Re: Total Cost of Ownership

From: Dawn M. Wolthuis <>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 10:16:44 -0500
Message-ID: <c59356$s61$>

"Laconic2" <> wrote in message
> Dawn,
> Your description of the experiences that led you to your current struggle
> set me to thinking in a new direction. I want to explore this business of
> TCO. But first I have a few preliminary questions.
> First, what is PICK for? I'm not really ready, at this point, to absorb a
> whole lot about how it works. All I want to know is what it is for.

It is pretty much "for" the same purposes as SQL Server.

> Second, what leads you to attribute the success of certain groups to their
> use of PICK?

My own experience that leads me to believe it gives a bigger bang for the buck and anecdotes from others who have experience with both and have a similar impression. There are anecdotes that lead to the opposite opinion as well, so these are not sufficient to make a case. But such anecdotes include companies that switched from PICK to Oracle and increased their IT staff by 400% to accomodate as well as needing bigger hardware and having to pay higher salaries (I'm excluding that last point from the equation, however). There are others that switched from PICK and ended up going belly up because their business model did not permit that type of expense for IT.

> Third, what do you think pushes up the TCO in major SW applications?

Cost of ongoing support -- training for personnel who make changes, risk and associated time required to make a change, design of the database that permits changes of many kinds to be made handily, software languages (including application software and constraint logic) that lead to fewer bugs and help with the QA processes, procedures that are tight enough to promote quality and loose enough to encourage movement, distribution of data among many disperate data sources, client/server issues such as version skew, etc. [I need to do some cleaning and food prep for Easter, so this and rest of response is off the top of my head right now]

> Alternatively, what pushes downward on the total benefits of ownership?

Stagnation, inadequate communication among all players, high risk of making any change, severe procedures for making changes, application performance including performance issues related to the database, ease of reporting against the database including ease for users to have and maintain a data catalog (so they can "shop" for the data they need); mitigation of client/server & version skew issues, and a bunch more -- these might not be the most important -- I'll think more about it.

> I realize you may be in the middle of a journey regarding all of this. I
> don't want to put you on the spot. But if you once believed what I still
> believe, and have come to question it, your thoghts and experiences are
> interest to me.

I appreciate that. If you don't want to invest in learning anything about PICK (which is, surely, old technology), look at product such as those from and see what you think about TCO with one of the BerkeleyDB products compared to DB2, Oracle, or SQL Server. I suspect these databases might be poo-pooed by RDBMS folks as "file systems" much as PICK is (I don't KNOW that, however).

Thanks. --dawn Received on Sat Apr 10 2004 - 17:16:44 CEST

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