Finally, Oracle 11gR2 is here!!

After months of tests, Oracle released today the newest release of 11g Database ( – for Linux x86 and 64bit only), with more than 200 new features and a lot of excellent surprises.

Oracle Database 11g Release 1 (11.1 – Released at August 2007) and Release 2 (11.2 – Released today) are the versions with the bigger number of new capabilities ever build and released by Oracle, that’s way was not a complete surprise when it received the 2009 Best Database of the year award by InfoWorld magazine, and certified by Garner as the Database #1 in the world with 48.9% of the worldwide market..

Capabilities as Real Application Testing, Active Data Guard, Advance Compression, In-Memory Database Cache, ASM Cluster File System (ACFS), the Grid Infrastructure Installation option,  Desktop and Server  class options, Intelligent Data Placement, Oracle Restart,Transparent Tablespace Encryption, Automatic Compilation for Java and PL/SQLs, ADDM for RAC,RAC One Node option, SecureFiles, online upgrade, Flashback Data Archive, Advisors for Streams, Partitioning and Repair  to name some, are new functionalities that in the past where only available at DBA dreams.

If you are looking to upgrade your current DB, direct upgrades are only allowed for versions:

  • or higher

  • or higher

  • or higher

  • or higher

 Some deprecated initialization parameters are:

  • remote_os_authent

  • commit_write

  • cursor_space_for_time

  • instance_groups

  • log_archive_local_first

  • plsql_debug replaced by plsql_optimize_level

  • plsql_v2_compatibility

  • resource_manager_cpu_allocation

  • standby_archive_dest

  • transaction_lag attribute

  • ddl_wait_for_locks

  • logmnr_max_persistent_sessions

  • plsql_compiler_flags

  • max_enabled_roles

  • background_dump_dest replace by diagnostic_dest

  • user_dump_dest replaced by diagnostic_dest

Always remember that today the most IT and Business challenges/goals are related to:

  • Reduce IT Costs
  • Reduce Complexity
  • Reduce Risk
  • Increase the rate of changes
  • Be allow to manage more information
  • Improve the Quality of service

Clearly Oracle 11g is the best option available in the market to allow you and your business to achieve all these goals. Some of the new functionalities included with 11g are:

New data types

The new data types available in Oracle 11g are:

  • Binary XML type – up to 15X faster over XML LOBs. (11gR1)
  • DICOM Medical Images. (11gR1)
  • 3 D Spatial Support. (11gR1)
  • RFID tag data types. (11gR1)


  • Automatic SQL tuning with self-learning capabilities. (11gR1)
  • Tables can have Virtual columns (calculated from other columns). (11gR1)
  • Virtual Columns Indexes on VC and Partitioning on VC. (11gR1)
  • Fast “alter table … add column” with default values. (11gR1)
  • Online rebuilding of indexes with no pause on DML activity. (11gR1)
  • Ability to mark a table as “read only”. (11gR1)
  • New PIVOT and UNPIVOT operations. (11gR1)
  • Attribute Extraction of Requested Attributes Only of DICOM metadata. (11gR2)


  • Native Compilation no longer requires a C-compiler. (11gR1)
  • New “SIMPLE_INTEGER” data type – always NOT NULL, wraps instead of overflows and is faster than PLS_INTEGER. (11gR1)
  • SQL and PL/SQL result caching (in SGA). (11gR1)
  • Can specify trigger firing order (FOLLOWS-clause). (11gR1)
  • Compound triggers – a trigger can be before, after, row and statement all in one. (11gR1)
  • New CONTINUE statement – starts the next iteration of the loop. (11gR1)
  • DML triggers are up to 25% faster – in particular, row level triggers doing updates against other tables. (11gR1)
  • Finer grained dependency tracking. (11gR1)
  • Dynamic SQL enhancements. (11gR1)
  • Ability to reference sequences (no need to select seq.nextval into :var from dual). (11gR1)
  • Support WITH HOLD Option for CURSOR DECLARATION in Pro*C. (11gR2)
  • JDBC Support for Time Zone Patching. (11gR2)
  • OCI Support for 8-Byte Integer Bind/Define. (11gR2)
  • Pro*C Support for 8-Byte Native Numeric Host Variable for INSERT and FETCH. (11gR2)
  • Pro*COBOL Support for 8-Byte Native Numeric Host Variable for INSERT and FETCH (11gR2)
  • Binary XML Enhancements. (11gR2)
  • Oracle XML DB Repository Performance Improvements and Guidelines. (11gR2)
  • XMLIndex Enhancements. (11gR2)· XMLType Partitioning. (11gR2)
  • JDBC Support for SecureFile Zero-Copy LOB I/O and LOB Prefetching. (11gR2)


