Three Announcements from Oracle OpenWorld You Probably Didn't Hear

2 min read
Sep 18, 2019

The buzz from OpenWorld this year was the permanently free Oracle Cloud offering, the new Exadata X8M (reportedly capable of 12 million I/O per second!), Oracle Autonomous Cloud at Customer, and the new Blockchain table.

Here are three interesting or important announcements that were drowned out by these headlines.

1. Support for Non-Container Database Architecture is Ending

Oracle deprecated non-CDB architecture in release 12c but it's remained an option through database 19c. That officially ends with version 20c. All databases must use multitenant architecture. This is possibly the most impactful news for customers running moderate workloads, smaller databases, or upgrading from older versions that can't justify the additional licensing costs of multitenant.

Fortunately, the multitenant licensing is being updated to allow limited use of pluggable databases. Per Oracle's announcement: "To ease the migration to this architecture, from Oracle Database 19c onward, the multitenant architecture supports up to 3 user-created Pluggable Databases of any type. The multitenant Option is required for deployment of 4 or more user-created PDBs."

This gives customers some flexibility to enjoy some of the benefits of pluggable databases in a limited capacity without having to license the option outright.

2. A New JSON Datatype

JSON data is no longer a second class citizen, relegated to LOB storage and difficult to query and manipulate.

JSON will receive its own binary datatype for SQL and PL/SQL in 20c. Oracle claims this will make scans up to 10x faster and improves updates by up to 4x. UPDATE statements will allow users to SET and REMOVE JSON elements through JSON_TRANSFORM, certainly a welcome improvement for anyone who's ever had to manipulate JSON data: UPDATE j_order SET po_doc = JSON_TRANSFORM(po_doc, SET '$.address_city' = 'Santa Cruz', REMOVE '$.phones[*]?(@.type = "office")') WHERE id = 555;

Several sessions highlighted new tools for automating or streamlining migrations and upgrades. Hopefully there will be something along these lines to assist customers in migrating JSON data to the new datatype.

3. AJD - The Autonomous JSON Database

A third workload type will join the Autonomous offerings in Oracle's Cloud. In addition to Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) and Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) comes Autonomous JSON Database (AJD). There wasn't much detail surrounding this announcement but it's full of possibilities and listed as "Coming Soon."

One More Thing...

No list of announcements is complete without... one more!

Oracle 20c will include "dozens" of machine learning algorithms embedded in the database itself, including deep learning, bringing these algorithms to the data and improving performance. The ML algorithms will be extensible using R or Python and deployable via a REST API.

A speed advantage is seen by parallelizing machine learning directly in a data warehouse or transactional database for rapid model building and real-time scoring of data as it's added. It improves security by avoiding copy contagion—copies of data in analytics systems—a common source of data breaches.

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