Oracle9i Database New Features
Release 1 (9.0.1)

Part Number A90120-02
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Overview of Oracle9i

This chapter presents an overview of the Oracle9i Database. It contains the following sections:

Introducing Oracle9i

Oracle9i takes business where it needs to be: meeting and exceeding stringent demands for high-quality service in a service-driven marketplace. Oracle9i is designed to optimize traditional, internet and intranet applications, and to stimulate the emerging hosted application market on the internet.

Oracle9i builds on historic strengths to offer the first complete and simple software infrastructure for the internet's next generation of intelligent, collaborative applications. The Oracle9i new features expedite delivery of critical performance, scalability, and availability essential to providing hosted service software for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Oracle9i architecture is depicted in Figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1 Oracle9i Architecture

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Oracle9i components include the following:

Oracle9i Database

The Oracle9i Database introduces the following advanced and automated design features that refine Oracle9i Application Server and Oracle9i Developer Suite to optimize performance for traditional applications and the emerging hosted application market.

Oracle9i Real Application Clusters

Replacing Oracle Parallel Server, Oracle9i Real Application Clusters provides out-of-the-box, linear scaling transparency, compatibility with all applications without redesign, and the ability to rapidly add nodes and disks.

Systems Management

Integrated system management products create a complete view of all critical components that drive e-business processes. From the client and application server to the database and host, Oracle9i quickly and completely assesses the overall health of an e-business infrastructure.

High Availability

Setting a new standard for high availability, Oracle9i introduces powerful new functionality in areas of disaster recovery, system fault recovery, and planned downtime.

High Security

Oracle9i offers the most secure internet platform for protecting company information through multiple layers of security for data, users, and companies. Included are features for building internet-scale applications, for providing security for users, and for keeping data from different hosted user communities separate.

Oracle9i Application Server

Recognized as the leading application server for database-driven Web sites, Oracle9i Application Server offers the industry's most innovative and comprehensive set of middle-tier services.

Comprehensive Middle-tier Services

Continued innovation within comprehensive middle-tier services, ranging from self-service enterprise portals, to e-stores and supplier exchange, sustains the Oracle9i Application Server as the industry's preferred application server for database-driven Web sites.

New Caching Technology

The new caching technology in Oracle9i can dramatically increase Web site performance, scalability, and availability. Greater numbers of users can be provided with more personalized, dynamic Web content without adding more application or database servers.

Scalability and Performance

Superb scalability and performance now is made available for all Web applications. Oracle Portal services make it easy for Web site developers to deploy enterprise portals with centralized management and unified security. Standard Java, with rich XML and content management support, as well as back-office transactional applications built using Oracle Forms Developer, can easily be deployed.

Wireless Device Access

Information in any database or internet application is easily available through Oracle9i. Support for each wireless device's specific markup language is no longer necessary.

Business Intelligence

Oracle9i Application Server has built-in reporting and ad hoc query functionality to derive business intelligence after Web site deployment.

Oracle9i Developer Suite

Oracle Internet Developer Suite combines leading Oracle applications development tools, business intelligence tools, and enterprise portal building tools in a single, integrated product. Built on internet standards such as Java, XML, CORBA, and HTML, the Oracle Internet Developer Suite provides a high-performance development environment with tools needed to respond to rapidly changing markets and user demands.

Extensive Development Alternatives

Oracle Internet Developer Suite tools are suitable for any kind of development approach, including component-based development, Java coding, and visual modeling, and offer rapid application development based on 4GL. Applications can be developed for all clients, including High Productive Java Client, Universal HTML Client, and Anywhere Mobile Client.


Oracle Internet Developer Suite tools include: Oracle Forms Developer; Oracle Designer; Oracle JDeveloper and Business Components for Java; Oracle Reports Developer; and Oracle Discoverer.

Other Features

All applications are single, middle-tier deployable with an Oracle9i Application Server. Oracle Portal is available for an integrated, personalized portal view with all applications. Integrated business intelligence for enterprise reporting and ad-hoc query is available.

Oracle9i Database New Features

Important new features are introduced with the release of the Oracle9i Database, including advancements in Real Application Clusters, systems management, availability, scalability, and security.