  • Support for rolling upgrades. (11gR1)
  • Automatic bad block detection and repair. (11gR1)
  • Fast mirror resync after temporary connectivity lost. (11gR1)
  • ASM Cluster File System (ACFS) (11gR2) – The ASM Cluster File System (ACFS) extends Automatic Storage Management (ASM) by providing a robust, modern, general purpose file system for files beyond the Oracle database files. ACFS provides support for files such as Oracle binaries, report files, trace files, alert logs, and other application data files.
  • ASM Dynamic Volume Manager (DVM) (11gR2) – is a kernel-loadable device driver that provides a standard device driver interface to clients (for example, ACFS). File systems or other processes can do I/O to this device driver as they would to any other disk device driver on the system.
  • ASM FS Snapshot (11gR2) – is a point-in-time copy of a file system and can provide up to 64 snapshot images.
  • Enterprise Manager Integration for ASM File Access Control. (11gR2)
  • Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) and Voting Disk on ASM. (11gR2)
  • ASM Optimal Disk Placement. (11gR2)
  • ASMCMD Command Extensions (11gR2) – The ASMCMD tool is extended to include management of ASM disks, disk groups, and ASM instance in addition to managing ASM files.
  • Automatic Storage Management (ASM) File Access Control. (11gR2)


  • Partition advisor – figure out what partitions to create. (11gR1)
  • Automated partitioning by interval (new partitions are added automatically). (11gR1)
  • Automated reference partitioning by Parent/Child reference (as partitions are created, partitions are created in tables that reference them). (11gR1)
  • Partitioning by virtual columns. (11gR1)
  • New composite partition types: Range/Range, List/Range, List/Hash, and List/List. (11gR1)
  • Support for transportable partitions – for moving partitions between different operating systems. (11gR1)


  • Support compression on INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE operations. 10g only supported compression for bulk data-loading operations. (11gR1)
  • Advanced compression allows up to 4 x compression rate of structured and unstructured data improving query performance and reducing storage costs. (11gR1)
  • Datapump export dump files can be compressed. (11gR1)
  • New Columnar Table Compression .(11gR2)


  • Agent Development Framework – Oracle Clusterware provides an agent framework for managing all kinds of applications with Oracle Clusterware. Using the agent framework provides optimized application startup, checking, and stopping based on user-defined scripts. This feature helps save money and reduces costs efficiently enabling high availability for applications using Oracle Clusterware. (11gR2)
  • Out-of-Place Oracle Clusterware Upgrade – A new version of Oracle Clusterware is now installed into a separate home from the current installation. This reduces the downtime required to upgrade a node in the cluster and facilitate the provisioning of clusters within an enterprise. (11gR2)
  • Cluster Time Service – The Cluster Time Service synchronizes the system time on all nodes in the cluster. A synchronized system time across the cluster is a prerequisite to install and successfully run an Oracle cluster. (11gR2)
  • Configuration Assistant Support for Removing Oracle RAC Installations. (11gR2)
  • Configuration Assistants Support New Oracle RAC Features. (11gR2)
  • Downgrading Database Configured With DBControl. (11gR2)
  • Enhanced Cluster Verification Utility. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager Provisioning for Oracle Clusterware and Oracle Real Application Clusters – Enterprise Manager provisioning introduces procedures to easily scale. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager Support for Grid Plug and Play. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager Support for Oracle Restart. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager-Based Clusterware Resource Management. (11gR2)
  • Grid Plug and Play (GPnP). (11gR2)
  • Improved Clusterware Resource Modeling. (11gR2)
  • Integration of Cluster Verification Utility (CVU) and Oracle Universal Installer (OUI). (11gR2)
  • Java API for Oracle RAC FAN High Availability Events. (11gR2)
  • Oracle Cluster Registry (OCR) Enhancements. (11gR2)
  • Faster relocation of services on node failure.
  • Oracle Clusterware now supports up to 5 copies of the OCR for improved availability of the cluster.
  • OCR can now be stored in Automatic Storage Management (ASM).
  • Oracle Restart Integration with Oracle Universal Installer. (11gR2)
  • Oracle Universal Installer Support for Removing Oracle RAC Installations. (11gR2)
  • OUI Support for Out-of-Place Oracle Clusterware Upgrade. (11gR2)
  • Patch Application with DBControl. (11gR2)
  • Policy-Based Cluster and Capacity Management. (11gR2)
  • Role-Separated Management – Role-separated management for Oracle Clusterware allows certain administrative tasks to be delegated to different people, representing different roles in the company. It is based on the idea of a clusterware administrator. (11gR2)
  • Server Control (SRVCTL) Enhancements. (11gR2)
  • Server Control (SRVCTL) Enhancements to Support Grid Plug and Play. (11gR2)
  • SRVCTL Support for Single-Instance Database in a Cluster. (11gR2)
  • UCP Integration with Oracle Data Guard. (11gR2)
  • UCP Integration with Oracle Real Application Clusters. (11gR2)
  • Universal Connection Pool (UCP) for JDBC. (11gR2)
  • Zero Downtime Patching for Oracle Clusterware and Oracle RAC. (11gR2
  • Database QoS Management Support. (11gR2)
  • Database Quality of Service (QoS) Management Server (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager QoS Management Integration. (11gR2)

