Oracle's 11g Database to Feature Major .NET Hooks

Long-awaited next version of Oracle Corp.’s database will feature significant .NET-related improvements.

While Oracle Corp. is set to ship its next-generation database server this month for Linux, the Windows version is not far behind and will offer significant improvements for .NET developers.

The Oracle 11g database boasts 400 new features in all, promising substantial improvements in performance, storage management and integration with .NET, Java and PHP-based tools, Oracle President Charles Phillips told attendees at the launch event last month.

While Microsoft and Oracle are competing fiercely for share at the database platform level, the companies have a three-year-old partnership intended to ease development for Windows and .NET developers programming to Oracle databases. On that front, Oracle 11g is said to raise the bar over 10g, the three-year-old version it replaces.

"We want to expose all of the Oracle database features from .NET and help developers become as productive as possible," says Christian Shay, Oracle's principal product manager for .NET and Windows.

Francois Ajenstat, director of product management for Microsoft's SQL Server, welcomes Oracle's support for Visual Studio but argues the vendor is playing catch-up. Microsoft already offers integration of Visual Studio with SQL Server.

Microsoft has its own major upgrade to SQL Server 2005 in the works, dubbed SQL Server 2008. A commercial release is not expected until the second quarter of 2008, Ajenstat says.

As for 11g, the improved Visual Studio integration includes an upgrade to the company's free SQL Developer tool. The tool's existing proprietary PL/SQL language editor will have a full debugger. For .NET developers, that debugger can be integrated into Microsoft's Visual Studio as well, Shay says.

Another new feature in the SQL Developer tool is a migration utility that was previously a separate client-based application. Oracle is also packaging SQL Developer with the 11g database. SQL Developer was originally released last year as a downloadable add-on to 10g. Integrating it into the 11g package will likely prompt broader usage, says David Gambino, Oracle's director of product management.

Also packaged with the new database are a migration utility and Oracle's SQL Developer Tool, Oracle Application Express 3.0 and an updated version of Oracle Data Access Components, or ODAC. Included in the new ODAC release is Oracle Data Provider for .NET and an ADO.NET 2.0-compliant data access provider. ODAC also includes the Oracle Developer Tools for Visual Studio.NET.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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