, vice president of alliances Provisioning
?p_direct=yes&p_shows_id=4975807 for Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, offers a oracle.com/education
Identity management is a driving force in progress report on the evolution of grid com- (Search keywords: Identity Manager)
many implementations today, especially as puting and associated standards, as well as In this five-day course, learn how to use
it relates to security and compliance. Find the story behind the formation of the new Oracle Identity Manager Design Console
out why Oracle is taking a new approach to Open Grid Forum standards organization. and Oracle Identity Manager Administration
identity management. Focus on Identity Management: Standards and User Console to build, customize, and
oracle.com/techcasts use Oracle Identity Manager connectors for
ORACLE SUPPORT Prateek Mishra, product manager for Oracle provisioning and reconciliation.
Configuration Support Manager Identity Management and coauthor of the OracleAS 10g R3: Oracle ADF for Forms/
oracle.com/support/premier/ Security Assurance Markup Language 4GL Developers
advanced-support-technologies/ specification, explains the impact of that oracle.com/education
my-configurations-projects.html specification and other standards on iden- (Search keywords: Oracle ADF)
Configuration Support Manager, a pro- tity management deployments. Learn to build applications using Oracle
active automated support capability Focus on Identity Management: Application- Application Development Framework
included in Oracle Premier Support, offers Centric Identity Management Business Components (ADF BC), Oracle ADF
you a simpler way to track, manage, and oracle.com/techcasts Faces, and Oracle ADF databinding with
support your Oracle configurations while What is application-centric identity man- Oracle JDeveloper 10g Release 3.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 13

JF07_Resources.indd 13 11/17/06 12:03:19 PM


a t O r a c l e OTN BULLETIN BY JU STIN KESTELYN

When Keywords Collide


OTN 3.0 beta brings semantic search to Oracle Technology Network users.
n the previous edition of this column view, and to view the posts of any given advanced design concept of service-
(November/December 2006), I Oracle ACE across a certain subject or oriented architecture (SOA) is attract-
described the so-called semantic time period. This is great stuff. ing measurable attention across Oracle’s
search infrastructure behind the Explore OTN 3.0 beta at oracle.com/ installed base. But most important, it sug-
virtual press room at Oracle.com. I am technology/otnsemanticweb in early 2007. gests that .NET and PHP are continuing
happy to report that this infrastructure We hope to see your comments in the their progress in joining Java and PL/SQL
has been extended to power a new Beta Feedback Discussion Forum. as top-tier “communities of interest” in
“OTN 3.0” Web site beta. This proof the Oracle world. Now, that’s important
of concept, currently running in paral- “GREATEST HITS” OF 2006 information for the coming year.
lel with the production version of the One of the guilty pleasures of a new year
Oracle Technology Network (OTN) is “contemplating the silent highway,” as IDENTITY MANAGEMENT CRASH COURSE
site (and based on a subset of available I like to say—looking back at the previ- Identity management—the centralized
content), will generate crucial commu- ous year and determining what it can management of the user identity life-
nity feedback and, down the road, help teach us about the new one. cycle across the enterprise—is an area
us create a template for a new semantic That process takes physical form in demanding serious attention.
search–powered OTN. the OTN’s Greatest Hits CD—a library of Oracle’s new Focus on Identity
The differences between OTN 3.0 the most-popular content published by Management podcast series offers valu-
and the current OTN site are too numer- OTN during the calendar year—distrib- able introductions to key concepts such
ous to describe here, but to a user, uted annually at Oracle OpenWorld. For as fine-grained authorization, virtual
the site meets the bar set by Arthur C. example, here are the most-popular tech- directories, and attestation.
Clarke’s famous aphorism, “Any suffi- nical articles published last year across Download the podcasts, or subscribe
ciently advanced technology is indistin- the developer, DBA, and architect roles: to Oracle TechCasts via RSS, at oracle
guishable from magic.” In OTN 3.0 beta, 1. “Oracle Database 10g: Top DBA .com/technology/techcasts. O
the user is in complete control of the Features,” by Arup Nanda (Oracle ACE)
information taxonomy—in other words, 2. “Installing Oracle Database 10g on Justin Kestelyn (justin.kestelyn@oracle.com) is the
users have the ability to control (well, Linux x86,” by John Smiley editor in chief of Oracle Technology Network.
“filter,” really) the content of any given 3. “Best Practice PL/SQL,” by Steven
page, rather than being guided through Feuerstein (Oracle ACE)
an endless series of static paths. 4. “SOA Best Practices: The BPEL
As I explained in a blog post about Cookbook,” by various authors OTN home
oracle.com/technology
this subject (“The Semantic Web Runs 5. “Build Your Own Oracle RAC 10g
on Oracle,” blogs.oracle.com/otn/ Cluster,” by Jeffrey Hunter (Oracle ACE) OTN headlines
oracle.com/technology/pub/news
2006/09/08#a220), the problem with 6. “Build a .NET Application on Oracle
Free software downloads
garden-variety search is that you don’t Database,” by John Paul Cook oracle.com/technology/software
know what you’re missing—your search 7. “Installing PHP and the Oracle 10g Documentation
results will only be as good as your key- Instant Client,” by Christopher Jones oracle.com/technology/documentation
words. With semantic search—and OTN 8. “An Introduction to Linux Shell Technology Centers
3.0 is essentially a semantic search view Scripting for DBAs,” by Casimir Saternos oracle.com/technology/tech

of OTN content—you needn’t supply 9. “Guide to Linux File Command Podcasts


oracle.com/techcasts
any keywords at all; the back end Mastery,” by Sheryl Calish
already knows more of them than you 10.“An Introduction to Java Map Technical articles
oracle.com/technology/pub/articles
could ever hope to provide. Collection Classes,” by Jack Shirazi
OTN 3.0 also contains interest- So, what does this list tell us? First, Blogs
blogs.oracle.com
ing visualizations that allow you, for it tells us that OTN users are interested
Discussion forums
example, to see who the most active dis- in practical, actionable content. (No sur- forums.oracle.com
cussion forums posters are in a “cloud” prise there.) It suggests that the relatively

14 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_OTN_x.indd 14 11/28/06 12:20:29 PM


a t O r a c l e BRIEFS

Oracle Product News


An update on new product releases and key product enhancements
ORACLE WEBCENTER SUITE DELIVERS to-use, task-oriented, rich-client user many different applications and tools
UNIFIED USER EXPERIENCE interface through which they can access that aren’t aware of each other and

O racle WebCenter Suite 10g Release


3, a new component of Oracle
Fusion Middleware, provides a unified,
information and enterprise applica-
tions, quickly execute transactions
within enterprise applications, and
don’t share content or context can be
streamlined and automated through
Oracle WebCenter Suite.
context-aware user experience that inte- share information and collaborate with Based on an open standards–based
grates a full set of enterprise services. other people over a variety of chan- architecture, Oracle WebCenter Suite
Users can access business applications, nels—messaging, Voice over IP, discus- provides developers with a fast, low-risk
structured and unstructured content, sions—using familiar desktop tools,” way to develop and deploy Web 2.0
business intelligence, enterprise search, says Thomas Kurian, senior vice presi- services across the enterprise, including
business processes, and communication dent, Oracle Fusion Middleware. wikis, mashups, instant messaging, Voice
and collaboration services. By breaking Oracle WebCenter Suite represents over IP, Really Simple Syndication feeds,
down the boundaries among Web-based the next step in advanced user- discussion forums, and Web content
portals, enterprise applications, and Web interaction environments and will publishing into structured applications.
2.0 technologies, Oracle WebCenter be the basis for a new generation of Enterprises can use Oracle WebCenter
Suite enables the rapid creation of flex- context-aware applications designed to Suite’s capabilities to embed and syn-
ible, context-sensitive work processes. improve user productivity. Tasks that chronize task-oriented and information-
“Information workers need an easy- currently involve jumping between oriented portlets and Web 2.0 services

P R O D U C T SPOTLIGHT
ORACLE E-BUSINESS SUITE RELEASE 12 THINKS GLOBALLY
racle E-Business Suite Release 12, scheduled for availability in 2007, is Release 12 is planned to include capabilities that make it simpler and
O being designed to help businesses gain a competitive edge in the global
economy. This major release is intended to allow organizations to think
cheaper to implement, manage, and scale applications. To ease compliance
management, the release is expected to provide a repository for reviewing
globally to make better decisions, work globally to be more competitive, and and auditing accounting business rules in a single environment. The release
manage globally to lower costs and increase performance. is also planned to leverage best practices from existing and acquired
“Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is expected to help companies products to deliver an easy-to-use user experience.
meet global market needs,” says Fred Studer, group vice president of The release is intended to simplify global application management
applications and technologies at Oracle. “Oracle E-Business Suite Release through preinstrumented management functionality in Oracle Enterprise
12 should ensure companies that comprehensive requirements driving their Manager 10g for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12. It is planned to include
global business are absolutely addressed with better technology and better extensive integration capabilities, such as advanced support for integrating
applications—both coming together to drive value for our customers.” Oracle Applications with third-party applications and a Web services
Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 is planned to include key repository that catalogs hundreds of services in Oracle E-Business Suite.
enhancements to help organizations make decisions based on complete The release is also planned to include thousands of cross-industry
information from systems that span regions and divisions. For example, as capabilities spanning enterprise resource planning, supply chain
part of the release, Oracle Profitability Manager is expected to give users management, and customer relationship management (CRM). For example,
expanded capabilities to perform profitability analysis and reporting not only for the communications industry, Oracle Order Management is expected
for individual product lines, but also for individual customers. Oracle Strategic to support CRM by including the reconfiguration, upgrade, downgrade,
Network Optimization is intended to allow users to continuously evaluate the and disconnection of services. Oracle Asset Tracking is intended to enable
cost and revenue implications of any decision affecting their global supply service providers to manage the financial and operational lifecycle of their
chain. Oracle Project Portfolio Analysis should enable users to choose, fund, network infrastructure.
and prioritize global projects based on what-if scenario analysis. For the high-tech and manufacturing industries, the release is intended
For customers facing the complexities of running an organization with to support compliance requirements in Japan and China through Oracle
multiple divisions across different global regions, Oracle E-Business Suite Financial Management support for charge-based Shikyu and Golden Tax.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 15

JF07_BRIEFS.indd 15 11/17/06 11:41:26 AM


BRIEFS

to create composite applications. upgrades and “hot” patching; auto- monitoring of Oracle E-Business Suite,
Oracle WebCenter Suite is available mated capture of fault diagnostics for Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise, and
as an option for Oracle Application faster fault resolution; and repair advis- Oracle’s Siebel environments and provide
Server Enterprise Edition, at ers to guide DBAs through the fault management capabilities for customer
US$50,000 per CPU. The first release diagnosis and resolution process. applications running on Oracle and non-
includes Oracle WebCenter Framework, Oracle databases and middleware.
a JavaServer Faces (JSF) and Oracle ORACLE BERKELEY DB RELEASE 4.5 Oracle will deliver advanced appli-
Application Development Framework– DELIVERS KEY ENHANCEMENTS cation management, monitoring, and
based framework for embedding
Asynchronous JavaScript And XML
(Ajax) components, portlets, and
O racle Berkeley DB Release 4.5, the
newest release of Oracle’s open
source, embeddable database, includes
service-level capabilities through three
new Oracle Application Management
Packs for Oracle E-Business Suite,
content into JSF applications; Oracle new capabilities for improved perfor- PeopleSoft Enterprise, and Siebel. The
WebCenter Services; embeddable Web mance, availability, and ease of use. The Oracle Application Management Pack
2.0 content, collaboration, and com- new release supports multiversion con- for PeopleSoft Enterprise is now avail-
munication components; and Oracle currency control, nonstop upgrades for able; the remaining packs are planned
WebCenter Studio, which exposes the replicated environments, and a prebuilt for availability in 2007.
Oracle WebCenter Framework and replication framework to simplify devel- With new capabilities for application
Oracle WebCenter Services to program- opment of highly available applications. management, Oracle Enterprise Manager
mers inside Oracle JDeveloper. This “Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5 10g delivers comprehensive management
release also includes Session Initiation is quickly becoming the database of functionality from the operating system
Protocol–based instant messaging, choice for open source and commercial through the application layer—regard-
online presence, threaded discus- developers who need to embed a fast, less of the underlying infrastructure—all
sion and wiki services, Oracle Secure reliable, transactional storage engine the way to the end user.
Enterprise Search, and a limited use within their high-performance applica- “Oracle Applications and third-
license of Oracle Content Database. tions,” says Rex Wang, vice president of party application customers will have
embedded systems marketing at Oracle. a single solution at their disposal to
ORACLE DATABASE 11g BETA PROGRAM Oracle Berkeley DB is part of Oracle’s manage their applications and under-
ANNOUNCED strategy to provide developers with a lying systems comprehensively,” says

O racle has announced that the Oracle


Database 11g Beta Program is under-
way. Customers and partners interested in
broad range of embeddable products to
meet the diverse needs of independent
software vendors and original equip-
Jay Rossiter, vice president of system
management products at Oracle. “With
a consolidated view of their entire
participating in the beta program should ment manufacturers, who integrate environment, customers will be better
contact their account manager or alli- Oracle technology directly into software able to identify and resolve applica-
ance manager or visit the Oracle Server applications, devices, and equipment. tion availability and performance issues
Technologies Beta Programs Web site. “This version adds compelling new quickly and accurately, resulting in
“Oracle Database 11g will help organi- features and helps developers build and improved service quality.”
zations deal with one of the greatest chal- deploy applications requiring fast, reli-
lenges in IT: change,” says Willie Hardie, able storage without human administra- ORACLE BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE SUITE
vice president of database product mar- tion,” adds Wang. ENABLES PERVASIVE INTELLIGENCE
keting at Oracle. “The new release will
help lower the risk and cost of imple-
menting new software, application, and
Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5 is
generally available under a dual license.
A no-cost open source license permits
T he next version of Oracle’s open
standards–based business intel-
ligence (BI) suite, Oracle Business
other system changes and updates.” redistribution if the application using Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition 10g
Oracle Database 11g is planned to Oracle Berkeley DB is open source. A Release 3, is planned to allow organiza-
include key change assurance features, commercial license is available for redis- tions to distill intelligence from existing
such as a facility to easily capture actual tribution of proprietary applications. applications and data sources and dis-
production workloads at the database tribute it pervasively across the enter-
level and replay test systems to fully ORACLE ENTERPRISE MANAGER 10g prise. This pervasive intelligence will
analyze the impact of system changes INTEGRATES APPLICATION MANAGEMENT serve to optimize business processes,
including critical concurrency charac-
teristics. Another planned new feature,
SQL Replay, identifies SQL execution
O racle has broadened the capabilities
of Oracle Enterprise Manger 10g to
deliver management functionality for
decisions, and actions.
Scheduled for general availability
in the next calendar year, this release
plan changes and performance regres- Oracle Applications and third-party is planned to include strategic inte-
sions. Other planned enhancements applications. Oracle Enterprise Manager gration with Oracle Applications,
include rolling online application 10g will enhance the management and Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle

16 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_BRIEFS.indd 16 11/17/06 11:41:27 AM


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BRIEFS

Database to provide a comprehensive As software shifts away from single, system (OSS) solutions for the com-
BI solution, as well as expanded hot- monolithic applications to assemblies munications and media industry. The
pluggable support for third-party data of easily configurable services, develop- company offers communications service
sources and systems. ers are changing the way they work. To providers a comprehensive product set
“The compelling benefits of the new speed the development process, pro- for OSS service fulfillment, including
release will further obviate the need grammers often develop new applica- provisioning, network inventory, and
for organizations to wire together tools tions by reusing existing or sample code activation. MetaSolv’s standards-based
from multiple point product BI vendors as a starting point. However, obtaining, solutions support all types of services,
in order to have complete, integrated, configuring, and deploying code can including next-generation Voice over
best-of-breed solutions, regardless of take a long time and be error-prone. IP, Internet Protocol Television, and IP
whether they have Oracle, non-Oracle, Oracle Developer Depot, which runs on virtual private network.
or mixed environments,” says Thomas Oracle Application Server 10g, elimi- Stellent is a global provider of enter-
Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle nates the complexity of the discover-to- prise content management software
Fusion Middleware. deploy process by providing a library of solutions. With Stellent’s Universal
Oracle Business Intelligence Suite reusable sample application code that Content Management solution, cus-
Enterprise Edition 10g Release 3 is can be downloaded and deployed with tomers can easily deploy multiple
intended to leverage service-oriented a single click. As a result, programmers line-of-business applications—such as
architecture techniques and integration without Java experience can have an public Web sites, secure intranets and
with Oracle BPEL Process Manager to application up and running rapidly, and extranets, and compliance processes—
support multiple models of analytics- more-experienced developers can get a and also scale the technology to support
driven workflow. This is planned to head start on complex projects to meet multisite management and enterprise-
include invocation of a Business Process business requirements quickly. wide content management needs.
Execution Language (BPEL) process Oracle Developer Depot leverages Oracle’s acquisition of Stellent will
from the BI environment; BI that directs popular Web 2.0 technologies such complement and extend Oracle’s exist-
a BPEL process with intelligent deci- as Asynchronous JavaScript And XML ing content management solution
sion points and conditional process (Ajax), the Spring 2.0 Framework, and portfolio. Stellent’s Universal Content
steps based on analytics; and BPEL Really Simple Syndication to facilitate Management works with Oracle
processes invoking analytic workflows code reuse and simplify development. Content Database and offers a variety
through Web services. The suite is also of best-of-breed solutions for document
planned to support seamless integration ORACLE MAKES STRATEGIC ACQUISITIONS management, Web content manage-
with Oracle Portal and Oracle Online
Analytical Processing (OLAP).
The next release is also planned
O racle has acquired SPL WorldGroup
and Sunopsis and agreed to acquire
MetaSolv Software and Stellent.
ment, information rights management,
digital asset management, records and
retention management, and imaging,
to allow users to access information SPL is a leading provider of revenue governance, risk, and compliance. O
through interactive dashboards, reports, and operations management software for
ad hoc analysis, real-time alerts, mobile the utilities industry and tax manage-
disconnected analytics, and integration ment software for government organiza-
with Microsoft Office. The release plan tions. SPL delivers best-in-class solutions Oracle WebCenter Suite
also includes support for Really Simple for customer care and billing, mobile oracle.com/products/middleware/
webcenter.html
Syndication capabilities. workforce management, outage and dis-
tribution management, and asset man- Oracle E-Business Suite
oracle.com/applications/e-business-suite.html
ORACLE DEVELOPER DEPOT SIMPLIFIES agement that are specifically designed
JAVA DEVELOPMENT for electric, gas, and water utilities. Oracle Server Technologies
Beta Programs

O racle has announced the release


of Oracle Developer Depot, a free,
downloadable developer productivity
Sunopsis is a leading provider
of heterogeneous data integration
products. Oracle plans to incorpo-
otnbeta.oracle.com/bpo/prospects/index.htm

Oracle Berkeley DB Release 4.5


oracle.com/technology/products/berkeley-db
tool that simplifies the way Java devel- rate Sunopsis’ high-performance data Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g
opers find, configure, and provision Java integration technology into the Oracle oracle.com/enterprise_manager

applications for learning or prototyping Fusion Middleware product family and Oracle Business Intelligence Suite
purposes. An integrated component make the technology an integrated part 10g Release 3 Enterprise Edition
oracle.com/bi
of Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle of its service-oriented architecture,
Developer Depot complements Oracle’s business intelligence, and master data Oracle Developer Depot
oracle.com/technology/tech/java/oc4j/odd
end-to-end Java platform by facilitating management solutions.
Oracle strategic acquisitions
development of Java and service- MetaSolv is a leading provider of oracle.com/corporate/acquisition.html
oriented-architecture–based applications. service-fulfillment operations support

18 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_BRIEFS.indd 18 11/17/06 11:41:28 AM


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a t O r a c l e ORACLE NEWS BY R IC H SCHWERI N

Enterprise-Class Linux Support


Oracle Unbreakable Linux delivers the same support for Linux as for Oracle Database.
o meet customer demand for global support centers, providing help
enterprise-quality Linux support to customers in 27 languages, in every
and significantly reduced IT infra- time zone. And the industry agrees.
structure costs, Oracle is offering Oracle was awarded the J.D. Power and
Linux operating system support. The Associates Global Technology Service
support program, Oracle Unbreakable and Support Certification for provid-
Linux, provides enterprises with ing “an Outstanding Customer Service
industry-leading, global support for Experience” to North American custom-
Linux—the same level of support that ers across all product lines.
Oracle provides for the database.
“Oracle’s support program is all about LEADING THE LINUX STANDARD
broadening the success of Linux and “We think it’s important not to fragment
helping customers deploy Linux seam- the market, so we will maintain compat-
lessly,” says Edward Screven, Oracle’s ibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux,”
chief corporate architect. “In the same explains Screven. “Every time Red Hat
way we support the database, this new distributes a new version, we will resyn-
support program provides bug fixes chronize with their code. We will add
to future, current, and past releases of bug fixes, which will be immediately
Linux. We provide the same level of Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect available to Red Hat and the rest of the
enterprise support for Linux as is avail- community. We have years of Linux
able for other operating systems.” critical status in the data center.” engineering experience and an excellent
Oracle offers enterprise-class Linux Other partners endorsing the program technical team solely dedicated to Linux.
support for substantially less than the include IBM, Accenture, BearingPoint, Oracle has a long history of contributing
price Red Hat currently charges for its EMC, BMC, NetApp, Mercury, Kronos, to the community, such as Oracle Cluster
best support. The program is available to Sterling, Ingram Micro, and Tech Data. File System that is now part of Linux
all Linux users for as little as US$99 per Customer endorsements include Acuity kernel 2.6.16, and several Oracle employ-
system per year, and until January 31, Brands Lighting, Alcoa North America, ees are Linux mainline maintainers.”
2007, Oracle customers can get a free Autodesk, Betfair, Cox Enterprises, IHOP, Furthering this commitment, Oracle
trial, and anyone can purchase support McKesson, and Southern Company. has joined the Free Standards Group,
at a 50 percent discount. “As a customer with firsthand expe- a nonprofit organization dedicated to
rience of Oracle’s outstanding support strengthening and promoting Linux as a
INDUSTRY ENDORSEMENT organization, Dell will use Oracle to platform for application development.
Screven asserts that true enterprise- support Linux operating systems inter- “Oracle will continue contributing
quality support for Linux at a lower cost nally,” says Michael Dell, chairman of Linux-related innovations, modifica-
is something that customers demand, the board, Dell. “Oracle’s new Linux tions, documentation, and fixes directly
and many customers and partners have support program will help us drive to the Linux community on a timely
already endorsed Oracle’s new Linux standards deeper into the enterprise. basis,” concludes Screven. O
support program. Dell customers can choose Oracle’s
“We believe that better support and Unbreakable Linux program to support
lower support prices will speed the Linux environments running on Dell
adoption of Linux, and we are working PowerEdge servers.” LEARN more about the Oracle
closely with our partners to make that This widespread industry endorse- Unbreakable Linux support program
oracle.com/linux
happen,” says Screven. “Intel is a devel- ment is backed by Oracle’s enterprise- GET a free trial (Oracle customers only)
opment partner. Dell and HP are support class technical expertise, advanced and receive 50 percent off purchase
BOB ADLER

partners. Many others are signed up to support technologies, and a global reach price through January 31, 2007
oracle.com/events/linux/promotion.html
help us move Linux up to mission- including 7,000 support staff in 17

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 21

JF07_News.indd 21 11/17/06 11:53:21 AM


SQL_Italy.3.5 ad 11/14/06 11:46 AM Page 1

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one of the largest certified Oracle partners in Italy. Confor is now the Confor: We know the Italian Market for PL/SQL developers extremely
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SQLDetective: This represents the business and strategic side of Confor's includes software products, database & application management, system
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Confor: We marketed SQL Navigator* and Toad* prior to their acqui- formed partnerships with leading international IT vendors and has
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c h a n n e l s COMMITMENT BY A A RO N L A Z E N BY