Performance improvements

  • RAC – 70% faster (ADDM has a better global view of the RAC cluster). (11gR1)
  • Streams – 30-50% faster. (11gR1)
  • Optimizer stats collection – 10X faster. (11gR1)
  • Query results caching – 25% faster. (11gR1)
  • Table Scans 2.5x Faster using advance compression. (11gR1)
  • OLAP-based Materialized Views for fast OLAP CUBE building. (11gR1)
  • New In-Memory Database Cache, Data cached in application memory, fast and consistent response times and a standard SQL interface.
  • Result caches – new memory areas in the SGA for storing SQL query results, PL/SQL function results and OCI call results. (11gR1)
  • Invisible indexes – indexes that are ignored by the optimizer. Handy for testing without dropping. (11gR1)
  • Oracle secure files – 5X faster than normal file systems. (11gR1)
  • No need to have a C-compiler installed to use Native PL/SQL Compilation. (11gR1)
  • Stored Outlines Migration for SQL Plan Management – Stored outlines can be migrated for future and enhanced usage with SQL Plan Management (SPM).
  • Support for 4 KB Sector Disk Drives – Today, disk drives have 512 byte sectors. Disk drive manufacturers are moving to 4 KB sector drives because it allows them to offer higher capacity with lower overhead.
  • Client Result Cache Using Table Annotations Support – enables applications to leverage client and server result caching through deployment time knobs as opposed to making application changes. In addition, this feature provides automatic client cache invalidation.
  • Segment Creation on Demand (11gR2) – The initial segment creation for non partitioned tables and indexes can be delayed until data is first inserted into an object.
  • System-Managed Indexes for List Partitioning Tables. (11gR2)
  • Zero-Size Unusable Indexes and Index Partitions (11gR2) – Unusable indexes and index partitions do not consume any space in the database anymore; they become segment less.

Availability improvements

  • Ability to apply many patches on-line without downtime (RAC and single instance databases). (11gR1)
  • Data recovery advisor – quickly identify the root cause of failures; auto fix or present recovery options to the DBA. (11gR1)
  • ASM Preferred Mirror Read/ Faster Mirror Resync. (11gR1)
  • XA transactions spanning multiple servers. (11gR1)
  • Improved runtime connection load balancing. (11gR1)
  • Flashback Transaction/ Oracle Total Recall. (11gR1)
  • Automatic Block Repair – Automatic block repair allows corrupt blocks on the primary database or physical standby database to be automatically repaired, as soon as they are detected, by transferring good blocks from the other destination. (11gR2)
  • Backup to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Using OSB Cloud Computing. (11gR2)
  • DUPLICATE Without Connection to Target Database. (11gR2)
  • Enhanced Tablespace Point-In-Time Recovery (TSPITR). (11gR2)
  • New DUPLICATE Options:
    • NO REDO (11gR2)
    • UNDO TABLESPACE <ts_name> [, <ts_name> …] (11gR2)
  • New SET NEWNAME Clauses and Format Options (11gR2)
  • Tablespace Checks in DUPLICATE. (11gR2)
  • New Oracle Streams Features like (11gR2):
    • XStream In – Extended Streams Inbound (XStream In) provides a high performance, transaction-based interface to Oracle Streams for information exchange from non-Oracle databases or file systems.
    • XStream Out – Extended Streams Outbound (XStream Out) provides a high performance, transaction-based interface to Oracle Streams for information exchange to non-Oracle databases or file systems.

