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Re: MS SQL Server Evaluation

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 12:12:40 -0000
Message-ID: <4051a939$0$3307$>

This probably ought to be headed up 'in defence of sql server" but comments embedded

"Mark" <> wrote in message
> I'm pretty opened minded about database engines. I've worked on
> Sybase, SQL Server, Informix XPS, and Oracle implementations over the
> years.
> Recently, I attended the first day of a "SQL Server for Oracle DBA's"
> class at Microsoft Headquarters here in Dallas. I went to this class
> because I hadn't logged into a SQL Server since about 1994, and I was
> curious what had changed in all that time. I have to say that I was
> REALLY surprised how far behind SQL Server is in functionality when
> you compare it to Oracle.
> For example, they only have about 3 or 4 of the index types that are
> available for an Oracle DBA. They don't even have bitmap indexes.
> Can you believe that?

I can, they'd have to rewrite the query optimizer to do FBI like Oracle for example (though you can index a computed column it isn't really a solution). bitmap indexes which are the other difference that I care about aren't widely used IME.

For most OLTP type apps you don't want anything other than a straightforward b-tree index and NL type access. Once you get into data warehousing things become different true, but I can't see DW as a key market for MS.

One good question to ask of any of these features is 'so was my life unbearable on 7.3 or 8.1.5'? If it wasn't all the hype doesn't make the feature anything other than nice to have.

> Their trace facility beats Oracle, but that's no big deal. It does
> have a cool feature where you can take a trace from one instance and
> play it back on another instance.

OK maybe not in defence of sqlserver. ISTM that Oracle Trace is way more advanced and useful than the MSSQL version, Oracle Trace can tell you when you have problems OUTSIDE the DB, I can't find a way to do this with MSSQL.

> However, almost all of the advanced features that are available in
> Oracle, you won't find in SQL Server. Don't even look for anything
> like RAC.

*No-one* has anything like RAC. On the other hand even Mr Ellison at the launch of 10g spoke of having 'hundreds' of customers world wide on RAC. Until this figure gets into the thousands I can't get myself over excited about it. In the meantime competive products run stable secure highly available apps for non-Oracle customers. Sure RAC is nice (especially if you run expensive RISC hardware) it isn't essential for most people.

> I'm not saying that SQL Server is a bad engine. In fact, it would
> probably work almost as well (with a little work), anywhere you might
> consider Oracle Standard Edition. It's kind of like the low budget
> cars you see that have that 100,000 mile warranty. On the other hand,
> Oracle Standard Edition seems like a Toyota and the Enterprise Edition
> is similar to a Lexus.

SQL server is way ahead in terms of manageability and speed of learning - sure part of that is due to complexity and flexibility - but it is a real problem for Oracle corp (and one that 10g appears to make a damn good stab at). Oracle is ahead on performance, availability and flexibity.

I also prefer .net dev tools to any of the j2ee tools and guess which integrates better with which.

Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA
Audit Commission UK
Received on Fri Mar 12 2004 - 06:12:40 CST

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