Summaries of primary new features are introduced in this chapter and organized according to users' interests and requirements. Links are given to Chapter 2, "Oracle9i Database New Features", where a greater number of new features are described in detail.


Oracle9i dramatically extends Oracle's leadership in Internet database availability, which is critical for any e-business application. Key areas in Oracle9i include:

Enhanced Disaster Recovery Environment

Many tasks for managing a standby database are now automated. LogMiner now supports log queries based on changes and has comprehensive log analysis for additional datatypes, plus an easy-to-use graphical user interface.

Online Data Evolution

Oracle9i contains a new online reorganization and redefinition architecture that allows much more powerful reorganization capabilities, including an online CREATE TABLE AS SELECT operation.

Precision Database Repair

Oracle9i includes better prevention and improved handling of disk corruption, and is able to restore the database to a consistent state after recovery.


Oracle9i allows e-business to scale the most demanding e-business applications with intensive transactions loads. Key areas include:

Increased Transaction Throughput on Oracle9i Real Application Clusters

Scalability opportunities are increased with little or no performance cost through Oracle9i Real Application Clusters. Customers can horizontally scale the database tier as needed.

Scalable Session State Management

The footprint required for each user on Oracle9i is substantially reduced, allowing more users to be hosted on the same, or larger, hardware platforms.

Fine-Grained, Automatic Resource Management

Administrators gain more granular control over resources through new features, and can specify the maximum active sessions per consumer group.


Oracle9i is the continued performance leader in all relevant areas. Measurement and tuning projects continue to improve Oracle9i runtime performance. A major focus performance improvements in Oracle9i are in areas critical for e-business.

Native Compilation and Improved PL/SQL Optimization

Support for native compilation and optimization of PL/SQL improves performance of many business applications.

Latch Contention Improvements

Oracle9i includes general I/O improvements, as well as latch contention issues affecting highly active systems.

Enhanced Java Performance

Various improvements contribute to enhanced Java performance.

Network and Distributed Database Performance

Network and distributed database performance has been improved by database-to-database communication with OCI.


Oracle9i continues to provide the most secure application development and deployment platform in the industry. Key areas include:

Strong Three-Tier Security

Three-tier security is enhanced by proxy authentication, including credential proxy of X.509 certificates or distinguished names (DN), support for thick JDBC, connection pooling for application users (thick and thin JDBC and OCI), and integration with LDAP.

Security for Hosting Environments

Hosting security is provided through enhancements in Virtual Private Database (VPD), fine-grained auditing, and Web-based single sign-on.

Standards-Based Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

PKI includes support for PKCS#12 certificates, which enable existing PKI credentials to be shared by an Oracle Wallet, thus reducing PKI deployment costs and increasing interoperability.

Improved User and Security Policy Management

A large number of enhancements have been made in areas ranging from management of network naming and password-based user management to new replication queue management and reconciliation tools.

Data Encryption and Label Security

Oracle Label Security provides an out-of-the-box fine-grained access control solution. Encryption enhancements support most popular algorithms for encryption and data integrity.

Development Platform for Developing E-Business Applications

Oracle9i continues to offer the best development platform for e-business and traditional application development. Key areas include:

Enterprise Java Engine

The Oracle9i JVM (previously JServer) embedded in both Oracle9i and Oracle iAS allows reliable, flexible, scalable, and secure e-business applications deployment.

Oracle XML Developer's Kit

Several enhanced database operations store XML in Oracle9i through SQL and render traditional database data as XML. Included is a native XML datatype These functionalities are required to support e-business, packaged applications, and Internet content management.

SQL and PL/SQL Improvements

Among the many SQL and PL/SQL improvements are multilanguage server-side debugging and support for inheritance and multilevel collections, which make it possible to build complex models inside the database.


Management is one of the key areas of improvement for Oracle9i, and now, all essential management functions can be managed from a Web browser. You can use the Oracle9i management approach to do the following tasks:

Database Self-Management

Oracle9i databases can manage their own undo (rollback) segment. Dynamic memory management improvements allow buffer cache and shared pool resizing, providing advisories to help size the SGA for optimal database performance.