Protecting Nature and Information


The Nature Conservancy protects endangered species and drinking water.
eginning in the Catskill Mountains, the Neversink River over the next two years. Specifically, the grant enables the
winds its way for 60 miles to the confluence of the New Nature Conservancy to develop a new, expanded version of
York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania borders. Aside from ConserveOnline. Oracle is also making a US$200,000 in-kind
featuring some of the best fly-fishing in the country, software donation that will enable the Nature Conservancy to
this Delaware River tributary is home to the world’s healthi- expand its geographic information system, which allows con-
est population of the globally imperiled dwarf wedge mussel, servationists to visualize, query, and layer spatial information
and the mussels’ endangered status has prompted a large-scale on a single screen. These tools allow the Nature Conservancy to
conservation effort called the Neversink River Project. The better manage the growing amount of scientific data.
project—operated by the Nature Conservancy—keeps the “As a decentralized, science-based organization that is
mussels bubbling, the ecosys- rapidly expanding, the Nature
tem healthy, and New York Conservancy is increasingly
City’s purest source of drinking dependent on quality and speed
water potable. of knowledge sharing, both
Since its founding in 1951, within the Conservancy and
the Nature Conservancy has with our partners,” says Steve
grown to be a leading conser- McCormick, president and CEO
vation organization working of the Nature Conservancy.
around the world to protect “Thanks to Oracle’s grant, orga-
ecologically important lands nizations will have ready access
and waters. The organization to compelling information to
and its one million members help direct—and inspire—con-
together have saved more servation action on a regional,
than 117 million acres and national, and global scale.”
5,000 river miles around the Oracle’s partnership with
world. By 2015, the Nature the Nature Conservancy is
Conservancy hopes to achieve an important part of Oracle’s
an ambitious goal to preserve Commitment, the company’s
places that represent at least 10 efforts to advance education,
percent of every major habitat The Neversink River, home to the endangered dwarf wedge mussel, is also New promote diversity, enrich the
York City’s purest source of drinking water.
type on Earth. life of communities, and protect
But massive projects such as the Neversink River Project the environment. Oracle has been a longtime supporter of the
require innovative tools to keep information current, organized, Nature Conservancy; over the past 17 years, Oracle has made
and available to the conservation community. It’s for this reason corporate contributions and in-kind donations totaling more
that the Nature Conservancy developed ConserveOnline, a free, than US$3.4 million.
internet-based resource tool designed to enhance the efficiency “We’re proud of the nearly two-decade relationship we’ve
and effectiveness of global conservation by allowing conserva- fostered with the Nature Conservancy,” says Rosalie Gann,
tionists to post data, form work groups, and search the data- Oracle’s director of Global Corporate Citizenship. “We’re
bases of organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the excited to help the organization improve its technology—and
Rainforest Alliance, and the Nature Conservancy itself. improve conservation communication throughout the world.” O
“We deal with a lot of information and a lot of complexity,”
says the Nature Conservancy’s George Schuler, conservation Aaron Lazenby is a senior editor with Oracle Publishing.
scientist and director of the project. “Complexity in terms of
having researchers out in the river, and dealing with people
from all over our region and all over the world.”
Oracle’s Commitment
To help in these efforts, in 2006 Oracle awarded the oracle.com/commitment
Nature Conservancy a US$1 million Commitment Grant

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 23

JF07_Commitment.indd 23 11/17/06 11:47:17 AM


c h a n n e l s PARTNER NEWS
b o o k BEAT

Querying XML:
XQuery, XPath,
and SQL/XML
in Context
GRIDAPP SYSTEMS OFFERS FREE ORACLE on Linux on System z,” says Robert
By Jim Melton and
Stephen Buxton REAL APPLICATION CLUSTERS LICENSES Shimp, vice president of Oracle’s Global
Morgan Kaufmann
www.elsevier.com
ISBN: 1-55-860711-0
G ridApp Systems’ “Ready. Set. RAC!”
promotion bundles GridApp’s D2500
database appliance with free Oracle
Technology business unit.

EMC LAUNCHES NEW ORACLE SOLUTIONS


Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC) AND SUPPORT
licenses. GridApp’s reference architec-
E MC has expanded its specialized
XML has become the lingua franca for
representing business data, exchanging
ture for Oracle RAC allows companies storage solutions and services port-
information between business partners and
applications, and adding structure—and to avoid possible unforeseen costs of folio for Oracle customers in midsize
sometimes meaning—to text-based installing and managing an Oracle RAC and enterprise organizations and has
documents. In the area of search, XML offers environment. The “Ready. Set. RAC!” announced new investments to support
some challenges and opportunities: querying offering also includes optional storage Oracle Grid technology.
XML can produce precise, fine-grained
and migration services. For midsize enterprises, EMC has
results—if you know how to express and
execute those queries. GridApp’s D2500 appliance combines developed integrated solutions for
Querying XML provides a comprehensive IBM BladeCenter servers with Clarity, Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Real
background on XML, from fundamental GridApp’s database automation software, Application Clusters based on the EMC
concepts (what is XML?), data models (infoset, to simplify, automate, and virtualize Celerra IP storage systems. EMC and
post-schema-validation infoset, XQuery), to
the database environment. Because of Oracle have performed system-level
APIs (querying XML from SQL or Java), and
more. The book provides software developers the simplification and automation it testing and validation of these storage
and system architects with the most-useful provides, the D2500 can be put into systems in Oracle environments, and
approaches to querying XML documents and production within one day and can scale can provide documented best practices,
repositories. It also offers managers and databases in minutes, says GridApp reference architectures, and real-world
project leaders a way to grasp how querying
Chief Scientist Matt Zito. validations to partners and customers.
XML fits into the larger context of querying
and XML. For enterprise environments, EMC
IBM BOOSTS ORACLE ON SYSTEM Z has developed an assessment service for
AND LINUX Oracle Database 10g Readiness, and a
Oracle Database 10g
Real Application
Clusters Handbook
I BM and Oracle are collaborating on
sales and marketing of enterprise
business solutions featuring Oracle
Health Check service for infrastructures
supporting Oracle E-Business Suite.
The assessment service uses EMC tools
By K Gopalakrishnan
Oracle Press Applications (Oracle E-Business and information lifecycle management
oraclepress.com Suite and Oracle’s Siebel and Oracle’s methodology to assess a customer’s
ISBN: 0-07-146509-X PeopleSoft products) and technology environment and make recommenda-
for Linux on IBM System z mainframe tions about data layout, backup and
If you need a comprehensive guide to Oracle servers. The Oracle/IBM Joint Solution recovery, availability, and infrastructure
Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), this
is the book for you. Oracle Database 10g
Center in Montpelier, France, and the for migrating to Oracle Database 10g.
Real Application Clusters Handbook covers IBM Oracle International Competency The Health Check service evaluates the
the full spectrum of Oracle RAC topics. Center in California’s Silicon Valley will storage infrastructure up through the
Rather than providing a lot of commands develop best practices, implementation Oracle application layer to ensure that
and syntaxes that are readily available in the guidance, and support procedures for customers’ Oracle solutions are running
standard documentation and other Oracle
texts, the book offers a solid background on
the new comprehensive solutions. on appropriate infrastructure, and
Oracle RAC as well as its fundamentals. The solutions will be available on makes recommendations for optimizing
Author K Gopalakrishnan, a consultant with the IBM System z9 Enterprise Class and those environments.
Oracle, provides tuning and troubleshooting IBM System z9 Business Class servers. EMC is also investing US$20 million
tips and offers insight on the most advanced Customer incentives up to US$250,000 to help Oracle customers use its refer-
diagnostics available. He provides a complete
conceptual overview of various Oracle RAC
are planned. “Today, we offer a compre- ence architectures, the two companies’
building blocks as well as deeper discussions hensive set of enterprise infrastructure joint services, and EMC/Oracle proof-of-
on their inner workings. and solutions that build upon and concept facilities.
“The goal of this book is to explain modernize customer investments in
implementing and using Oracle RAC in the System z, including Oracle E-Business ADOBE BUILDS FLEX INTO ORACLE PORTALS

O
most efficient manner,” says Gopalakrishnan.
Suite, Siebel Customer Relationship racle and Adobe are collaborat-
Browse for Oracle books at oracle.com/ Management, and PeopleSoft Enterprise ing to allow developers to include
technology/books/10g_books.html. using Oracle Database 10g Release 2 animations, charts, and graphs created

24 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Partner.indd 24 11/17/06 3:37:33 PM


Partner Spotlight SMB Partner Momentum Builds

A s the number of Oracle partners serving the small and


medium business (SMB) market continues to grow,
Oracle is offering several programs to support partners.
sales team. Oracle also plans to open regional SMB Solution
Centers throughout the world to showcase Oracle Accelerate
and to bring partners into the sales cycle.
“Oracle has long been a trusted partner for small and To support Oracle Accelerate, Oracle has established
medium businesses, and we have developed a wealth an SMB Applications business unit, headed by Senior Vice
of knowledge to help facilitate the unique needs of that President Tony Kender. The business unit will maintain
market,” says Oracle President Charles Phillips. the partner/reseller ecosystem, drive the development and
Oracle Accelerate is a new program targeting partners refinement of product and industry-specific bundles, and
who want to sell Oracle Applications into the SMB market. generally work to ensure SMB customer success. Oracle cur-
Prepackaged, industry-specific application bundles are one rently has more than 19,000 applications customers world-
key to Oracle Accelerate. Working with its partners, Oracle wide that are SMBs.
has identified 80 product bundles that can help SMBs “Our goal is simple: to become the No. 1 provider of
quickly employ Oracle’s enterprise applications without applications to small and medium businesses,” Kender says.
sacrificing the applications’ flexibility or functionality. The “With Oracle Accelerate we are aligning Oracle’s proven
bundles deliver comprehensive business flows (front-office, applications and rapid implementation tools with our part-
back-office, and industry-specific processes) and can be ners’ industry solutions under a single package. We have
extended by Oracle partners. doubled our SMB marketing program budget and added a
Oracle Business Accelerators—already an established dozen new SMB-focused executives around the world.”
part of Oracle’s enterprise business—comprise the second In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), partner
key component of Oracle Accelerate. These automated setup momentum around the SMB market is also on the rise.
tools create end-to-end business flows based on a series of Since June 2006, more than 350 partners in EMEA have
simple but specific questions about the business, and auto- signed up for Oracle QuickStart Plus, an entry-level offer-
matically apply that information to the Oracle application ing for new Oracle value-added resellers and independent
implementation. Once a setup questionnaire is complete, a software vendors wanting to sell Oracle Database and Oracle
new application can be up and running within hours. Application Server Standard Edition One and Standard
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) is the third key element Edition to SMBs. “[Oracle] QuickStart Plus provides support
in Oracle Accelerate. Oracle has expanded SMB-specific that allows partners to quickly take advantage of Oracle
content on the OPN portal, making available customer pre- products and offer industry-leading solutions to a very
sentations, product positioning documents, sales kits, and buoyant SMB market,” says Penny Philpot, senior director,
specialized training materials used by Oracle’s own direct Oracle Alliances and Channels.

in Adobe Flex (Adobe’s Flash-based Portlets (WSRP) 2.0 standards groups on COBOL copybooks.
application creation framework) with the integration. By using Itemfield’s software, Oracle
other Asynchronous JavaScript And customers can integrate unstructured
XML (Ajax) content in enterprise portals ITEMFIELD CONTENTMASTER NOW and semistructured data for extract,
created by Oracle Portal. This allows INTEGRATED WITH WAREHOUSE BUILDER transform, and load; data quality and
applications with highly visual displays
to be integrated with enterprise processes
and data, creating enterprise mashups
I temfield has integrated its
ContentMaster universal data transfor-
mation software with Oracle Warehouse
auditing; integrated relational and
dimensional modeling; and lifecycle
management of data and metadata.
that have the impact and effectiveness of Builder 10g Release 2. The combined
Web 2.0 applications but that also pre- offering uses ContentMaster’s data trans- GENPACT AND TURNKEY AUTOMATE ORACLE
serve the standards-based infrastructure. formation capabilities to allow Oracle E-BUSINESS SUITE TESTING
The integration works with the
current generation of Oracle Portal, and
will be incorporated into future Oracle
Warehouse Builder 10g to handle any
type of data, including unstructured
documents such as Microsoft Word and
G enpact and TurnKey Solutions,
two members of the Oracle
PartnerNetwork, have formed a global
user-interaction environments. Oracle Excel documents and Adobe Portable alliance to provide testing automation
and Adobe intend to work with the Document Format files, and semistruc- for Oracle E-Business Suite customers.
Java Standardization Request (JSR) 168, tured data such as electronic data inter- Genpact will implement TurnKey’s
JSR 268, and Web Services for Remote change, Health Level 7, and complex testing scripts against a wide range

oracle magazine  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007  25


PARTNER NEWS

of Oracle modules, including Oracle APPSECINC’S APPRADAR NOW AVAILABLE


Financials, Oracle Human Resources FOR ORACLE ON LINUX

A
Management, Oracle Manufacturing, pplication Security, Inc., (AppSecInc) GridApp Systems
www.gridapp.com
Oracle Order Management, and Oracle has announced Oracle on Linux
IBM System z
Projects. This will automate functional support in AppRadar, part of its appli- www.ibm.com/systems/z
and regression testing efforts to improve cation security solution. AppRadar EMC Solutions for Oracle
patching, upgrade, and go-live Oracle uses real-time monitoring and security www.emc.com
E-Business Suite 11i rollouts. auditing to defend against application Adobe Flex
One result, according to TurnKey vulnerabilities while ensuring adherence www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/flex2_
portal.html
CEO Bruce R. Guebner, will be more- to regulatory requirements. AppRadar
effective conference room pilots. “As protects databases against internal and Oracle Partners for SMBs
oracle.com/solutions/mid/accelerate-
a result of deploying these automated external attacks without degrading data- partners.html
technologies, we’ve seen a significant base performance, and supports both Application Modernization Initiative
drop off in the number of functional host- and network-based deployment. www.hp.com/go/ami

business users and technical engineers AppSecInc’s decision to support Intel


www.intel.com
required to meet ever-more demanding Oracle on Linux was driven by cus-
testing lifecycle deadlines,” Guebner tomer demand. AppRadar is part of Itemfield’s ContentMaster Universal
says. “With this automation deployed, AppSecInc’s database security suite, Data Transformation Software
www.itemfield.com
customers no longer have to wait for the which also includes AppDetective for
Genpact and TurnKey automation
application to be ready prior to testing.” database vulnerability assessment scan- solutions
ning, DbEncrypt for column-level data- www.genpact.com
www.turnkeysolutions.com
NAVTEQ MAP DATA NOW BUNDLED WITH base encryption, and AppSecInc Console
ORACLE APPLICATIONS for distributed management. NAVTEQ

O
www.navteq.com
racle and NAVTEQ, a global pro-
vider of digital maps for vehicle SILVERSTORM RDS OVER INFINIBAND NOW AppSecInc’s AppRadar
www.appsecinc.com
navigation and location-based solutions, ON ORACLE REAL APPLICATION CLUSTERS
SilverStorm RDS for Oracle
have reached a multiyear worldwide
agreement to incorporate NAVTEQ
boundary mapping data into Oracle
S ilverStorm Technologies, a provider
of high-performance interconnect
solutions for clustered computing, has
www.silverstorm.com/oracle

Database 10g and other Oracle products, released the Reliable Datagram Sockets
effectively coupling geospatial informa- (RDS) over InfiniBand interconnect for
tion with enterprise data from supply Oracle Real Application Clusters 10g
chain, customer relationship manage- (Oracle RAC). InfiniBand is a high-
ment, and planning and risk-assessment performance, switched fabric intercon-
applications. The NAVTEQ-Oracle com- nect standard for servers.
bination will make it easier for custom- RDS was codeveloped by SilverStorm
ers to employ Oracle Spatial 10g, Oracle and Oracle. In beta testing, RDS over
Locator, Oracle Application Server 10g InfiniBand provided up to 60 percent
MapViewer, and future Oracle products performance improvement over Gigabit
that will use geographic data. Ethernet for interconnect-intensive
NAVTEQ’s mapping data includes applications. SilverStorm’s high-
administrative boundaries for coun- performance clustering solutions for
tries, states, and cities, as well as major Oracle RAC are showcased in Oracle’s
highways and roads. The company also Enterprise Technology Centers.
plans to offer additional map and demo- RDS has been validated through
graphic products, such as street net- Intel’s Enabled Server Acceleration
works, ZIP codes, and industry-specific Alliance program and is available for
data sets, to Oracle customers. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 at no cost
and in SilverStorm’s QuickSilver 3.2 or
later host releases for Linux. ■

26  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007  oracle.com/oraclemagazine


c h a n n e l s PEER-TO-PEER BY B LA IR CAMPBELL

The Good Old Days


Three peers reflect on early adventures in database programming, analysis, and split-finger fastballs.
Steve Karam running our nightly batches. peerSPECS
How did you get started in IT? Which new features of Oracle Database Company: Communication
& Systèmes, a systems
My aunt gave me an 8086 10g are you finding most valuable? The integration company
computer when I was nine possibilities for composite partition- Job Title/Description:
Oracle DBA consultant and
years old, and the first thing ing, including range/list partitioning, Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications
I learned to do on it was open new doors for performance and administrator, currently providing
technical support to France
program in GW-BASIC. storage. These features, along with Telecom’s development and
Around age 10 was when I the new partition pruning capabili- production teams
really started programming, ties, are very useful in a large data- Location: Toulouse, France

and by age 16, I was writing a base like ours. I first did database Oracle Credentials: Oracle-
certified DBA (Oracle9i ), with more
program to hack into my school’s computer. A class- analysis using bstat/estat utilities, so than 8 years of experience using
mate who saw me writing that program in study hall told his I find the latest version of Statspack Oracle products

dad, who was an Oracle contractor for the Navy, about me, and greatly improves database analysis.
oracle.com/technology/community/
his dad ended up hiring me on as a junior Oracle DBA. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? oracle_ace
What would you like to see Oracle, as a company, do differently? I’d I love the Pyrenees—it’s a beautiful
peerSPECS like to see an increased focus on mountain range with a long and interesting history.
Company: Burleson Oracle Oracle Academy, Oracle’s education
Consulting and Training
Job Title/Description: Senior
program for high school students, Dave Moore
Oracle DBA and instructor, and the Oracle Academic Initiative, What advice do you have about getting into Web and database
responsible for training, mentoring, for students at the college and uni- development? Build a Web site for something you’re passion-
backup and recovery, performance
tuning, and implementation of versity level. It would be great for ate about. If it’s gardening, build and maintain a gardening
new systems Oracle to concentrate on getting Web site that you think would be useful to others. Then
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia really intelligent up-and-coming enhance it over time—add a
Oracle Credentials: Oracle- technologists into the Oracle field. database back end or wiki. It
certified master (Oracle Database
10g ), with 10 years of experience Tell us about your upcoming book, will be very rewarding.
using Oracle products Easy Oracle Jumpstart ( Rampant What technology has most changed
TechPress, 2006). It’s a DBA your life? First, there’s Quicken,
oracle.com/technology/community/
oracle_ace primer—the basic concepts you which has actually made me
need to know. It’s a joint effort look forward to paying my
between me and another DBA, Robert Freeman. My second bills each month. Second is my
book, Oracle and Ajax, is due to the publisher next April. BlackBerry, which I depend on
much more than my laptop
Nicolas Gasparotto these days.
What’s your favorite tool or technique on the job? Statspack and How do you use the internet? I
session tracing—to find the most important queries and opti- use it mainly for research—like peerSPECS
Company: Database-Brothers, Inc.
mize their execution time by finding out the pitfalls of throw- (DBI), a firm specializing in database
rewriting them when possible, ing a split-finger fastball at performance and accountability
or by playing with indexes too early an age. These days, Job Title/Description:
Vice president, research and
and parameters. Implementing however, I find myself visiting development, responsible for all
table partitioning is a big fewer and fewer sites. I use CNN R&D tasks for database security
and performance products
challenge: One table in .com as my morning newspaper
Location: Austin,Texas
our database is more than but really only frequent about Length of Time Using Oracle
150GB, without accounting four other Web sites: asktom Products: 15 years
for the indexes, and finding .oracle.com; oracleutilities.com;
the best partition settings oracle.com/technology; and, of oracle.com/technology/community/
oracle_ace
for this table is crucial for course, www.quicken.com. O

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 27

JF07_Peer.indd 27 11/17/06 11:59:31 AM


LLP3084 11/8/06 1:04 PM Page 1

ORACLE
PRESS
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For more than 10 years, Oracle Press has been working closely with Oracle experts
and the user community to develop the most authoritative, comprehensive, and
current references on Oracle products and technologies.

The choice is clear—if you buy only one book, be sure it’s from Oracle Press.

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c h a n n e l s CUTTING EDGE

Driving and Flying


Encrypted hard drives and planes that mimic birds

Perching Plane
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No. . . it’s a perching plane—a plane
that lands like a bird. From the early days of aircraft
design, engineers have looked to birds for inspi-
ration. Whereas most engineers focus on
how birds fly, Ephrahim Garcia at Cornell
University in Ithaca, New York, believes
Secure Hard Drives
birds have a lot to teach us about
In this fast-paced world, we’ve all got plenty to worry about,
landing. He is designing a pilotless
so losing a laptop with sensitive information on it is the last
aircraft that can land vertically by
thing you need—especially if you work for a large company
“perching” like a bird.
or government organization. Sure, there are passwords and
Currently the perching
other security applications that limit access to data, but there
plane is being developed to
are better ways to secure hard drive content.
address a problem with recon-
Seagate’s DriveTrust technology is a drive-level set of
naissance planes: They find something
security services that take advantage of the hard drive’s
interesting to look at but can’t inspect it
computing environment. Modern disk drives contain a
properly because they don’t have enough
full-fledged computing element, including processor, RAM,
fuel to keep flying over the area for any
a multitasking operating system, and dedicated private
length of time. “If you could land the plane
magnetic storage. Although host operating system envi-
on the edge of a nearby building, you could
ronments are designed to enable widespread application
continue surveillance of an area,” says Garcia.
support, hard drives are closed computing environments
Since runways are hard to come by on the tops
that run specialized code to manage drive functions. In
of buildings, the reconnaissance plane would have to land
short, the hard drive is an ideal place for securing informa-
vertically. Existing vertical landing craft, such as helicop-
tion because its internal operations are sealed off from other
ters or Harrier jump jets, are too heavy and require too
computing system resources.
much fuel to make them suitable for surveillance. Instead,
DriveTrust-enabled drives automatically encrypt and
Garcia believes, by mimicking the way birds come in to
decrypt all the data that travels in and out of the drive.
land, he can bring an aircraft to a gentle stop using aero-
Unlike other data encryption applications, DriveTrust
dynamics alone.
encryption keys are password-protected and never appear
When a bird wants to perch, it flares its wing feathers,
in any readable format on the drive. Encryption
angling them against the airflow; then it does the same with
combined with strong authentica-
its tail feathers as it lowers them. This configuration pro-
tion simplifies and secures
duces as much drag as possible, and slows the bird enough
hard drive disposal and
for a safe touchdown. When Garcia’s plane is preparing to
reuse. Data on an encrypted
land, the wings rotate upward to force the fuselage down,
drive is only accessible when
creating strong drag. The tail extends away from the body on
the encryption key is enabled
a long boom, which is articulated so the tail can droop down
through a valid password. If
to provide varying degrees of drag as it moves.
the encryption key is changed
or eliminated, all of the data is
SEAGATE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY

instantly rendered inaccessible.


