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News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff
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Native JSON Support in Oracle Database 12c

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If you want JSON support in your Oracle database today you can use PL/JSON, an open source JSON parser written in PL/SQL.

However, as Marco reported from Oracle OpenWorld, native JSON support may be an upcoming new feature in Oracle Database 12c.

This new feature allows the storage of JSON documents in table columns with existing data types like VARCHAR2, CLOB, RAW, BLOB and BFILE.

A new check constraint makes sure only valid JSON is inserted.

For example: CHECK column IS JSON.

New built-in operators allow you to work with stored JSON documents. For example, JSON_VALUE enables you to query JSON data and return the result as a SQL value. Other operators include JSON_QUERY, JSON_EXISTS and JSON_TABLE.

Cool stuff!

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Oracle Database 12c In-Memory Option Explained

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Jonathan Lewis explains the recently announced Oracle Database 12c in-memory option:

The in-memory component duplicates data (specified tables – perhaps with a restriction to a subset of columns) in columnar format in a dedicated area of the SGA. The data is kept up to date in real time, but Oracle doesn’t use undo or redo to maintain this copy of the data because it’s never persisted to disc in this form, it’s recreated in-memory (by a background process) if the instance restarts. The optimizer can then decide whether it would be faster to use a columnar or row-based approach to address a query.

The intent is to help systems which are mixed OLTP and DSS – which sometimes have many “extra” indexes to optimise DSS queries that affect the performance of the OLTP updates. With the in-memory columnar copy you should be able to drop many “DSS indexes”, thus improving OLTP response times – in effect the in-memory stuff behaves a bit like non-persistent bitmap indexing.
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Oracle Database 12c Bookmarklet, Search Plugin and New Features

12c The blogosphere continues its buzz about Oracle Database 12c and what feels like an unlimited supply of new features in this latest cloud enabled release.

Speaking of new features, here is what’s new in Oracle Database, SQL and PL/SQL from 9iR1 until 12cR1.

With a new release comes new documentation and handy tools to make searching documentation easier. Check out the updated Oracle Bookmarklets and browser search plugins.

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What’s new is important

What is the first thing you do when a new version of an Oracle database (or any software) is released? You immediately look for the “what’s new” document, right?

I believe that the “What’s new” document is very important because it informs you of new (or modified) features that is supposed to make your life easier and your applications more powerful.

Take advantage of “what’s new”. After all, you’re paying for these new features (I assume), so use them or lose them.

To that end, here is a list of “what’s new” links. They will take you straight to the corresponding section of the Oracle documentation:

What’s new in Oracle Database version:

What’s new in SQL in Oracle Database version:

What’s new in PL/SQL in Oracle Database version:

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