Database technology targets mainframe users

Oracle has released a new technology called Operating System Dependent Interface that the company said should make it easier for users to run its database software on IBM's S/390 mainframes.

The technology - announced last week - will ship with Oracle8i Release 3 within the next month and will give users better scalability, availability, and enhanced systems management capabilities for running the database on OS/390 operating environments, said Dave Dargo, an Oracle vice president.

At its core, Oracle's technology uses innovative memory management and addressing techniques to let users take better advantage of a mainframe's scalability without being hampered by the 31-bit limit of current mainframes, said Mike Kahn, an analyst at Clipper Group.

"We worked toward building an architecture that allows OS/390 to scale beyond its 31-bit address model," Dargo said.

As a result, users will be able to run larger Oracle databases and support more users concurrently, more efficiently, and without requiring administrators to set up complex OS/390 data-sharing environments, Dargo added.

This week's announcement marks the first time that Oracle has released its database on OS/390 simultaneously with versions of the software for Unix and other operating systems. Typically, Oracle's OS/390 software has tended to lag behind its Unix releases in features and functionality.

Oracle8i Release 3 is scheduled to be available by the end of the month and supports Java, XML, and security capabilities such as Triple Data Encryption Standard and PKI (public-key infrastructure) technologies.

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