Oracle has started laying the groundwork for the next major release of its database, Oracle 11g.In his Monday keynote at Oracle\u2019s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, Chuck Rozwat began to talk in general terms about 11g, which is currently in beta testing. Rozwat, an Oracle executive vice president, heads up the company\u2019s database business. He didn\u2019t commit to a final shipping date for 11g.Rozwat dubbed 11g "a significant release," containing hundreds of new features spanning high availability, performance, scalability, manageability and what he termed "diagnosability." The upcoming release will also focus on meeting the needs of users of very large databases, he added, as well as including business intelligence and content management functionality.The next release will come with new compression technology to potentially reduce customers\u2019 storage demands by two-thirds, according to Rozwat.Oracle has worked on the storage of unstructured data in 11g, Rozwat said. In current testing, 11g is faster at storing such data compared with traditional file systems, he added.Typically, Oracle ships significant updates to its database every 15 to 18 months, although the gap can be as wide as three years.As of July, Rozwat estimated that about half of Oracle\u2019s customers had moved to the current version of the database, 10g, either release 1 or 2, in line with the typical adoption curve. The "g" following the number refers to grid computing. The predecessor to 10g, 9i, was named for its Internet capabilities.By China Martens, IDG News Service (Boston Bureau)Related Links:\n\nOracle Offers $219M for MetaSolv\n\nOracle Pays $98.5M to Settle PeopleSoft Charges\n\nOracle Gains More Analytics With Sigma BuyCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.