Technicians can now safely
repurpose or dispose of the drive, Seagate DriveTrust
www.seagate.com
without compromising sensitive
Perching plane
information. Just don’t forget www.engr.cornell.edu
your password.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 29

JF07_Cutting Edge.indd 29 11/17/06 11:48:13 AM


30 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_HiAvail.indd 30 11/20/06 3:48:51 PM


ALWAYS
AVAILABLE
BY A LA N JOC H

ORACLE HIGH-AVAILABILITY TECHNOLOGIES


DRIVE BUSINESS 24/7.

on’t be fooled by appearances—Red Nose Day is no


laughing matter. Comic Relief’s biennial fund-raiser
invites people throughout the United Kingdom to don
red noses as they get sponsored to do all sorts of
silly things and donate money to support antipoverty
programs locally and in Africa. The event culminates
with a five-hour telethon, during which comedians
such as John Cleese and Ricky Gervais might show
up to push for a final round of telephone or Web
donations. Donors apparently laugh all the way to
their wallets: A recent campaign netted more than
US$123.6 million.
But peek behind the scenes at those make-or-
break telethons and you’ll find a lot of serious IT
CORBIS

staff who could use a laugh themselves. Because so

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 31

JF07_HiAvail.indd 31 11/20/06 3:48:53 PM


much of the fund-raising success hinges on efficiently pro-
cessing more than 250,000 electronic transactions in a short
time frame, Comic Relief’s data center is fine-tuned for high
availability (HA). “If the system isn’t working, then obviously
we can’t collect contributions,” says Martin Gill, head of new
media for Comic Relief. “We can’t just go back to people
a couple of days later and say, “Remember when you were
feeling generous and you wanted to give us £100? Please try
again now, because we fixed the glitch that prevented you
doing it the other night.” Given the narrow window in which
the charitable organization needs to process pledges, any glitch
can cost the fund-raising effort—so systems need to be up,
available, and fast.
To avoid any awkward second acts, Comic Relief’s new-
media managers rely on a dual-data-center architecture built
with Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real Application Clusters
(Oracle RAC), and Oracle Data Guard. Together these tech-
nologies ensure that the charitable fun doesn’t grind to a halt if
a hard drive, server, network switch, or entire site crashes.
This high-availability approach came in handy during
a recent Red Nose Day when processing times were rising
above targeted levels. The flexible high-availability environ-
ment enabled Comic Relief to switch all the transaction
processing to one data center while using the second one
“Clustering is what’s compelling about the Oracle technology,” says Hernan Alvarez,
for diagnostics, ultimately solving the problem with a quick Director of Engineering Operations for Farecast. “We looked at other alternatives, but
upgrade before rejoining the two centers. “We had no loss there really wasn’t any other choice.”
of service to our donors,” Gill says. “Only some sweaty
engineers who worked hard and brilliantly to successfully within an effective high-availability architecture keep data and
manage the situation.” systems protected against extended outages, while also con-
tributing processing power for day-to-day tasks when crises
EASIER CHOICES aren’t looming. “Many companies think their disaster recov-
High availability and disaster recovery (DR) have long been ery infrastructure is an investment that cannot provide other
like life insurance: IT managers know they need them, but operational benefits,” says Sushil Kumar, senior director of
their hard-to-quantify return on investment (ROI) poses a database product management at Oracle. “Oracle’s philosophy
challenge. Budget watchers struggle with how much is enough is for customers to derive the most out of their disaster recov-
to spend for server and storage resources that might remain ery infrastructure, even in times when there is no disaster.”
idle most of the time. “K” Line America, a global transportation company spe-
Now, new HA/DR strategies mean IT managers don’t cializing in ocean transport, found this high-availability
have to make that choice. The right technologies configured balance when it installed Oracle Database 10g and Oracle

STAYING SECURE WITH ORACLE DATA GUARD


Oracle Data Guard is a feature of Oracle because of a planned or unplanned outage, main database. Operating system and hardware
Database 10g that creates, synchronizes, and Oracle Data Guard can switch any standby maintenance can be done in rolling fashion: First
monitors one or more standby databases to database to the production role, thus minimizing at the standby side, and then after a planned role
protect data from failures, disasters, errors, and the downtime associated with the outage and transition (referred to as a switchover) the standby
corruptions. These standby databases can be preventing any data loss. database assumes the production role and the
located at remote disaster recovery sites thou- In keeping with the imperative to make same maintenance can be executed on the
sands of miles away from the production data maximum use of standby database resources original primary with minimal downtime. Oracle’s
center, or they may be located in the same city, even while in standby role, an Oracle Data Guard Sushil Kumar says, “People have assumed that
REX RYSTEDT

same campus, or even in the same building. If standby database can field queries and run certain tasks require downtime, but Oracle’s goal
the production database becomes unavailable backups to relieve processing demands on the is to eliminate planned maintenance downtime.”

32 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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“High availability is not something you
build on top of your existing applications.
It needs to be thinking that pervades your
entire IT infrastructure.”
—Mano Malayanur, Manager of Technical Operations and
Infrastructure Management and Infrastructure Architect,
Fannie Mae Guarantee Businesses Systems (GBS) group

RAC. Its dual server cluster protects “K” Line’s global trans-
portation management system with automatic failover should
either server node crash for any reason. “K” Line uses Oracle
RAC to automatically balance transaction processing between
its two servers. The result is a boost in processing capacity:
All resources are used all the time, and users are protected
from server failure.
“Oracle RAC really impressed us because it allows us to take
advantage of both servers,” says Knut LaVine, general manager
of application development at “K” Line America. “We saw a
dramatic improvement in the performance of the application
because we were able to utilize both servers at the same time.”

BUDGET RELIEF
Mano Malayanur of Fannie Mae’s Guarantee Businesses Systems group calls Oracle
The right high-availability architecture delivers other economic Data Guard “our preferred solution for disaster recovery.” The decision to go with
advantages as well. Because Oracle software can provide the Oracle followed an extensive proof-of-concept pilot project.
highest level of availability on commodity hardware, such as
x86-based servers, high-availability designers aren’t forced sors and large amounts of RAM. These powerful servers came
to buy expensive proprietary platforms, long thought to be at a relative bargain of only about US$5,000 each. The redun-
essential for reliability. This expensive philosophy dates back dancy available from these Oracle RAC–running econo-models
to mainframe models and argues that the more you spend on gives Alvarez confidence about his HA capabilities. “If we lose
hardware, the fewer breakdowns you’ll experience. a box, who cares—we’re not dependent on any one device in
Today, enterprises can achieve comparable reliability at a our network,” Alvarez says.
fraction of the mainframe cost using Oracle’s high-availability Farecast’s predictive engine relies on an Oracle data ware-
functionality and commodity-priced hardware. “We used to house with more than 5TB of data for storing and analyzing
spend a tremendous amount of money buying very expensive data for its airfare predictions. Before Oracle Database 10g and
proprietary UNIX systems,” says Hernan Alvarez, director of Oracle RAC, Farecast relied on a MySQL database, a product
engineering operations for Farecast, an online travel-booking that Farecast just outgrew, according to Alvarez. “Clustering is
site based in Seattle, Washington. “With the advent of cluster- what’s compelling about the Oracle technology,” he says. “We
ing software and open source operating systems, that para- looked at other clustering and database alternatives, including
digm has shifted. Now it’s the software that’s really making IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server. But we have a very large
things happen.” database, so with partitioning, compression, and clustering on
Farecast invested in Oracle RAC, which automatically trans- top of that, there really wasn’t any other choice. SQL Server
fers and rebalances workload from a failed server to surviving just wasn’t going to get it done.”
servers in a cluster. The ability to deploy a high-availability Alvarez adds that Oracle RAC’s ability to configure multiple
solution on commodity hardware using Oracle RAC is a cor- low-cost commodity servers and create a highly available and
nerstone of Farecast’s strategy. scalable grid that requires no change to application or database
The travel site applies its proprietary algorithms to fare structures keeps total costs under control. “I’d say our hardware
data collected from airlines and third-party sources to predict costs are one-tenth of what they were five years ago,” he says.
prices for customers shopping for the best deals. Customers Which helps Farecast align its high-availability needs with
access the site from around the world, which means that any its business demands. “We could always roll out a $10 million
downtime, whether for planned maintenance or resulting from solution and get the HA job done, but does that meet our
technical problems, would almost always affect some custom- business goals?” he asks. “We’re able to stay within budget and
DAVID DEAL

ers during the business day. get the performance and availability we’re looking for [with
To cope, Farecast uses 100 x86 servers with 64-bit proces- Oracle], so it’s a huge business success.”

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 33

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LOW-COST REDUNDANCY
Oracle RAC can grow from an initial two nodes to as many as
100 nodes as power is needed. Because all servers in an Oracle
M A K I N G I T AVA I L A B L E
RAC cluster are active, application performance scales as addi-
tional servers are added to the cluster. In addition, the mul-
tiple servers in Oracle RAC all have access to all of the data.
Because of Cache Fusion, users can coordinate access so all Site Failure
Oracle Data Guard provides
servers can modify any of the data. This allows work requests UNPLANNED DOWNTIME the ability to set up
to run on any server, instead of being limited to a specific and maintain a standby
copy of your production
server because of some “partitioning” algorithm required of database.
shared-nothing environments. The combination of these attri-
butes makes it possible to build clusters of low-priced com-
PROTECTING
modity servers that can provide higher availability and better
FROM DATA
performance than much more costly and proprietary main- FAILURE
frame-based high-availability architectures.
The Oracle database shared by all servers in a cluster is
exposed to storage subsystem failures that can cause data
file corruptions on the primary database. Such failures are
infrequent, but when they occur they result in unaccept-
Corruption
able downtime for mission-critical applications. Oracle When data corruption
Data Guard isolates the standby database from such corrup- occurs, Oracle provides
a host of tools for
tion by continually validating all data before it is applied. backup and recovery,
Corruptions caused by the primary database storage sub- such as RMAN and
system, or corruptions introduced by the network during Oracle Secure Backup.

the course of transmitting data to the standby site, are never


applied to the standby database. This concept of isolating
the standby site from failures that occur on the production
database is one of the major benefits provided by Oracle
Data Guard.
Like Oracle RAC, Oracle Data Guard is implemented on top PROTECTING FROM COMPUTER FAILURE
of commodity hardware. “It requires only a standard network
link between the two computers,” says Oracle’s Kumar. “Oracle
Data Guard not only saves customers money, but also provides
them with a more efficient and better disaster recovery solution.” Oracle Real
These technologies work together to provide a complete Application Clusters
(Oracle RAC)
solution. “Oracle has developed very powerful availability Oracle RAC enables enterprise
technologies including Oracle RAC, Oracle Data Guard, grid computing by clustering
multiple servers that are highly
Flashback, and RMAN. These technologies are each generally available and easily scalable.
acknowledged to be ‘best-of-breed’ solutions in their space,”
says Juan Loaiza, senior vice president for the Systems
Technology group at Oracle. “Just as importantly, we have
architected these technologies to work seamlessly together
to cover all classes of downtime. Without this end-to-end
approach, you continue to run the risk of unwanted down- trative overhead from the direct public donation pool. “We
time even if you build resilience into each and every compo- promise that for every pound a member of the public directly
nent of your architecture.” gives us, we will give a pound directly to the projects we
support,” says Gill. “All time savings and systematic efficien-
SERIOUS PROTECTION cies offered by digital technology help us meet this promise to
By the time Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day ends, about 14 the public.”
million people will have watched the telethon broadcast on On the key nights, both of Comic Relief’s data centers
the BBC, and the Comic Relief Web site will have received move into action. Oracle RAC provides protection from server
hits from up to one million unique visitors. The organization’s failure within the primary site. Unless there’s an emergency,
financial model depends on quickly depositing donations into the centers combine their processing capacities to keep indi-
STEVE LYONS

interest-bearing accounts. Interest yields are one of the income vidual e-commerce transaction processing times to less than
streams that Comic Relief uses to avoid paying for adminis- two seconds. “Oracle RAC is the cornerstone of our high-

34 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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Keeping your systems and data highly available means being prepared for both planned and
unplanned situations. Oracle offers a complete set of technologies that enable you to avoid costly
downtime and rapidly recover from unforeseen failures.

PLANNED DOWNTIME
Storage Failure Rolling Patch Updates
Automatic Storage Oracle Database supports the
Management simplifies disk application of patches to the nodes
management tasks such as of an Oracle RAC system in a
mirroring, helping DBAs rolling fashion, keeping the AVOIDING
protect against data storage system available during DOWNTIME
failure. patch application.
FOR SYSTEM
CHANGES

BEST PRACTICES

Maximum Availability Architecture


Oracle offers a fully Rolling Release Upgrades
integrated and proven Oracle Database 10g
blueprint for building highly supports database software
available systems, called upgrades and the application
Maximum Availability of patch sets in a rolling
Architecture (MAA). fashion–with near-zero
database downtime—
using Oracle Data Guard.

Dynamic Resource Provisioning


Adapting to changes in hardware
Human Error and meeting resource demands
Human error can occur can be accomplished without
on many levels; Oracle disrupting the database.
AVOIDING DOWNTIME FOR DATA CHANGES
offers capabilities such as
Flashback technologies for
analyzing and correcting
human error, and LogMiner Partitioning
for analyzing and auditing Database administrators can
data changes. partition large tables and indexes,
helping prevent regular
maintenance from impacting
entire tables and confining
errors to smaller data sets.

Fast Start Fault Recovery Online Reorganization


Fast Start Fault Recovery Administrators can perform
provides fast and predictable maintenance operations without
recovery from system faults disrupting database operations
and database failures. or users who are updating or
accessing data.

availability solution. It gives us a chance to cope with flash HIGH AVAILABILITY IS A PHILOSOPHY
crowds, high demand, or even a failure in one of our database Fannie Mae, a financial services company that collaborates
servers with little or no degradation of performance to an end with mortgage lenders to ensure that loans are available
user,” says Gill. for home buyers, needs guaranteed system uptime for its
As an extra precaution, Oracle Data Guard provides financial systems and to meet federal regulations. “Regulatory
disaster recovery failover between data centers by keeping requirements dictate that all of our critical applications have
a standby copy of the database at the second data center complete redundancy to meet specific high-availability needs,”
synchronized with the database at the primary location. “If says Mano Malayanur, manager of technical operations and
there’s a failure in our primary environment, we can shift infrastructure management and infrastructure architect for
sessions to the other site,” he says. Comic Relief’s standby Fannie Mae’s Guarantee Businesses Systems (GBS) group.
JOHN BLYTHE

database also provides a critical layer of additional data pro- The GBS arm of Fannie Mae runs Oracle Database 10g
tection and high availability. Release 2, a local high-availability cluster, and Oracle Data

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 35

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COMPREHENSIVE HIGH AVAILABILITY
Guard, for its production database to stay running if a break- Enterprises need a wide range recovery-related files, even daily
down occurs. Oracle Data Guard provides what Malayanur of tools to develop an effective backups, for an Oracle database.
calls “our preferred solution for disaster recovery.” Some HA architecture. These tools from Automatically managed by Oracle
applications in Fannie Mae also use Oracle RAC for additional Oracle can help ensure success. Database, this resource cuts recov-
high-availability and horizontal scaling. ery time by eliminating downtime
Before Fannie Mae’s GBS group made its choice, it con- Oracle Real Application associated with restoring archived
ducted an extensive proof-of-concept project that tested how Clusters (Oracle RAC) files from tape media.
well its database, middle layers, and client infrastructure could Oracle RAC lets enterprises set Recovery Manager (RMAN)
handle the projected business demand. The project simulated up clusters of multiple servers to RMAN automates and manages
1 million transactions per hour, with each transaction includ- provide processing power to applica- backup and recovery processes for
ing many hits to the Oracle database. But beyond speed, the tions that access a single database. Oracle databases, including auto-
project also had to prove data reliability—Fannie Mae wanted No application or database changes matically backing up and recover-
nothing less than zero when it came to data loss protection. are required. If a server fails, the sur- ing data to the flash recovery area.
This approach is fairly typical for other applications in viving servers in the cluster automat- RMAN is integrated with the core
Fannie Mae. The performance tests help Fannie Mae reduce ically take over processing chores. database engine, allowing it to do
the time required for a failover to occur between servers at Oracle RAC provides scalability; addi- its operations most efficiently.
a site, and between sites. “When we go into our test lab,” tional servers can be introduced into Flashback
says Malayanur, “we have a clear idea of what we want to the cluster in a nondisruptive fashion Flashback helps companies recover
see: Is the solution compatible with the other layers in our to help with increasing workloads. from human error or logical corrup-
technology stack? How long does it take to fail over from Oracle RAC is a database option tion that results in damaged data,
server to server and site to site? Is the failover automated? for Oracle Database 10g Enterprise and it does so at a level of granu-
And then we do tests to verify that the numbers are where Edition and is included with Oracle larity appropriate for the corrective
we expect them to be.” Database 10g Standard Edition. action required. Flashback Query
Oracle Data Guard proved to be a key technology compo- Oracle Data Guard can roll back changes from indi-
nent in the organization’s data protection scheme. The pilot Oracle Data Guard enables IT man- vidual queries; Flashback Table can
agers to automatically maintain roll back data from a single table
a synchronized, standby copy of to its last correct version. For wide-
SNAPSHOTS a production database in another spread data corruption, Flashback
location that can immediately be Database lets users roll the entire
Comic Relief elevated to primary status should database to a desired point in time,
www.comicrelief.com
the production database fail. many times faster than traditional
Location: London Industry: Charitable fund-raising
Employees: 95 Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g Release 2, Oracle Oracle Enterprise Manager point-in-time recovery methods.
Application Server 10g, Oracle Data Guard, Oracle Real Application Clusters This systemwide administration tool LogMiner
gives IT managers a Web-based LogMiner allows redo log files to
Fannie Mae interface for monitoring database be read, analyzed, and interpreted
www.fanniemae.com performance, allocating resources, using SQL. IT managers can use
Location: Washington DC Industry: Financial services
and managing Oracle RAC instal- the analyses to audit changes to
Employees: 5,500 Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real
lations and Oracle Data Guard data or recover deleted data.
Application Clusters, Oracle Data Guard, Oracle Enterprise Manager
standby databases. Oracle Secure Backup
Farecast, Inc Automatic Storage This secure network tape backup
www.farecast.com Management (ASM) software for Oracle databases
Location: Seattle, Washington Industry: Online travel This integrated file system and and file systems lets administra-
Employees: 25 Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real volume manager eliminates the tors perform direct tape backups
Application Clusters, Oracle Enterprise Manager
need for third-party storage man- without third-party software. It
“K” Line America, Inc. agement software and simplifies provides an integrated, easy-to-use
(A wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.) storage management for Oracle backup solution that encrypts data
www.kline.com
databases. A feature of Oracle to tape to safeguard against the
Location: Richmond, Virginia Industry: Transportation
Database 10g, ASM makes it easy misuse of sensitive data if backup
Employees: 560 Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, Oracle Real
Application Clusters to optimize performance of storage tapes are lost or stolen.
subsystems. ASM’s built-in mirror- Maximum Availability
Kemira GrowHow (U.K.) ing provides high availability by Architecture (MAA)
www.kemira-growhow.com protecting against local disk failure. MAA provides an Oracle-validated
Location: Chester, U.K. Industry: Fertilizer and agricultural products Flash Recovery Area blueprint of technology and archi-
Employees: 450 (in the U.K.) Oracle products: Oracle E-Business Suite,
This area consists of a unified tectural best practices to achieve
Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Data Guard
disk-based storage location for all highest availability.

36 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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“We wouldn’t trust our business processes
to other offerings. Oracle products have
scaled from large systems down to smaller
business servers, not up from PCs.”
—Dave Allen, IS Facilities Manager, Kemira GrowHow (U.K.)

project showed Oracle Data Guard could sustain synchronous


zero data loss protection and avoid any loss of information
for workloads running as high as 16 megabytes per second
of redo data. This is very high database throughput, easily
surpassing what is seen in most mission-critical applications.
Fannie Mae found that Oracle Data Guard could run at even
faster rates in asynchronous mode, for applications that didn’t
have such stringent data loss requirements.
Fannie Mae’s testing didn’t stop once the pilot project was
over. The company continues to test and audit the system
regularly to make sure that changes to the environment don’t
reduce its protection. “High availability is not something you
build on top of your existing applications,” Malayanur says.
“It needs to be thinking that pervades your entire process of
setting up an IT infrastructure.”
Dave Allen, IS Facilities Manager at Kemira GrowHow (U.K.) says that the company
CLEAR ROI chose Oracle technology because of its proven track record. “The Oracle database
Because they traditionally haven’t been designed to contribute is bombproof,” he says.
to daily business profitability, high-availability technologies
have been difficult to evaluate for ROI. The consequences of standby database and upgrade it to production mode—all
downtime may be real, but how can companies know if the without needing to perform any recovery tasks.
high-availability choices they’re making are financially sound? As a result of this configuration, Kemira not only elimi-
Kemira GrowHow (U.K.) grappled with this question as it nated the service-contract fee but also cut its database down-
reevaluated its high-availability service contract in 2003. The time window from the 24 hours outlined in its service contract
fertilizer and agricultural products company in the United to a few minutes. It estimates it can return its applications to
Kingdom had been relying on a service-level agreement with full production status in two hours or less in the worst-case
an outside firm that promised replacements for any faulty scenario of a complete data-center failure. “The investment we
hardware within four hours of crashing and a restoration of made upfront for the new technology was justified by cutting
data to the most recent daily backup within 24 hours. But costs from the old contracts,” says Dave Allen, IS facilities
because manual processes would take over in the interim, manager at Kemira GrowHow.
“resynching” of the systems could take much longer. Kemira chose Oracle technology because of its proven track
Kemira grew increasingly uncomfortable with that time- record. “We wouldn’t trust our business processes to other
table, concerned that disrupted order and shipment process- offerings. Oracle products have scaled from large enterprise-
ing would hurt the company long before repairs were made. class systems down to smaller business servers, not up from
Adding to the problem, the company was paying about PCs,” Allen says. “The Oracle database is bombproof.” O
US$37,000 for the service contract.
The company made some changes. Thanks to a 2004 Alan Joch (ajoch@worldpath.net) is a technology writer based in New England who
rearchitecting of its high-availability resources, Kemira reduced specializes in enterprise, Web, and high-performance-computing applications.
its maintenance costs, eliminated the service contract, and
simultaneously boosted its availability so it would see little
disruption in the aftermath of a system crash or site failure.
Kemira now runs the Oracle E-Business Suite on a two-node READ more about high availability
cluster in its primary data center. Oracle Data Guard syn- oracle.com/database/high-availability.html
oracle.com/technology/deploy/availability/techlisting.html#Avail
chronizes the primary database with a secondary instance at
a remote facility. If the production cluster or database fails, DOWNLOAD Forrester report on Oracle RAC
oracle.com/start keyword: RAC2
Kemira uses Oracle Data Guard to fail over to the remote

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 37

JF07_HiAvail.indd 37 11/20/06 3:49:10 PM


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GO XML
Oracle Database 10g gives enterprises a way to manage
content-rich applications and diverse data with XML.
BY DAV I D BAUM

he increased use of content-rich applications and STORAGE OPTIONS


the internet, particularly for business transactions, has One good example of how this works is CIMIRe—a govern-
put new demands on enterprise databases. One way ment agency in Belgium that manages retirement, disability,
to handle these demands is with the increased use of and survivor benefits for workers and their families. The
XML. As a markup language capable of describing many dif- agency maintains information about 12.8 million Belgian
ferent kinds of data, XML is used to store and exchange busi- citizens and uses Oracle XML DB to manage more than 200
ness information—including structured, unstructured, and million XML documents—and growing, by 70 million docu-
semistructured data. ments each year—making it one of the biggest XML databases
At the heart of Oracle’s XML strategy is Oracle XML in Belgium. “We are dealing with high volumes of rather
Database (Oracle XML DB), a unique feature of Oracle complex XML data that need to be online for 45 years,” says
Database 10g that allows for generating, storing, retrieving, Philippe Delcourt, IT manager for CIMIRe. “The only way to
ENRIQUE FAJARDO

querying, and managing massive volumes of XML data. Oracle get the best-possible response time is to have a database that
XML DB has been adopted by many enterprises that are does not treat XML as just text but rather understands XML.”
seeking a way to take advantage of their database infrastruc- According to Delcourt, developers at the agency need to
ture and skills to manage diverse data. be able to store and access XML data without compromising

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 39

JF07_XML.indd 39 11/17/06 12:07:50 PM


“The only way to get the
best-possible response time is
to have a database that does not
treat XML as just text but rather
understands XML.”
—Philippe Delcourt, IT Manager, CIMIRe

performance. “We want to avoid having two


databases—one for relational content and
another for XML data,” Delcourt says. “Since
both data structures are stored in our Oracle
database, we do not have to spend time inte-
grating, maintaining, and backing up two dif-
ferent data stores.”
Additionally, CIMIRe needs to be able to
exchange information in XML format with
other social security offices. Using XML in the
database allows the agency to send data to
these partners without making any transforma-
tions. And because Oracle’s XML functionality
is accessible through the standard SQL inter-
face, CIMIRe can use many applications to
query its XML data.
“We can use one interface to query and “We are dealing with high volumes of rather complex XML data,” says Philippe Delcourt, IT Manager for
CIMIRe, the government agency that manages retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for 12.8 million
update both relational and XML content,” Belgian citizens. Delcourt is pictured here with CIMIRe Database Administrator Alexandra Lejeune.
Delcourt says. “The complex XPath searches
are very fast, with subsecond response times,
and we have maintained this superb performance despite our system, according to a carefully defined structure,” she says.
growing volume of data.” “Using Oracle XML DB to create and store structured docu-
ments lets us automate a lot of the process.”
VOLUME SIMPLIFIED The Office worked with Oracle, Linsonic, and the Xcential
The State of California Office of Legislative Counsel finds Group to establish a data model by leveraging the schema-
that Oracle XML DB enhances the power of Oracle Database based aspects of the Oracle XML DB technology. “Being able
10g while reducing storage space and memory requirements. to create a very complex and powerful schema—and lever-
These capabilities are particularly appealing to the Office of age [Oracle] XML DB to implement it in an object-relational
Legislative Counsel, because it creates a massive document fashion—was a big time-saver,” explains Don Neithinger, a
repository for storing about 350,000 bills, constitutional consultant with Linsonic. “Oracle XML DB virtually elimi-
amendments, resolutions, and legislative measures. nated the pain of data modeling, since the data model evolved
The Office is responsible for drafting all of the legislation directly from the schema. The application is tightly coupled
for the California State Assembly and State Senate. It main- with the schema and allows users to mark up the documents
tains California statutes and codes—a compilation of all the the way they need to.”
bills that have been passed and signed into law, and Oracle ith the initial database develop-
Database 10g serves as a central repository for these. “We ment work behind them, the
selected Oracle because we needed a database that is highly Office is immersed in putting hun-
available and dependable and that can support relational dreds of thousands of documents in
structures along with flexible XML features as part of our bill- a searchable format for the public.
drafting system,” says Mendora Servin, product manager for “Most of our users are attorneys who
the Office of Legislative Counsel. don’t have time to learn complex
Servin and her team maintain the bill-drafting system for information systems,” says the
TON HENDRIKS

the State Assembly and State Senate. They also index all the Office of Legislative Counsel’s Servin.
documents to simplify searching and research. “Our drafting “Our Oracle-based system makes it easy for them to find the
system stores content in Oracle XML DB in a schema-based exact information they need.”

