|Oracle 8i Data Cartridge Developer's Guide
Release 2 (8.1.6)
Part Number A76937-01
What Is a Data Cartridge?, 2 of 7
Within the framework of the Oracle Extensibility Architecture, data cartridges are the mechanism for extending the capabilities of the Oracle server. What does this mean?
First, Oracle8i lets you capture the business logic and processes associated with domain-specific data in user-defined datatypes. In some cases, where the data cartridge provides new behavior without needing new attributes, the vehicle of implementation may be packages rather than formal types. Once you have defined these types using either of these approaches, Oracle8i allows you to determine the manner in which the server interprets, stores, retrieves, and indexes the data. Ultimately, data cartridges are the means to package this functionality as software components that can then be plugged into a server to extend its capabilities into a new domain.
This is all possible because the database has itself been made extensible. That is, you can now customize the database management system so that it treats user-defined business objects and rich types on a par with native types with regard to server mechanisms such as indexing and query optimization. Where some aspects of a native service is not adequate for the specialized processing you require, you can provide your own implementations of these services. These implementations are then registered with the server using the extensibility interfaces.
The key characteristics of data cartridges areas follows:
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