I used to feel indifferent towards the Oracle database, since the only thing I knew about it was that it costs a whole LOT more than a MS SQL Server box and I figured well there's a lot of people using it it's gotta have some merits somewhere right?
Recently some of my colleagues were dealing with a project which required the use of an Oracle 10g database and the Oracle 10g AS. And I kept hearing horror stories of maintainence headaches, performance issues, and all sorts of crazy problems which I couldn't believe it when I heard it. At first I just thought my colleagues were just inexperienced with Oracle and were running into some teething problems.
Then I bumped into an old friend who was equally experienced in both the MS SQL Server camp and also Oracle databases as well, currently he seems to be working with Oracle servers mainly. So I decided to ask him a few questions about the problems my colleagues were facing and see what was his take on it. My questions are in bold followed by his answers below.
Installing An Oracle DB Requires A Certified Oracle DB Installer to do it, or else Oracle will not provide tech support.
Yup, why else do you think Oracle DB consultants are paid so highly. Oracle likes to make their programs look like technical marvels that require expert caretakers to take care of. (You need to fax in the installer's cert to the Oracle tech support department so they can verify you found the right person to do it. In our case the consultant came to the site, looked at the software & hardware he was to install and said he didn't know how to do it. My uncertified colleague told him to sit down and aid him in installation... brain dumping bastard!)
Changing any system parameter or configuration requires a reinstall of the database.
Not exactly, you CAN just edit the system configuration file. It's just that usually the complexity of the changes involved means you probably should just reinstall the damn system all over again. (For us the problem happened when the customer gave my colleagues the wrong IP address to be assigned to the server, a day was wasted reinstalling Oracle 10g, and AS)
Oracle AS only supports 256 simultaneous connections.
My friend is unfamiliar with AS but he says that in general anything else Oracle makes OTHER than the Database SUCKS! No one wants to use Oracle web server, email server, file server, etc. etc.
So I ask him the final most important question, performance for price which is better Oracle or MS SQL Server?
Oracle he replies, but only IF you buy a very high end specification database server, due to the fact that MS SQL Server performance encounters a performance bottleneck when running on said very high end specification database servers.
That would mean that if you're just running a simple say, one office, or even a medium sized web server. MS SQL gives you better value for money.
After all that I asked him why does he push Oracle in my face so much then if MS SQL seems to be a better buy. Didn't I tell you Oracle consultants make a lot of money? he replies.