Oracle is hoping that new security, testing, and management features offered in Oracle Database 11g will lead users to migrate to the major release of the vendor's database sooner rather than later.
[ See also: Oracle 11g for Linux to debut in August ]
Unveiled Wednesday in an event in New York, 11g is Oracle's successor to the 10g releases 1 and 2 of its database. The vendor shipped the first release of 10g in February 2004. The company has worked closely with customers over the course of a lengthy beta testing program, which began in September, and some of those users noted that it had been hard to pin Oracle down on a launch date for 11g. The vendor publicly committed to July 11 as the database's coming-out party only a month ago.
"Oracle was a little bit more cautious, wanting to make sure they got the product right," said Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), which was heavily involved in the 11g beta testing program.
IOUG members are bullish on their plans to move to the new database. A recent poll of around 400 of them indicated that 35 percent of respondents planned to upgrade to 11g within a year of its release, with an additional 53 percent looking to move to the new database in the next few years, according to Kaplan. This is an improvement on previous surveys about earlier Oracle releases, where the same percentage looked to migrate within the first 18 months following a new version of the database.
Kaplan was particularly interested in the improved integration of 11g with Oracle's Audit Vault and Database Vault software. "There's a key flaw with all databases," he said. "If they're smart, a DBA can modify data and cover their tracks" since DBAs tend to have unlimited access to databases. The technologies in Oracle's vaulting software make that impossible since every action a DBA executes effectively "goes into a lockbox that they are powerless to modify," Kaplan added.
Wachovia hopes to complete its internal process to certify 11g for use within the organization by the end of the year and have its migration efforts well underway in 2008, according to Ed Mulheren, senior database administrator at the financial services company.
He said that the improved security features in 11g will help Wachovia meet the ever-increasing regulatory demands in the financial services market. Mulheren also welcomes smaller additions such as 11g's support of case-sensitive passwords, which brings security for the Oracle database more in line with Wachovia's security policies for its Windows desktops. It also means that users have to remember fewer passwords, he said.