Dominic Giles drew our attention to the safe harbour statement. Anything can change between now and when the new version is released.

There has been some confusion about the announcements regarding autonomous database. This is a service on top of oracle 18c. Oracle 18c is a product.

Release Schedule

Oracle will change its release process to release annually. Hopefully this will lead to more stable releases, as there won’t be a rush to get the new features into the current version of the database. Changes will be incremental, but will happen every year. There will be quarterly release updates. These will go back to using a number rather than a date format, These will include all fixes, not just security fixes, but performance changes will be switched off by default.

Between the quarterly Release Updates (RU) will come Release Update Revisions (RUR). There are expected to be 1-2 per quarter. There will also be individual patches released.

Oracle will choose every 2-3 years an extended support release. This is the release to choose to save time updating annually. Oracle expect that most users will choose to upgrade annually though.

Incremental Improvements

18c starts as Oracle intend to go on, delivering a lot of incremental improvements. He went through a list which I include below. Many are to additional cost options, so a license is required to take advantage of them.

  • RAC on Exadata has performance improvements in the maintenance of undo. As I understand it they only copy the changes rather than the entire block.
  • There are a number of improvements to the in memory option for OLTP workloads.
  • In memory dynamic scans.
  • In memory optimised arithmetic (The Oracle number format is changed to a binary format so the CPU vector unit can be used for calculations).
  • Per PDB switchover. The idea is to be able to run a pluggable database on each of two servers, half open, and half as standbys.
  • Faster upgrades (About 5% faster)
  • Snapshot carousel - snapshot of PDBs. I think this is similar to the SAN functionality of creating a snapshot of environments at points in time.
  • Improved availability. Zero downtime Grid Infrastructure patching.
  • Sharded RAC
  • Sharding improvements.
  • Improved Security
  • Per PDB Key stores
  • Passwordless schema creation.
  • Active Directory authentication, without the need for Oracle Directory Services.
  • Data Warehouse improvements.
  • Alter table merge partition online e.g. to merge hourly partitions to daily ones.
  • Automatic propagation of nologged data to standby
  • Polymorphic tables - can encapsulate sophisticated algorithms
  • part of the SQL ANSI 2016 standard.
  • Improved JSON support
  • Property graph improvements
  • Rolling Patchets for OJVM in the database (Not till 18.2)
  • Private temporary tables (i.e. per session).
  • Official docker support (See Oracle Support document id 2216342.1)


All administrative actions can now be performed using a REST API which should be useful for cloud services.

  • Includes management and monitoring
  • Same API for cloud and on premise
  • API for all database life cycle operations
  • Shipped with ORDS and updated quarterly
  • Every feature will have a REST API.


Gold image as a service (i.e. Oracle Home) On demand image creation including application of

  • Release Updates
  • Release Update Revisions
  • One off patches

Can be deployed as a:

  • zip file
  • docker image
  • Virtual Machine
  • RPM file, but for base un-patched home only.

Oracle XE

XE is also coming into line with the yearly updates. Allowed is: 12G User storage 2G SGA It contains all Enterprise Edition features It will install under both Windows and Linux. There is the possibility of an Apple Mac version, though given VMs etc this may not be needed.