For developers, this database has the ultimate innovation: simplicity

January 13, 2021 | 3 minute read
Jeffrey Erickson
Director of tech content
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The latest release of Oracle Database brings wide-ranging capabilities to the converged database engine. And it opens up the Oracle APEX low-code platform to even more use cases.

Camera, voice recorder, expense manager, even brain trainer—smartphones are ubiquitous because they bring together a lot of useful functions in an elegant package. That same simple, empowering experience is a guiding principle for the team behind Oracle Database, says Andrew Mendelsohn, Oracle executive vice president of database server technologies.

Mendelsohn’s team recently released Oracle Database 21c, which brings more than 200 new capabilities to what is already the industry’s only converged enterprise database. A converged database lets developers use one database for different workloads—relational data, JSON,  spatial, graph, blockchain, and many more. Developers can use that same database on-premises and in the cloud. With open-standard SQL, they can also run Oracle Database workloads on almost any cloud, making it both converged and portable. “We’re essentially the smartphone of databases,” Mendelsohn says.

The converged approach stands in stark contrast to other cloud database competitors, which offer handfuls of specialized databases that deal with one workload. “If you look at real-world workloads, they’re almost all mixtures,” Mendelsohn says. “People don’t just run transaction processing on their database, they do analytics, reporting, and batch processing all on the same database.”

The biggest beneficiaries of Oracle’s converged approach are developers, because application requirements always grow more complex.  “If today everything you need can be done by a single specialized database” like Mongo DB or Amazon DynamoDB or one of Amazon’s 15 specialized databases, “what happens when requirements change and you have to do high-performance analytics against that data?” Mendelsohn asks. The answer is that you have to get the data out and put it into an analytics database, which you will also have to support. “Then what happens if you need to do some graph analytics or spatial, and you have to move the data into yet another database? This isn’t the best use of your time. Just use Oracle from day one.”

Oracle SVP, Andrew Mendelsohn, details Oracle Database breakthrough innovations.
Watch now (32 min).

The other big beneficiaries of a converged database are business analysts and data scientists who otherwise struggle with data fragmented across different databases. Businesses of every size are seeing these benefits today.

Simplify and future-proof your apps

The recent update, Oracle Database 21c, adds exciting new capabilities for developers and analysts including: immutable blockchain tables, native JSON data types, AutoML for in-database machine learning, persistent memory support, higher-performance graph models, database in-memory, and an enhancement to the highly scalable sharding feature. Mendelsohn’s team published a detailed blog post on the release.

Major analyst firms have looked deeply into Oracle’s approach, which takes enterprise database simplicity even further by providing the world’s first autonomous database. “We don’t win by just a little in these evaluations,” Mendelsohn says. “We win by a lot.”

Oracle Autonomous Database scored highest in all four use cases in the 2020 Gartner report: Critical Capabilities for Cloud Database Management Systems for Operational Use Cases.

Analyst firm IDC’s recent study of real-world experiences using Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse concludes: “The bottom line for the enterprise is that more useful work is being done at a lower unit cost…with greater insights delivered on a more timely basis.”

Oracle offers a free version of Oracle Autonomous Database, running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “When developers try out our database in the cloud, they love it because it’s so easy,” Mendelsohn says. “That’s the experience we’ve seen.”

Oracle APEX Service: Simplicity and community with low code development

Oracle Application Express, or APEX, has been a phenomenon in the world of database development and low code applications. Available since 2004, it’s used by tens of millions of people worldwide, including about 500,000 developers. It has been used to build millions of data-powered applications. “This tool is really mature, and really powerful,” says Mendelsohn.

Oracle APEX is a free feature of every Oracle Database running on-premises or in the cloud, and is now available as a standalone development and deployment cloud service. Oracle APEX gives developers everything they need to build data-driven enterprise apps nearly 40 times faster than custom coding—without having to worry about security, availability, scalability, and management. “What we’ve found is that virtually any data-driven application you need to build in your organization can be built in APEX,” Mendelsohn says. In fact, “traditional coding should now be the exception rather than the rule for how you build these applications.”


Jeffrey Erickson

Director of tech content

Jeff Erickson is director of tech content at Oracle. You can follow him on twitter @erickson4.

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