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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

July 2018

Oracle’s new autonomous database

July 17th, 2018

With the latest Oracle Database release (version 18c), there’s a cloud-only product available called Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud that allows for a more autonomous data warehouse. It’s not artificial intelligence really, but more of a self-monitoring and self-adjusting system.

Some of the hands-on tasks that a database administrator previously had to work on have now been automated. For example, if part of a database was slowing things down due to a bad disk, the database administrator would need to go in, move the data to another area, and restore the bad disk. Now that’s been automated along with many other tasks in this new system.

As this technology continues to evolve, it will certainly make things easier for database administrators and other IT administrators. There used to be a point in time where you had to intervene to let a database grow. Then they evolved to where they could grow more on their own. But you still had to have someone monitoring it to see when it got close to max storage, because it could only grow as long as you had adequate storage.

With this version being cloud-based, it will be interesting to see if it’s the beginning of cloud-only services for some databases. But regardless, it’s an interesting step to watch as they release a database that’s billed as being self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing.

But what does that do to the database administrator’s job? No, it’s not going to eliminate the need for a database administrator. Instead, it’s going to allow them to do more with less time. They can focus on planning and strategy rather than spending their time keeping the database up and running. Yes, most database administrators are still going to monitor it and check what it’s doing, but it really will free up a lot of their time to focus on other priorities, and that’s a good thing.

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Oracle releases Apex 18c

July 3rd, 2018

At LSG Solutions, we’ve long been proponents of Oracle Apex software. Because of Apex’s low code concept, it allows for developers to produce applications much more quickly and without having to know all the specifics of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other coding languages.

Apex first appeared as a product in 2004 with HTML-DB, and it’s continued to evolve and improve from that time. Back then, it wasn’t like the normal web apps we’re used to today, but it did allow power users to build their own reports without waiting for a developer.

The latest version is Apex 18c, which we will be introducing to some of our customers because of the new features it offers to them. As with any database release, it’s packed with new features, but some that stand out more than others. You can see a full list of features and release notes on the Oracle website.

One feature we’re excited about is the integration of JET charts into the database. It’s been an independent product in the past. As it offers a much better option for graphs, we’re happy to see it fully integrated.

One thing that’s definitely interesting about this release is that Oracle changed their versioning sequence for this one. Previously, they had used a sequential versioning approach where the biggest number was the most current version.

Now they jumped to 18 to adopt the year of release as part of their versioning strategy. Had they kept their sequential numbering, this version would be 12, so that’s a pretty big difference. Oracle says the new releases will occur on a more regular cycle always designated by the last two digits of the year of release.

This version is available both as installed software and in the cloud, so it provides flexible options for customers who want to implement it in their current setup.

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