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Oracle 10g New Features

Robert Freeman



Robert Freeman is available for custom consulting and is a recognized expert in all areas of Oracle technology.  Freeman is the author of "Oracle Replication" and "Easy Oracle Jumpstart", a great new book for beginner Remote DBA's.

Oracle 10g New Features

Not to be outdone by previous releases, Oracle Database 10g offers a large number of new features. In this section we will summarize a number of the new features in Oracle Database 10g.

The SYSAUX Tablespace

The SYSAUX tablespace is a secondary tablespace for storage of a number of database components that were previously stored in the SYSTEM tablespace. It is created as a locally managed tablespace using automatic segment space management.

Many Oracle features require storage (such as the RMAN recovery catalog, Ultra Search, Data Mining, XDP, and OLAP), and often these are stored in disparate tablespaces. This increases the management responsibility of the Remote DBA. The SYSAUX tablespace consolidates these tablespaces into one location, which becomes the default tablespace for these Oracle features.

When you upgrade to Oracle Database 10g, you will have to create a SYSAUX tablespace. When you create a new Oracle database, Oracle creates the SYSAUX tablespace for you by default. Oracle provides a new view, V$SYSAUX_OCCUPANTS, to manage occupants in the SYSAUX tablespace. This view allows you to monitor the space usage of occupant application objects in the SYSAUX tablespace, as shown in this example:

Automated Storage Management

Oracle Database 10G introduces Automated Storage Management (ASM), a service that provides management of disk drives. ASM can be used on a variety of configurations, including Oracle9i RAC installations. ASM is an alternative to the use of raw or cooked file systems.

ASM Features

ASM offers a number of features, including:

         Simplified daily administration

         The performance of raw disk I/O for all ASM files

         Compatibility with any type of disk configuration, be it JBOD or complex SAN

         Use of a specific file-naming convention to name files, enforcing an enterprise-wide file-naming convention

         Prevention of the accidental deletion of files, since there is no file system interface and ASM is solely responsible for file management

         Load balancing of data across all ASM managed disk drives, which helps improve performance by removing disk hot spots

         Dynamic load balancing of disks as usage patterns change and when additional disks are added or removed

         Ability to mirror data on different disks to provide fault tolerance

         Support of vendor-supplied storage offerings and features

         Enhanced scalability over other disk-management techniques

Note: Iíve seen a few bugs associated with ASM. Iíd move to it carefully.


Statistics Collection

Oracle Database 10G offers some new features to help you collect database statistics. These new features include automated collection of statistics, collection of data dictionary statistics, new behaviors associated with the dbms_stats package, and new features related to monitoring tables in the database.

Oracle Database 10G is a big departure from previous releases of Oracle insofar as Oracle recommends that you analyze the data dictionary. You can collect these statistics by using either the dbms_stats.gather_schema_stats or dbms_stats.gather_database_stats Oracle-supplied procedures.

Oracle Database 10G also offers two new procedures in the dbms_stats Oracle-supplied package. The dbms_stats.gather_dictionary_stats procedure facilitates analysis of the data dictionary. The dbms_stats.delete_dictionary_stats procedure allows you to remove data dictionary stats.

New Table-Monitoring Behaviors

Oracle Database 10G enables global table monitoring by default. This feature is controlled via the statistics_level parameter (statistics_level was available in Oracle9i). When statistics_level is set to TYPICAL (which is the default setting) or ALL, then global monitoring is enabled. When the statistics_level parameter is set to BASIC, global monitoring is disabled.

Flushing the Buffer Cache

Oracle Database 10G now allows you to flush the database buffer cache with the alter system command using the flush buffer_cache parameter.

Scheduler Changes

Oracle Database 10G offers a brand new job-scheduling facility, known as The Scheduler. The Scheduler is controlled via the new Oracle Database 10G supplied package dbms_scheduler, which replaces the dbms_job package. The new scheduler offers much added functionality over the dbms_job package. The Scheduler enables you to execute a variety of stored code (such as PL/SQL), a native binary executable, and shell scripts.

User-Configurable Default Tablespaces

Oracle offers user-configurable default tablespaces in Oracle Database 10G. Once you configure a default user tablespace, all new users will be assigned to that tablespace rather than the SYSTEM tablespace.

