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RE: Oracle vs. Informix debate

From: Steve Adams <>
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 2000 22:10:40 +1000
Message-Id: <>

Hi Alan,

I don't normally buy into threads like this one, but I will this time.

Firstly, such order of magnitude differences almost always reflect query optimization differences which can normally be resolved by appropriate optimizer tuning. I was recently asked to look at an Oracle query that ran for 60 minutes whereas the "same" query running against SQL server was only taking 2 minutes. Of course, it transpired that the Oracle database was missing an index.

But the more important issue here is the impact that working in this sort of environment will have on you personally. Regardless of the business decision, you will be expected to defend Oracle whenever it is criticised, and if you fail to have the technical omniscience to answer every challenge immediately, the criticism will be regarded as sustained and you will be tarred with the same brush. So, for as long as you work there you must refuse to be cast into role of a defender of Oracle.
(Some aspects of Oracle are indefensible anyway, and for the rest I am
reminded of the words of Charles Spurgeon who said, "Defend the Bible? I would sooner defend a lion!") Beyond that, I suggest that you start looking for an employer who will value the skills that you already have without expecting you to have skills that you don't.

Just my 2c,
Steve Adams

-----Original Message-----
From: [] Sent: Saturday, 5 August 2000 5:29
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L Subject: Oracle vs. Informix debate

Hi everyone,

    Recently I changed jobs and was hired on as an Oracle DBA in Denver, CO.
About a month before I started, a big debate started about which DBMS to run
(since their Oracle contract was almost up for renewal). Some managers
questioning why some of the databases were so slow (and want to migrate some
databases away from Ingres also), so they decided to hold a test.

    They decided to benchmark Oracle, Infromix, and DB2 against each other.
The results turned out that Informix was roughly 10 times faster than Oracle, and DB2 was only somewhat faster than Oracle. Here's the catch though, both IBM and Informix sent guys out to tune their databases. The
Oracle database was only tuned in-house. (Since this test took place before
I got here, I had no hand in this). Anyway, it looks like management may be
leaning towards Informix, especially after 4 salesman from Informix came
here and gave a great marketing speech that any manager would love!

    Any suggestions on papers to read on comparisons, opinions, etc. Is Informix really that much faster? What about 3rd party tools? It seems to
me that most tools are written with Oracle in mind, not Informix. And how
about company stability? It makes me a little nervous to convert to Informix after watching the stock price of Informix plunge over the past several months down to nearly $4 a share! Plus, they just hired an ORACLE
DBA, not an Informix DBA!!!!! (Which makes me wonder if I'll be employed in
a few months...) Any other valid points in this argument / debate?



Alan Aschenbrenner
Oracle DBA
IHS Group


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Received on Sun Aug 06 2000 - 07:10:40 CDT

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