Useful for application development:

REST Enabled SQL Support

You can easily create REST enabled SQL references by defining a name, the endpoint URL, and authentication information within shared components.

Oracle Application Express passes the SQL or PL/SQL query to ORDS over REST returning a self-describing JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) response. The JSON object contains result set metadata, the result data, and pagination details. REST enabled SQL references are used as the basis for all report types, such as interactive reports and classic reports, but not interactive grid regions. References can also be used with calendars, Oracle JET Data Visualization components (JET charts), trees, and PL/SQL processes.

Each SQL statement defines Oracle Database links and work over SQL*Net (or over the internet in cloud environments), and must open a session within the remote database for each SQL or PL/SQL executed. By contrast, REST enabled SQL references are defined at the Oracle Application Express workspace-level, and work with JSON over HTTP and HTTPS, which makes them easy to use in cloud environments or over the internet. References can also scale significantly better since ORDS utilizes a connection pool on the remote database.

Social Sign-In Authentication

Social Sign-In authentication scheme supports authentication with Google, Facebook, and other social networks that support OpenIDConnect / OAuth2 standards.

Social Sign-In authentication is primarily useful for internet-facing applications where an unknown number of users from social networks may use the application, or if the company has standardized on systems that perform user credential verification for authentication such as Oracle Identity Cloud Service, an internal OpenIDConnect, or OAuth2 system.

Impaction Network configurations 

Oracle Network Log File Segmentation

This feature allows you to configure the maximum size and number of text log files for Oracle Network components, such as Oracle Net Listener, Connection Manager (CMAN), and global services manager.

This feature allows better management of log files, particularly in Cloud environments.

SQL*Net: Auto-Detection of Support for Out-of-Band Breaks

This feature automatically probes the network path between the client and the server in order to determine the status of out-of-band support, and automatically enable or disable it.

Out-of-band breaks were enabled by default for UNIX platforms in past releases. However, this configuration causes numerous problems when network devices on the path between the client and the server do not allow out-of-band data to pass through. This data may either be dropped or inlined leading to server-side problems such as Transparent Network Substrate (TNS) errors or data corruption. These problems are often very hard to diagnose. The solution is to turn off usage of out-of-band data manually by setting a sqlnet.ora parameter


DISTINCT Option for LISTAGG Aggregate

The LISTAGG aggregate function now supports duplicate elimination by using the new DISTINCT keyword.

The LISTAGG aggregate function orders the rows for each group in a query according to the ORDER BY expression and then concatenates the values into a single string. You can remove duplicate values from the specified expression before concatenation into a single string using the new DISTINCT keyword. This removes the need to create complex query processing to find the distinct values before using the aggregate LISTAGG function. Use the DISTINCT option to remove duplicate values within the LISTAGG function.

The result is simpler, faster, more efficient SQL.

Data Guard

Dynamically Change Oracle Data Guard Broker Fast-Start Failover Target

The fast-start failover target standby database can be changed dynamically, to another standby database in the target list, without disabling fast-start failover.

In earlier releases of Oracle Database, you had to disable fast-start failover to move to a new target standby database. This exposes the broker configuration to a period where automatic failover cannot be used at all. You use the SET FAST_START FAILOVER TARGET command to dynamically change the fast-start failover target standby database.

Simplified Database Parameter Management in Oracle Data Guard Broker

The management of database parameters in an Oracle Data Guard broker configuration is simplified by allowing all parameter management through SQL*Plus. Inconsistencies between a database's Data Guard parameter settings and the Data Guard Broker's property settings are eliminated.

You can now manage all Oracle Data Guard-related parameter settings using the SQL*Plus ALTER SYSTEM command or in the Data Guard broker command-line interface (DGMGRL) with the new EDIT DATABASE ... SET PARAMETER command. Parameter changes made in DGMGRL are immediately executed on the target database.

Observe-only Mode for Oracle Data Guard Broker's Fast-Start Failover

The Observe-only mode allows you to test automatic fast-start failover without any impact to the production database in an Oracle Data Guard broker configuration.

When you configure fast-start failover, you can use the observe-only mode to create a test mode that checks when a failover or other interaction would have occurred during normal production processing. You can use the information from this test to tune the fast-start failover properties more precisely. You can also discover what circumstances in your environment will cause an automatic failover to occur.