Tablespace Groups and Multiple Default Temporary Tablespaces

Oracle Database 10G now allows you to define tablespace groups, which are logical groupings of tablespaces. This further allows you to assign temporary tablespaces to those groups, and then assign this tablespace group as the default temporary tablespace for the database. In essence, tablespace groups allow you to combine temporary tablespaces into one tablespace pool that is available for use to the database.

Renaming Tablespaces

You have been asking for it, I have been asking for it, and now itís here! Oracle Database 10G includes the ability to rename tablespaces. You use the alter tablespace command with the rename to parameter.

Dropping Databases

The drop database command can be used to drop your database. Oracle will drop the database, deleting all control files and all datafiles listed in the control file. If you are using a SPFILE, then Oracle will remove it as well. Only a user with SYSRemote DBA privileges can issue the statement and the database must be mounted (not open) in exclusive and restricted mode.

Larger LOBs

If you use LOBs in your database (NCLOB, BLOB, or CLOB), then you will be happy to know that the limits on LOBs have been increased in Oracle Database 10G. The new maximum limits are calculated at (4GB Ė 1 byte) * (the database block size). Thus, if the database block size is 8KB, there is essentially a 32GB limitation on LOBs in that database. Note that Bfiles are limited to 4GB in size.

Shrinking and Compacting Segments Online

Oracle Database 10G now allows you to manually shrink the space in a table, and by default compacting the segment and adjusting the high water mark all at the same time. This all can occur online, and the recovered space will be released to the database after the operation is complete. You can optionally compact the segment and then shrink it, in two separate alter operations. Most Oracle segment types can be shrunk and/or compacted including tables (partitioned or not), IOTís, and indexes.

ADDM/Oracle Database Control/AWR and the Advisors

Oracle Database 10g has a totally new management/performance tuning infrastructure. The AWR (Advanced Workload Repository) is like statspack on steroids. It collects database performance statistics automatically, out of the box. The Automatic Database Diagnostic Monitor uses AWR and other database features to monitor the database and provide reporting and error notifications to the Remote DBA. The Advisors assist you in making performance related database changes.

Oracle Database Control is the newest incarnation of Oracle Enterprise Manager, and is by far the best.

Automatic SGA Tuning

Oracle is making new strides to make managing an Oracle database instance easier. Oracle now allows you to set one parameter, sga_target, and the server itself will manage the primary SGA memory component allocations.


Sorted Hash Clusters

Oracle10i offers a sorted hash cluster, which ensures rows will be stored within the hash cluster in the order defined when you created the hash cluster. This can eliminate the overhead associated with sort operations that might otherwise be required since data will be returned in a guaranteed order.

Virtual Private Database New Features

Oracle Database 10g includes improvements to Oracleís Virtual Private Database (VPD). New features include the following:

  • Column level privacy
  • VPD customization
  • Shared policies
  • Support for Parallel Query

Auditing the SYS User

Oracle Database 10g adds a new parameter, AUDIT_SYS_OPERATIONS, that allows users connected as SYS to be fully audited. When AUDIT_SYS_OPERATIONS is set to TRUE (FALSE is the default) then audit records for SYS will be written to an operating system file rather than the Remote DBA_AUDIT_TRAIL table (or SYS.AUD$).

General Database Recovery Improvements

Several changes have been made in Oracle10g that relate to backup and recovery. These include:

         Easier recovery though the resetlogs command.

         The new alter database begin backup command.

         Changes to the alter database end backup command.

Changes to the Alter Database Archivelog Command

When you issue the alter database archivelog command in Oracle10g, archiving will be started by default. Thus, you donít need to use the log archive start command.

RMAN improvements

Oracle10g comes with a just a ton of improvements (I like that word, plethora!) for RMAN. These include the following:

         The Flash Recovery Area

         Fast Recovery

         Using the catalog and uncatalog commands

         Dropping a database in RMAN

         Unregistering a database in RMAN

         Making and Using RMAN backup copies

         Configuring default disk backup types.

         Changes to incremental backups.

         Recovering datafiles not backed up.

         Changes in error reporting.

         Compressing RMAN Backups

         RMAN Related TSPITR changes.



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