From Oracle FAQ
Oracle 12c is a version of the Oracle Database. The "c" stands for "cloud" to indicate that 12c is "cloud enabled". It features a new multi-tenant option that will help companies to consolidate databases into private or public clouds.
History and Support Status
Oracle 12c version 188.8.131.52 was released on 1 July 2013. The latest patch-set is Oracle 184.108.40.206.
Mostly the same as for Oracle 11R2, with the following exceptions:
- New Oracle Multitenant option introduced. It is free with EE for a single tenant, otherwise a paid option.
- Oracle Total Recall (flashback data archive) was enhanced and renamed Oracle Temporal. it is no longer an option and can be used free of charge with the DB software.
Some of the new features include:
- Enterprise Manager DB Control was replaced with EM DB Express
- Container databases (CDB) with embedded Pluggable Databases (PDB)
- Automatic Data Optimization (ADO) with heat maps to automate ILM
- In-Database archiving and Temporal Validity
- Unified auditing
- Database privilege analysis to see who uses what privileges
- Data redaction
- Adaptive Query Optimization
- Database Migration Assistant for Unicode (DMU) replaces "csscan" and "csalter"
- Row Limiting Queries
- Increased Size Limit for VARCHAR2, NVARCHAR2, and RAW Data Types
- Online move of data files and partitions
- Assiging Sequence values directly at table creation .
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