Life Science Applications: Oracle Support for Managing Data and Images

Dr. Melliyal Annamalai
InterMedia, Oracle Corporation


Advances in high-throughput experimental methods and industrialization of laboratory processes have resulted in an overwhelming amount of data being available for biologists to use. The home-grown, independent databases and data repositories are no longer sufficient to handle the needs of storing, integrating, analyzing and interpreting this data. These needs present many new challenges to the data management community: volumes of data are large, datatypes are complex, diverse data repositories have to be integrated, analysis tools have to be tied in with data management, to name a few. These issues have to be addressed both within an organization's data repositories, and across organizational boundaries. The data management community has been examining these issues. In the last few years there have been workshops and conferences on the topic, and academic departments and research labs are working on projects in this area. Commercial database vendors such as Oracle are also providing support in their database products to address these issues. This talk will give an overview of the various features Oracle has added to help address the problems in the Life Sciences domain, with a focus on the multimedia data management requirements of the community. How should image and associated data be represented in a database? What kind of analysis tools are used, and how integrated should they be with the database? What kinds of search and indexing functionality should be incorporated in the database? The talk will describe how these issues have been addressed by the multimedia group at Oracle.