For Better, Faster, Smarter,
Oracle8 OLTP Enhancements
The enhancements to Oracle8 for OLTP systems consist of enhancements to the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) and
parallel server and the introduction of queuing and messaging facilities inside the database.
Oracle8 Oracle Call Interface (OCI) Enhancements
A client side object cache to reduce the number of round trips between server and client
Reduced use of memory on the server managing the connection to the client and the
Multiplexing of user sessions on one network connection.
Enhancements To Advanced Queuing Features
Oracle8 now formally incorporates queues and the supporting
processes to add entries to and remove entries from a queue. This is
useful for applications such as workflow management to enable
messages to be sent from one process to another thereby removing the
need for a separate transaction-processing monitor.
Oracle8 Parallel Server Enhancements
The parallel server (now known as Real Application Clusters) now
includes global fixed views (prefixed gv$), which are equivalent to the
corresponding v$ views, but with an extra column to identify the
particular instance to which each value applies. This avoids the need to
log on to each instance individually to obtain the information.
Another new feature of parallel server is transparent application failover. This enables users to be connected to
another parallel server instance automatically when the original instance to which they were connected becomes
The failover can be configured at three functional levels that determine how transparent to the user the switch to the
standby system is and two performance levels, which determine how quickly the standby system is available.
The functional levels are:
SELECT: enables users with open cursors to continue fetching from the cursor after failure
SESSION: automatically transfers the connection, but does not recover any queries
NONE: the default, which means neither queries nor connections are recovered
The performance levels are:
BASIC: takes longer to switch over but requires little work on the standby system
PRECONNECT: this option provides the fastest switch over but requires the standby system to maintain
duplicate connections for all systems for which it is the standby.
With Oracle 8, parallel server now has a distributed lock manager integrated into the database. This reduces the time
required for installation and implementation of parallel server and makes the lock manager portable and more flexible.
Often in a parallel server environment, modifications to indexes are concentrated on a small set of leaf blocks, which
may cause hot spots on the disk and reduce performance due to the amount of block pinging required for each
instance to be able to update the data block.
In Oracle 8 this can be avoided by the use of reverse-key indexes which reverse the order of the bytes in each column
of the index whilst maintaining the column order.
This feature can also be used to prevent skewed indexes, which occur when new values are always inserted at one end
of the index and old values are always removed from the other end of the index.
See the Oracle8 new features overview for a summary of other new features.
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