Data Management

Microsoft is knocking on your door, Oracle.


For over a decade, Oracle has been the frontrunner in the database systems market. With the release of SQL Server 2005, it looks like Microsoft is finally knocking on the front door of Oracle. With SQL Server 2005, Microsoft has slowly been increasing market share in the database stream and is doing so because they have a simple strategy. SQL Server 2005 will be available only on the Windows platform. It will be tightly woven into all Windows Server systems. You will never see a SQL Server for Linux. There are third-party tools available for integrating SQL Server with other platforms but SQL Server is Microsoft's gem.

In my opinion, SQL Server is dominating the small\medium database space and as the adoption of 64-bit computing births, we will see Microsoft slowly emerging into the large market space over Oracle and IBM.

It is a very exciting time for SQL Server and I believe a changing of the guard will come. What are your thoughts?

31 comments
frankz
frankz

The link below provides access to a study that compares the effort of managing Oracle 10g Release 2 versus SQL Server 2005. It backs up the claim that Oracle 10g is easier to manage than SQL Server 2005. http://www.theedison.com/index.php/articles/171 (Note: you may need to register to obtain the full report.)

psinger1
psinger1

I thought MySQL was the dominant RDBS in the small/medium market.

four-eyes_z
four-eyes_z

No one would ever consider installing a database made by Microsoft in a serious data center! To suggest that almighty Oracle can ever be bested by the likes of SQL Server is to court the wrath of the Inquisition! Consider yourself fortunate I have decided to grant you mercy by not calling upon the Ordo Malleus to purify and cleanse this pathetic and Chaos-orchestrated blog from this website!

psmith
psmith

Having been a DBA involved in both MSS 2003 to Oracle 10g and Oracle 9i to MSS 2003 conversions, as well as conversions of both Oracle 9i & MSS 2003 Apps to MySQL, all I can say is be very careful of the Kool-Aid. While there are many Apps that don't require it, and hence can use any of these RDBMS comfortably, MSS still has quite a ways to go before it's really in the same feature and performance space as Oracle. MS's rejection of Open Systems seems less savvy marketing move, than simply suicidal, IMO.

bwatkins
bwatkins

I agree with the unanimous (to date) comments that Oracle is technically superior to MS SQL Server, and it is continuing to widen its lead with features in 11g such as automatic partitioning, Real Application Testing (capture of actual workloads for replay to test patches), and even hot application of patches in some cases without requiring downtime. But business decision-makers don't look at what is technically the best. They look at what is most attractive from a cost vs. benefit standpoint. If it's "good enough" in their eyes, is more risky but not too much so, and is priced low enough, they'll go for it. Microsoft may not be knocking on Oracle's door on technical merit, which is what everyone's post seemed to respond to. Rather, it's knocking on Oracle's door economically, by including Business Intelligence features for free that Oracle charges a lot of $ for. I think at the enterprise level, business trends favor Oracle. The increase in storage of unstructured data, the focus on information security, and the data center preference for Linux all work in Oracle's favor. In the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market, however, a lot of companies are scared by support issues for Linux and want to have an all Microsoft house. And because they're extremely cost conscious, Oracle will be seen as priced out of the market. There will be potentially more risk going with Microsoft, but the additional cost of removing that risk will not be seen as justified, and more will start to go Microsoft at that level. Free opinion, and worth every cent! :-)

jbutler23
jbutler23

Along with many of the other benefits the others have stated, our biggest use of Oracle is the Spatial option. I work in the GIS field so this is almost a must for us in a database environment. I would be interested to see Microsoft support Spatial types in SQL. I've heard for a few years that they were looking to add this option. I've found this.. http://www.directionsmag.com/editorials.php?article_id=2477

steven.gibby
steven.gibby

Microsoft will rule the entire planet. We all know that deep down. There will be Microsoft and a few scorpions.

