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Oracle's low-key 11g promotion

Oracle is laying the groundwork for the next major release of its database, Oracle 11g.

In his keynote speech at Oracle's OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last week, Chuck Rozwat spoke in general terms about 11g, which is currently in beta testing. Rozwat, an Oracle executive vice president, is in charge of the company's database business. He didn't commit to a final shipping date for 11g.

Rozwat dubbed 11g "a significant release," containing hundreds of new features spanning high availability, performance, scalability, manageability and what he termed "diagnosability." The upcoming release will also focus on meeting the needs of users of very large databases he says, as well as including business intelligence and content-management functionality.

The next release will come with new compression technology to potentially reduce customers' storage demands by two-thirds, according to Rozwat.

Oracle has worked on the storage of unstructured data in 11g, he says. In current testing, 11g is said to be faster at storing such data compared with traditional file systems.

Typically, Oracle ships significant updates to its database every 15 to 18 months, although the gap can be as long as three years.

As of July, Rozwat estimated that around half of Oracle's customers had moved to the current version of the database, 10g – either release 1 or 2 – in line with the typical adoption curve. The "g" following the number refers to grid computing. The predecessor to 10g, 9i, was named for its Internet capabilities.