Despite all the innovative technologies, the database remains heart of the enterprise.
Companies rely on smart, secure and faster databases to make their application successful. Without faster and modern databases, it is difficult to enhance the front-end and back-end of your application.
Apart from this, enterprises are generating streams of data and all these varied data types need to be centralized, organized and made accessible to the business.
Thus, there is a need for database system that is flexible enough to manage information and applications.
Within the IT-market, Oracle has been the leader in providing the perfect databases and has been the cornerstone for enterprises since years.
Oracle database is commonly used for running online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing (DW) and mixed (OLTP & DW) database workloads. It delivers excellent performance, discovers insights, and manages data in effective ways.
New Versions of Oracle database are released frequently with new and improved features that help the businesses to uncover new insights for better business outcomes.
However, Oracle Database 12c (18.104.22.168) is one of the important Oracle releases!
If you are wondering, Why Oracle 12c is a crucial one; this blog will provide you end-to-end details.
Understanding Oracle 12c – The Complete Reference
Released on July 1, 2013, this is the first database designed for the cloud. The ‘c’ in the release stands for cloud.
12c simplified customer’s effort to standardize and automate database services to the cloud. It is self-driving, self-securing, and designed to eliminate error-prone manual data management.
It features a new multi-tenant architecture that helps companies to consolidate databases into private or public clouds.
12c offers a wide range of Developer friendly features, which can improve efficiency and delivers business requirements more smoothly.
Let’s understand its evolution.
The problem with the previous versions of Oracle Database was each new deployment required separate installations of Oracle software and hardware. Moreover, previous oracle versions on deploying needed to be managed, monitored and patched manually. Companies had three choices for Oracle database consolidation: schema level, database-level, and virtual server-level.
Schema level consolidation provided the best use of resources particularly for the applications that consume much memory. But, many applications didn’t work with other schemas.
Database and server-level consolidation used limited hardware, but it is obvious that sharing fewer resources leads to fewer benefits.
To manage these limitations, Oracle came up with the Oracle 12c which has a new and modern multitenant architecture to simplify the process of consolidating database on the cloud without changes in existing applications. It provides efficient database provisioning, patching, and upgrading while increasing server utilization and scalability.
Oracle 12c offers a series of innovative developer and DBA friendly features that leads to better performance, increased stability, and easier data management. Let’s see some of them.
Oracle 12c- Basic Features Summarized
This is one of the biggest architectural change in the history of the Oracle Database. This new architecture supports cloud infrastructure and consolidation strategies in data centres. Each environment has its own schema, schema objects and so on.
It has two main concepts: –
CDB (Container Database)
This database includes zero, one or many customer-created pluggable databases and represents database as a whole. Similar to the conventional database, CDB contains control-files, data-files, undo, and temp-files, redo logs, etc.
PDB (Pluggable Database)
It is designed to provide a unique and isolated database environment within a CDB. As CDB contains most of the working part of database, PDB contains information and data specific to itself. So PDB is made up of data-files and temp-files that contain its own object.
This is one of the top features in Oracle 12c. Data Redaction in simple terms means, masking of data. This feature provides a greater level of control and protection over sensitive data. It enables to mask data i.e. returned from queries issued by application.
Adaptive Query Optimization And Online Stats Gathering
This feature helps the optimizer to make runtime adjustments to an execution plan which leads to better performance. For statements like CTAS (Create Table As Select) and IAS (Insert As Select), the stats are gathered online so that it is available immediately.
Identify Columns, Metadata Of Column Data
This release introduced IDENTITY columns in the tables in compliance with the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) SQL standard in which a table column, marked as IDENTITY, automatically generate an incremental numeric value at the time of record creation.
Size Limit Increased And Support 32K VARCHAR2
Oracle Database 12c supports the VARCHAR2, NVARCHAR2, and RAW data types up to 32,767 bytes in size. The previous maximum limit for the VARCHAR2, NVARCHAR2, and RAW datatypes was 4,000 bytes and 2,000 bytes respectively.
