Oracle Adds Support for Blockchain Tables to Core Database


Blockchain data tables are now one of several types of data formats that Oracle databases can now support.

Oracle today during an online Oracle Live event unfurled a major update that for the first time will make it possible to deploy blockchain applications on its namesake relational database.

The company also announced the availability of Oracle APEX (Application Express) Application Development, a cloud service through which IT organizations can build applications on top of Oracle databases using low-code tools.

See also: Blockchain, Unchained: 5 Key Use Cases

Blockchain now just another data type

Blockchain data tables are now one of several types of data formats that the Oracle databases can now support. Rather than having to require organizations to acquire and deploy a separate database for each data type, Oracle has been making a case for a converged database capable of supporting JSON, relational, columnar, and graph data stores in the same database to reduce costs.

Included for free with the database license, Blockchain Tables provide immutable insert-only tables where relational rows of data are cryptographically chained together. Tamper detection and prevention capabilities are provided directly in the Oracle Database as part of Oracle’s Crypto-Secure Data Management framework.

The Oracle Database 21c update is the first major update of the database Oracle has delivered since 2019. An Oracle Database 20c update planned for 2020 was rolled into the 21c update, says Jenny Tsai-Smith, vice president for database product management for Oracle.

“We determined organizations would not have the time and resources required to deploy a major update during a pandemic,” says Tsai-Smith.

Overall, Oracle Database 21c adds more than 200 capabilities, including the ability to run JavaScript in the database, support for native JSON binary data types, a persistent memory store, and AutoML tools to make in-database machine learning (ML) more accessible to a wider range of organizations.

Oracle has also enhanced the ability to run Oracle 21c in-memory, improved graph processing performance, enabled database shards to be deployed across a hybrid cloud environment, and improved multitenant and security capabilities.

The debate over multi-modal approaches to database management is, of course, nothing less than fierce. Many rival providers of database platforms contend application performance requirements will push organizations toward deploying stand-alone databases that are optimized for a specific class of data. Oracle contends its core relational database is extensible enough to run applications access multiple types of data at a much lower overall cost.

As applications have become more complex, many of them are now employing multiple types of data. Each IT team will need to decide to what degree it makes sense to enable those applications to access multiple types of data residing in the same database versus deploying, for example, a graph database alongside a relational database.

Regardless of the path chosen, the types of data organizations are trying to process and manage has become much more varied in recent years. In many cases, the database rather than being determined by a database administrator is now being selected by developers as they build applications that are intended to employ a specific type of data. However, applications also tend to evolve over time so the opportunity to rationalize databases over time is always going to be present.

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