Oracle and its very popular RDBMS have made many firsts in the IT world: first to implement the modern day relational database on minicomputers, first to implement database clustering on minicomputers, first to Internet-enable their RDBMS products (though I'm sure that many other vendors would like to stake a claim for this title).
Oracle has invested many hours, many dollars, and much intellectual property into the Oracle RDBMS, providing a very rich, stable, and highly scalable RDBMS whose features are so comprehensive that other database vendors, including Microsoft and IBM, find competing very difficult.
In this article, we'll begin to look at the raw power that Oracle has incorporated into the latest version of this very dominant RDBMS. As in earlier articles in this series that covered the feature set of Microsoft's SQL Server 2000, we'll dissect Oracle 9i by six main categories:
Structured Query Language (SQL) Support
Analysis Services (OLAP)
General Enhancements (such as Java and XML)
Oracle 9i has won a number of awards for security, scalability, and performance (they currently hold 15 security ratings, and are now common-criteria certified), and since the early 1990s the company has made a strategic decision to take back any lost market share from Microsoft. But Microsoft isn't their only target; they haven't slouched within IBM's marketplace, either. With improved performance on the Windows platform, feature sets that allow for an easier migration path from SQL Server to 9i, and a GUI that offers more and more management capability, perhaps Oracle's vision really is becoming a reality.