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Flip the switch and turn on Oracle Database In-Memory

Oracle Database In-Memory turns Oracle Database 12c into an in-memory database. It promises to accelerate performance for both analytics and queries using its dual format architecture. Find out more from a beta tester.

Product of the month: Oracle Database 12c In-Memory

Release date: June 13, 2014

What it does

Oracle Database In-Memory Option is an optional addition to Oracle Database 12c that enables Oracle Database 12c to function as an in-memory database. The Oracle Database In-Memory Option is designed to accelerate database performance for analytics, reporting and online-transaction processing (OLTP) for Oracle's Database 12c. It allows Oracle's in-memory option to perform ad-hoc analysis on live transactional data while still accelerating OLTP.

Why it matters

The Oracle Database In-Memory option speeds up Oracle database processing and performs 1,000 times faster processing on existing applications. Processes that used to take half a day take 10 minutes, while analytics responses take less than a second. A real-time database is a database where you don't have to wait or worry about batch processing, and that is what Oracle Database In-Memory creates. With the dual-format approach used in the Oracle Database In-Memory option, memory is maintained both in the existing row format on the disk and simultaneously in the memory-optimized column format in memory. This speeds up analytics without shorting transactional data. Unlike its main competitor, SAP HANA, the Oracle Database In-Memory option doesn't require any new applications or recoding to function with the existing database.

What users say

MicroStrategy was part of the beta testing community for Oracle In-Memory Database. The Washington, D.C.-based provider of enterprise software platforms is currently using the In-Memory database as part of its operations, as well as running test environments for prospective users and developing best practices for its clients. Jochen Demuth, director of partner engineering at MicroStrategy, explained that setting up Oracle Database In-Memory was as simple as "a flip of a switch." After Oracle Database In-Memory is activated, you have one database with the same data in two formats and an optimizer that decides which queries go to which format. Column Store is better for analytics and Row Store is better for querying. Rather than having to choose one, with the dual-format architecture you can run both on the same database. Demuth said this could save a lot of money because you don't need to have two databases, one for each type. One database is significantly less expensive than two.

Drill down

  • Supports analytics and transactions with no competition because of the dual format approach.
  • No need to rewrite applications to get in-memory functionality.
  • Oracle says queries that used to take days take only minutes with Oracle Database 12c In-Memory.
  • It works transparently with all of Oracle's scalability, reliability, availability and security technologies for Database 12c.
  • The Oracle Database 12c In-Memory option allows for ad-hoc analytics with no need for previously created indexes.
  • It can be deployed on anything that can host Oracle Database 12c -- physical, virtual or cloud.


  • Named User Plus: $460 per user, plus $101.20 for software update license and support
  • Processor License: $23,000 per processor, plus $5,060 for software update license and support


Next Steps

Find out more about what experts say are never-before-seen features

Things to think about before you start implementing Oracle Database In-Memory

Larry Ellison announces the new Oracle Database In-Memory option

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