Security improvements

  • Support for case sensitive and multi-byte passwords (disable by setting SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON initialization parameter to FALSE. (11gR1)
  • Transparent Data Encryption (support for tablespace level encryption). (11gR1)
  • Hardware based master key protection. (11gR1)
  • Encrypt backups. (11gR1)
  • Kerberos authentication – strong passwords. (11gR1)
  • Add Multi-factor DBA controls with Data Vault. (11gR1)
  • Tablespace Master Key Re-Key (11gR2) – Oracle Advanced Security capability allows customers to change the master key used to protect the encryption keys used to encrypt Oracle tablespaces.

Manageability improvements

  • New MEMORY_TARGET parameter for Automatic memory tuning. (11gR1)
  • Enterprise Manager Support Workbench for ASM. (11gR2)
  • New Gateway Support (11gR2)
  • EMCA Supports New Oracle RAC Configuration for EM. (11gR2)
  • SQL monitoring (11gR2) – Monitoring the progress of long-running SQL statements at the XPlan level.
  • Automatic Patching of Time Stamp with Time Zone Data. (11gR2)
  • Prevent Data Loss for Time Zone with Local Time Zone Data Type. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager Integration with ASM Optimal Disk Placement. (11gR2)
  • Enterprise Manager Support for ASM Cluster File System (ACFS). (11gR2)

Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing

  • Allow Virtual Columns in the Primary Key or Foreign Key for Reference Partitioning. (11gR2)
  • Analytic Functions 2.0. (11gR2)
  • EXECUTE Privilege for DIRECTORY Objects. (11gR2)
  • In-Memory Parallel Query. (11gR2)
  • Minimal Effort Parallel Execution – Auto Degree of Parallelism (DOP) and Queuing. (11gR2)
  • Preprocessing Data for ORACLE_LOADER Access Driver in External Tables. (11gR2)
  • Recursive WITH Clause. (11gR2)
  • Significant Performance Improvement of On-Commit Fast Refresh. (11gR2)

Oracle Warehouse Builder

  • Database 11g now Integrated ETL, Analytics and Data Mining. (11gR1)
  • Advanced Find Support in Mapping Editor. (11gR2)
  • Copy and Paste of Operators and Attributes in Mapping Editor. (11gR2)
  • Current Configuration Dropdown Box in Design Center Toolbar. (11gR2)
  • Editor Menu Experts. (11gR2)
  • Enhanced Support for Flat File Imports. (11gR2)
  • Expression Editing in Operator Edit Dialog. (11gR2)
  • Foldering and Spotlighting. (11gR2)
  • Fusion Client Platform Integration. (11gR2)
  • Grouping and Spotlighting of Objects in Mapping Editor. (11gR2)
  • Guided Assistance. (11gR2)
  • Improved Management of Locations Registered in Multiple Control Centers. (11gR2)
  • Improved User Interface for Managing Locations. (11gR2)
  • Key Lookup Operator Enhancements. (11gR2)
    • More efficient use of screen real estate.
    • Support for non-equality lookups.
    • Dynamic lookups, where the lookup table may be modified during the mapping execution.
  • Mapping Debugger Enhancements. (11gR2)
    • Improved support for watch points and enabling and disabling of individual break points.
    • Support for user-defined type columns.
    • Enhanced support for numerous existing operators, such as VARRAY, EXPAND, and CONSTRUCT.
    • Support for key lookup and table function operators.
    • Support for correlated joins.o Improved cleanup of debugger-specific objects.
  • Metadata Import from COBOL Copybooks. (11gR2)
  • OMB*Plus Activity Type. (11gR2)
  • Operator References Included in Generated PL/SQL Code. (11gR2)
  • Quick Mapper. (11gR2)
  • Repository Browser Changes. (11gR2)
  • Simplified Oracle Warehouse Builder Repository Upgrades. (11gR2)
  • Subquery in Join Operator. (11gR2)
  • Support for Extracting Data From Tables Containing LONG Data Type. (11gR2)
  • Table Functions. (11gR2)