40 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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While users enjoy the simplicity, Servin’s
team appreciates Oracle Database 10g for its
performance, stability, and rapid-development
facilities. “Oracle Database 10g has been very
reliable,” Linsonic’s Neithinger says. “On top of
that, Oracle Database 10g has superior reposi-
tory features. No other vendor gives the same
degree of flexibility in how to store XML content
natively in the database.”
Neithinger says that fragment-level data
retrieval from XML documents is practically
instantaneous in Oracle Database 10g, even
when very large documents are involved. “A
document hierarchy is created within the folder
hierarchy that allows users to navigate very
quickly,” he says. “It’s a convenient way for users
to find specific parts of the California code.” “We selected Oracle because we needed a database that is highly available and dependable and that
can support relational structures along with flexible XML features as part of our bill-drafting system,”
The future looks extremely promising. says Mendora Servin, Product Manager for the State of California Office of Legislative Counsel.
Neithinger adds, “We are also very excited
about the next-generation XML storage capabil-
ities in the works, because they further enable efficient XML the strong data management capabilities that they offer.”
search and retrieval.” Of course, users don’t care whether data is structured or
unstructured, as long as the content is managed and stored
XML EVOLUTION efficiently. That’s why Oracle works closely with standards
As the popularity of XML grows, more enterprises are deploy- bodies to retrieve structured and unstructured data in a
ing XML-capable databases as back-end repositories, says unified way.
Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester Research. “Oracle offers “Oracle has expanded the capacity of the database to
native XML support to store both unstructured and semistruc- handle text as well as media, images, videos, spatial data,
PETER STEMBER

tured data into databases, including images, faxes, movies, and other kinds of information,” says Vishu Krishnamurthy,
XML, content, e-mail, and other complex datatypes,” he says. Oracle’s senior director of XML development. “We have pro-
“Customers like to use databases for this content because of gressively optimized speed and intelligence across datatypes

STRUCTURAL DETAILS
There are two primary ways to store XML tions are automatically generated from the this storage yields optimal throughput when
content in a relational database—structured XML schema, so they can be decomposed inserting and retrieving whole documents. This
and unstructured. and stored in the database without any loss approach allows the document to be retained
Structured storage entails decomposing of information. This allows Oracle XML DB intact—increasingly important for digital signa-
the content of the XML document into a set of to leverage the full power of standard SQL tures and authentication.
objects. A benefit to this storage approach is interfaces, while reducing storage space and Oracle Database 10g, which uses standard
that the data can be accessed by applications memory requirements. access methods for navigating and querying
that understand only relational technology. With unstructured storage the entire XML XML based on the World Wide Web Consortium
When an XML schema is registered with document is stored natively as a character (W3C) XML data model, supports both XML
Oracle XML DB, the required type defini- large object (CLOB) inside the database, and storage approaches.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 41

JF07_XML.indd 41 11/17/06 12:08:05 PM


“Oracle’s built-in XML functions give us the option to produce XML data files in a
single SQL query, which simplifies development and maintenance.”
—Dave Crichton, Senior Developer, British Skye Broadcasting

and enhanced the SQL syntax to handle uses Oracle XML DB to parse the messages
domain-specific information.” SNAPSHOTS and break them into relational structures,
Oracle has made XML a fundamen- which are then passed through to the data
CIMIRe
tal datatype—as part of Oracle XML DB, www.cimire.fgov.be warehouse. Setting up relational tables to
Oracle created the XMLType object to Location: Brussels, Belgium store XMLType data enables the growing
process XML documents and messages, Industry: Public sector media company to keep schema-less XML
with instances for both structured and Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, documents in its Oracle database.
unstructured storage. In Oracle Database Oracle XML DB Crichton likes several things about the
10g Release 2, Oracle added standards- XML functionality in Oracle Database 10g—
State of California Office of
based XQuery capabilities, a schema-based Legislative Counsel namely, a notable performance improve-
resource metadata facility, a set of SQL func- www.leginfo.ca.gov ment, better stability, and plenty of room to
tions for data manipulation operations on Location: Sacramento, California scale to 10 million customers. “Oracle has
XML data, and much more. Industry: Public sector always given us the performance we need,
“Traditionally unstructured informa- Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, and the XML functionality is becoming pro-
tion is stored in a file system that includes Oracle XML DB gressively more robust,” he says.
files, folders, and all associated metadata,”
British Sky Broadcasting Group
says Krishnamurthy, “but this paradigm is www.sky.com VERSATILE FRAMEWORKS
inherently insecure and unreliable and cer- Location: Isleworth, U.K. XML has become a popular way to store
tainly doesn’t scale well. That’s why Oracle Industry: Media and entertainment and exchange complex information. Next-
provides the same access mechanism for Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g, generation application development stacks
all types of content that can be stored in a Oracle XML DB will build XML-based content-management
secure, centralized repository.” applications that are much more versatile
and dynamic.
MEDIA CONVERGENCE “That’s when the technology will move from the edge to
This approach to managing content is ideal for British Sky the core,” Oracle’s Krishnamurthy predicts, “as businesses
Broadcasting (BSkyB), the largest digital pay-television start using XML to store all types of business information
platform in the United Kingdom and Ireland and a leading and to build applications that include voice mail interfaces,
broadcaster of sports, movies, entertainment, and news. The videos, new sets of connections and associations, and collab-
company manages real-time XML data feeds, which contain orative work models.”
rich customer information—everything from the purchase of BSkyB’s Crichton agrees with that assessment. He says the
personal video recorders and high-definition television ser- company plans to use Oracle XML DB to produce output for
vices to a specific movie preference in the video-on-demand third parties, such as customer viewing profiles for informing
program. To support its burgeoning subscriber base, BSkyB targeted marketing campaigns.
deployed an Oracle data warehouse. “Oracle’s built-in XML functions give us the option to
“We’re using Oracle to capture a great deal of information produce XML data files in a single SQL query, which sim-
about subscribers—not just basic contact information but plifies development and maintenance,” Crichton explains.
also case-management data arising from technical inquiries,” “Oracle is definitely at the forefront when it comes to building
says Dave Crichton, a senior developer on BSkyB’s Customer XML functionality.” O
Marketing Business Intelligence team.
Crichton is responsible for maintaining a 3TB data ware- David Baum (david@dbaumcomm.com) is a freelance business writer based in
house of customer relationship management (CRM) infor- Santa Barbara, California.
mation about all of BSkyB’s 8.2 million subscribers, such as
customer name, contact information, location details, and
onsite equipment. The information is used to cross-sell and READ
up-sell additional products and services to these established “Using XML with XML DB and ODP.NET”
customers, as well as to reach out to new customers through- oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/williams_xmldotnet.html

out the United Kingdom. “Getting Started with Oracle XML DB”
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/appdev.102/b14259/xdb02rep.htm
Each night, BSkyB’s data warehouse is refreshed with infor-
mation from its CRM system in the form of XML data feeds DOWNLOAD Oracle Database 10g
oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/oracle10g
into relational data structures in the data warehouse. BSkyB

42 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_XML.indd 42 11/17/06 12:08:06 PM


Enterprise
Linux Support

From $99
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oracle.com/linux
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Copyright © 2006, Oracle. All rights reserved. Oracle, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
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CORP_Linux_99Price_1730

JF07_043.indd 1 12/6/06 2:00:03 PM


EX

JF07_SMB.indd 44 11/17/06 3:41:41 PM


PANDINGTO MEET DEMANDS BY DAV ID A . K EL LY

SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES


GROW UP WITH ORACLE.

mall business doesn’t mean small requirements.


Take the case of fast-growing Bebo.com, the
United Kingdom and Ireland’s most popular social
networking site.
“Our scalability challenge is managing the huge
growth in our page views,” says Michael Birch, Bebo’s
cofounder, CEO, and CIO. “We already have 27 million
subscribers and turn about 4 billion page views a month.
25 percent [monthly] growth on top of that is significant.”
Bebo started out with Oracle Database 10g Standard
Edition One, but has since scaled up to Enterprise Edition
so it could spread the load across additional processors.
“Oracle Database 10g allows us to scale trouble-free,
I’m pleased to say,” says Birch. “We just built a standby
database and then flipped our systems over.”
Bebo’s experience is a good example of the types
of pressures facing today’s small and medium busi-
nesses (SMBs)—business demand for fast perfor-
mance, high availability, data security, and scalability
GIL ADAMS

in an IT environment where resources are tight. For

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 45

JF07_SMB.indd 45 11/17/06 3:41:46 PM


companies who can meet these demands, the result is
improved relationships with customers and partners, reduced
risk, and an ability to adapt to changing market conditions.
“There are no global boundaries anymore, so even small
and medium companies can compete with the big guys,” says
Donald Feinberg, vice president and distinguished analyst at
Gartner. “Because of that, SMBs need enterprise-quality soft-
ware applications to compete and run their business. They
need the same performance, reliability, and much of the same
functionality that large companies need.”
Enter Oracle. While Oracle built its reputation by serving
the needs of enterprise customers, it has taken its core prod-
ucts and packaged them into solutions suited to SMBs. “Oracle
makes it very easy to develop, deploy, and scale systems using
Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware,” says Willie
Hardie, vice president of database marketing, Oracle. “Because
Oracle offers a choice of solutions built on a common code
base, SMBs get enterprise-class technology at a low entry cost,
which can then scale inexpensively.”
For Bebo, the choice of selecting Oracle Database 10g as
its primary database had a lot to do with reliability. “We can’t
Michael Birch is Cofounder, CEO, and CIO of Bebo.com, a fast-growing social
afford to be down, and we certainly can’t afford to lose data,” networking site. “We can’t afford to be down, and we certainly can’t afford to lose
says Bebo’s Birch. “That’s why we selected Oracle.” data,” he says. “That’s why we selected Oracle.”

SOCIAL SCALABILITY pooling capabilities on its Web servers to integrate every-


For a social networking site such as Bebo, having a scalable thing. “Interoperability with Oracle is very straightforward,”
and fast database to manage transactions and store user files is Birch says.
critical to growing the business. Every day Bebo’s users upload Another important consideration that’s been straight-
more than 1.2 million photos, which need to be stored in five forward for Bebo has been finding skilled personnel. Beyond
formats and managed by their Oracle database. two internal administrators, Bebo occasionally uses a freelance
“We’ve been growing at 25 percent a month, and we’re consultant. Birch says: “It’s definitely an advantage that Oracle
hoping to continue that,” says Birch. “Without the right infra- is commonly used. It wasn’t that hard for us to find skilled
structure, it gets increasingly difficult to resources to help manage our growth.”
cope with that rate of compound growth.” SNAP SHOTS
Although Oracle Database 10g Standard HIGH AVAILABILITY AND SECURITY
Edition One on a two-CPU server running Bebo For the American Osteopathic Association
SUSE Enterprise Linux met Bebo’s initial www.bebo.com (AOA), located in Chicago, selecting
Location: San Francisco
startup needs, Birch realized that he Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition
Employees: 18
needed to upgrade to handle the site’s Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g
One wasn’t just about performance or ease
phenomenal growth. By upgrading to of use. It was also about agility.
Enterprise Edition, Birch was able to take American Osteopathic Association “It’s not just the breadth of the Oracle
advantage of features such as partitioning, www.osteopathic.org architecture that’s great. It’s our ability to
which helps manage the company’s scal- www.do-online.org adapt it as our business needs change,”
ability requirements. Location: Chicago says Bryan Pawlak, director of the AOA’s
Employees: More than 150
Another database feature that Birch Development division within the depart-
Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g
finds particularly useful is Oracle’s index- Standard Edition with Oracle Real ment of Information Technology. “If we’re
optimized table capability. “We found Application Clusters to grow and double the amount of trans-
that it substantially reduces the amount actions through our database, we could
of random I/Os that we do,” he says. “It Property Condition Assessments just add a node to our grid to increase
improves database performance and limits www.pcallc.com capacity. Oracle gives us the capability to
Location: Pasadena, California
the additional investment we’d otherwise expand our environment as we grow—it’s
Employees: More than 400 nationwide
need to make in additional hardware.” a great concept.”
PETER STEMBER

Oracle products: Oracle Database 10g


Bebo’s database has to be integrated Standard Edition One, Oracle XML Publisher, The AOA is a medical association that
with its Java applications, so Bebo uses Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One represents more than 59,000 osteopathic
Oracle’s JDBC drivers and the connection physicians (DOs) in the United States.

46 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_SMB.indd 46 11/20/06 3:22:54 PM


“Oracle Database 10g allows us to scale
trouble-free, I’m pleased to say. We just
built a standby database and then flipped
our systems over.”
—Michael Birch, Cofounder, CEO, and CIO, Bebo

Osteopathic doctors, like medical doctors, can prescribe drugs,


perform surgeries, and work in different medical specialties.
The AOA’s key functions include accrediting the osteopathic
medical schools, postgraduate training programs, and board
certification process for medical specialists, as well as track-
ing all the credentials of its 59,000 DOs throughout their
careers. Therefore, in addition to meeting the basic needs of
a large membership organization, the AOA needs to ensure
data security and comply with all HIPAA privacy standards
and different data integrity standards of the organizations it
works with.
“We could have chosen Microsoft SQL Server, but we
selected Oracle for our database back end because we wanted
Bryan Pawlak (left) and Mike Zarski of the American Osteopathic Association appreciate
its robust features and its high-availability model,” says Mike the Oracle architecture for its robust features. “The stability of Oracle was a real
Zarski, the AOA’s director of the department of Information winner for us in terms of choosing the platform,” Zarski says.
Technology. “The stability of Oracle was a real winner for us in
terms of choosing the platform. Also, the security features that Application Clusters (Oracle RAC). “We’re expanding our use
are available in the Oracle environment really met our needs of the Oracle database by implementing a grid clustering envi-
across the board. The fact that it was available on Linux is also ronment,” Pawlak says. “Going to grid made sense for us from
a huge factor for us.” many perspectives—from the high-availability and security
Pawlak agrees. “We love Oracle on Linux,” he says. “We’ve perspective, it’s a huge win for us. We’ll also be able to add on
seen great stability, security, and performance on the platform.” services to the grid as we go along—for example, the Oracle
The AOA went live with Oracle Database Standard Edition Internet Directory component—when we need it.”
One as a back end for its portal infrastructure in June 2005.
More than 36,000 members have access to the portal, with COMBINED SOLUTION BENEFITS
more than 20,000 regular daily users. “We’re just scratching Smaller companies sometimes can take advantage of new
the surface on what we could use different parts of the Oracle technologies to make a big difference in their efficiency and
architecture for; we’re looking to expand our production use ultimately their bottom line. Take Property
of more Oracle technologies,” says Pawlak. Condition Assessments (PCA), based
The AOA is in the process of upgrading to Oracle in Pasadena, California. PCA is a
Database 10g Standard Edition with Oracle Real national architectural and engi-

ORACLE’S SOLUTION FOR SMBS


Balancing business requirements with limited IT database and access to a browser to develop rewrites. Oracle’s Standard Edition and Standard
resources is a key driver for most growing busi- secure Web-based applications,” says Oracle’s Edition One products contain the same common
nesses. “The biggest issues with SMBs are budget Willie Hardie. “You can easily consolidate data code as Enterprise Editions; therefore, upgrading
and resources,” says Gartner’s Donald Feinberg. off in-secure desktop applications into a secure, is a simple process.”
“They need hardware and software that can be reliable, and scalable database.” Competitive pricing is also important in the
installed and maintained with minimal staff.” Oracle has simplified the installation, con- SMB market. “The entry-level cost for Oracle
To help solve that problem, Oracle has figuration, and management of its database and Database 10g Standard Edition One starts at
created technology that can meet the strin- middleware. “Given the resource constraints $149 per user,” says Hardie. “It’s the same entry
ANDREA MANDEL

gent requirements of the SMB market. Oracle of SMBs, it’s important that software is easy to price point for Oracle Fusion Middleware, so you
Application Express, a feature of Oracle use,” says Hardie. “It’s also important that the can get the entire Oracle technology stack to
Database 10g, is one such solution. “With Oracle technology you start out with can easily scale store, share, secure, and manage your data for
Application Express, all you need is an Oracle at low cost without forklift upgrades and code very little cost.”

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 47

JF07_SMB.indd 47 11/17/06 3:41:54 PM


“The Oracle Database gives us a critical
advantage in its XML support, its stored
procedure support, and its data structures.”
—Thomas Clark, CIO, PCA

neering firm that performs due-diligence reports for buyers,


investors, and building owners. The company’s assessment
solution provides flexibility now—and can be upgraded in the
future as its business needs grow.
Here’s how it works: PCA employees evaluate buildings
and visit properties across the country. After they inspect a
property, they remotely enter data into an XML form, which
PCA then turns into a readable report for property owners. To
coordinate all this data, PCA uses Oracle Application Server
Standard Edition One to support its expanding application
requirements and business needs and Oracle XML Publisher to
create reports for internal and external use.
“We chose Oracle because of its architectural design and
its features,” says Thomas Clark, PCA’s CIO. “Oracle Database
gives us a critical advantage in its XML support, its stored pro-
Thomas Clark of PCA sees his organization growing with Oracle. “Today, it’s not
cedure support, and its data structures.” just about the database. It’s really about interconnecting people with data, and the
Thanks to the integration of XML and a combination of Oracle architecture helps us do that.”
database and middleware capabilities, PCA can quickly gener-
ate reports and executive summaries. PCA’s reports can run in the XML Publisher–based reports throughout our company, we
excess of 300 pages, examining all property conditions that increased business by 40 percent while adding only one team
can influence cost or purchase decisions. This data reviews member,” Clark reports. “We’ve achieved a huge productivity
structural analysis; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning gain through the use of these Oracle tools. It greatly benefits
systems; elevators; architectural overviews of how the space is all our customers as well.”
used; and more. For growing companies like PCA, saving money and
“Our reports are complex. XML Publisher is great because helping customers are essential to good business. But PCA’s
it can output reports into multiple file formats with a click of Clark has found something else that’s important for his com-
the mouse,” says Clark. “We typically output to PDF format, pany’s future growth—creating a strong working relationship
but we can also produce our work in [Microsoft] Word, Excel, with Oracle.
or native XML files—whatever fits the needs of our customer.” “What’s impressed me most, and what makes Oracle
Due to regulatory changes, PCA is also evolving into an unique, is that they really work supportively with a small
online service provider for government clients. Starting in company. They’re not making a lot of money off us. But,
2007 it will be rolling out a packaged version of its collection, they’ve made a very loyal customer out of me,” says Clark.
analysis, and reporting tools for public-sector customers. This “Ultimately it’s the relationship that’s important, not just the
package can be customized for individual customer needs, cre- software. We look to Oracle as a partner, someone that will
ating a budgeting application for property assets for an entire work with PCA to grow our business.” O
portfolio of properties. PCA’s Oracle infrastructure allows
clients to meet their future property asset challenges with David A. Kelly (dkelly@upsideresearch.com) is a business, technology, and travel
better information. writer who lives in West Newton, Massachusetts.
The company currently uses Oracle Database 10g Standard
Edition One but even now is looking ahead. “In the future,
we’ll probably grow into a clustered environment,” says Clark.
“Today, it’s not just about the database. It’s really about inter-
connecting people with data, and the Oracle architecture helps READ more about SMBs
oracle.com/solutions/mid
us do that.”
While PCA hasn’t completed a full return on investment LEARN ABOUT resources for small and medium business
PHIL SALTONSTALL

oracle.com/technology/smb
(ROI) on its database investments, it knows that this is a
VISIT the Linux Technology Center
winning approach. On the middleware front, the company is oracle.com/technology/linux
already seeing improvements. “Last year when we implanted

48 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_SMB.indd 48 11/17/06 3:42:03 PM


d e v e l o p e r OPEN SOURCE BY R IC H SCHWERI N

Embedding Open Source


The Oracle Berkeley DB family of products exemplifies Oracle’s open source commitment.
racle’s role in open source devel- everything from Motorola cell phones, of California at Berkeley. Olson, Margo
opment has been a well-kept Microsoft/Groove’s collaboration suite, Seltzer, and Keith Bostic collaborated
secret. It’s also the reason for and Sun’s Java Enterprise System to to develop a new key/value database to
this column: To inform you Ericsson routers, EMC storage boxes, replace the Database Manager (Dbm)
about Oracle’s commitment to open every distribution of Linux, a popular file-based storage found in UNIX
source software—a commitment mea- Web search engine, and a leading Web systems. This database evolved to
sured by significant investments in retailer. Several major stock exchanges become Berkeley DB version 1.85 and
ongoing development and support across and banks also use Oracle Berkeley DB, was broadly distributed with the release
a wide variety of initiatives. and many authentication systems rely on of 4.4BSD UNIX in 1992. The Berkeley
“As ever, Oracle is driven by cus- Oracle Berkeley DB to store user, profile, DB code became very popular and was
tomer demand for choice, flexibility, and preference information. widely adopted, but users wanted com-
and a lower cost of computing,” says “Where there’s a device or applica- mercial support and new features added
Ken Jacobs, Oracle vice president, tion that has a lot of information moving to the software.
product strategy, Server Technologies. through it, and some of that information In response to the increasing demand
“In addition to contributing to many needs to be stored reliably in a fast, scal- for features and support, Seltzer and
open standards and creating products able, transactional embedded database Bostic founded Sleepycat Software in
that implement those standards, Oracle engine, that’s most likely where you’ll 1996. The company released Berkeley
invests significant resources in develop- find Oracle Berkeley DB,” says Mike DB version 2.0 in 1997, 3.0 in 1999, and
ing, testing, optimizing, supporting, Olson, Oracle vice president, Embedded 4.0 in 2001, with multiple point releases
and contributing to open source tech- Systems. “When you’re sending e-mail, in between. In 2003, Sleepycat added a
nologies such as Linux, PHP, Apache, surfing the Web, or using your cell second product to its offerings, Berkeley
Eclipse, Oracle Berkeley DB, and phone, you have no idea that you’re DB XML, and in 2004, the company
InnoDB. Oracle is clearly a leader in hitting a database—it’s all happening added Berkeley DB Java Edition. In
embracing open source solutions as entirely transparently.” February 2006, Oracle acquired Sleepycat
a viable choice for development and Olson explains that because data Software and the Berkeley DB family
deployment in the enterprise.” management software can be used in became the Oracle Berkeley DB family.
anything from small mobile devices “At the time of the acquisition, there
UNDER THE HOOD to enterprise applications to carrier- was some speculation that Oracle’s inten-
A prime example of Oracle’s true com- grade infrastructure, the average person tions were less than honorable and that
mitment to open source is Oracle encounters Oracle Berkeley DB dozens of the world’s largest enterprise software
Berkeley DB, an embeddable open times each day through various transac- company was simply buying open source
source database used in applications tions and devices. “There’s pretty broad companies to quash them,” recalls Olson.
and devices that demand a fast, scalable, use of Berkeley DB in the Web 2.0 and “Instead, Oracle continues to make sig-
transactional database engine. Running service-oriented architecture space, so nificant investments with several new
on all major operating systems (Linux, it’s difficult to visit a Web site without product releases and global support. Our
UNIX, Windows, embedded Linux, hitting some Berkeley DB somewhere,” engineering team has been hard at work,
QNX, VxWorks, and Macintosh OS), explains Olson. “One of the Web’s building exactly the road map and prod-
Oracle Berkeley DB is available under leading retailers uses it as a front-end ucts that we had planned to do before—
a dual licensing model that has made it cache for all of the data it delivers to we’re just doing it as part of a much larger
tremendously popular among both open users, so your personalization informa- and more capable organization.”
source and commercial customers. tion is all cached in Oracle Berkeley DB.” Community pundits agree. “Nearly a
With an estimated 200 million year later, we’ve seen nothing less than
deployments, there’s a good chance FROM BERKELEY TO SLEEPYCAT TO ORACLE good stewardship of Berkeley DB on
you use Oracle Berkeley DB every day Oracle Berkeley DB’s roots can be traced Oracle’s part, and I think most people
without realizing it. You’ll find Oracle to its namesake in the early 1990s, when recognize that,” says Stephen O’Grady,
Berkeley DB “under the hood” in Olson was a student at the University principal analyst with RedMonk, a

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 49

JF07_OpenSource.indd 49 11/22/06 10:23:13 AM


OPEN SOURCE

Denver, Colorado–based IT analyst firm.