grephead
grephead

I'm a DBA that uses both products. In previous versions SQL Server was easier than Oracle for adminstration. Oracle in past years has been complicated to setup and the ability to be tuned/adjusted to ANY environment. Now SQL Server 2005 administration is more complicated than Oracle 10g/11g administration. Yep, you heard me - Oracle is now easier to administer. Oracle is light years ahead in clustering. SQL Server still has Analysis Services and SSIS/ETL built in - these are additional costs for Oracle. Enterprise environments typically use more solid OS like Linux or Unix for critical apps and that leaves SQL Server at a disadvantage. In a sense I think Microsoft is making their database product less likely to be used in the larger enterprises.

frankz
frankz

I whole-heartedly concur that Oracle's 10g/11g installation procedure has been tremendously simplified. Administering an Oracle DB has become child's play compared to earlier versions. With the free Oracle XE, which is as robust as its other Editions, it seems to me that Oracle could be blowing the door wide open into SQL Server's small/mid market.

casimiro.barreto
casimiro.barreto

Good joke... That's the Microsoft salespeople dream since the acquisition of those Sybase sources back in 1994 or so... Dominate the database market with a database platform that is not portable to real server OS is a real fun. Like moving Sinai mountain using a single VW beetle... When you have serious news please, let me hear from you again :)

msdoesnotrule
msdoesnotrule

First of all, quality over quantity. Second of all, you must have been using another "fine" Micro$oft product, M$-Word, to create your post: "adoption of 64-bit computing births" As Linux slowly eats away at Windoze's decomposing corpse (great example, Vista's "lipstick on the pig"), so will SQL Server rot and die. Have a nice day!!!

Jshee42
Jshee42

I've worked with both SQL Server 2005 and Oracle (8i, 9i, 10g) databases. I love the additional functionality that Oracle Databases have over SQL Server. SQL Server seems to basic and configuring seems too limited. They can have the small/medium business. Oracle will still remain tops in the large database world.

bastien
bastien

SQL Server is not knocking on the door, its not even in the the neighborhood. Having been involved with DB2, Oracle, MySQL and SQL Server, I can tell you that SQL Server is still behind the others. We support an application that runs inside the networks of some of the largest retailers in the world and I am certain that not one would support mission critical operations on an MS product. Windows just cannot provide the stability and uptime of *NIX based systems. With its constant patches and security holes, its still not ready for the backoffice. Sorry, MS. BK

lisafern
lisafern

Can I run SQL Server on AIX, Solaris, Linux? Can I have Function Based Index? Can I have Deferred Constraints? What about cluster? I'm working with both SS2005 and Oracle 9i, and no doubt Oracle is far far ahead of SQL Server (this features I mention exists in Oracle since years)

rclinto2
rclinto2

I SERIOUSLY doubt that MS SQL Server has even a slim chance of making inroads to Oracle market share. Oracle is scalable and portable across operating systems. SQL Server is tied to Windows (Vista...Yuck!). Even if MS wanted to take a decent run at Oracle, they first have to sell the U.S. government that their product is secure and properly supported. MS SQL Server has a place in the business world, but going after Oracle on the "big turf" with this product just doesn't make sense. If you are interested, go to "www.oracle.com" and click on the link to the "Technology Network". From there you can view and download all of Oracle's applications and documentation to evaluate FOR FREE! Does Microsoft offer this?

inTI42long
inTI42long

Steve said: "SQL Server 2005 will be available only on the Windows platform. It will be tightly woven into all Windows Server systems. You will never see a SQL Server for Linux." Are you saying these are GOOD things?

bernard.mathysse
bernard.mathysse

As long as SQL Server is only available on the Windows platform, you are limited. But the difference in cost is still an issue with Oracle and the steeper learning curve may still put some people off.

marc_pearl
marc_pearl

How Absurd! Bitmap indexes anyone? SServer took 5 years and still hasn't caught up with functionality that Oracle had back in 8i, let alone 9i, 10g, 11....

