Leading Industry Analysts Comment on the Release of Oracle Database 23ai

May 2, 2024 | 10 minute read
Youko Watari
Product Marketing Director
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Oracle has just unveiled a significant milestone: The latest release of Oracle’s converged database, Oracle Database 23ai, is now generally available. The release brings the power of AI to enterprise data and applications, and it is available as a broad range of cloud services – in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) on Oracle Exadata Database Service, Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer, and Oracle Base Database Service, as well as on Oracle Database@Azure.

Oracle Database 23ai is a game changer for developers and enterprises worldwide, packed with more than 300 new features and thousands of enhancements for simplifying the use of AI with data, accelerating app development, and running mission-critical workloads. The new Oracle AI Vector Search capabilities enable customers to securely combine search for documents, images, and other unstructured data with search on private business data, without moving or duplicating it. AI Vector Search and new unified development paradigms—JSON Relational unification and Graph Relational unification—make it easier for developers and data professionals to build intelligent apps and increase developer productivity.

Watch the announcement -  AI and Converged Data: Oracle's Strategy for Data Management with  Larry Ellison and Juan Loaiza

Some of the new features in 23ai, in addition to Oracle AI Vector Search, include: 

  • AI for Data – Oracle Exadata System Software 24ai, and OCI GoldenGate 23ai
  • Accelerating App Development – JSON Relational Duality Views, Operational Property Graph, and free developer databases: Always Free Autonomous Database, Autonomous Database Container Image, and Oracle Database Free
  • Mission-Critical Data – Oracle Globally Distributed Database with RAFT, Oracle True Cache, and In-database SQL Firewall

For more information on these features, I suggest reading Dom Giles’ Oracle Database 23ai announcement blog.        

What Industry Experts Are Saying

Commenting on the announcement, leading industry analysts stated the following:

Oracle AI Vector Search


“The rise of generative AI has seen a renewed emphasis on vector databases as a highly efficient means of searching data, both in unstructured and structured sources. However, as we know from experience, isolated databases become yet another data resource to manage and keep synchronized. With the need to fine tune LLMs with business data using RAG techniques, out-of-date data is not acceptable. Oracle Database 23ai aims to solve this problem by enabling the coordination of vectors with customer’s data using AI Vector Search. It provides an integrated set of functionality customers need to ground their generative AI, keeping the content current and relevant as they move from projects to production, leveraging all the advances inherent in the database. With Generative AI innovations in Oracle Database 23ai, and specifically with AI Vector Search, Oracle has given customers a great leap forward, providing an all-in-one solution.”  — Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Data Management Software, IDC


Constellation Research

“Oracle Database 23ai contains a raft of AI innovations, starting with the general availability of AI Vector Search. Now, the world’s largest enterprises don’t have to move their data to reap the benefits of AI. They can eliminate the complexity and risk of moving their data to a new database and bring full AI capabilities to their data with an upgrade to Oracle Database 23ai. Good to see Oracle Database 23ai also including support for Spatial and Graph data types, that are equally important to power next-generation GenAI applications. The combination is one more testament to the power of a universal database like Oracle Database 23ai, or as Oracle calls it, a converged database. CxOs need and want fewer moving parts and focus on what matters most to enterprises today, higher speeds and higher agility—so in short 23ai brings enterprise acceleration.” —Holger Mueller, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research


Moor Insights & Strategy

“While Generative AI holds so much promise, enterprise organizations are slow to adopt due to the complexity of integrating meaningful data that exists in database environments that span the organization. With Oracle Database 23ai, the company has removed barriers to adoption through its built in AI Vector Search. Now in Database 23ai, organizations can combine LLMs with their own data, using RAG to deliver highly relevant search results. Put more simply, Oracle has made Generative AI simple and relevant for enterprise IT with Database 23ai.”  — Matt Kimball, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy



“As a famous playwright wrote: ‘What’s in a name?’ The answer? Everything. With Oracle Database 23ai, there’s no doubt that this database is all about AI. As Oracle has done in the past with other data types (XML, JSON, and Graph in particular), the company has incorporated AI into the database with the addition of AI Vector Search. The goal? Bring AI right to the data, enabling customers to directly plug LLMs into their data and use RAG techniques to obtain business relevant results. Furthering Oracle’s converged database approach, this addition of AI Vector Search delivers real-world benefits such as the avoidance of data silos and management costs typically associated with managing multiple databases—a clear advantage over specialized, stand-alone vector database options.” —Bradley Shimmin, Chief Analyst, AI & Data Analytics, Omdia


