Oracle has unleashed the marketing machine to trumpet the virtues of Oracle9i. While improvements such as multiple block sizes and more dynamic parameters may make DBAs' lives a little easier and performance improvements in partitions, function-based indexes and materialized views are welcomed by data warehouse designers, a significant improvement has been made in the content management arena. A new tool, Oracle Ultra Search, provides developers dealing with distributed content the equivalent of an extract, transform and load tool for unstructured text.

Ultra Search offers the ability to dynamically monitor several different types of unstructured content sources and catalog meta data about documents in a centralized repository. In its most basic form, it is akin to a Web search engine for the enterprise. Users specify content sources (either the Web, file systems, e-mail servers or databases), how often to check the source and a few other parameters to control the depth of search and the file types to examine. The Ultra Search crawler then compiles meta data about the document and stores that information in a database. (The content itself stays in its original repository, so this tool should not be considered a traditional document management system.) Of course, Oracle provides full text indexing on documents through Oracle Open Text.

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