From Oracle FAQ
Oracle 8i is a version of the Oracle Database. The i stands for "Internet" to indicate that 8i is "Internet ready".
 History and Support Status
Desupport End Dates:
Latest patch-sets: 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11
 Features introduced
The following new features were introduced with Oracle 8i:
 Oracle 8i (8.1.7) - August 2000
- Static HTTP server included (Apache)
- JVM Accelerator to improve performance of Java code
- Java Server Pages (JSP) engine
- MemStat - A new utility for analyzing Java Memory footprints
- OIS - Oracle Integration Server introduced.
- PLSQL Gateway introduced for deploying PL/SQL based solutions on the Web
- Enterprise Manager Enhancements - including new HTML based reporting and Advanced Replication functionality included.
- New Database Character Set Migration utility included.
 Oracle 8i (8.1.6) - November 1999
- PL/SQL Server Pages (PSP's)
- DBA Studio Introduced
- Statspack - used for performance monitoring (much better that UTLBSTAT/UTLESTAT)
- Many new SQL analytical functions like lag, lead and rank
- ALTER FREELISTS command (previously done by DROP/CREATE TABLE)
- Checksums always ON for SYSTEM tablespace allowing many possible corruptions to be fixed before writing to disk (DB_BLOCK_CHECKING).
- XML Parser for Java
- New PL/SQL encrypt/decrypt package introduced
- JServer Accelerator (Native Java compiler for each platform), Java programs can run as machine code, not interpreted as with 8.1.5
- Native support for Java2
- New CASE statement in SQL similar to the Decode() function
- New SQL*Plus command line options: sqlplus -MARKUP [HTML...] and -RESTRICT
- User and Schemas separated
- CURSOR_SHARING parameter - optimize SHARED POOL for applications that do not use bind variables
- Numerous Performance Enhancements
 Oracle 8i (8.1.5) - February 1999
- Fast Start recovery - Checkpoint rate auto-adjusted to meet roll forward criteria
- Reorganize indexes/index only tables which users accessing data - Online index rebuilds
- Log Miner introduced - Allows on-line or archived redo logs to be viewed via SQL
- OPS Cache Fusion introduced avoiding disk I/O during cross-node communication
- Advanced Queueing improvements (security, performance, OO4O support
- User Security Improvements - more centralisation, single enterprise user, users/roles across multiple databases.
- Virtual Private Database (VPD)
- Integrated JavaVM (called Aurora) in the database kernel allowing one to execute Java stored procedures
- Integrated support for EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans)
- JSQL: a specification for Java-based SQL database statements
- Integrated Object Request Broker for standard CORBA communications between applications and the database
- Oracle iFS (Internet File System)
- Resource Management using priorities - resource classes
- Hash partitioning and Composite partitioning
- New partitioning features: merge partitions into one, updatable partition keys (allow movement of rows between partitions), can use LOBS in partitioned tables
- Single table hash clusters
- SQL*Loader direct load API
- Copy optimizer statistics across databases to ensure same access paths across different environments.
- Standby Database - Auto shipping and application of redo logs. Read Only queries on standby database allowed.
- Enterprise Manager v2 delivered - completely rewritten in Java
- NLS - Euro Symbol supported
- Analyze tables in parallel.
- Temporary tables supported (Tables that will be truncated at the end of a transaction or session).
- Net8 support for SSL, HTTP, HOP protocols
- Transportable tablespaces, copy tablespaces with datafiles between databases
- Locally managed tablespaces - automatic sizing of extents, elimination of tablespace fragmentation, tablespace information managed in tablespace (i.e moved from data dictionary) improving tablespace reliability
- Drop column on table (finally!!!!!)
- DBMS_DEBUG PL/SQL package, DBMS_SQL replaced by new EXECUTE IMMEDIATE statement
- Progress Monitor to track long running DML, DDL
- Function based indexes - NLS, case insensitive, descending, based on user defined function, etc.
- Index key compression: duplicate keys are combined to save space
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