Streamlined Operational Management of the Database

Traditional management areas of the database are also improved, including parameter initialization persistence across multiple shutdowns, which is of immense help in database performance tuning.

Simplification of Oracle9i Administration Through Oracle Enterprise Manager

Many features have been automated to streamline operational processes through self management and tuning. Oracle Enterprise Manager has been enhanced to include guided, expert diagnostics and problem resolution. All essential management functions can be managed from a Web Browser.

Management of the Oracle Stack Through Oracle Enterprise Manager

Administrators can monitor the response of their entire Oracle-based system and ensure meeting required business service level agreements. This capability is critical to any business that must maintain superior response time, performance, and availability of their IT systems.

Windows Integration

Oracle9i continues to lead as the platform of choice for organizations using Windows 2000. Key areas include the following:

Integration Capabilities

Oracle9i's PKI infrastructure and single sign-on capabilities have also been well integrated with Windows 2000, Active Directory, and Microsoft Certificate Store. Oracle9i supports better integration with Microsoft Transaction Services, Microsoft Message Queuing and Internet Information Services.

Development and Deployment Improvements

For Windows developers, Oracle9i offers an enhanced native OLE DB provider. XML, COM+ Events, and Oracle9i extensions have been supported through Oracle Data Objects for Windows (formerly Oracle Objects for OLE).

Internet Content Management

Oracle9i allows customers to store, manage, and aggregate all types of multimedia content into a single database. Oracle9i significantly enhances the capabilities of the Oracle8i database to serve as a platform to create, manage, and deliver internet content. Key areas include the following:

Storage, Management, and Aggregation of All Types of Content

Oracle9i includes the version 1.2 release of the Oracle Internet File System (iFS), a revolutionary extension to the Oracle database that provides the best of both the relational database and file system worlds.

Efficient Searching and Indexing of All Types of Content

Oracle9i adds Internet search, powerful facilities to extract and index metadata from rich content, and the ability to search XML and catalog structures.

Collaborative Projects

Oracle9i adds the ability to create shared workspaces to support collaborative, long-duration projects. Multiple, concurrent database-backed projects can coexist simultaneously against different versions of content.

Location-Enabled, Mobile-Ready Content

For e-business and mobile applications, Oracle9i and Oracle Spatial offer the ability to search, index, and deliver data based on the location attributes of the content or the proximity.

E-Business Integration

Oracle9i introduces new e-business products and technologies. Key areas include the following:

Provides a Standard Infrastructure

Oracle9i includes a set of pre-developed, pretested, and pre-integrated business service objects developed in Java and compliant with J2EE, which are used to create nine storefronts, exchanges and portals. This enables faster time to market for customers, and allows development and integration of Web-based storefronts, exchanges and hosted applications.

Supports Industry Standard Business Messaging Formats

Oracle9i provides a standard infrastructure that makes it easier for customers to integrate storefronts, exchanges, and portals with other backend and external systems.

Packaged Applications

Oracle9i packaged applications include new features that more fully enable globalization and improve deployment and hosting.

Database Globalization

Oracle9i significantly reduces the cost of developing and deploying applications globally on a single database instance. Developers now can develop fully globalized applications by setting up or migrating their database character set to UTF8 to support multiple languages simultaneously.

Development Features for Independent Software Vendors

Oracle9i continues to be the best platform for independent software vendor development, deployment, hosting, and migration. Enhancements to stored outlines and default column values allow improved deployment and hosting of packaged applications.

Business Intelligence

Oracle9i continues to provide the best platform support for business intelligence in medium to large-scale enterprises, focusing especially on challenges raised by the large volume of data and the need for near real-time complex analysis in an e-business environment.

Performance, Scalability, and Manageability

Oracle9i offers considerable new enhancements in each of these areas. For example, partitioning capabilities have been expanded to support list partitioning, which allows explicit control over how rows map to partitions. A list of discrete values can be specified for the partitioning column in the description for each partition.

Integrated Analysis and Personalization Capabilities

Oracle9i provides ground-breaking new functionality in three areas:

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