“Beginning with Oracle’s long-standing More Eyeballs, Shallow Bugs
commitment to Linux, there’s certainly a The idea that the involvement of a huge user community focused on a project can result in higher-quality
measure of goodwill toward Oracle from code is a common assertion made by open source supporters. In his widely popular collection of essays
a developer perspective. And Oracle has on the open source software movement and Linux, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (O’Reilly Media, 2001),
done a pretty good job of supporting a author Eric S. Raymond states that, “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”
variety of open standards that are of inter- As cofounder of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), a nonprofit organization that manages and promotes
est to the developer community. Sleepycat open source through the OSI certification mark and program, Raymond believes that if you throw a large
and Berkeley DB are no exception.” enough number of beta testers and developers at a project, issues (aka bugs) are more rapidly identified
and fixed. But not everyone agrees with this notion. Critics claim that the real work on open source
DUAL LICENSE: TWICE AS NICE projects is done by small groups of insular insiders, ignoring the teeming masses of external contributors
Oracle Berkeley DB is distributed under a who don’t contribute much anyway—a criticism that Stephen O’Grady, principal analyst with IT analyst
dual license. Customers can select either firm RedMonk, takes issue with.
an open source license that permits inter- “While I think it’s something of a misnomer to believe that simply because a product is open source, it’s
nal use and redistribution within open intrinsically more secure and more reliable and so on, it is true that certainly having these sources available,
source applications at no charge, or a you can have users fix problems and fix them more rapidly,” says O’Grady.
commercial license that enables the redis-
tribution of Oracle Berkeley DB within resources to make the product better, not Oracle Berkeley DB 4.5 and Oracle
proprietary applications. just for the folks who pay commercial Berkeley DB Java Edition 3.1, are a
“The open source license allows you license fees but also for the very large strong testament to Oracle’s commitment
to download the software, to build it open source community that makes use to open source development, but what’s
into your applications, and to use it at of Oracle Berkeley DB,” he says. “Even if in store for the future?
no charge. You can get the software from you’re using the open source version, you “At Oracle, unlike Sleepycat, we’ve
the Oracle Web site (without register- get tremendous benefits from Oracle’s got a much broader product line. Just in
ing), build it into your applications, and significant development investments.” the embedded space, we’ve got Oracle
use it,” explains Olson. “The restriction The commercial users are better off, Lite, Oracle Berkeley DB, and Oracle
is that if you distribute the application too. “Paid licensees of Oracle Berkeley TimesTen. And, of course, we’ve got
that you build, your application must DB benefit from the advantages that Oracle Database 10g, which supports
also be open source. In our thinking, a very large open source community huge repositories of information in the
this is really playing fair.” confers. Namely, lots of adoption, lots data center,” explains Olson. “As the
Of course, there are commercial of testing, and lots of eyeballs looking only nonrelational product in Oracle’s
vendors that simply can’t do that. “For at the code and lots of experts willing portfolio, Oracle Berkeley DB fills out
customers who can’t give away their to give free technical advice and create our product line for the embedded space,
intellectual property, Oracle Berkeley DB complementary code,” says Olson. “It’s addressing a class of use cases that needs
is available under a commercial license. an ideal situation where you’ve got a high performance, reliability, and scal-
If you’re distributing a proprietary appli- huge user community and very high- ability but does not need SQL. Since the
cation that uses Oracle Berkeley DB, quality code, but for commercial cus- very first day of Sleepycat, three things
then buy the proprietary license to use tomers, their source code stays private.” matter in every single release: perfor-
it and distribute it without giving your (See the “More Eyeballs, Shallow Bugs” mance, reliability, and scalability, and that
source code away,” says Olson. sidebar for more information on open is going to continue to be the case.” O
“If you’re open source, we’re open source community development.)
source, and you can use the software on Rich Schwerin (rich.schwerin@oracle.com) is a product
the same terms you use all the other open FUTURE INTEGRATION marketing manager with Oracle Technology Marketing.
source projects you use,” says Olson. “On The Oracle Berkeley DB product family
the other hand, if you’re a commercial includes a trio of products: Oracle
vendor, we’ll behave exactly like all your Berkeley DB, a transactional storage
other commercial suppliers. And you get engine for untyped data in basic key/
READ more about the Oracle Berkeley
all of the contractual assurances and busi- value data structures; Oracle Berkeley
DB product family
ness guarantees that you would normally DB Java Edition, a pure Java version of oracle.com/technology/products/berkeley-db
expect in a contract of that sort.” Oracle Berkeley DB optimized for the DOWNLOAD Oracle Berkeley DB
Olson is quick to point out that Java environment; and Oracle Berkeley oracle.com/technology/software/products/
berkeley-db
Oracle Berkeley DB’s dual license has DB XML, a native XML database with
many benefits for developers, in both the XQuery-based access to documents DISCOVER more about Oracle and
open source
open source and commercial markets. stored in containers and indexed based oss.oracle.com
“The license revenue allows us to invest on their content. The latest releases,

50 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_OpenSource.indd 50 11/22/06 10:23:13 AM


d e v e l o p e r FRAMEWORKS BY STEVE MUENCH

Modeling Tables and Components


Maintain your data-centric business services with visual diagrams.
n previous columns, I’ve discussed
how you can use Oracle JDeveloper
to create data-bound Web pages
for an application’s view layer by
dragging and dropping components in
a visual editor. In a future column, I’ll
investigate similar capabilities that Oracle
JDeveloper provides for building Swing
applications. In this column, I focus on
a different aspect of Oracle JDeveloper,
examining two visual editors that let you
work on “back-end” artifacts such as
database tables and business components.
To follow along, make sure you’re
using the latest maintenance release of
Figure 1: Oracle JDeveloper database diagram showing the EMP and DEPT tables
Oracle JDeveloper (10.1.3.1), which
you can download (for free) from project, by selecting File -> New from the SCOTT schema’s objects. Expand
oracle.com/technology/jdev. As I have the main menu to bring up the New the Tables folder, and hold down the
done in past columns, I’ll be using the Gallery wizard. Select the Project cat- Ctrl key while selecting both the DEPT
familiar EMP and DEPT tables in the egory, select Empty Project, and enter and EMP tables. Drag the selected tables
SCOTT schema in Oracle Database to Database for the project name in the onto the diagram, and release the mouse
work through my examples. Create Project dialog box. Next, go to button. In the Create from Database
the Application Navigator and double- Object dialog box, click OK to create
VISUALIZING YOUR DATABASE SCHEMA click the Database project to edit its offline database objects. Your resulting
If you’ve ever worked with relational project properties. Go to the Technology diagram should look similar to Figure 1,
databases, chances are that you’ve used Scope page, shuttle Database to showing two tables with a foreign key
a database schema diagram to give you the Selected Technologies list, and constraint between them.
a bird’s-eye view of the structure and click OK. This last step tells Oracle Next, select the DEPT table shape in
relationships of your application’s under- JDeveloper that I will be using this the diagram. If you don’t already see the
lying tables. Oracle JDeveloper provides project for database modeling. It simpli- Property Inspector and the Component
a database diagram capability that lets fies my database design work, by having Palette in your Oracle JDeveloper work-
you design your database schema and Oracle JDeveloper filter out choices in space, use the corresponding options
synchronize your schema changes with various dialog boxes that aren’t relevant on the View menu to display them.
the underlying database. To see how it to the task at hand. The Property Inspector enables you to
works, let’s create a simple diagram that The next step is to create a database configure any of the visual aspects of
displays the EMP and DEPT tables. diagram. Right-click the Database your selected table, and the Component
Using Oracle JDeveloper, start by cre- project in the Application Navigator, and Palette enables you to create new
ating a database connection that maps select New. In the New Gallery dialog schema objects by dropping them onto
to the SCOTT schema; name it scott. box, select the Diagrams category and the diagram. The Component Palette
Then create a new application by using Database Diagram. Name the diagram supports a variety of schema objects,
the Web Application [JSF, ADF BC] tem- Database Design. Click OK, and a new including tables, views, sequences,
plate, specifying oramag as the applica- diagram appears in the editor. Next, and synonyms. Furthermore, you can
tion package prefix. Oracle JDeveloper in the Connection Navigator, expand perform many common tasks by making
will automatically create Model and the Database folder, the scott connec- changes directly to the diagram. For
ViewController projects for your tion, and the corresponding SCOTT example, to add a column to a table,
new application. Next, create a third schema to show the folders containing simply click inside the dotted rectangle

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FRAMEWORKS

within the table shape, enter the new As a result, Oracle JDeveloper creates more meaningful (such as AllEmployees),
column name information (such as new Dept and Emp entity objects and by clicking the view instance shape and
MANAGER_ID:NUMBER(5,2)), and press adds them to the diagram. It also creates typing a new name. Finally, you can test
Enter. You can also rename a column an association between the objects based the application module directly from
or change its datatype by clicking the on the foreign key constraint specified the diagram by selecting it and selecting
column entry and editing it in place. In in the table definition. Note that you Test from the context menu.
addition, you can define one-to-many can now modify these components in Your diagram will automatically
relationships between two tables by much the same way you did in the pre- update to reflect changes you make
simply clicking the Foreign Key icon vious section. You can use the Property to any component, regardless of how
in the Component Palette, clicking Inspector to change a component’s visual you make them. For example, I have
the source table, and then clicking the aspects, the Component Palette to create used familiar business components
target table. And if you double-click new components, and onscreen editing wizards in past articles to create view
a schema object or relationship line functions to perform common inline objects and view links. In this example,
in the diagram, the appropriate visual tasks such as adding or modifying attri- you could create a Departments view
editor appears, allowing you to view and butes. Furthermore, you can double-click object based on the Dept entity and
modify the object’s full definition. any component to bring up the respective a view link between Departments and
The tables and other schema objects component editor for in-depth editing. EmployeeList. Then you could use
are known as “offline” objects, because Now drag a view object compo- the Application Module editor to add
the changes you make in the diagram nent from the Component Palette, master/detail linked view instances
do not immediately cause updates to the and drop it onto the diagram. Give it named Departments and EmployeeList
database. Instead, you save your changes the name EmployeeList, by typing that to its data model. After you do so, the
to disk, and when you are ready to make name directly into the new view object diagram will update to automatically
database changes, you generate a DDL shape. Next, select the data the View show the changes to the data model.
script that creates or alters your database Object query will reference. To do so, The online version of this column,
to match your database design. To gener- hold down the Ctrl key while selecting at oracle.com/technology/oramag/
ate a DDL script, right-click the database the Empno, Ename, and Sal attributes oracle/07-jan/o17frame.html, includes
diagram and select Generate -> Data from the Emp entity on the diagram. information on polishing, publishing,
Definition Language for Diagram from Then drag the selected attributes to the and printing your diagram.
the context menu. new view object and release the mouse This whirlwind tour is meant to help
button. As a result, the Emp entity now you boost your own visual development
CREATING YOUR BUSINESS COMPONENTS becomes the primary entity for the new skills up a notch. Hopefully, you’ll use
You can use Oracle JDeveloper busi- view object and the selected attributes these and other diagramming tools pro-
ness components diagrams to visually are added to its attribute list. vided in the Oracle JDeveloper environ-
document and maintain the Oracle You can also add related join infor- ment on your next project. O
Application Development Framework mation to the view object. For example,
(ADF) objects that implement your busi- to add the department name of each Steve Muench is a consulting product manager for
ness services. To demonstrate, let’s create employee, just select the Dname attribute Oracle JDeveloper. In his more than 16 years at Oracle,
a simple diagram to work with entity from the Dept entity and drop it onto the he has developed and supported Oracle tools and
objects, view objects, and an applica- view object. Note that Oracle JDeveloper XML technologies and continues to evangelize them.
tion module based on the underlying automatically adds the primary key attri- Muench coauthored Oracle ADF Developer’s Guide for
DEPT and EMP database tables. In the bute (in this case, Dept.Deptno) from a Forms/4GL Developers (Oracle, 2006), and he shares
Application Navigator, right-click your secondary entity and shows a message tips and tricks on OTN and in his Dive into BC4J and
Model project and select New to open alert indicating that it has done so. ADF Weblog (radio.weblogs.com/0118231).
the New Gallery dialog box. Select the Next, drop an Application Module
Diagrams category and the Business component from the Component Palette
Components Diagram icon. Name onto the diagram. Give it the name
the diagram Business Service, provide EmpModule, by typing that name directly READ online-only column content
oramag.model as the package name, and into the new application module shape. oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/07-jan/
o17frame.html
click OK. Next, go to the Connection Add an instance of the EmployeeList
Navigator, select the DEPT and EMP view object to the EmpModule’s data READ more about Oracle
JDeveloper 10g and Oracle ADF
tables (as you did in the last section), model, by dragging the view object and oracle.com/technology/products/jdev
and drag them onto the diagram. In the dropping it onto the application module. oracle.com/technology/products/jdev/tips/
muench/designpatterns
Create from Database Object dialog By default, Oracle JDeveloper gives the
box, select Business Component Entity view instance the name EmployeeList1, DOWNLOAD Oracle JDeveloper 10g
oracle.com/technology/products/jdev
Objects, and click OK. but you can change it to something

52 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Frameworks.indd 52 11/17/06 11:50:29 AM


d e v e l o p e r ODP.NET BY M A R K A. WI LLI AMS

Using PL/SQL Associative Arrays


Bring the power of PL/SQL stored procedures to ODP.NET.
uppose you’ve just received an codeLISTING 1: The PL/SQL code
e-mail detailing several IT initia-
create or replace package associative_array as
tives, two of which will affect -- define an associative array type for each column in the jobs table
your future application develop-
ment techniques. First, all applications type t_job_id is table of jobs.job_id%type index by pls_integer;
type t_job_title is table of jobs.job_title%type index by pls_integer;
should be designed to minimize network type t_min_salary is table of jobs.min_salary%type index by pls_integer;
utilization. And second, applications that type t_max_salary is table of jobs.max_salary%type index by pls_integer;

use Oracle databases must use PL/SQL -- define the procedure that will perform the array insert
for access to the database structures.
procedure array_insert (p_job_id in t_job_id,
Knowing that you need to use PL/SQL p_job_title in t_job_title,
in the database as the application pro- p_min_salary in t_min_salary,
p_max_salary in t_max_salary);
gramming interface (API) and that you end associative_array;
need to reduce network usage, where /
do you begin? Fortunately, ODP.NET’s create or replace package body associative_array as
support for PL/SQL associative arrays can -- implement the procedure that will perform the array insert
help you meet both IT mandates.
procedure array_insert (p_job_id in t_job_id,
ODP.NET developers can use PL/SQL p_job_title in t_job_title,
as an API to the data in the database and p_min_salary in t_min_salary,
p_max_salary in t_max_salary) is
use associative array binding to reduce begin
network round-trips. The result is a forall i in p_job_id.first..p_job_id.last
insert into jobs (job_id,
reduced workload for both the network job_title,
and Oracle Database, which means faster min_salary,
max_salary)
performance and better scalability for values (p_job_id(i),
your applications. p_job_title(i),
p_min_salary(i),
p_max_salary(i));
THE SAMPLE APPLICATION end array_insert;
Suppose that one of the reasons for end associative_array;
/
the PL/SQL and performance mandates
is that your company is growing
rapidly: The IT department alone has tion and body code in Listing 1 are the SQL> desc jobs
three new job classifications—database interface, and it runs in the database’s
administrator, manager, and vice HR schema. (Note that a Microsoft Name Null? Type
president. This column demonstrates Visual Studio developer might use Oracle ------------------------------ -------------------- ---------------------------------
how to use .NET, PL/SQL, and associa- Developer Tools for Visual Studio .NET JOB_ID NOT NULL VARCHAR2(10)
tive arrays to add these job categories or a tool such as Oracle SQL Developer to JOB_TITLE NOT NULL VARCHAR2(35)
to an Oracle database—with minimal create and edit the PL/SQL code.) MIN_SALARY NUMBER(6)
network utilization. The associative_array package con- MAX_SALARY NUMBER(6)
The sample developed in this column tains code for both the package specifica-
uses the HR schema provided with Oracle tion and the package body. The package Because each datatype in the
Database. This schema includes a JOBS specification declares the single proce- associative_array package is defined
table that contains a row for each job. dure that will be implemented in the to be a table of each database column
package body as well as four datatypes type, the package code effectively creates
THE PL/SQL CODE that define the parameter types to the four arrays that match the types of their
PL/SQL code will provide the interface procedure. Each type represents a respective columns in the JOBS table.
between the application and the database. column in the JOBS table, which has the For example, the t_job_id type is
The associative_array package specifica- following structure: declared to be a single-column table

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ODP.NET

(a PL/SQL table, not a database table)


whose type matches that of the job_id
column in the JOBS table.
Each single-column PL/SQL table is
essentially an array. The array_insert pro-
cedure in the associative_array package
body takes four parameters (one for each
column in the table); each parameter is
an array of values supplied by the .NET
client application.
The statement for inserting the rows
into the JOBS table resembles a traditional
INSERT statement, except that it uses the
FORALL keyword and that the inserted
values are identified by a lowercase i.
The FORALL keyword allows PL/SQL
to process all of the elements in the
associative array as a group rather than Figure 1: Stepping through the sample
looping over the array, as with a typical
FOR LOOP statement. OracleCommand object with the them to perform SELECT, UPDATE, and
The lower and upper bounds of the CommandText property value set to the DELETE operations. I encourage you to
array are indicated by the first and last PL/SQL package name and procedure experiment further with PL/SQL associa-
methods. The lowercase i in the values (associative_array.array_insert). tive arrays to discover how your appli-
clause identifies the correct element in Next, the application creates cations may benefit from centralized
the array for PL/SQL retrieval. Oracle-Parameter objects for each param- data access via a PL/SQL API as well as
eter to the PL/SQL stored procedure. The from a mechanism for bulk data sharing
CREATING THE C# CODE application then sets each parameter’s type between Oracle databases and .NET
With the PL/SQL interface code available to the OracleDbType to match that of the middle tiers. O
in the Oracle database instance, it’s time targeted column for each parameter.
to deploy the .NET client application One key point to note as you step Mark A. Williams (mawilliams@cheshamdbs.com) is
code, shown in Listing 2 (available with through the code is that the application an Oracle ACE, an Oracle Certified Professional DBA,
the online version of this column, at must correctly set the collection type for the author of Pro.NET Oracle Programming (Apress,
oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/ each parameter to OracleCollectionType 2004), and a contributor to the Oracle Data Provider
07-jan/o17odp.html). .PLSQLAssociativeArray for associative for .NET forum on Oracle Technology Network.
Because the data processing logic is in arrays to work correctly. This is what
the database, the client code is concerned enables the ODP.NET application to bind
largely with creating parameters, setting an OracleParameter object, as a PL/SQL
values, and invoking the code in the associative array, to the PL/SQL stored
READ online-only column content
database. Note that the code for inserting procedure (see Figure 1). oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/07-jan/
data contains no SQL statements, because After setting the collection type, the o17odp.html

the PL/SQL interface has been colocated application assigns the values (for the READ more about PL/SQL
with the data in the database. three new jobs) that will be inserted into associative arrays
Oracle Database PL/SQL User’s Guide and Reference
To test the new PL/SQL interface, run the JOBS table. Next, the application sets download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/
the C# console application—available at the size of each array, adds the param- appdev.102/b14261/toc.htm

oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/ eters to the OracleCommand object’s Oracle Data Provider for .NET Developer’s Guide
07-jan/o17odp.zip—in Visual Studio. parameter collection, and invokes the download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/win.102/
b14307/toc.htm
First, change the connection string to stored procedure to insert the data.
the appropriate values for your Oracle Finally, the application queries the VISIT the .NET Developer Center
oracle.com/technology/tech/dotnet
database instance so ODP.NET can pass table to show that the three new jobs
DOWNLOAD
associative arrays, then compile the code (IT_DBA, IT_MAN, and IT_VP) were sample code for this column
in Visual Studio, and then select Debug successfully added to the JOBS table. oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/07-jan/
o17odp.zip
-> Step Into from the Visual Studio
menu to see how it works. GOING FURTHER ODP.NET
oracle.com/technology/software/tech/
As you step through the code, PL/SQL associative arrays are not limited windows/odpnet
note that the application creates an to INSERT operations. You can also use

54 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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d e v e l o p e r BROWSER-BASED BY M IKE HI CHWA

Sizing Up Performance
Tips and techniques for optimal Oracle Application Express performance
s Oracle Application Express per CPU, or 8.33 page views per CPU per 1,000 page views per minute, multiply
becomes more popular, many second. Meeting this requirement dictates the number of minutes in eight hours
users are asking for guidance on that the average page-view time in the (480) by the page views per minute
sizing and performance tuning. application must not exceed 120 ms. (1,000) to determine that the applica-
In this column, I’ll show you a quick and The relationship between the available tion can support 480,000 page views per
convenient way to estimate performance CPUs and the required page views per eight hours, or 4,800 users.
and sizing. I’ll also demonstrate how to minute results in the average response As a rule of thumb, you should size
identify and deal with performance issues. time per page, which can be expressed in for your busiest hour, because an appli-
Here are some of the more common the following equation: cation may serve only 100 page views
questions this column will answer: per minute in the course of a day but
OHow much hardware, especially how (N*60)= A may serve 1,000 page views per minute
many CPUs, will I need to handle a P during the peak hour.
given workload? where N is the number of CPUs, P is the Another rule of thumb is that you
OHow many users will my application number of page views per minute, and A should ensure an average page-view time
support? is the average response time per page. of 300 milliseconds or less. For high-
OHow do I locate my performance Using this simple equation, you can volume applications, with many hun-
bottlenecks? approximate the required average page- dreds or thousands of concurrent users,
Let’s start with some background. view time to support a targeted number the goal should be an average page-view
of page views per minute. By altering time of 150 milliseconds or less.
UNDERSTANDING ORACLE APPLICATION the number of CPUs or page views per
EXPRESS APPLICATION PERFORMANCE minute, you can establish clear perfor- FINDING AND ELIMINATING THE BOTTLENECKS
The key to optimal performance for most mance targets for your application. The overhead associated with the genera-
Oracle Application Express applications An application’s average page-view tion of a page view in Oracle Application
is to keep the average page-view times time can also help you predict the Express is fairly static. Any other process-
relatively short. Scaling is linear: For impact a change in the size of your user ing of developer-created SQL and PL/SQL
example, an application with average community will have as that community in an Oracle Application Express applica-
page-view times of 10 milliseconds (ms) grows. To determine how many users tion is in addition to this static overhead.
will be able to handle about 10 times as the application can support, start by first The easiest way to begin tuning your
many concurrent users as an application determining the number of page requests Oracle Application Express application
with average page-view times of 100 ms. during a given time period. is to run the application as an end user
You can use the performance statistics For example, if an average session with an adequate volume of real data.
collected by Oracle Application Express comprising 50 page views takes 10 Then, using the Monitor Activity feature
to easily approximate how well an minutes, then the application supports of Oracle Application Express, you can
Oracle Application Express application 5 page views per minute for a typical readily identify the poorest-performing
will scale. The performance statistics are session. If you are sizing the applica- pages in the application (see Figure 1).
available on the Monitor Activity page. tion to allow for 1,000 page views per Once you have identified the poorest-
Assuming that the application is well minute, the application will support 200 performing pages, you can examine them
tuned, with efficient SQL and PL/SQL, concurrent users per session. in Debug mode, by running the applica-
the single most important sizing factor is Extrapolating this data to approxi- tion and clicking the Debug link in the
the CPU. mate the daily user community, let’s Developer Toolbar. Debug mode renders
For example, suppose you are devel- further assume that all users are in the the page concurrently with timing infor-
oping an Oracle Application Express same time zone and that, on average, mation—you’ll see time codes that cor-
application that is required to support each user performs two sessions per respond to specific Oracle Application
1,000 page views per minute. On a dual- eight-hour day, resulting in 100 page Express actions as well as additional
CPU system, the application would need views (2 * 50 page views per session). details about item names, computation,
to achieve 500 page views per minute, Because you are sizing the application for and processing points.

