Anybody out there a database person that can explain to me why people use Oracle? Why is it a better solution than SQL Server?

I have to say as a software developer I need to use databases for a handful of things: backup, restore, create/run scripts, create/run/debug stored procedures. And I can say that everytime I have to deal with Oracle I want to throw my computer through a window. God it's horrible. Just a complete pain in the arse to use. The worst UI on the planet. Just frustrating from beginning to end. Whereas, SQL Server is just easy as pie and user friendly out the rear.

Just had to vent. Every time I have a client issue with Oracle I want to say "Well, your first problem is that you are using Oracle!"

[This message has been edited by Jim01 (edited 6/4/2012 9:22a).]
I've been using it for about a year now and I have to say its one of the least intuitive pieces of software I've dealt with.
I think for 90% of the applications out there SQL Server is a much better choice than Oracle.

There are a few cases though where Oracle can outperform SQL Server. Of course many use Oracle because it is available on whatever religion (OS) they believe in. Oracle will cost more, cost more in people, and take more time in tweaking, tuning, and configuration.
The worst UI on the planet.

I take it you've never used DB2 lol.

Also, what UI are you talking about... are you talking the database admin stuff? You're not talking SQLPLUS are you? For development you should be using a tool like Toad or Pl/SQL developer.

Of course many use Oracle because it is available on whatever religion (OS) they believe in.

It's not religion, it's simple reality, for mission critical enterprise applications Windows has never been reliable enough. When they measure downtime in thousands of dollars a minute BSOD's are unacceptable.

Also I've been through more than one proof of concept with SQL server as a replacement for Oracle (for obvious cost reasons) and SQL server has never been able to meet performance requirements... despite the fact that we really wanted it to win. So I think your 90% is probably very, very high... unless you are talking about the gazillion access databases in the world.

[This message has been edited by OregonAg (edited 6/4/2012 10:06a).]
Not talking about Access....

As for OS religion, I don't think mainstream Linux is any more reliable than recent Windows Server releases. Solaris? Only for fanboys.

If you want performance and reliability choose DB2 on z/OS.

I work with DB2 on Z/0S, and Oracle on UNIX(AIX)/Linux(SUSE) on a daily basis.

Both supporting hundreds of millions of transactions every day.

Both support mission critical enterprise class applications.

We also have a few smaller SQL server instances for lower volume, lesser critical apps.

I don't hate SQL server, but I know of no one who would suggest moving our critical apps to it.

SQL server is very nice for what it is, but it's not Oracle's equal... not by a long shot.
I am so tired of trying to convince people who don't "like" oracle that it has its place. I am not going to argue that it is "better" because there are too many factors that define it.

I think Windows/MS SQL Server has been plagued by the reliability factor forever in comparison to Oracle. I think they just recently in the last few years have somewhat gotten over the performance hump too.

I have been an Oracle person for about 15 years now and have no problems with it. I work for a small software company and everyone here thinks it "sucks", but yet I would say the vast majority of our customers run our software on Oracle. Yes MSSQL is "easier" when you need to quickly get a database copied, restored, backed up etc. From a developer perspective, yes it is helpful for build automation with respect to total time spent.

you aren't going to convince many people that one is better than the other any easier than you will convince a Ford guy that a Chevy is better and vice versa.

I think it is a developer's mindest that something "sucks" just because they don't understand it or know how to work with it.

I'm forced to use Oracle for our accounting software. It won't run on MSSQL.

I much prefer MSSQL over Oracle. But I'm also not a DBA, and don't have a DBA on staff. So whenever I have to do database work, I have no problem figuring stuff out w/ SQL, but when it comes to Oracle I'm clueless and have to call our software's support and get one of their DBAs to do it.

So my dislike for Oracle is simply because I don't know it.
how much of your job do you spend on
SQL Server would be the thing that's constantly throwing error messages on TexAgs?

More seriously, a lot of it is that Oracle has been around longer as a high powered RDBMS. Oracle had transactions in the 1980s. Oracle is known for being able to handle high traffic on the same tables better than other systems.

Personally, I mostly use mySQL.
oh man, mySQL sux
We have both at work. Oracle outperforms SQL server hands down. The biggest advantage of Oracle is the level of tuning you can do with it. It definitely costs more, both licensing and people, but it is more stable, and better performing. It is debatable whether the cost is worth the return, but the performance is no competition.