Row limiting Using FETCH FIRST
FETCH FIRST is used to limit the number of rows returned by the query. It can be used with Order by clause retrieve TOP-N rows.
Supports Invisible Columns
Oracle Database 12c offers invisible columns, which means that the visibility of a column can be controlled by the designer. A column marked invisible does not appear in the operations like a Select Query, ‘Desc’ command.
This feature enables archiving rows within a table by marking them as INACTIVE. These inactive rows are in the database but are not visible to an application.
INLINE PL/SQL Subprogram In The SELECT Query
With Oracle 12c, a PL/SQL subprogram can be created inline with the SELECT query WITH clause declaration. The function created with WITH clause subquery is not stored in the database schema and is available for use only in the current query.
Granting Roles To PL/SQL Program Units
Oracle 12c introduced roles for the PL/SQL program units which can allow the invoker to delegate access to a unit even though it doesn’t have privilege on the objects processed inside the unit, at the time of execution. This solves the situation of uneven distribution of privileges between definer and invoker users over a program or package.
Multiple Indexes On A Single Column
Before 12c, we were not able to create multiple indexes on a particular single column. From 12c onwards, we can include a column in B-tree index as well as a Bit Map Index. But at a time only one index is usable at given time.
Online Migration Of Table Partition Or Sub-Partition
This feature enables to move partition or sub-partition from one tablespace to another tablespace like online migration was achieved for a non-partitioned table in prior release.
Advanced Features Of Oracle Database 12c
Advanced Index Compression
The advanced index compression reduces the size of all supported unique and non-unique indexes and improves the compression ratios significantly while still providing efficient access to the indexes.
Approximate Count Distinct
The function APPROX_COUNT_DISTINCT returns the approximate number of rows that contains distinct values of a column having large amounts of data significantly faster than COUNT, with negligible deviation from the exact result.
This function is useful while fetching count of columns having any scalar datatype other than BFILE, BLOB, CLOB, LONG, LONG RAW, or NCLOB.
Automatic Big Table Caching
This big table cache provides significant performance improvement for full table scans on tables that do not fit entirely into the buffer cache. It automatically caches tables into an area of the SGA (System Global Area) reserved specifically for this purpose.
Force Full Database Caching
This feature allows keeping the whole database in Cache if SGA is large enough to hold whole database.
Oracle 12c supports path-based queries of JSON data stored in the database using JSON Path Language and JSON Path Expressions. JSON documents are stored as VARCHAR2, CLOB, or BLOB data type. JSON data works with all existing Oracle features including SQL and Analytics. In addition, JSON can be used in SQL via SQL/JSON views and JSON documents can also be indexed.
To improve the performance for full table scan, Oracle 12c uses Zone maps that allows I/O pruning of data, based on its location on the disk (works opposite to the way index works), acting like anti-index.
Reasons To Use Oracle 12c
- Makes the process automated, much better, and less risky.
- Offers maximum availability, increased stability, and heightened database security.
- Helps to reduce costs while increasing management with storage infrastructure.
Companies Using Oracle 12c
Although oracle 12c was released before 6 years, still there are companies that are using Oracle 12c to simplify the consolidation of data.
- TISTA Science & Technology Corporation
- Clear Capital
- Northrop Grumman
- Aerojet Rocketdyne
- Interactive Brokers
Would You Leverage It For Your Organization?
If you’re already using Oracle, you may be aware of how it can help you to reduce effort and overhead of managing multiple applications. Oracle 12c is a database that is packaged for simple download, ease-of-use and provides you full-featured experience.
After the Oracle Database 12c (22.214.171.124), the oracle came up with the multiple releases such as Oracle Database 12c Release 2, Oracle Database 18c, Oracle Database 19c. These new releases came with the major improvements and each version has something different to offer. But, having all the basic things that are needed by the enterprise to consolidate the database made 12c popular till date.
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