KuppingerCole Analysts

“Prior to 23ai, Oracle Database already supported a wide range of data types, workloads, and development styles in one database. Now Oracle adds AI Vector Search with a new data type and vector indexes that enable the Oracle Database to store the semantic content of unstructured data as vectors. And, that’s just the beginning. First, it provides vector replication in real-time across heterogeneous vector stores with GoldenGate 23ai, quickly bringing AI to all their data. Second, vectors are stored together with relational data, enabling hybrid queries across them—which is impossible with a standalone vector database. Third, the new Exadata System Software 24ai enables smart storage to accelerate AI Vector Search by up to orders of magnitude, enabling applications to run AI Vector Search for both large volumes of data and high numbers of users. Taken together, customers can now truly implement AI across the enterprise with the mission-critical performance, consistency, scalability, availability, and security expected of Oracle.”  — Alexei Balaganski, Lead Analyst & Chief Technology Officer, KuppingerCole Analysts


theCUBE Research

"Oracle Database 23ai is the inaugural Enterprise AI Database Platform. This platform seamlessly integrates hardware, software, and maintenance, ensures unparalleled scalability and availability, and guarantees zero data loss with complete recoverability. Most importantly, it supports real-time, business-critical GenAI applications that efficiently process transactions and queries across diverse data types such as vectors, JSON, graphs, and spatial data. Oracle stands uniquely equipped to deliver and evolve this advanced technology platform today.” — David Floyer, CTO and Co-founder of TheCube Research


"The recent popularity of vector embeddings for retrieval augmented generation (RAG) has created an awakening that vector functionality should most often be a feature of existing databases. Standalone vector databases are yet another piece of infrastructure to manage and present challenges with data movement and consistency for mission-critical business data. With 23ai, Oracle is offering a cogent path for enterprises integrating a GenAI strategy into existing workflows. Oracle's AI Vector Search enables enterprises to adopt similarity search and RAG more swiftly for their business data. This allows developers and DBAs to enhance their AI proficiency without deep knowledge of AI or ML development techniques. Overall, this announcement represents a strategic milestone for Oracle and puts them squarely in the mix by promising faster GenAI ROI for its established customer base." — Dave Vellante, Co-CEO and Chief Analyst, theCUBE Research


“The AI innovations in Oracle Database 23ai, with its built-in AI Vector Search, doesn’t just change the game—it changes the playing field. This latest release takes advantage of all the mission-critical capabilities in the Oracle Database and Exadata’s ultra high performance, while solving the hard vector database and vector search problems that others have not—or cannot—solve. With a single database to manage, organizations can now accelerate their AI journey without settling for half measures or incurring technology debt.” —Marc Staimer, Senior Analyst, theCUBE Research



“Oracle’s key differentiator with Database 23ai is extending the full lifecycle for gen AI applications into the database. Oracle’s design philosophy is to move all functions to the extent possible inside the database so they can all be managed within the same security and management umbrella. The brass ring is bringing the world of relational and generative query together, because for most business use cases, a query of unstructured data will likely require some reference to the structured data of record. By comparison, most operational databases and (more recently) data warehouses have added vector data storage and retrieval. But most have treated vector similarity search as separate operations from traditional database queries, regarding application logic to synthesize them together.”  — Tony Baer, Founder & CEO, dbinsight



“Oracle Database 23ai is perfectly suited for clients to manage multiple AI workloads in a unified manner. Instead of dealing with standalone and out-of-band vector-only databases, enterprises can now provide a much broader context for their GenAI workloads—incorporating any data type—be it structured, unstructured, graph, spatial, vectors or JSON—benefitting from more comprehensive answers by executing hybrid queries that are indifferent to the format that the source content originates from. And by eliminating the need for data consistency and data movement between multiple databases, Oracle Database 23ai is truly an enterprise-grade AI database for mission-critical GenAI workloads.”  — Sanjeev Mohan, Principal, SanjMo


The Futurum Group

“Global CIOs are under pressure from their Board to implement a tangible GenAI strategy. However, many lack the time to experiment with GenAI offerings and to determine what’s actually capable of supporting their mission-critical enterprise workloads—not only for production, but when it comes time for the unexpected—such as data recovery. By upgrading their existing Oracle Database to 23ai, CIOs gain the ability to have an enterprise-grade GenAI solution without having to spend cycles learning how to operate a separate vector database; moving data to that separate vector database, and then trying to maintain data consistency between multiple data stores. AI is a bet your business, bet your career type of decision, so organizations should choose their enterprise AI database wisely.” — Ron Westfall, Research Director, The Futurum Group