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BROWSER-BASED

then invoked from your application.


Use declarative conditions. Declarative
conditions are faster than dynamic SQL
and PL/SQL conditions; for example,
using an “Item=Value” condition is faster
than using the PL/SQL expression
“:ITEM=value.”
Use “Rows X to Y” pagination for reports
that return numerous rows. “Rows X to
Y of Z” takes longer to compute than
the simple “Rows X to Y” pagination
scheme. With “Rows X to Y of Z,” if
Figure 1: Page views by weighted page performance report, available in Monitor Activity your report returns 900 rows, Oracle
Application Express will need to fetch
By identifying steep jumps in the For a thorough examination of all rows to obtain the total row count;
elapsed time in the debug output, you every element of SQL and PL/SQL on with “Rows X to Y,” on the other hand,
will find the poorest-performing page a particular page, you can enable SQL the reporting engine needs to fetch only
elements. For example, here is a snippet tracing for the entire page view. SQL Y + 1 rows.
from a page run in debug mode: tracing generates a trace file on the server
that you can analyze with the Oracle CONCLUSION
utility TKPROF. (See “Debugging an Using the sizing guidelines presented in
...

0.05: Region: Projects Application” in the Oracle Application this column will help you estimate the
0.06: Show report Express User’s Guide for more informa- performance and scalability of Oracle
0.06: Determine column headings tion about using TKPROF in Oracle Application Express–based applications.
0.06: Activate sort Application Express.) If you’re not happy with an application’s
0.07: Parse query as: MIKE1 performance, use these pointers to
0.07: Binding: “:P24_SEARCH”=”P24_ TUNING PAGE ELEMENTS locate the slowest pages and then iden-
SEARCH” value=”” Page processes, computations, authori- tify the poorly performing components
0.07: Print column headings zations, validations, and conditions are within those pages. With this informa-
0.07: Rows loop: 15 row(s) other common tuning opportunities in tion, you can ensure that your Oracle
0.18: Region: Icon View Oracle Application Express applications. Application Express applications meet
The performance of these elements performance expectations. O
...

on the page should be readily appar-


Note the jump from 0.07 seconds ent when you run your application in Mike Hichwa (michael.hichwa@oracle.com) is vice
elapsed to 0.18 seconds elapsed. This Debug mode. Here are some guidelines president of software development at Oracle and
jump indicates that the query took for these page elements: manages Oracle Application Express, Oracle SQL
0.11 seconds to execute, which, in this Set page processes to run on a per-page Developer, and other database development tools.
example, is a large percentage of the total (rather than per-session) basis. If you are
page time and thus an excellent target for employing application-level processes,
performance tuning. you can set the process to run once
per session or per page view. Keep in
TUNING SQL mind that using the per-session option READ more about
The most common area of tuning focus for an application process can affect all application tuning
is SQL. The Oracle Application Express the other page views in the application. Oracle Application Express User’s Guide
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B31036_01/doc/
engine parses, binds, executes the state- A poor-performing application-level nav/portal_booklist.htm
ment, and fetches the results of the SQL process can affect every page view in TKPROF
for a reporting region. Use bind variables an application. Oracle Database Performance Tuning Guide
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/server.102/
whenever possible to avoid unnecessary Optimize page zero components. Page zero b14211/toc.htm
parsing and promote reuse of shared components are rendered on every page, DOWNLOAD Oracle Application
SQL by Oracle Database. so take special care to optimize all page Express 2.2.1
Additionally, ensure that an optimal zero logic. oracle.com/technology/products/database/
application_express/download.html
query plan is being used for the Consolidate numerous PL/SQL blocks into
query. Use Explain Plan from the SQL packages. If you are writing large VISIT the Oracle Application Express
Forum on OTN
Commands menu to easily generate PL/SQL blocks in a page, consolidate forums.oracle.com/forums/forum.jspa?forumID=137
plans for a particular query. them into PL/SQL packages, which are

56 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

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d e v e l o p e r PL/SQL PRACTICES BY STEVEN FEUERSTEI N

The Right Place for PL/SQL


Best practices for PL/SQL location, location, location
write packages and procedures in both codeLISTING 1: distribute_calls procedure
Oracle Database and Oracle Developer
PROCEDURE distribute_calls (
applications (Oracle Forms). How should I department_id_in IN departments.department_id%TYPE)
decide where to put my code? IS
Another way to frame this question is BEGIN
WHILE ( calls_are_unhandled ( ) )
to ask what the scope of your program LOOP
should be. That is, from which programs FOR emp_rec IN emps_in_dept_cur (department_id_in)
in your application can it be called? LOOP
IF current_caseload (emp_rec.employee_id) <
Within just a single form? All forms? avg_caseload_for_dept (department_id_in)
From within a single program on the THEN
server? From any schema that connects assign_next_open_call (emp_rec.employee_id);
END IF;
to your instance? END LOOP;
I make my decision on these issues END LOOP;
by following this principle: Implement END distribute_calls;
the program as closely as possible to where
it is used (called).
codeLISTING 2: Four local programs in distribute_calls
LOCATION AND RELOCATION DEMONSTRATION PROCEDURE distribute_calls (
department_id_in IN departments.department_id%TYPE)
For this answer, I use the following
IS
business requirement to demonstrate the FUNCTION calls_are_handled RETURN BOOLEAN
variations possible and appropriate ways IS BEGIN ... END calls_are_handled;
to define my code:
FUNCTION current_caseload (
My team is building a call support employee_id_in IN employees.employee_id%TYPE)
application. Purchasers of my compa- RETURN PLS_INTEGER
IS BEGIN ... END current_caseload;
ny’s product call us when they have a
problem, and we put their calls into a FUNCTION avg_caseload_for_dept (
queue if they cannot be handled imme- employee_id_in IN employees.employee_id%TYPE)
RETURN PLS_INTEGER
diately. I must now write a program
IS BEGIN ... END current_caseload;
that distributes unhandled calls to
members of the call support team. The PROCEDURE assign_next_open_call (
employee_id_in IN employees.employee_id%TYPE)
package that will hold all of this logic is
IS BEGIN ... END assign_next_open_call;
call_manager. The procedure for distrib- BEGIN
uting unhandled calls is distribute_calls.
Listing 1 shows the header and execut-
able section of this program. O calls_are_unhandled function: takes it handled (as opposed to unhandled)
As you can see, this executable no arguments; returns TRUE if there One other thing to note: I haven’t yet
section is quite readable: While there is is still at least one unhandled call, actually implemented any of these pro-
still at least one unhandled call, then for FALSE otherwise grams. I am using top-down design, also
each employee in the specified depart- O current_caseload function: returns the known as stepwise refinement, to stay
ment, if the current caseload is less than number of calls (caseload) assigned to focused on the overall, high-level logic
the average for that department, assign that employee of the program. That way I avoid getting
the next open call to that employee. O avg_caseload_for_dept function: consumed by all the little details.
Then continue only if there are still returns the average number of calls I can now go down to the next level
unhandled calls. assigned to employees in that department of detail and figure out where to put the
The executable section calls many O assign_next_open_call procedure: implementation for these subprograms.
subprograms to get the work done: assigns the employee to the call, making As I said, my rule is: Define the

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 57

JF07_PLSQL.indd 57 11/17/06 12:00:36 PM


PL/SQL PRACTICES

codeLISTING 3: Relocating the current_caseload function I slap my forehead, dig out the
e-mail, and find that the function is
CREATE OR REPLACE PACKAGE BODY call_manager
IS named dept_avg_caseload. I check for
FUNCTION current_caseload ( the existence of call_util in my PL/SQL
employee_id_in IN employees.employee_id%TYPE) editing environment, and—lo and
RETURN PLS_INTEGER
IS BEGIN ... END current_caseload; behold—the call_util.dept_avg_caseload
function in all its already implemented
PROCEDURE show_caseload ( beauty is there, waiting to be used.
department_id_in IN departments.department_id%TYPE)
IS BEGIN ... END show_caseload; I now go back to my distribute_calls
procedure, delete the avg_caseload_for_
PROCEDURE distribute_calls ( dept function, and change my executable
department_id_in IN departments.department_id%TYPE
) section as shown in Listing 4.
IS BEGIN ... END distribute_calls; Now one of the subprograms I am
END; using in my procedure is declared so
/
far away that I don’t even have control
over its implementation and may never
codeLISTING 4: Revised distribute_calls executable section even see that implementation. Is that a
BEGIN problem? No. I have more than enough to
WHILE ( calls_are_unhandled ( ) ) do and worry about!
LOOP The call_util.dept_avg_caseload func-
FOR emp_rec IN emps_in_dept_cur (department_id_in)
LOOP tion is implemented far from my usage,
IF current_caseload (emp_rec.employee_id) < but it is as close as possible to all usages,
call_util.dept_avg_caseload (department_id_in) which span various packages, and so
THEN
assign_next_open_call (emp_rec.employee_id); must be declared in the package specifi-
END IF; cation of call_utils.
END LOOP; This column concludes online,
END LOOP;
END distribute_calls; at oracle.com/technology/oramag/
oracle/07-jan/o17plsql.html, with a
checklist of recommendations on where
subprogram as closely as possible to its it makes more sense for me to move the to locate your PL/SQL code for Oracle
usage. Following that rule without any current_caseload function out of both Developer applications. O
further analysis, I would define each distribute_calls and show_caseload.
of the programs as local subprograms So with a little reshuffling of code, I Steven Feuerstein (steven.feuerstein@quest.com) is
within distribute_calls itself, as shown end up with the package body shown in Quest Software’s PL/SQL evangelist. He has published
in Listing 2 (the ellipses [...] indicate the Listing 3. 10 books on Oracle’s programming language, including
implementation of the subprograms). Now I have moved the current_ Oracle PL/SQL Programming and Oracle PL/SQL Best
Procedures and functions directly caseload function farther away from Practices (O’Reilly Media), and has created the free
defined within the declaration section distribute_calls, but that is because it is Quest Code Tester for Oracle.
of any PL/SQL block are called local or used by two subprograms in the package.
nested subprograms. In this example, they So it is now as close as possible to both
can be called only within the distribute_ of its usages. Yet I don’t expect or see
calls procedure, and that certainly defines any need for current_caseload to be used READ online-only column content
them as closely as possible to their usage. outside of the distribute_calls package, oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/07-jan/
o17plsql.html
Yet, as I do this, I find myself think- so I do not place the header of current_
ing about the other programs I have caseload in the package specification. READ more
PL/SQL Practices
already written in this package and how Now my attention turns to avg_ oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/plsql
I might want to use some of this new caseload_for_dept. Something about Best Practice PL/SQL
code in programs I’ll write in the future. this program seems so familiar. What is oracle.com/technology/pub/columns/plsql
I realize, for example, that last week it, what is it? Oh, yeah! My coworker LEARN more about using PL/SQL
I wrote another function that is very Sandra sent out an e-mail last week collections with SQL object types
similar to current_caseload. It is now letting us all know that she had put Oracle Database PL/SQL User’s Guide and Reference
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/
“buried” inside a procedure named together a package named call_util that appdev.102/b14261/objects.htm#sthref2434
show_caseload. Rather than implement contained several handy utility programs, DOWNLOAD Oracle Database 10g
the same logic twice (and thereby need including a function that returned the oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/
oracle10g
to debug and maintain it in both places), average caseload for an employee.

58 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_PLSQL.indd 58 11/17/06 12:00:37 PM


t e c h n o l o g y RECOVERY BY A RU P N A N DA

Recover in a Flash
Reduce database recovery time, using the Oracle flash recovery area.
f you are using Oracle You can check the
Recovery Manager values of the FRA param-
(RMAN) as a backup tool eters set by querying the
for your Oracle database, V$RECOVERY_FILE_DEST
you probably already know data dictionary view:
that you have two options
for the backup location: disk select *
and tape. If you choose the from v$recovery_file_dest;
former, you may back up to
any location available to the For my example, the
server, but you must make result shows that there
sure the location has enough are 51 files in the FRA
space for the backups. You (the NUMBER_OF_FILES
also have to remove the old column). To determine the
backups to make room for file types, you can check
the new ones, keep track of the V$FLASH_RECOVERY_
the redundant backups, and AREA_USAGE view. This
make sure that backups and view shows the used and
archive logs are available. reclaimable spaces of each
FRA as the location and 2GB as the size, type of file as percentages of this total
FLASH RECOVERY AREA you issue the following while logged in space. To get a more useful picture, you
To help manage disk backups, in Oracle as the SYS user: can combine these two views in a single
Database 10g Release 1 and later, you can query, shown in Listing 1, which shows
define a special disk area that serves as alter system set the total size of the files instead of per-
a location for all types of backups. This db_recovery_file_dest_size = 2G; centages. As you can see from the output,
location is the flash recovery area (FRA). alter system set there are 34 archived log files, 16 Oracle
Oracle Database manages the space inside db_recovery_file_dest = ‘/home/oracle/FRA’; RMAN backup files, and 1 flashback log
this area; keeps track of backups that are file. The nonessential backups that can
needed; and if necessary, deletes old ones To ensure that the values are set after be deleted show up as RECLAIMABLE.
to make room for new ones. By default, the database is restarted, put the following If there is not sufficient space, the Oracle
the Oracle RMAN backups (both regular lines in the initialization parameter file: RMAN backup will return with an error:
and image copies), online redo logs,
archived logs, control files, and flashback db_recovery_file_dest_size = 2G ORA-19809: limit exceeded for
logs are created in the FRA. When new db_recovery_file_dest = ‘/home/oracle/FRA’ recovery files
backups or files demand more room, ORA-19804: cannot reclaim 104857600
Oracle Database automatically removes If you are setting up the FRA on an bytes disk space from 1073741824 limit
the nonessential backups, freeing the DBA Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle
from this chore. The files in the FRA are RAC) database, the FRA location must To create enough space for the Oracle
considered nonessential when they become be visible to all database nodes. So it RMAN backups to complete successfully,
obsolete according to the retention policy, must be one of the following: a shared either manually remove some backups
or when they have already been backed file system, an NFS-mounted file system, or increase the size of the FRA. To see
up to tape with Oracle RMAN. or an Automatic Storage Management the list of image copies in the FRA
(ASM) disk group. If you use ASM, the made by Oracle RMAN, you can use
SETTING UP parameter is set as the Oracle RMAN list copy of database
DAN HUBIG

To set up the FRA, first decide on its command, shown in Listing 2.


location and size. To set /home/oracle/ db_recovery_file_dest = ‘+DISKGROUP1’ In addition to storing the backups of

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 59

JF07_Flashback.indd 59 11/17/06 3:33:35 PM


RECOVERY

datafiles and flashback logs, the FRA can


also be configured to store archived logs, Oracle Data Guard and the FRA
control files, and online redo logs. For If you are familiar with Oracle Data Guard, you might wonder how using this FRA recovery method is
information on these storage options, see different. Oracle Data Guard maintains physical or logical standby databases that are kept synchronized
the “Configuring the Flash Recovery Area: with the primary database through the transfer and application of redo data. These standby databases are
Advanced Topics” link in nextSTEPS. geared toward disaster recovery and should not replace your backup-and-recovery operations. For example,
if you lose a file, you can restore that file from the physical standby database, but that approach may
IMAGE COPY take time, depending on the state and location of the standby database, and is the same as a traditional
Backup sets are the Oracle RMAN default recovery solution.
backups, in which only the used blocks Oracle Data Guard, however, allows fast failover/switchover (role transition) to a standby database running
in the datafiles are captured in the on separate servers and storage, which may be geographically separated, maintaining data availability,
backup files. Oracle RMAN image copies in the event the primary database site goes down for any reason. The FRA, on the other hand, is local to
are exact copies of the datafiles, with all the database server, so although it provides quick access for recovery purposes, it is prone to the same
the blocks—used or not. Oracle RMAN failure as the local site. For Oracle Data Guard, applications that utilize the database must be reconnected
takes this image copy while the database to use the new primary database in case of a role transition. Because the FRA is local to the database,
no application reconnection is needed. Oracle Data Guard provides a predictable recovery time (time to
is up and running, and the database
perform role transition), versus the time to recover FRA image copies, which is gated by the amount of redo
need not be put into any special mode.
application needed to bring the image copies up-to-date with the rest of the database.
Here is how to make an Oracle RMAN
image copy backup:
codeLISTING 1: Space, by file type, consumed in the FRA
run { select file_type, space_used*percent_space_used/100/1024/1024 used,
backup as copy space_reclaimable*percent_space_reclaimable/100/1024/1024 reclaimable, frau.number_of_files
database; from v$recovery_file_dest rfd, v$flash_recovery_area_usage frau;

} FILE_TYPE USED RECLAIMABLE NUMBER_OF_FILES


---------------------------------- --------------- ------------------------------- ------------------------------------------
This command, when run from the CONTROLFILE .00 .00 0
ONLINELOG .00 .00 0
Oracle RMAN command prompt, creates ARCHIVELOG 664.86 547.20 34
the copies of the datafiles in the FRA BACKUPPIECE 573.23 520.73 16
with an Oracle-generated name such as IMAGECOPY .00 .00 0
FLASHBACKLOG 6.07 .00 1
o1_mf_users_2kmqr57t_.dbf.
codeLISTING 2: RMAN report of image copy datafiles in the FRA
INSTANT RECOVERY
RMAN> list copy of database;
Image copies in the FRA become truly
List of Datafile Copies
useful when you need an “instant recov-
Key File S Completion Time Ckp SCN Ckp Time Name
ery.” Remember that these image copies
--------- ------ -- -------------------------------- ---------------- ------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
are copies of the datafiles—a fact recorded 4404 1 A 26-SEP-06 1607862 26-SEP-06 /home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/
in the Oracle RMAN catalog and the o1_mf_system_2kmqnygd_.dbf
control file. In case of a disaster, you don’t 4407 2 A 26-SEP-06 1607935 26-SEP-06 /home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/
o1_mf_undotbs1_2kmqqy2b_.dbf
need to restore the file; you can use the 4405 3 A 26-SEP-06 1607907 26-SEP-06 /home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/
copy as the principal datafile immediately. o1_mf_sysaux_2kmqpcnz_.dbf
Suppose that one of your datafiles has 4408 4 A 26-SEP-06 1607939 26-SEP-06 /home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/
o1_mf_users_2kmqr57t_.dbf
become corrupted and needs recovery. 4406 5 A 26-SEP-06 1607926 26-SEP-06 /home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/
Traditionally, you follow this general o1_mf_example_2kmqqgto_.dbf
approach:
1. Take the tablespace offline. on your system, it takes more than two the time taken by the step from hours
2. Restore the datafile from the backup. hours to complete this step, making the to seconds. Here is the description of
3. Recover the datafile to the point tablespace data unavailable for the entire the recovery process, assuming that the
of failure. duration. This motivates you to take a USERS tablespace has been damaged:
4. Place the tablespace online. look at minimizing recovery time. You First, check the file ID (number) and
Step 2 may take a long time, depend- consider using image copies to speed up name of the datafile of the tablespace.
ing on the size of the file, the speed the recovery. The output is shown in vertical format:
of the underlying disks, the transfer Using image copies, step 2 in the
rate from backup to the original data- recovery is replaced by “Instruct the select file_id, file_name
file location, and the other processes database to use the copy of the datafile from dba_data_files
running on the system. Suppose that instead of the original.” This reduces where tablespace_name = ‘USERS’;

60 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Flashback.indd 60 11/17/06 3:33:36 PM


FILE_ID : 4
NAME : /home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/ Normal Operation Live Datafile

users01.dbf
Copy of Datafile
Connect to Oracle RMAN and com-
plete the rest of the recovery activities, DATABASE FRA
which are similar to the steps listed Damaged Datafile
(not useful)
Datafile Datafile Datafile
above except that Step 2 is now “Switch Datafile Datafile Datafile Copy Copy Copy
2 3 4
datafile 4 to the copy in the FRA.” All 2 3 4

the operations are shown in Listing 3.


