With Oracle8 and Oracle8i, Oracle Corporation began a trend in database modernization
that has culminated in the Oracle9i release. Many consider Oracle9i to actually be
8.2; I would argue that with the multitude of new features, structures, and capabilities,
9i qualifies as a new release.
Oracle’s power comes from its ability to give users quick and accurate data retrieval.
This is the main strength of a relational system. With Oracle’s new object-oriented extensions,
it now allows real-world modeling with the power of the relational engine behind
the model. This merging of object and relational technology has led to one of the
most powerful object-relational databases available. Object-relational databases provide
a logical, generally straightforward presentation of data. The tabular relational
format, expanded to include the varray, nested table, and object views, as well as to
allow storage of methods with data, presents data in a new way that remains familiar
to those of us brought up in the relational paradigm. In addition, with Oracle8i, the ability
to store Java in the database as stored code provided incredible power and flexibility.
Greater acceptance of XML (eXtensible Markup Language) has also launched Oracle
to the razor’s edge of technology. These features, combined with a relational foundation,
enable users to query information and easily get the data they need and only the
data they need. How is this possible?