JSON Relational Duality and Operational Property Graph 

The Futurum Group

“With over 300 new features and thousands of enhancements in Oracle Database 23ai, Oracle is covering a lot of ground to deliver innovative technologies for AI, developers, and mission-critical applications. For developers, Oracle’s grand unifications of JSON Relational Views and Graph with Relational means that developers no longer have to choose a single data model. They get the benefits of both models on the same data while gaining the consistency, storage efficiency, and flexibility inherent in the relational data model of Oracle Database 23ai. And, developers can try AI Vector Search, JSON Relational Duality Views, and Operational Property Graph in free trial versions of Oracle Database 23ai. With this twin unification, Oracle is taking major steps forward to accelerate developer productivity. And of course, organizations have the flexibility of running it all on Exadata Database Service in OCI or Exadata Cloud@Customer--providing a wide range of flexible enterprise deployment options.”  — Steven Dickens, Vice President & Practice Lead, The Futurum Group


Exadata System Software 24ai

NAND Research

“Oracle Database 23ai contains a multitude of mission-critical AI innovations that surpass competitive offerings. In conjunction with Exadata System Software 24ai and its SQL offload capabilities, Oracle Database 23ai accelerates the combination and retrieval of business data using Oracle Database AI Vector Search. By storing and processing business and vector data in the same high-performance platform, customers can seamlessly integrate AI Vector Search and LLM capabilities into existing applications to augment user interactions and implement new and innovative use cases. Exadata’s scale-out architecture also enhances the parallelism of vector processing across multiple database servers, increasing performance and delivering the highest levels of availability. Organizations can now deploy these systems with greater volumes of data and to larger numbers of users than ever before—with the reliability, security, and availability that customers worldwide expect with Exadata.”  — Steve McDowell, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner, NAND Research


True Cache


“With Oracle Database 23ai True Cache, developers finally get a True SQL and Object Cache, which can significantly accelerate application performance in an economical way without rewriting the applications or investing in an external caching infrastructure. By automating cache maintenance, True Cache makes it easy to get high performance and consistent results. True Cache provides the combination of high performance, cache consistency, and simplicity—and no other SQL or object cache provides this powerful combination—making it a game changer.”  — Richard Winter, CEO, Wintercorp


Globally Distributed Database with RAFT

Enterprise Strategy Group

“Oracle yet again raised availability and scalability SLAs for mission-critical applications by introducing Raft Replication with its Globally Distributed Database 23ai. Raft replication enables rapid application failover within seconds and zero data loss during node or data center outages, facilitating an Active-Active-Active symmetric distributed database architecture that provides unparalleled availability, limitless horizontal scalability, simplifies management, and optimizes resource utilization on a global scale. It clearly sets the new industry standard for enterprises.”  — Stephen Catanzano, Senior Analyst, Data Platforms, Enterprise Strategy Group


SQL Firewall


“Firewalls are a key component of any data protection strategy, used to protect databases from attack by hackers and compromised accounts from the inside. The best place to have the protection of a firewall is in the same software that stores the data. With SQL Firewall built directly inside of Oracle Database 23ai, Oracle has pushed security controls directly to the kernel of the database, making SQL injection-based threats a problem of the past. Organizations can now use the industry-proven Oracle Data Safe cloud service to manage multiple SQL firewalls in the cloud, dramatically reducing the time and cost of deployment.”  — Rick Greenwald, Principal, G4as


GoldenGate 23ai


"Organizations are struggling with maintaining consistency, resiliency, and security across modern data environments which are characterized as being highly distributed, diverse, and dynamic. Oracle GoldenGate 23ai is Oracle’s next major release that adds 100+ GoldenGate enhancements that improve usability, performance, resiliency, and security. More specifically, GoldenGate 23ai's new user experience, support for vector databases, and Data Streams implemented through the AsyncAPI directly addresses modern data environment demands for the modern data worker."  — Stewart Bond, Research VP, Data Intelligence and Integration Software, IDC


Dig Deeper:

Youko Watari

Product Marketing Director

Youko Watari is a Product Marketing Director for Oracle database products. Youko spent most of her 25-plus-year career in data and analytics, and she has an end-to-end perspective in data platform implementation as well as analytics and application product development.

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