tim.yen
tim.yen

Wait until microsoft gets sql server 2008 out the door. I saw a preview talk the other night and it looks really good. Sparse columns, Partial Indexes, T/SQL updates, Separate Date and Time fields. Thing is I can only compare with oracle 9i, maybe oracle 11 has all this too.

gpapadopoulos
gpapadopoulos

For me it's not only the speed. It's also the SQL dialect that you have to use. PL/SQL is closer to the OO paradigm, see for example PL/SQL packages AND it runs inside the DB. T-SQL is more procedural, if you want something close to PL/SQL packages you have to resort to using .NET inside the DB, but then again this cannot be as fast as the PL/SQL running inside the DB which is "native" to Oracle. Data Type conversions between .NET and SQL and vice-versa will always pose a performance problem. Same issue if you use Java in the DB. This can be a serious performance issue to take into account when developing SQL-intensive apps, manipulating large data sets, such as Data Warehousing apps are. PL/SQL's shares the same data types as Oracle native data types making such conversions unnecessary, thus contributing to faster execution of your code AND at the same time offers some of the advantages of OO such as encapsulation, grouping of related procs together under the same roof(aka the Packages). It's not "true" OO but it's a lot better than "plain" stored procs in T-SQL. If MS could do something like this then I would reconsider SQL Server for large-scale apps such as DW.

bogdincescu
bogdincescu

Could one compare the BS Transact/SQL witl PL/SQL? PL/SQL is much more powerful and better structured. Plus, any big entreprise systems run on some Unix or Linux OS, while Windows is good mainly as workstation OS. If MS would produce MS-Office for Linux, I would no longer use Windows. MS-Office is definitely the best MS product and that which brought them to the top.

andrewmccallum2003
andrewmccallum2003

So why don't you run MacOS? The original and best GUI interface, running on BSD Unix, and it has MS Office.

dilip.gowda
dilip.gowda

I can say only two words regarding this. "Bull Shit"

dilipj
dilipj

It's really enjoyable to observe the rivalry of Oracle with Microsoft. If oracle would have another choice of OS definitely they would have avoided their product to run on Microsoft. Pity... they can't. SQL server is easy to operate and maintain. Offers lot of flexibility. Easy and plenty availability of support material. As rightly said, it is dominating small to medium segment. I have seen SQL database in 'Large' segment also.. working fine... It will be a great fun to observe SQL on Unix...

singhrajender
singhrajender

I totally disagree with you! Check out what is Oracle about when it comes to database systems "While IBM was navigating the political and practical obstacles of RDBMS technology, the rest of the industry was busy developing commercial products. Relational Software Inc. (now Oracle Corporation) announced its Oracle RDBMS in 1979, beating IBM to market. by nearly two years. Many other key RDBMS products were released during the early 1980s, including a commercial version of Stonebraker's INGRES and NonStop SQL, which was developed in part by Jim Gray (see the timeline for more industry milestones)." Check out http://www.teradata.com/t/page/127057 Don't think negatively about choice of OS. It a very big things designing software which can run in all the available possible platform. Regards

frank.schafer
frank.schafer

You mentioned Linux SQL Server will never be available for. All serious IT application service providers I've worked for are running AIX, Solaris, HP/UX, Tru64 and ... Linux for large scale applications (some hundreds of terabytes of data) The large scale application OS world is a UNIX world. Thus as long as MS doesn't become POSIX compatible there is no chance. On the other hand ... just now I'm working as a DB administrator running both Oracle and MS SQL Server. SQL Server is still far far away from the power of Oracle.

sgreen
sgreen

Agree completely. There's also drive attach and tuning problems, too. I've tracked performance failures using MsSQL2005 through an iSCSI intiator to a NAS (still testing, though). MS' dependency on block traffic is frustrating. No such limitations on Oracle: a mounted NAS volume can be tuned to run as fast...if not much, much faster...than even my DDA blocks...and this is the performance I've come to expect from Oracle. MsSQL might impress the developers...and it might look sexy...but so long as it remains on the "MS" dance card, I just don't think it can compete for large scale services.

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