SQL Server is fine for most purposes, the biggest advantage being that it isn't too difficult to manage and is a lot cheaper. When downtime costs thousands per minute, SQL server just isn't reliable enough. However, a poorly managed and tuned Oracle database is about the worst thing you could have. Like UNIX, the peak is much higher, but the bottom is much lower. The cost of personnel who can effectively manage and tune it is high

As for the OS, Windows is fine if you can handle the level of patching and downtime required to keep it stable. When you're allowed less than 9 hours of downtime per year without penalty, stick with stability and leave windows for the corporate IT staff. I also believe Windows is about the only server OS left that requires downtime to patch. All the other major OS's can be patched without any downtime. We still perform annual reboots though, just for good practice

[This message has been edited by kb2001 (edited 6/4/2012 10:28p).]
oh man, mySQL sux

Yeah, you can't use it to run a site bigger than Wikipedia, Facebook, or Twitter.

I think it is a developer's mindest that something "sucks" just because they don't understand it or know how to work with it.

There are many developers that this applies to. Then there are those of us who realize that there are many tools available to do a job, and you should pick the "best" one for the project at hand, based in requirements, cost and time constraints, scalability, etc.

Very true, no single tool is ideal for every job.

Personally I like Oracle a lot, but to each his own. Of course I'm not a DBA and every shop I've worked in has had dedicated experienced DBAs so I wasn't dealing with that side of it, which it sounds like is where a lot of the frustration is coming from.

Yeah, you can't use it to run a site bigger than Wikipedia, Facebook, or Twitter.

Yeah, but you have to remember that those sites were started as small little startups. Then they blew up and didn't have time to optimize things.

I guarantee you that if they could snap their fingers and do a complete rewrite, they definitely wouldn't use MySQL. They're more or less just stuck with it now. It's horribly inefficient for the amount of data they push.

Good article about it:
My issue with Oracle is alot in the UI. For instance it would be really nice if things like the Cofiguration Manager showed up in the danm task bar. Half the time I end up with 2-3 open just because I forgot one was hiding behind another program.
I am both a SQL Server DBA and an Oracle DBA.

I will say that most DBA's for Oracle are still command line warriors and the GUI is an after thought.

With that in mind, SQL Server is probably good for most applications.

I work with 20+ TB databases and SQL Server has trouble handling those sizes and the thru-put most apps that size require.

Oracle is very expensive. I have done some cost benefit analysis that shows going to Dell/Linux/RAC will cost you more money due to Oracle costs.

Look up Oracle RAC on Wikipedia and you will find on a footnote an article I wrote comparing the two. Of course MS paid for it.

Oracle, specifically Oracle RAC (Real Application Clusters), costs more in manpower too. You need twice as many DBA's and SysAdmins to manage the clusters.

The real DBA GUI is Grid Control (OEM was the old name). This is a very powerful tool, but has a steep learning curve.
I will say that most DBA's for Oracle are still command line warriors and the GUI is an after thought.

Agreed. Our main Oracle DBA is a shell script wizard.

He puts me and the developers on my team to shame with his scripting chops.

[This message has been edited by OregonAg (edited 6/6/2012 3:12p).]

I work with DB2 on Z/0S...on a daily basis.

A fellow mainframer? I thought I was all alone!
Database smack - I love the Nerdery.

Did you read the comments on that link you posted?
A fellow mainframer? I thought I was all alone!

I'm something of a jack of all trades, master of none unfortunately.

I actually prefer unix/oracle but I started out MVS/DB2 back in the olden days and since I'm one of the few people around here who's comfortable in both I'm able to span both platforms since all our systems are pretty integrated these days, even though they cross platforms.
I am just a systems programmer. I don't know the DB2 part. But I can make sure the system stays up and running!
I have worked for companies since the late 1980s that develop tools and software for enterrise companies running z/OS, UNIX, LINUX, Windows. From 1981 on I was a mainframe systems programmer and assembly language developer. My development teams wrote the first third party backup/recovery utilities for Oracle (including an incremental backup feature that Oracle was unhappy we developed). I also had two developers working in Redmond in the SQL Server lab documenting the SQL Server transaction logs.
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