After Switching to the FRA for Datafile 4
After the tablespace is brought
online, check the filename:

select name from v$datafile DATABASE FRA


where file# = 4;
Datafile Datafile Datafile Datafile Datafile Datafile
Copy Copy Copy
NAME 2 3 4 2 3 4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
/home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/ Figure 1. Using a copy of a datafile
o1_mf_users_2kmqr57t_.dbf
codeLISTING 3: RMAN operations to switch to the FRA
Note that the filename is no longer RMAN> sql ‘alter tablespace users offline’;
/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/users01 sql statement: alter tablespace users offline
.dbf; rather, the copy in the FRA is shown RMAN> switch datafile 4 to copy;
as the original datafile. The tablespace datafile 4 switched to datafile copy “/home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/o1_mf_users_2kmqr57t_.dbf”
becomes usable very quickly without a RMAN> recover datafile 4;
restore operation. Figure 1 shows original Starting recover at 26-SEP-06
and copy datafile status before and after using channel ORA_DISK_1
switching from a damaged datafile 4. starting media recovery
media recovery complete, elapsed time: 00:00:03
Finished recover at 26-SEP-06
SWITCHBACK
RMAN> sql ‘alter tablespace users online’;
Even though the datafile has been
sql statement: alter tablespace users online
quickly brought online to minimize
downtime, it is now in the backup loca-
tion, which may be on slower disks than codeLISTING 4: Switching back from the FRA to the original location
what the main database is on. You may
RMAN> backup as copy datafile 4 format ‘/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/users01.dbf’;
not want to run the database with the
datafile at this location for long; you Starting backup at 27-SEP-06
would typically want to move the data- using channel ORA_DISK_1
channel ORA_DISK_1: starting datafile copy
file back to the original location— input datafile fno=00004 name=/home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/datafile/o1_mf_users_2kmqr57t_.dbf
/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/—as output filename=/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/users01.dbf tag=TAG20060927T103710 recid=45
soon as it becomes available. You can stamp=602246230
channel ORA_DISK_1: datafile copy complete, elapsed time: 00:00:01
use Oracle RMAN to accomplish this. Finished backup at 27-SEP-06
Here is a summary of the steps:
1. Make an image copy of the datafile at Starting Control File Autobackup at 27-SEP-06
piece handle=/home/oracle/FRA/PRODB2/autobackup/2006_09_27/
the original location. o1_mf_n_602246232_2ko34s42_.bkp comment=NONE
2. Take the tablespace offline. Finished Control File Autobackup at 27-SEP-06
3. Switch the datafile to the “copy” RMAN> sql ‘alter tablespace users offline’;

(however, in this case, the “copy” is at RMAN> switch datafile 4 to copy;
the original location).
4. Recover the tablespace. datafile 4 switched to datafile copy “/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/users01.dbf”

5. Place the tablespace online. RMAN> recover datafile 4;


These steps are presented in Listing 4. …
After the switchover, you can make sure RMAN> sql ‘alter tablespace users online’;

the datafile is back in its original location:

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 61

JF07_Flashback.indd 61 11/17/06 3:33:38 PM


RECOVERY

select name from v$datafile burden of managing the space from the DBAs can direct all backups to a single
where file# = 4; DBA to the database. location that is managed by Oracle
Database. Using the Oracle RMAN
NAME BACK UP TO TAPE image copies in the FRA, DBAs can very
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Although the backup to the FRA comes quickly recover from damage to a datafile
/home/oracle/oradata/PRODB2/users01.dbf with great benefits, it is still not foolproof without using a traditional restore-and-
for normal disaster protection. Disks can recovery operation. O
In case of a failure, you save valuable fail, making these FRA backups disap-
time by quickly using the image copy of pear. Similarly, unlike tapes, disks cannot Arup Nanda (arup@proligence.com) has been an
the datafile in the FRA, and there is no be removed easily and stored at a differ- Oracle DBA for more than 12 years, handling all
need to restore it first. The same concept ent location. Therefore, you still need to aspects of database administration—from performance
can be applied to the entire database as back up the FRA to tape. To do so, use tuning to security and disaster recovery. He is a
well. If the original location of all the the following command in RMAN. It coauthor of PL/SQL for DBAs (O’Reilly Media, 2005)
datafiles is damaged, you can easily switch backs up all contents of the FRA, includ- and was Oracle Magazine’s DBA of the Year in 2003.
the entire database to the copy stored in ing archived logs:
the FRA. To switch to the FRA copy, issue
the following, which directs the whole run {
database to use all the latest image copies allocate channel c1 type sbt_tape;
in the FRA location as its datafiles: backup recovery area; READ more about the
} flash recovery area
“Configuring the Flash Recovery Area:
RMAN> switch database to copy; Advanced Topics”
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/
CONCLUSION backup.102/b14191/rcmconfg001.htm#sthref476
Note that you can also perform the The primary objective of any backup
Flashback database command
above operations on the image copies design is to enhance the process of “Flash Back to a Better Time”
in any location without using the FRA. recovery—to make it faster and more oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/04-may/
o34tech_avail.html
However, using the FRA moves the reliable. Using the flash recovery area,

            

       



      



 

 

   

  






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62 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Flashback.indd 62 11/20/06 10:53:03 AM


t e c h n o l o g y ASK TOM BY TO M KYTE

On Top-n and Pagination Queries


Our technologist gets more results using ROW_NUMBER, RANK, and DENSE_RANK.
n a recent Ask Tom column the number of records returned by a 7 over (order by sal desc) <= 3
(September/October 2006), I wrote query) is to use the analytic function 8 order by sal desc
about using ROWNUM to perform ROW_NUMBER. It behaves similarly 9 /
top-n queries, getting the first n to the ROWNUM pseudocolumn but is row_number()
number of rows from an ordered result more flexible and has more capabilities. *
set, and pagination queries, getting rows Specifically, I’ll be able to use ROW_ ERROR at line 6:
n through m from a result set. NUMBER to get the “top-n records ORA-30483: window functions are not
In that column, I demonstrated how by some set of attributes” in the next allowed here
to use ROWNUM like this: section (“Top-n Queries by Something”).
Let’s look at what ROW_NUMBER The problem here is that ana-
select * can do. Here is an example query using lytic functions are evaluated after the
from ROW_NUMBER to assign an increasing WHERE clause and therefore cannot
(your_query) number to each row in the EMP table be used in the WHERE clause. That is
where rownum <= 10; after sorting by SAL DESC: not really a problem, however, because
I have inline views—I can apply a
in order to get the first 10 rows from SQL> select ename, sal, predicate to ROW_NUMBER after it is
“your query,” and how to use ROWNUM 2 row_number() assigned. For example
like this: 3 over (order by sal desc) rn
4 from emp SQL> select *
select * 5 order by sal desc 2 from (
from 6 / 3 select ename, sal,
( select rownum rnum, a.* 4 row_number()
from (your_query) a ENAME SAL RN 5 over (order by sal desc) rn
where rownum <= :M ) --------------- ----------- ----- 6 from emp
where rnum >= :N; KING 5000 1 7 )
FORD 3000 2 8 where rn <= 3
in order to get rows n through m from SCOTT 3000 3 9 order by sal desc
“your query.” JONES 2975 4 10 /
As always, there is more than one
...

way to do things in Oracle Database, JAMES 950 13 ENAME SAL RN


and these top-n and pagination queries SMITH 800 14 --------------- ----------- ------
are no exception. In this column, I’d KING 5000 1
like to take a look at alternative ways 14 rows selected. SCOTT 3000 2
to achieve this functionality by using FORD 3000 3
analytic functions and introduce another So, ROW_NUMBER allows me to
variation on the top-n query: getting easily assign this increasing number 3 rows selected.
the top-n records by some set of attri- after sorting, but at first glance, it
butes, such as getting the “set of rows doesn’t seem to support retrieval of just So, that demonstrates how to
representing the top three salaries by the first n rows: perform a top-n query by using ROW_
DEPTNO” from EMP. NUMBER and also points out a general
SQL> select ename, sal, issue with top-n queries. If you look at
TOP-N QUERY 2 row_number() that result, you see two rows with the
Another way to write a top-n query 3 over (order by sal desc) rn value 3000. What if, in the EMP table,
(which is similar to using the LIMIT 4 from emp three people, instead of just two, had a
clause in MySQL or using “set 5 where salary of 3000? The result obtained by
rowcount” in SQL Server to limit 6 row_number() the above query would be ambiguous—I

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 63

JF07_AskTom.indd 63 11/17/06 11:37:10 AM


ASK TOM

would get three records, but the records SQL> select * ambiguity. They will do so, but the
I retrieved would be somewhat random. 2 from analytic functions might return more
For example 3 (select x,y, than n rows. In my opinion, when
4 row_number() the attribute I order by is not unique,
SQL> update emp 5 over (order by x) rn I want my query to return all of the
2 set sal = 3000 6 from t) relevant records—not just the first n
3 where ename = ‘SMITH’; 7 where rn <= 3; arbitrary ones. To that end, I can use
1 row updated. the RANK and DENSE_RANK analytic
X Y RN functions. Let’s take a look at what
SQL> select * -------–– -------- ------ they do:
2 from ( 1 100 1
3 select ename, sal, 1 200 2 SQL> select ename,sal,
4 row_number() 1 300 3 2 row_number()
5 over (order by sal desc) rn 3 over (order by sal desc)rn,
6 from emp 3 rows selected. 4 rank()
7 ) 5 over (order by sal desc)rnk,
8 where rn <= 3 Now, here’s what happens if I reload 6 dense_rank()
9 order by sal desc this table with the same data, just in a 7 over (order by sal desc)drnk
10 / different order: 8 from emp
9 order by sal desc
ENAME SAL RN SQL> truncate table t; 10 /
-------------– ----------- ------ Table truncated.
KING 5000 1 ENAME SAL RN RNK DRNK
SMITH 3000 2 SQL> insert into t --------------- ------------ ------ ---------- -------------
SCOTT 3000 3 2 values ( 1, 400 ); KING 5000 1 1 1
SQL> insert into t FORD 3000 2 2 2
3 rows selected. 2 values ( 1, 200 ); SCOTT 3000 3 2 2
SQL> insert into t JONES 2975 4 4 3
As you can see, FORD disappeared 2 values ( 1, 300 ); BLAKE 2850 5 5 4
from this result set. However, you might SQL> insert into t CLARK 2450 6 6 5
find that if you perform this update and 2 values ( 1, 100 );
...

query your data, FORD does not disap- 14 rows selected.


pear but rather SCOTT or SMITH does. SQL> select *
Which row would disappear would be 2 from The main things to note here are the
quite arbitrary. That shows a problem 3 (select x,y, following:
with top-n queries in general: If you are 4 row_number() O ROW_NUMBER assigns contiguous,

ordering by something nonunique, the 5 over (order by x) rn unique numbers from 1..N to a result set.
first set of n rows you get back may be 6 from t) O RANK does not assign unique

different, given exactly the same input 7 where rn <= 3; numbers—FORD and SCOTT tied for
data. For example second place—nor does it assign contig-
X Y RN uous numbers. No record was assigned
SQL> create table t -------–– -------- ------ the value of 3, because two people tied
2 ( x number, 1 400 1 for second place, and no one came in
3 y number 1 200 2 third, according to RANK.
4 ); 1 300 3 O DENSE_RANK, like RANK, does

Table created. not assign unique numbers, but it


3 rows selected. does assign contiguous numbers. Even
SQL> insert into t though two records tied for second
2 values ( 1, 100 ); All of a sudden, I get an entirely place, there is a third-place record.
SQL> insert into t different answer. This is something to You can use RANK and DENSE_
2 values ( 1, 200 ); be aware of when you perform top-n RANK in the same way you would
SQL> insert into t queries and the attribute you order by is use ROW_NUMBER to restrict the
2 values ( 1, 300 ); not unique. number of rows returned, but obvi-
SQL> insert into t Bearing this in mind, I can use ously you’ll get subtly different results.
2 values ( 1, 400 ); other analytic functions to remove the For example

64 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_AskTom.indd 64 11/17/06 11:37:11 AM


SQL> select * SQL> select deptno, ename,sal, ries in each of the departments, I would
2 from ( 2 row_number() code the following:
3 select ename,sal, 3 over (partition by deptno
4 dense_rank() 4 order by sal desc)rn, SQL> break on deptno skip 1
5 over (order by sal desc)drnk 5 rank() SQL> select *
6 from emp 6 over (partition by deptno 2 from (
7 ) where drnk <= 3 7 order by sal desc)rnk, 3 select deptno, ename, sal,
8 order by sal desc 8 dense_rank() 4 dense_rank()
9 / 9 over (partition by deptno 5 over (partition by deptno
10 order by sal desc)drnk 6 order by sal desc)drnk
ENAME SAL DRNK 11 from emp 7 from emp
--------------- ----------- ------------ 12 order by deptno, sal desc 8 ) where drnk <= 3
KING 5000 1 13 / 9 order by deptno, sal desc
SCOTT 3000 2 10 /
FORD 3000 2 DEPTNO ENAME SAL RN RNK DRNK
JONES 2975 3 ---------------------- --------------- ------------ ------ -------- ----------- DEPTNO ENAME SAL DRNK
10 KING 5000 1 1 1 ------------------- ----------------- ------------ -----------
4 rows selected. CLARK 2450 2 2 2 10 KING 5000 1
MILLER 1300 3 3 3 CLARK 2450 2
That query returns “the set of MILLER 1300 3
people who make the top three sala- 20 SCOTT 3000 1 1 1
ries,” which is likely the desired result. FORD 3000 2 1 1 20 SCOTT 3000 1
Getting the first three records from EMP JONES 2975 3 3 2 FORD 3000 1
after sorting by SAL is rather arbitrary, ADAMS 1100 4 4 3 JONES 2975 2
because using exactly the same set of SMITH 800 5 5 4 ADAMS 1100 3
data, simply inserted in different orders,
you could observe different result sets 30 BLAKE 2850 1 1 1 30 BLAKE 2850 1
with ROW_NUMBER (because SAL ALLEN 1600 2 2 2 ALLEN 1600 2
is not unique). Using DENSE_RANK, TURNER 1500 3 3 3 TURNER 1500 3
however, I don’t get precisely three MARTIN 1250 4 4 4
records but, instead, a repeatable (deter- WARD 1250 5 4 4 10 rows selected.
ministic) result set. And I suspect that JAMES 950 6 6 5
I retrieve the set the end user really PAGINATION IN GETTING ROWS N THROUGH M
meant to retrieve—the set of people 14 rows selected. The last thing I’ll take a look at is per-
making the top three salaries. forming pagination with analytics.
Here I’ve used the PARTITION clause Pagination is common in Web-based
TOP-N QUERIES BY SOMETHING of the analytic function. This breaks up applications: The user inputs a set of
Using analytics is superior to using my result set virtually into some number criteria, which runs a query and then
the ROWNUM pseudocolumn when of groups and then applies the analytic lets the user click the Previous and
it comes to processing more-complex function to each group in turn, resetting Next buttons to page through the result
queries. For example, suppose you itself as it goes from group to group. set. To achieve this paging functionality,
wanted the top-n highest-paid people That allows me to assign an increas- the application needs to be able to get a
from the EMP table by DEPTNO. That ing number—using ROW_NUMBER, certain set of rows from the query. In
is, for each department, display the top for example—to the rows in each the prior column dealing with
three highest-paid people (or the set of department, resetting the ROW_ ROWNUM (at oracle.com/technology/
people making the top three salaries, NUMBER to 1 as I go from group to oramag/oracle/06-sep/o56asktom.html)
using DENSE_RANK). To achieve this, group. As you can see, it would be quite and in the “Top-n Query” section above,
I need to break up the result set by easy to get the “top 3 by DEPTNO” now, I demonstrated how to achieve that
DEPTNO, sort it by SAL DESC, and using an inline view and applying the pagination, but it required two levels of
then assign the analytic function result predicate WHERE RN <= 3 or RNK <= inline views and could be considered
to each row. Fortunately, analytics are 3 or DRNK <= 3, depending on which rather unwieldy. A syntactically easier
designed to do exactly this type of numbering method returns the answer way to write that pagination query is
work. For example you deem most applicable.
So, for example, to retrieve the set of select *
SQL> break on deptno skip 1 employees who make the top three sala- from (

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 65

JF07_AskTom.indd 65 11/17/06 11:37:12 AM


ASK TOM

select /*+ first_rows(25) */ out with the salary top-n query. For faster and more efficient query plan step
your_columns, more details on deterministic queries, for a GROUP BY operation, and it defi-
row_number() go to oracle.com/technology/oramag/ nitely doesn’t sort data.
over (order by something unique)rn oracle/06-sep/o56asktom.html. Also, Don’t be misled if the results are not
from your_tables ) for complete information on using ana- the same on your system. It does not
where rn between :n and :m lytic functions, see download.oracle. matter if, when you execute that query,
order by rn; com/docs/cd/B19306_01/server.102/ the results are sorted on your system—it
b14223/analysis.htm#i1007779 (chapter takes only one countercase to demon-
For example, suppose you wanted 21 of the Data Warehousing Guide). In strate that something is not always true.
to paginate through the ALL_OBJECTS my opinion, analytic functions are the Only with an ORDER BY can you make
view, wanted to show 25 rows on a coolest thing to happen to SQL since the any assumptions about the sorted order
page, and needed to show page 5. The SELECT keyword was introduced. of data. Many things—from parallel
query would be query to partitioning, to reverse-key
DOES GROUP BY SORT? indexes, to hash-partitioned indexes, to
SQL> variable n number Does a GROUP BY clause in a query guaran- HASH GROUP BY steps, to the presence
SQL> variable m number tee that the output data will be sorted on the (or lack) of B*tree indexes—can and
SQL> exec :n := 101; :m := 125 GROUP BY columns in order, even if there is no will cause data not to be returned in the
PL/SQL procedure successfully completed. ORDER BY clause? sorted order you anticipated.
Unless and until there is an ORDER If you need data sorted, you have to
SQL> select * BY statement on a query, the rows use an ORDER BY statement; there is no
2 from ( returned cannot be assumed to be in avoiding that. For more of this ORDER
3 select /*+ first_rows(25) */ any order. Without an ORDER BY, the BY discussion, check out asktom.oracle
4 object_id,object_name, data may be returned in any order in .com/~tkyte/OrderBy.html. O
5 row_number() over which the database feels like returning
6 (order by object_id) rn it. This has always been true and will Tom Kyte has worked for Oracle since 1993. He is a
7 from all_objects) always be true. vice president in the Oracle Public Sector group and
8 where rn between :n and :m In fact, in Oracle Database 10g the author of Expert Oracle Database Architecture:
9 order by rn; Release 2, you’ll see GROUP BY return- 9i and 10g Programming Techniques and Solutions
ing data in a random order much more (Apress, 2005) and Effective Oracle by Design (Oracle
OBJECT_ID OBJECT_NAME RN often than before: Press, 2003), among others.
-------------------------- --------------------------------- -------
102 I_SEQ1 101 SQL> set autotrace on explain
103 I_OBJAUTH1 102 SQL> select job, count(*)
2 from emp
...

124 I_ACCESS1 123 3 group by job ASK Tom


125 I_TRIGGER1 124 4 / Oracle Vice President Tom Kyte answers your most
difficult technology questions. Highlights from that
126 I_TRIGGER2 125 forum appear in this column.
JOB COUNT(*) asktom.oracle.com

25 rows selected. --------------------------- ---------------------- READ more Tom


Expert Oracle Database Architecture: 9i and 10g
CLERK 4 Programming Techniques and Solutions
I chose 25 for the FIRST_ROWS hint SALESMAN 4 amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1590595300/

because that is my page size and PRESIDENT 1 Effective Oracle by Design


amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0072230657/
pagination-style queries should be opti- MANAGER 3
“On ROWNUM and Limiting Results”
mized to get the first page as fast as pos- ANALYST 2 oracle.com/technology/oramag/oracle/06-sep/
sible. I assign ROW_NUMBER to each o56asktom.html

row after sorting by OBJECT_ID. Then ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tom Kyte Blog


tkyte.blogspot.com
I use a simple BETWEEN to retrieve the | Id | Operation | Name |
DOWNLOAD Oracle Database 10g
specific rows I need (101 through 125 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Express Edition (Oracle Database XE)
in this case). | 0 | SELECT STATEMENT | | oracle.com/technology/xe
You need to order by something | 1 | HASH GROUP BY | | READ more about
unique for these pagination queries, | 2 | TABLE ACCESS FULL| EMP | analytic functions
download.oracle.com/docs/cd/B19306_01/server.102/
so that ROW_NUMBER is assigned ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- b14223/analysis.htm#i1007779
deterministically to the rows each and
ORDER BY
every time. Otherwise, you end up with The HASH GROUP BY step in the asktom.oracle.com/~tkyte/OrderBy.html
a problem similar to what I pointed explain plan is a newer and generally

66 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_AskTom.indd 66 11/17/06 11:37:13 AM


Oracle PartnerNetwork Certified Advantage Partner Index

CERTIFIEDadvantage partner index


The partners featured in this index have recently reached or renewed their status of Certified Advantage Partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork.
COMPANY NAME URL COMPANY NAME URL
Global Red Rock Consulting www.redrock.net.au
Accenture www.accenture.com Sam Yung Holdings IT Business Division www.syhds.com
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. www.amd.com Samsung SDS www.sds.samsung.co.kr
Apple www.apple.com Shen Yang Neusoft Co., Ltd. www.neusoft.com
Avnet, Inc. www.aps.avnet.com Sierra Atlantic www. sierraatlantic.com
BearingPoint www.bearingpoint.com Sysage Technology Co., Ltd. www.sysage.com.tw
Capgemini www.capgemini.com System Access Pte Limited www.systemaccess.com
CDW www.cdw.com Sysware Corporation www.sysware.com.tw
CGI Group, Inc. www.cgi.com Systex Information (H.K.) Ltd. www.systex.com.hk
Cisco www.cisco.com Taiji Computer Corporation www.taiji.com.cn
Computer Sciences Corporation www.csc.com Tata Infotech Ltd. www.tatainfotech.com
Comverse www.comverse.com TechAccess Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. www.techaccesspak.com
Convergys www.convergys.com Wezoomtek Corporation www.wezoomtek.com
Dell Inc. www.dell.com Canada
Deloitte www.deloitte.com MTS Allstream Inc. www.allstream.com
EDS www.eds.com Oto Global Solutions Inc. www.oto.com
EMC www.emc.com Europe
Fidelity Information Services www.fidelityinfoservices.com Actebis Peacock GmbH www.actebispeacock.de
Fujitsu Group www.fujitsu.com ACURE A/S www.acure.dk
Hitachi www.hitachi.com Afina Sistemas Informaticos www.afina.es
HP www.hp.com Alcatel www.alcatel.com
IBM / IBM Global Business Services www.ibm.com Alcatel CIT www.alcatel.fr
i-flex www.iflexsolutions.com Anelia SAS www.anelia.fr
Infosys www.infosys.com Ares www.ares.fr
Ingram Micro www.ingrammicro.com Arinso Nederland BV www.arinso.com
Intec www.intecbilling.com Asseco Poland S.A. www.asseco.pl
Intel www.intel.com Atos Origin IT Services UK www.atosorigin.com
Microsoft www.microsoft.com Atos Origin Nederland BV www.atosorigin.com
NEC www.nec.com Basilica Computing Limited www.basilica.co.uk
Network Appliance, Inc. www.netapp.com Bechtle Logistik & Service GmbH www.bechtle.com
Novell www.novell.com Borlas IBC www.borlas.ru
Red Hat www.redhat.com Capgemini Telecom Media und Networks GmbH www.de.cgey.com
Satyam www.satyam.com CBOSS www.cboss.ru
Sun Microsystems www.sun.com Cedar Consulting Ltd. www.cedarconsulting.co.uk
Sungard www.sungard.com CIBER UK www.ciber.com
Tata Consultancy Services www.tcs.com ComArch S.A. www.comarch.pl
TechData www.techdata.com Compelsysao www.compelsysao.co.uk
Temenos www.temenos.com CompIT Technologies www.compit-t.com.by
Unisys www.unisys.com Computacenter AG & Co. OHG www.computacenter.de
Wipro www.wipro.com ComputerLand S.A. www.computerland.pl
Africa Consit A/S www.consit.dk
2Cana Solutions (Pty) Ltd. www.2cana.co.za CROC Incorporated www.croc.ru
EOH Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd. www.eoh.co.za Cronos NV www.cronos.be
Implementation Factory (Pty) Ltd. www.ifactory.co.za Cronos Ibérica, SA www.cronosiberica.es
Integrated Tertiary Software (Pty) Ltd. www.its.co.za CSC Portugal www.csc.pt
New Dawn Technologies www.ndt.co.za Deutsche Post ITSolutions GmbH www.dp-itsolutions.de
Waymark Infotech (Pty) Ltd. www.waymark.co.za Developing World Systems Ltd. www.dwsonline.co.uk
Asia Pacific DIGORA www.digora.com
Acumen Alliance Investments www.acumen.com.au Distrilogie Belgium BVBA www.abcomp.be
ASG (Asia Pacific) Pty Ltd. www.asggroup.com.au DBConcepts Daten - und Informationsverarbeitungsges.m.b.H. www.dbconcepts.at
Application Hosting Services Co., Ltd. www.a-host.co.th DNS Hungary Ltd. www.dns-hungary.hu
Attain IT Pty Ltd. www.attainit.com.au Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. www.eng.it
Automated Systems (HK) Ltd. www.asl.com.hk Explorer (UK) Limited www.explorer.uk.com
Beijing Futong Dong Fang Technology Co. Ltd. www.futong.com.cn FORS Development Center www.fdc.ru
China National Software & Service Company Limited www.css.com.cn Fujitsu Services Limited www.uk.fujitsu.com
DataHeaven Co., Ltd. www.dataheaven.co.kr Getronics PinkRoccade www.getronicspinkroccade.nl
Dataone Asia (Thailand) Co. Ltd. www.diasia.co.th Global Services Aarhus & Copenhagen A/S www.maerskdata.dk
Daesang Information Technology Co., Ltd. www.daesangit.com Groupe LGS France www.lgsrecrut.com
Digital China (China) Limited www.digitalchina.com.cn GWI Unternehmensgruppe www.gwi-ag.com
DMS Software Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd. www.dmsswt.com Hunkler GmbH & Co. KG www.hunkler.biz
ECS International Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. www.ecschina.com I-Teco www.i-teco.ru
FPT Information System www.fis.com.vn Inatech Solutions Ltd. www.inatech.com
FPT Software Solutions www.fss.com.vn Industrial and Financial Systems, IFS AB www.ifsworld.com
Fujian Fujitsu Communication Software Co., Ltd. www.ffcs.cn Ineum Consulting www.ineum.fr
Fusion5 Limited www.fusion5.co.nz Infor Global Solutions GmbH www.infor.de
GTL Limited www.gtllimited.com Informacines Technologijos www.it.lt
FPT Corporation www.fpt.com.vn Informatica El Cortes Ingles www.ieci.es
HAND Enterprise Solutions Co., Ltd. www.hand-china.com Information Technologies Company www.it.ru
HPT Vietnam Corporation www.hptvietnam.com Inter Access B.V. www.interaccess.nl
Huadi Computer Co., Ltd. www.huadi.com.cn IT Alise www.it-alise.com
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. www.huawei.com/cn KNAPP Systemintegration GmbH www.knapp.com
iCE Consulting Co Ltd. www.iceconsulting.co.th KPMG Consulting www.kpmg.be
Jigsaw Services Pty Ltd. www.jigsawservices.com.au Kurt Salmon Associates www.kurtsalmon.com
LG CNS Co., Ltd. www.lgcns.com Leaves www.leaves.ru
IT&C Co., Ltd. www.itnc.co.kr LogicaCMG www.logicacmg.nl
KPMG Consulting Co Ltd. www.kpmg.com.tw LOGIX www.logix.fr
Kolon Data Communication Co., Ltd. www.kdc.kolon.co.kr Mdtvision www.mdtvision.com
NCS Pte. Ltd. www.ncs.com.sg Micros-Fidelio GmbH www.micros-fidelio.org
Nucleus Software Exports Ltd. www.nucleussoftware.com Montora www.montora.com
Ora-Tech System Pvt. Ltd. www.ora-tech.com Morse Group www.morse.com
OED Technology Sdn Bhd www.patimas.com Msg Systems ag www.msg-systems.com
Propia Co., Ltd. www.propia.co.kr Network Centric Solutions Limited www.ncsltd.com
Pythis www.pythis.com Noetix www.noetix.com