Propagate Restore Points from Primary to Standby Site

Restore points created on the primary database are propagated to the standby sites, so that they are available even after a failover operation.

Normal restore points or guaranteed restore points are defined at the primary site to enable fast point-in-time recovery in the event of logical corruptions. These restore points are stored in the control file. In the event of a failover, the standby database becomes the primary database. However, the restore point information is lost. Propagating restore points from the primary to the standby simplifies the complexity of the restore and recovery process after a failover because the standby database is updated with the restore points created on the primary database.

Flashback Standby Database When Primary Database is Flashed Back

The standby database in an Oracle Data Guard setup can be automatically flashed back when a flashback operation is performed on the primary database.

When a flashback operation is performed on the primary database, the standby is no longer synchronized with the primary. In earlier releases, you needed to perform certain steps to synchronize the standby with the primary. 

This feature introduces a new parameter that enables the standby database to be flashed back automatically when a flashback operation is performed on the primary database. This reduces time, effort, and human errors thereby resulting in faster synchronization and reduced recovery time objective (RTO).

Oracle Data Guard Multi-Instance Redo Apply Works with the In-Memory Column Store

The In-Memory Column Store and Data Guard Multi-Instance Redo Apply can now be enabled at the same time on an Active Data Guard standby. Previously the two features were mutually exclusive.

You can now use the fastest redo apply technology (Data Guard Multi-Instance Redo Apply) and the fastest analytical query technology (In-Memory Column Store) on the same Active Data Guard standby to gain the best of both features. Multi-Instance Redo Apply uses information in the In-Memory Column Store on the Active Data Guard standby to increase apply speed where possible.

Active Data Guard DML Redirection

Incidental Data Manipulation Language (DML) operations can be run on Active Data Guard standby databases. This allows more applications to benefit from using an Active Data Guard standby database when some writes are required.

DML redirection helps in load balancing between the primary and standby databases. When incidental DML is issued on an Active Data Guard standby database, the update is passed to the primary database where it is executed. The resulting redo of the transaction updates the standby database after which control is returned to the application.

PDB Recovery Catalog

Connections to a recovery catalog are supported when the target database is a pluggable database (PDB).

Oracle Database Release 19c provides complete backup and recovery flexibility for multitenant container database (CDB) and PDB level backups and restores, including recovery catalog support. You can use a virtual private catalog (VPC) user to granularly control permissions to perform backup and restore operations at a PDB level. Metadata view is also limited, so a VPC user can view only data for which the user has been granted permission.

Clear Flashback Logs Periodically for Increased Fast Recovery Area Size Predictability

Fast recovery area management and database health are improved by automatically deleting flashback logs that are beyond the retention period.

The fast recovery area is critical for databases because it stores backups, online redo logs, archived redo logs, and flashback logs. Because many databases can all use the fast recovery area, multiple databases are impacted when the fast recovery area becomes full. This feature makes flashback space usage become predictable from a storage management perspective, since flashback uses no more space than is required by retention. It also allows you to control cumulative space pressure by adjusting the flashback retention.

New Parameters to Tune Automatic Outage Resolution with Oracle Data Guard

Oracle Data Guard automatic outage resolution can be tuned to fit your specific needs.

Oracle Data Guard has several processes, on the primary database and standby databases, which communicate with each other over the network to manage redo transport and archiving. In certain failure situations, network hangs, disconnects, and disk I/O issues, these processes can hang potentially causing delays in redo transport and gap resolution. Oracle Data Guard has an internal mechanism to detect these hung processes and terminate them thus allowing the normal outage resolution to occur. You can now use two new parameters, DATA_GUARD_MAX_IO_TIME and DATA_GUARD_MAX_LONGIO_TIME, to tune waits times for a specific Oracle Data Guard configuration based on the user network and disk I/O behavior.

Finer Granularity Supplemental Logging

Fine-grained supplemental logging provides a way for partial database replication users to disable supplemental logging for uninteresting tables so that even when supplemental logging is enabled in a database or schema level, there is no supplemental logging overhead for uninteresting tables.

Use of this feature significantly reduces the overhead in terms of resource usage and redo generation when only some of the tables in the database require supplemental logging, such as in an Oracle GoldenGate partial replication configuration. Supplemental logging was designed and implemented for logical standby databases or for full database replication requirements. This adds unnecessary overhead in environments where only a subset of tables is being replicated.