Oracle has finally committed to a launch date for the next major release of its database. Appropriately enough, the vendor plans to unveil Oracle Database 11g on 11 July.

Oracle sent out an invitation this week about the launch event, which will take place in New York and will be hosted by company President Charles Phillips and Andy Mendelsohn, Oracle's senior vice president of database and server technologies.

The vendor's primary database competitors are IBM and Microsoft.

Oracle began laying out the groundwork for 11g last October at its OpenWorld conference, where executives talked in general terms about the upcoming release.

They said the database would feature improvements in high availability, performance, scalability, manageability and what the vendor dubbed "diagnosability". In addition, the executives referred to new compression technology that could potentially reduce customers' storage demands by two-thirds and the ability for 11g to store unstructured data faster than traditional file systems. The new database is also expected to include a variety of partitioning capabilities.

Oracle again talked up 11g in similar broad-brush terms at the Collaborate Oracle user group conference in April. Customer issues the vendor said it hoped to address with the new database included management, security and data recovery.

In beta testing since September, Oracle Database 11g is the successor to 10g releases 1 and 2. The "g" following the number refers to grid computing. Oracle shipped the first release of 10g in February 2004.