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COMPANY NAME URL COMPANY NAME URL
Nokia Corporation www.nokia.com Netix Distribuidores de Tecnologia, C.A. www.netixcorp.com
Oficina de Cooperación Universitaria www.ocu.es Nexsys www.nexsysla.com
OpenPSL www.openpsl.com Officer Distribuidora www.officer.com.br
Open Technologies www.ot.ru Preteco SA www.preteco.com.ar
Opitz Consulting GmbH www.opitz-consulting.de Procwork CRM www.procwork.com.br
Patech Solutions Limited www.patech-solutions.com Recours Informatica Consultoria e Assessoria Ltda www.recours.com.br
PC-Ware Information Technologies AG www.pc-ware.de RedPartner, S.A. www.red-partner.com
PDV-Systeme Erfurt Gesellschaft für Systemtechnik mbH www.pdv.de Servicios, Tecnologia y Organizacion S.A. de C.V. (STO) www.stoconsulting.com
Peak Systems Support Ltd. www.peaksystems.uk.com Sinergy Solutions, S.A. de C.V. www.sinergysolutions.com.mx
Peter-Service www.billing.ru Snoop Consulting S.R.L. www.snoopconsulting.com
Prodatis Consulting AG www.prodatis.com Soft Bolivar S.A. www.softbolivar.com
Professional Computer Services S.A. www.pcs.gr Solusoft www.solusoft.com
QAS Ltd. www.qas.com Soluciones Casee SOCASEE, S.A. www.socasee.com
Quantix Ltd. www.quantix-uk.com Sonda del Peru S.A. www.sonda.com
RDTEX www.rdtex.ru SQL Technology S.A. www.sqltech.cl
RTC Real-Time Center AG www.rtc.ch Sunrising Desenvolvimento de Sistemas www.sunrising.com.br
Satyam Computer Services www.satyam.com Sysdesign Consultoria Em Informatica Limitada www.sysdesign.com.br
S.C. RomSoft S.R.L. www.romsoft.info Tilsor S.A. www.tilsor.com.uy
SCC PLC www.scc.com TSnet S.A. www.tsnetglobal.com
Sddc www.sddc.fr Unimix Tecnologia Ltda www.unimix.com.br
SIV AG www.siv.de YKP Consultoria e Sistemas Ltda. www.ykp.com.br
Service & Systems Solutions www.northgate-is.com Middle East
Softman SA www.softman.pl Bahwan Cybertek LLC www.bahwancybertek.com
Software Design & Management AG www.sdm.de Computer and Communications Systems www. ccs.com.jo
Sogeti Espana www.sogeti.biz Computer Information Systems www.cis.com.lb
Sopra Group www.sopragroup.com Computer and Engineering Bureau CEB www.ceb.com.jo
Sphinx CST www.sphinx.co.uk
Districom www.cis.com.lb
TEAM GmbH www.team-pb.de
Emirates Computers Est www.emiratescomputers.co.ae
Teamsolve www.teamsolve.co.uk
Global Technology Services LLC www.gtsuae.com
Tech Data Midrange GmbH www.tdmidrange.de
Hyperlink www.hyperlink-me.com
Technology Reply Srl www.reply.it
International Turnkey Systems (ITS) www.its.ws
Teta S.A. www.teta.com.pl
Intracom Jordan www.intracom.jo
TietoEnator Corporation www.tetioenator.com
Mannai Trading Company Limited www.mannaicorp.com
TimeStamp - Sistema de Informação www.timestamp.pt
Mercator www.mercator.co.ae
TopS Business Integrator www.topsbi.ru
Macro Software Systems LLC www.macro-soft.com
T-Systems International GmbH www.t-systems.com
Mindscape www.mindscapeit.com
Up to Data, Professional Services GMBH www.uptodata.de
Raya Gulf LLC www.rayaholding.com
Vector Software SRL www.vectorsoftware.ro
Royah www.royah.com
Version 1 Software www.version1.com
United States
Vertis BV www.vertis.nl
170 Systems, Inc. www.170systems.com
Whitehouse Consultants Ltd. www.whitehouse-consult.com
Abaris, Inc. www.abaris-inc.com
WM-data Danmark A/S www.wmdata.com
Agilysys www.agilysys.com
Latin America
Apex IT, Inc. www.apexit.com
Abaco Tecnologia de Informacao Ltda www.abaco.com.br
Applications Software Technology Corp. www.astcorporation.com
Acao Informatica Brasil Ltda www.acao.com.br
Applied Biosystems www.appliedbiosystems.com/sqllims
Advanced Database & IT Sistemas de Informação S.A. www.advancedit.com.br
BMC Software, Inc. www.bmc.com
Asi Consultants www.asiconsutants.com
CedarCrestone www.cedarcrestone.com
Aporte Gestao Empresarial e Tecnologia da Informacao Ltda www.aporte.com
CherryRoad Technologies www.cherryroad.com
Appteck S.A. de C.V. www.appteck.com.mx
CIBER www.ciber.com/ces/oracle
Apply Solutions www.applysolutions.com.br
Compuware Corporation www.compuware.com
Asistir Ltda. www.asistir.com
CSS International www.cssus.com
B2BR Business to Business Informatica do Brasil www.b2br.com.br
Bertini Consultoria em informatica www.bertini.com.br DAZ Systems www.dazsi.com
BGH, S.A. www.bgh.com.ar DLT Solutions, Inc. www.dlt.com
BusinessMind S.A. www.businessmind.com.ec Emerging Solutions www.emergenow.com
Casa de Software S/A www.casasoft.com.br Enterprise Business Solutions, LLC www.theebsgroup.com
Compusoluciones y Asociados, S.A. de C.V. www.compusoluciones.com Hyperion Solutions www.hyperion.com
CFP3 Consultoria e Tecnologia www.commitconsultores.com.br INRANGE Consulting Corporation www.inrangeconsulting.com
Datastar Argentina S.A. www.datastar.com.ar Intermec www.intermec.com
Datum, S.A. (Guatemala) www.datum.com.gt KBACE Technologies, Inc. www.kbace.com
Datum, S.A. de C.V. (El Salvador) www.datum.com.sv Kronos Inc. www.kronos.com
Discover Technology Informatica Ltda www.discover.com.br Lucidity Consulting Group LP www.luciditycg.com
e-Builders & Consulting Group S. A. C. www.ebuilders.com.pe MI Services Group, Inc. www.mi-services.com
E-Partner Comercial e Serviços de Informática Ltda www.epartnerbr.com.br NaviSite, Inc. www.navisite.com
EN-SOF Consultoria e Informática Ltda. www.en-sof.com.br Optimum Solutions Group, LLC www.optimumsolutions.com
ERP Soluciones S.A. de C.V. www.erpsol.com.mx OSI Consulting, Inc www.osius.com
Excelsis S.A.C.I.G www.excelsis.com.py Perot Systems Corporation www.perotsystems.com
Elucid Solutions S.A. www.elucid.com.br Princeton Softech www.princetonsoftech.com
Eserv Expert Services Del Ecuador SA www.eserv-andina.com Protege Software Services, Inc. www.protege.com
FYC Soluciones Integrales, C.A. http://www.fyccorp.com RCM Technologies www.rcmt.com
Grupo Quanam www.quanam.com Solbourne Computer Inc. www.solbourne.com
Illuminat www.illuminatnm.com SYSTIME Computer Corporation www.systime.net
In Motion Servicios S.A. www.inmotion.cl TITAN Technology Partners www.ttpartners.com
Ingenieria Condor S.A. DE C.V. www.i-condor.com TUSC www.tusc.com
Innovat S.A. www.itexperts.com.ec USinternetworking, Inc. www.USi.net
J Evans y Asociados S.A.C. www.jevansa.com.pe Vertex, Inc. www.vertexinc.com
JFM Informática Ltda. www.jfm.com.br Waters Corporation www.waters.com
MATERA Systems Informatica Ltda www.matera.com Wave Consulting Group www.wavecg.com
MOST S.A. www.grupomost.com Whitbread Technology Partners, Inc. www.whitbreadtech.com
MPL Corporate Software SA www.mpl.com.br Xcelicor, Inc. www.xcelicor.com

Partners able to demonstrate superior product knowledge, competence, and a commitment to doing business with Oracle qualify for the Oracle PartnerNetwork Certified Advantage Partner level. These partners receive a higher level
of service, training, benefits, and resources from Oracle to support them in delivering quality to customers. For more information on partners, please visit the Oracle PartnerNetwork Solutions Catalog at solutions.oracle.com.

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c o m m e n t IN THE FIELD BY A R I K A P L A N

Listening to You
IOUG surveys provide guidance for expanding databases and open source software issues.
hom do you listen to? When perhaps more selective—if our backup more than half of their critical apps. And
you need insight into how windows aren’t to exceed operational although price is the irresistible appeal
to do your job better or windows. Performance issues—how the of open source software, other consider-
where the database industry application response scales with database ations are important. Maintenance and
is headed, what is your best source of size—must be investigated, clarified, and support is one of the major concerns:
information? Does one particular colum- solved. Replication to multiple sites—for 35 percent of those surveyed see open
nist resonate with you? Is it a company’s high availability, disaster recovery, and source as more difficult than commercial
press releases or white papers that make efficient access—becomes problematic software to maintain and support.
you go “Hmm”? Is it some coworker or with large and growing databases. The The rapid adoption of open source
colleague who has just the right perspec- storage aspect is significant, with tiers of in Oracle environments presents many
tive on the matters that matter? options—archives, expensive disks, inex- challenges, as well as rewards, for enter-
The Independent Oracle Users Group pensive disks—to consider and select. prises. Companies need to plan for
(IOUG) conducts quarterly surveys of its Another recent IOUG survey queried integrating open source solutions and
membership on all kinds of issues that the use of Linux, an open source operat- have firm policies in place. Do the open
affect your job, your enterprise, and the ing system with both free and for-pay source solutions meet company secu-
industry as a whole. The monthly maga- versions. Once regarded as a hobbyist rity policies? Are current applications
zine Database Trends and Applications operating system, Linux now has a place compatible and certified with the open
and vendors looking for specific infor- at most enterprises, and its adoption source technologies? Does staff need to
mation sponsor these surveys, but it’s is increasing. The survey suggests that be retrained for new skills? Will the scal-
your opinion that makes them valuable. in the next year, Linux installations ability and performance meet business
These e-mail surveys go out to 20,000 will increase from 37 to 44 percent of requirements? These and other questions
IOUG members worldwide, and what enterprises in a year; Windows popular- need to be asked before companies can
the membership says is worth listening to. ity will fall from 60 to 48 percent, and realize the rewards of cost savings, easier
One recent IOUG survey about UNIX will fall from 74 to 67 percent. maintenance, and better performance.
database growth revealed invaluable The main attraction of Linux is cost The IOUG surveys will continue
information for perspective and plan- savings: It’s hard to say no to free. “You in the year ahead, giving everyone the
ning purposes. Databases are growing get what you pay for” doesn’t seem to opportunity to profit from the valuable
by 20 to 80 percent per year. Just a few apply to a solid and stable operating experience and perspective that IOUG
years ago, a 10GB database was big. Our system that many major enterprises members offer. The IOUG is listening
survey revealed that 23 percent of enter- accept. Even the for-pay versions of to DBAs, IT directors, system architects,
prises now have at least one terabyte- Linux are less expensive than the more application designers, project managers,
sized database. These bigger databases widely used commercial operating CIOs, and presidents like you. O
aren’t just found at large enterprises, systems. Performance and reliability
although 41 percent of large enterprises equal or exceed those of commercial Ari Kaplan (ari_kaplan@ioug.org) is president of the
do report at least one terabyte database. products, according to many respon- Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) and senior
Fully 24 percent of medium enterprises dents. Clearly Linux is a phenomenon consultant at Datalink. He founded Expand Beyond
and 10 percent of small enterprises that we all need to be aware of and to Corporation, a leader in mobile IT software. He has been
also report terabyte databases. Some include in enterprise planning. involved in Oracle technology since 1992.
enterprises—including heavyweights In the recent survey, Linux has taken
like Google, Yahoo!, and Oracle itself— the lead as the top platform for data-
report petabyte-sized database environ- bases, but Linux is only one example
READ about Oracle on Linux
ments. (That’s a million gigabytes.) of open source software that many oracle.com/technologies/linux
Such large databases, and the yearly enterprises use. A full 66 percent of DOWNLOAD Oracle Database
growth in all databases, present chal- respondents reported using open source 10g Release 2
lenges that we need to handle. Backup software for at least one mission-critical oracle.com/technology/software/products/database/
oracle10g
solutions need to become faster— application. In fact, 9 percent use it for

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70 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Adindex.indd 70 11/20/06 3:41:34 PM


c o m m e n t ALL SECURE BY M A RY A N N DAVI DSO N

Security Goes Mainstream


Security is too important to be left to experts.
t occurs to me as I reflect upon my priesthood but to “spread the security One of the reasons the SQL Slammer
14-odd years in security at Oracle gospel” so all developers become true worm spread so quickly several years ago
how mainstream security has become believers. In a way, security is just too was because of all the embedded SQL
during that time. For example, most important to be left to experts. Server databases that many enterprises
well-known security conferences are now A recent example of how security did not know they had and, thus, did
dominated by businesspeople instead has gone mainstream at Oracle is the not know to patch. Remember those card
of security kahunas. I started attending work that my team and others did before systems I talked about? A number of them
these conferences when they were small, Oracle Database 10g Express Edition failed when SQL Slammer wormed its
furtive gatherings of what could only be (Oracle Database XE) shipped. Oracle way through their embedded databases.
described as the high priests of security: Database XE is a lightweight, stripped- If, someday, there are thousands of
people who’d invented cryptographic down version of Oracle Database that is Oracle Database XE databases embed-
algorithms (and others who had broken intended to be used as an embedded data- ded in applications, we want them to be
them), people you’d read about in the New base—it just ships inside another product as secure as we can make them precisely
York Times (the few times security made and you don’t really even know it is because this is a “mainstreamed” database
it on the front page—or any page), and there. Many products have embedded application and not administered by the
people who literally wrote the book on databases that you wouldn’t expect, such high priests of the temple of security. I’m
some arcane aspect of security. as physical security systems (for example, pleased that we hardened Oracle Database
In those days, security was a religion card readers) used for building access. XE and even more pleased that multiple
with a cult following. Few understood its While we didn’t make a big deal about people lined up behind the effort. It was
precepts or could intone them. Security it in terms of patting ourselves on the not a hard sell, and that, too, is a main-
rituals—like hacking—were restricted to back (nor do I think vendors should take stream idea. Security isn’t just for enter-
a few initiates to the high priesthood. All big bows for exercising due security care prise databases but for all IT products.
this sounds great until you realize that if on behalf of their customers), we put a lot This leads me to the very last reason
you want your religion to grow, you need of security work into Oracle Database XE. but really the first reason why we did
more true believers. Lots more. We ensured that critical security issues what we did for Oracle Database XE:
Now, security has gone mainstream were fixed, Oracle’s ethical hacking team Oracle’s name is on it, and security is
both by happenstance and by design. As took a crack at it, and we did a lot of part of everything we do. O
IT has become widespread (for example, work to lock the product down so that it
almost everyone has e-mail and almost installs in a “default secure” configuration. Mary Ann Davidson is the chief security officer at
everyone now does things online that Some may wonder why we put Oracle, responsible for secure development practice and
they used to do in person or on paper), the extra effort into hardening Oracle security evaluations and assessments. She represents
computer security mechanisms have Database XE. After all, it is not necessar- Oracle on the board of directors of the Information
necessarily evolved to take the place of ily going to be a big moneymaker; it’s not Technology Information Security Analysis Center and the
locked file cabinets in locked offices. the Oracle enterprise database protect- Defense Science Board and is on the editorial review
As for those who build the IT systems ing the corporate crown jewels. Why, in board of SC Magazine.
that have made the paperless (OK, short, go to the extra security effort?
“much less paper”) world possible, secu- The answer is, we hardened Oracle
rity ought to—indeed, must—become Database XE for all the “security is main-
mainstream instead of an afterthought. stream” ideas I outlined earlier. Because READ more about security
At Oracle, security has evolved from Oracle Database XE is an embedded oracle.com/security/security-solutions.html
being largely centralized (through a database, it’s not likely that a professional, READ more Davidson
small group of security mavens) to being security-trained DBA will administer it. blogs.oracle.com/maryanndavidson

decentralized: all development groups It’s very likely to be used in a Web-facing DOWNLOAD
have security points of contact; all devel- application, which is another reason you Oracle Database 10g Express Edition
opers are trained on security. My goal want it hardened out of the box. (Oracle Database XE)
oracle.com/technology/products/database/xe
for security is not to build another high Also, we took a lesson from history.

ORACLE MAGAZINE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 71

JF06_Security.indd 71 11/17/06 12:04:07 PM


c o m m e n t ANALYST’S CORNER BY DAVI D BAUM

The Right Stuff


Small businesses can compete on a big scale if they have enterprise-caliber software.
onald Feinberg is a vice presi- managing database is particularly attrac- a small application vendor and buy
dent and distinguished analyst tive to SMBs because they don’t have a complete software package, or they
at Gartner. He talked to Oracle to hire a battery of technical people or can subscribe to an on-demand version
Magazine about how the busi- pay a systems integrator to set it up from an enterprise software vendor.
ness world is changing for small and and take care of it for them. This was This second option is becoming more
medium businesses (SMBs) and how not the primary reason for automating and more popular. Today’s SMBs can
technology vendors such as Oracle are today’s database management systems, outsource just about everything, from
responding to these changes. but it’s certainly one of the side effects computers and physical infrastructure
Oracle Magazine: SMBs are adopting that have benefited SMBs. to communications devices, phone
increasingly complex IT environments Oracle Magazine: What level of security systems, and all types of software. That
to keep up with business demands. do the entry-level database editions like is an appealing prospect to a lot of
What issues do SMBs face today, and Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition small companies.
why have these resulted in enterprise- One provide? Oracle Magazine: What requirements
level software deployments? Feinberg: Oracle provides the same secu- top the wish lists of SMBs looking for
Feinberg: It’s important to establish why rity model in all of its database editions. simple, turnkey database software?
so many small companies are interested Of course, you still have to set up the Feinberg: Most SMBs don’t have large IT
in enterprise-class software. Take the security. Many SMBs hire a systems inte- budgets or a great deal of expertise in
manufacturing industry as an example. grator or professional services organiza- their IT departments. Thus they tend
Until recently, small companies in this tion to help. There are lots of boutique to favor proven solutions that are easy
sector mainly catered to local markets companies that specialize in install- to install and configure. That said, they
or specialized niches because they ing software applications, developing still want top-end performance, avail-
didn’t have the resources to reach much data warehouses, configuring identity ability, security, and reliability—all at
further. Now even small shops can management systems, and even selling a comparatively low cost. This leaves
compete with big companies because remote DBA services over the internet. them with a couple of choices. Either
they can connect and exchange infor- Oracle Magazine: What compatibility they can buy database software espe-
mation online. However, if they can’t challenges do SMBs face in upgrading cially geared toward SMB shops, or they
participate in the supply chain, they their databases to enterprise editions? can purchase an entry-level edition from
can’t sell to the big guys, and that’s why Feinberg: There isn’t any upward- one of the enterprise database manage-
they need enterprise-caliber software. compatibility problem at all. The only ment systems vendors, such as Oracle
We’re seeing this trend in many other problem is money, since the higher-end Database 10g Standard Edition One. O
industries, not just manufacturing— editions are more expensive to pur-
anywhere where the business world is chase, implement, and maintain. One David Baum (david@dbaumcomm.com) is a freelance
dominated by SMBs. These companies way to get around that is to avoid cus- business writer based in Santa Barbara, California.
need high-end software capabilities to tomization. SMBs usually end up modi-
service a worldwide market. fying their business processes more than Founded in 1979, Gartner (www.gartner.com)
Oracle Magazine: How are today’s data- modifying their software, which makes researches, analyzes, and reports on vendors,
base products addressing ease of admin- it easier to upgrade to a larger edition. technologies, and business processes in the
istration, tuning, and upgrade? Oracle Magazine: Do the requirements of IT industry.
Feinberg: These software products are SMBs for database software also apply
improving in several ways, from fast to application software?
installation to automated storage man- Feinberg: The reasoning is the same:
agement to push-button data recovery. SMBs don’t want to hire specialists to DISCOVER resources for SMBs
Essentially, vendors such as Oracle are deploy and maintain their application oracle.com/technology/smb

making the databases simpler to use environments. They want to manage READ about Unbreakable Linux
oracle.com/technologies/linux
and more self-managing, so they will their businesses. This gives them two oracle.com/technology/tech/linux
work right out of the box. A self- basic choices: Either they can go to

72 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2007 ORACLE.COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE

JF07_Analyst.indd 72 11/17/06 11:40:02 AM


Servers

Storage

Systems Management

Services

Software

How Dell Does IT


Dell™ understands that mission critical databases require powerful performance, highly reliable and available
hardware platforms, and scalability that allows you to grow with your database needs. Dell understands
this so well we run our own supply chain management system, which supports hundreds of suppliers and
manages nearly a billion parts per year, on powerful and scalable Dell PowerEdge™ servers running Oracle®
Database 10g. Dell offers pre-engineered, tested, and validated solutions for Oracle Database 10g on Linux®
and Windows®. The entire solution stack is tested and supported by Dell – the servers, storage, switches,
and software, including the Oracle Database software and the operating system – and Dell offers services
to help you accelerate deployment.

Go to dell.com/oraclemag to get the full story on how Dell IT uses Oracle


Database 10g in our supply chain management system.
Dell cannot be responsible for errors in typography or photography. Dell and the Dell logo are trademarks of Dell Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle
Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell disclaims any
proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. © 2006 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of Dell is strictly forbidden. August 2006.
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