Database 11g beta includes 182 new features designed to address a range of database issues, from the need to retain more information to data compression to the handling of parallel upgrades, said Chuck Rozwat, executive vice president of Oracle server technologies, during his keynote speech at the Oracle OpenWorld conference.
"11g has a lot of features for scalability," Rozwat said, highlighting that as one of several main issues challenging the database industry.
The rapid rate at which information is being generated and retained is fed by factors such as the popularity of videos online and instant messaging, Rozwat noted. Compounding the problem are regulatory changes that require companies to retain e-mails, documents and other forms of communications for a longer period of time.
The beta also includes "flashback" technology for recovering information, and allows application upgrades online, even during a scheduled system outage.
Oracle, which faces competition from open-source database technologies, has been dabbling in them itself. Earlier this year, the company acquired Sleepycat Software, which gave Oracle access to Sleepycat's open-source Berkeley DB database. Oracle aims to embed Berkeley DB in applications.
And last year, the company acquired Innobase Oy, which developed its InnoDB database "engine" to store data in the MySQL database. The engine is distributed through an open-source general public license via the MySQL database.