For Better, Faster, Smarter,
Oracle8 VLDB Enhancements
Enhancements to Oracle 8 to improve the performance of VLDBs include table and index partitioning, parallel dml,
increased size limits and enforced constraints.
This is one of the most useful new features for very large databases and systems that are required to be operational 24
hours per day, 7 days per week.
Large tables and indexes can now be split in to more manageable sections (up to 64,000 partitions per table/index)
which can be manipulated independently or as a group. Thus data can be loaded into one partition whilst queries are
being performed against other partitions.
Partitioning can have a dramatic impact on performance of your
Oracle database as the optimizer automatically eliminates partitions
that do not need to be scanned to satisfy a query and if the associated
index is also partitioned, then the index scan will be much quicker as
there will be less data to read.
Each partition can have its own physical storage parameters and can
reside in its own tablespace allowing partitions to be stored on
separate devices. This means that a failure of one device will affect
only the partitions held on that device and not the whole table.
Parallel Data Manipulation
The feature for parallel queries provided by Oracle7 have been extended in Oracle8 to allow updates, inserts and
deletes to be run in parallel as well. This is mainly of benefit to very large databases such as data warehouses but can
also benefit OLTP systems.
The parallel execution of statements is automatically managed by the server and can be spread across multiple
instances. Parallelism is achieved by one of three methods:
By rowid – for parallel queries only, provides parallelism within a partition
By slave processes – for parallel INSERT and SELECT for non-partitioned tables
By partition – for parallel insert, update and delete operations on partitioned tables
Database Size Limits
Oracle8 makes more efficient use of resources than Oracle7 and is thus able to support more users and larger
databases. The maximum database size has been increased to 512 petabytes, the maximum number of data files has
been increased to 65 000 and the maximum number of columns per table is now 1000 all of which can be LOBS
(long/long raw). Also the maximum lengths of char and varchar2 columns have been increased to 2000 bytes and
4000 bytes respectively.
In Oracle7, constraints are either enabled or disabled (on or off). In Oracle8, a new state has been introduced –
enforced (what you might call half on!). This is a useful feature for large databases or non stop operations which need
to perform bulk loads of data and want to minimise the length of time for which the database is unavailable.
When a constraint is enforced, existing data is not checked for compliance, but subsequent inserts are. As enforcing a
constraint does not lock the table, updates against the table can be performed immediately after the bulk load has
See the Oracle8 new features overview for a summary of other new features.
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