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Oracle Database 18c: what’s new

Oracle Database 18c was introduced in late 2017 by Larry Ellison, Oracle’s executive chairman and CTO, as ‘a big thing’.

Also called the “Oracle Autonomous Database”, Oracle Database 18c automates security, provisioning and error handling. Oracle calls it “self-driving” because end users can define their desired service levels, and the database makes it happen – it handles failover and protects the data from any kind of failure.

Ellison announced the release as proof of Oracle’s commitment to the cloud. Oracle’s Cloud Software Portfolio has grown considerably in the past 5 years through acquisitions.

More and more organizations are considering adopting Oracle Database in the cloud, but are unsure how to choose between the different options.

Oracle offers multiple different cloud services, each with a different pricing model and service level, such as:

  • Universal Credit Services
  • Bring Your Own License (BYOL)
  • Traditional Metered Service Offerings
  • Non-metered Service Offerings.

As with any decision in the world of software licensing, the same applies to the cloud: you should assess and understand first if moving to the cloud would help your organization.

What’s new in Oracle Database 18c?

Oracle Database 18c runs in the Oracle Cloud just as it does on-premises. This enables end users to take their in-house developed Oracle applications and third-party applications and run them on Oracle Cloud without requiring any application changes. End users can continue to utilize all their existing IT skills and resources and get the same support for their Oracle Databases both on-premises and in the cloud.

The new features included in the 18c version are related to the following areas:

  • Cost-based Optimization
  • Performance Tuning and Diagnostics
  • Data Optimization
  • Cloud-Scale Operations

The complete list of features can be accessed here.

Deprecated features in Oracle Database 18c

The release of Oracle Database 18c doesn’t bring just new additions, but also deprecated features. For some Oracle doesn’t offer a replacement, while for others alternatives are available.

The following features have been deprecated in the 18c version:

  • Oracle Administration Assistant for Windows
  • Oracle Multimedia DICOM
  • Oracle Multimedia Java Client Classes
  • Oracle XML DB, ODP.NET
  • Managed Driver – Distributed Transaction DLL and Data Guard Broker

Availability of Oracle Database 18c for on-premises platforms

Oracle Database 18c is expected to be available for on-premises platforms (non-Engineered Systems) with the July 2018 Release Update. At this stage, it is not clear if there are major differences between the cloud version on-premises versions.

Despite the new features of Oracle Database 18c that are supposed to transform it into an autonomous database, the “Autonomous Database” remains a cloud service. As such, you will need to run the “Autonomous Database Service” on Oracle Public Cloud; simply installing Oracle Database 18c on premises – or in the Oracle Cloud – will not get you an autonomous database.

Even though cloud solutions may deliver huge benefits to organizations, it is more important than ever to manage your software licenses and the software spending to be divided between on-premises and the cloud.

About Richard Spithoven

Richard Spithoven is one of the managing partners at B-Lay. Richard brings more than thirteen years of relevant license management experience to his role having previously served as regional director of compliance at Oracle.


Richard uses his knowledge of enterprise software vendors (such as Oracle, SAP, IBM and Microsoft) to educate, equip and enable software end users in their challenges regarding proper software license management. Richard holds a master’s degree in IT, from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

One Comment

  1. Gaurab Tewary says:

    Hello Sir,

    may i know the differences betwenn Oracle 12c release 2 and Oracle 18c ?

    Yours Sincerely,
    Gaurab Tewary

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