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The CORAL package is the LCG Persistency Framework foundation for accessing relational databases. From the start CORAL has been designed to facilitate the deployment of the LHC experiment database applications in a distributed computing environment. In particular we cover - improvements to database service scalability by client connection management - platform-independent, multi-tier scalable database access by connection multiplexing, caching - a secure authentication and authorisation scheme integrated with existing grid services. We will summarize the deployment experience from several experiment productions using the distributed database infrastructure, which is now available in LCG. Finally, we present perspectives for future developments in this area.