Oracle 11g R2 database coming in September

Long-awaited update to Oracle's flagship database is expected to make improvements in the areas of grid computing, storage management, and clustering

Oracle is planning to release a long-awaited update to its flagship database in September, according to a source with knowledge of its plans.

The company has planned at least one informational road-show event on the release, Oracle 11g R2, for Sept. 29 in Bedford, Mass.

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A company spokeswoman declined comment Wednesday.

Oracle has tried to keep a tight leash on information about 11g R2, swearing beta testers to secrecy. A Web page for the Sept. 29 event offers only a general sense of the database's new features, saying it will cut costs and boost performance, and let IT shops "upgrade database applications while users remain online." 11g R2 is also expected to make improvements in the areas of grid computing, storage management, and clustering.

The upcoming launch is not a total surprise, as Oracle President Charles Phillips previously said on an earnings conference call that 11g R2 would likely debut in the first quarter of Oracle's fiscal year, which began in June.

But the September launch and Phillips' time frame are also in advance of Oracle's annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, scheduled for Oct. 11-15, which would have been a likely opportunity to raise the curtain on 11g R2.

Meanwhile, once released 11g R2 could spur more Oracle shops to upgrade from older database versions, such as 10g, since many may consider the release more stable than the initial 11g version, which was launched in July 2007.

The notion was echoed in a recent blog post by Ian Abramson, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group, which was involved in the beta testing program.

"The old joke goes how can you tell if someone is a Junior or Senior DBA? The answer goes that when the first version of the software arrives the Junior DBA wants to install it straight to production and the Senior DBA throws out the CD and waits for Release 2," he wrote. "Sadly, the reality of this joke has some truth in it, as organizations often wait until the second release before installing the latest product. So here we are with Oracle 11g Release 2, and based on what I have seen .... you should start to consider the adoption of the this release."

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