Data Guard improvements

  • Standby databases can now simultaneously be in read and recovery mode – so use it for running reports 24×7. (11gR1)
  • Online upgrades: Test on standby and “roll” to production. (11gR1)
  • Snapshot standby (create test databases). (11gR1)
  • Incremental Backup on Physical Readable Physical Standby. (11gR1)
  • Offload: Complete database and fast incremental backups. (11gR1)
  • Logical standby databases now supports XML and CLOB datatypes as well as transparent data encryption. (11gR1)
  • Compressed Table Support in Logical Standby Databases and Oracle LogMiner. (11gR2)
  • Configurable Real-Time Query Apply Lag Limit. (11gR2)
  • Integrated Support for Application Failover in a Data Guard Configuration. (11gR2)
  • Support Up to 30 Standby Databases. (11gR2)

Oracle SecureFiles

  • SecureFiles (also known as “FastFiles” in the 11g beta release) provide faster access to unstructured data than normal file systems. For example, write access to SecureFiles is faster than a standard Linux file system, while read access is about the same. In addition, it provides compression, encryption and data deduplication. (11gR1)
  • LZO Support for SecureFiles (11gR2) – This allows Fast decompression – LZO is about 2 times faster than zlib, and Fast compression – LZO is about 3 times faster than zlib.
  • SecureFiles Archive Manager. (11gR2)

Real Application Testing

Real Application Testing or RAT will make it easier to do upgrades, hardware replacements and operating system changes. RAT consists of two components:

  • Database Replay – capture production workload and replay on different (test) environment. (11gR1)
  • SQL Performance Analyzer – identifies SQL execution plan changes and performance regressions. (11gR1)

Other features

  • Online application upgrades and “hot” patching (Hot patching is described in educational and marketing materials, but no actual hot patches exist, to date.) (11gR1)· Online table and index redefinition. (11gR1)
  • Improved data compression. (11gR1 and 11gR2)
  • “duality” between SQL and XML – users can embed XML within PL/SQL and vice versa. (11gR1)
  • New binary XML data type, a new XML index & better XQuery support. (11gR1)
  • Automated capture of fault diagnostics for faster fault resolution. (11gR1)
  • Repair advisers to guide DBAs through the fault diagnosis and resolution process. (11gR1)
  • SQL Developer is installed with the database server software (all editions)
  • The Windows SQL*Plus GUI is deprecated. (11gR1)
  • APEX is now shipped with the DB. (11gR1)
  • Improvements to Oracle Scheduler (11gR2) like:
    • E-mail Notification.o File Watcher.
    • Multiple Destination Jobs.
    • Remote Database Jobs.
  • Data Pump Legacy Mode. (11gR2)
  • Complete IPv6 Support for JDBC Thin Clients. (11gR2)
  • Complete IPv6 Support for JVM and Java Debuggers. (11gR2)
  • IPv6 Support in Oracle Database. (11gR2)
  • Enhanced Spatial Support (11gR2) like:
    • 3D Visualization Framework.
    • Network Data Model Enhancements.
    • New GeoRaster JAVA API.
    • Raster Reprojections and Ground Control Point-Based (GCP) Georeferencing.
    • Routing and Geocoding Enhancements.

Desupported features

The following features are desupported in 11g:

  • Oracle export utility (exp). Imp is still supported for backwards compatibility.
  • iSQLPlus not shipped anymore, you will need to use the SQL Developer instead.
  • Oracle Ultra Search
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 1.4, Oracle recommends to use JDK 5.0, but JDK 1.5 is fully supported
  • CTXXPATH Index, Oracle recommends to use XMLIndex Instead

For more information and to download 11gR2 please refer to: and

If after all this information you still thinking about not move to 11g, please think again a do a favor to yourself and your company, try it 😉

Kind Regards,

Francisco Munoz Alvarez

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