TimesTen is an in-memory database that can be used standalone or as a cache to Oracle
database. The product marketing description gives this overview:
Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database (TimesTen) is a full-featured, memory-
optimized, relational database with persistence and recoverability. It provides
applications with the instant responsiveness and very high throughput required by
database-intensive applications. Deployed in the application tier, TimesTen operates
on databases that fit entirely in physical memory (RAM). Applications access the
TimesTen database using standard SQL interfaces. For customers with existing
application data residing on the Oracle Database, TimesTen is deployed as an in-
memory cache database with automatic data synchronization between TimesTen and
the Oracle Database.
The native C interface to TimesTen is ODBC but there is an Oracle OCI layer on top of this that
allows some standard PHP OCI8 features to work. You can build PHP OCI8 and connect to both
Oracle Database and TimesTen In-Memory Database.
Many basic PHP scripts will work unchanged against either database. However, TimesTen
is a different database than Oracle Database. Some PHP OCI8 features cannot be expected to
work the same way, or don't work at all. In particular LOB support from PHP OCI8 is not
available, even though TimesTen 11g Release 2 allows LOBS to be stored. Collection support
isn't available and you might experience some edge cases with binding, particularly if your
code is not well formed. Error messages might differ. If you are migrating existing applications
to TimesTen is also important to test thoroughly because TimesTen does not support all SQL,
PL/SQL or database features of Oracle Database. Problem resolution for using PHP with
TimesTen is via OTN forums, which is the same as for PHP with Oracle Database.
Native ODBC applications will generally be much faster than PHP due to the overheads of
PHP, some overheads of the Oracle OCI layer that sits on top of TimeTen's native ODBC API,
and due to the scale-out architecture commonly used by PHP applications not being directly
congruent with the in-memory high performance design of TimesTen.
Installing TimesTen on Linux
Install TimesTen following the Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database Installation Guide 11.
These steps are summarized below using 64-bit Oracle Linux 6.
1. Download "TimesTen 184.108.40.206.0 for Linux x86 (64-bit)" from the TimesTen downloads
2. As root, create a new software owner and set a password:
# useradd -m -c "TimesTen Owner" -d /home/ttadmin -s /bin/bash ttadmin
# chmod 755 /home/ttadmin
# passwd ttadmin