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Oracle finally updates flagship database

Oracle Corp. last week unveiled Version 11g Release 2 of its flagship database — about two years after the first release hit the market.

The latest version is the product of the work of some 1,500 developers, and about 15 million hours of testing, said Mark Townsend, Oracle's vice president of database product management.

The new version lets users more easily devote specific groups of server nodes to various application workloads. For example, a “front office” resource pool could be set up to support CRM implementations and Web sites, Oracle said. When a particular pool needs additional horsepower, it can draw from unassigned nodes or from node pools with lower demands.

The new database will initially support Linux. Support for “all major Unix platforms” is coming later this year, with Windows to be added at an undisclosed future date, Townsend said.

Paul Vallée, executive chairman of The Pythian Group, an Ottawa-based remote database administrator, said he expects the new version of the software to offer significant improvements over its predecessor.

“With every major release of Oracle, the second is the most important,” Vallée said. “It doesn't matter how far back you go; this is where the software comes into its own.”

“I felt that Oracle 11g R1 was a reasonably solid project,” said Ian Abramson, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group and director of the enterprise data group at Toronto-based consulting firm Thoughtcorp. “[But] people will now feel more confident with this release, as it has had time to mature and gain stability.”

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