Eye on Oracle

Mar 24 2008   10:15AM GMT

Is the SQL community more open than the Oracle community?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

InfoWorld blogger Sean McCown recently had his say in the Oracle vs. Microsoft SQL Server debate — and some Oracle users aren’t too happy about it.

In “The real difference between SQL Server and Oracle,” McCown writes that what most sets Microsoft apart from Oracle is the community that Microsoft has built, and the ease at which the members of this community can get the information they need.

“If you take any 10 DBAs from each side and ask them to look up a solution to a probem on their platform, the SQL guys will find the answer much faster than the Oracle guys will. And that’s just a fact. If you’re looking on specifics on how Oracle works internally, it’s almost impossible to ferret out the info, but with SQL, there are so many open resources it’s just a matter of a few minutes to [find] an answer.”

Oracle, on the other hand, is doing business the old way, and “is still living in the old days where everything is a good ole boys club,” he says. This makes it difficult for Oracle users to get sufficient direction and training.

McCowan received mixed feedback, but many Oracle users disagreed with him and defended the Oracle community. Here’s some of McCowan’s response:

“I never said there were NO forums or documentation. I said that it’s really difficult to find anything when you need it…. So the question stands: How does the Oracle community go about advertising its resources?”

From your own experiences, what do you think? How could Oracle make its resources more accessible for its customers? Or, do you think Oracle actually wins out over Microsoft? (In McCown’s words, “you’re just crazy”?)

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Phil Singer
    I have been trying for the last 3 months to find some intelligent information about SQL Server 2005's "snapshot isolation" feature. But, no matter how hard I search, all I can find is a re-hash of the marketing crap M$ puts on on micro$hoft.com Then I took another look at the title of this whole charade. "SQL versus Oracle". This makes no sense. Oracle is 100% SQL driven. Then I realized what was going on. This was being promoted by one of those guys who finds typing out "SQL Server" to be too challenging. So, I just wasted my time
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  • BBBush
    Balderdash! I’ve worked with Oracle for over 16 years and SQL Server for 2+ years now and have very distinct opinions of technology and the people using them. Here are a few observations… SQL Server, generally, attracts administrators who want to point and click (being lead by the hand). I think this attitude facilitates the whining regarding lack of “show me” type training. It’s a bit ironic that Sean does not have the time to run a search but does have the time to attend training. I spend just as much time “Searching” for SQL Serve as Oracle. With regard to statements about community… I just ran a Google search on “SQL Server Forum” returning 900,000 hits. A search for “Oracle Forum” returns 1,890,000 hits. A Google search on “SQL Server User Group” returns 983,000 hits. A search for “Oracle User Group” returns 1,500,000. “SQL Server White Paper” returns 506,000 while “Oracle White Paper” returns 592,000. What about asktom.oracle.com? This man is an Oracle VP (for god’s sake) who’s writing and guidance is as definitive as it gets! Does Microsoft have a VP that does what Tom does? I could go on but won’t. With regard to finding solutions… I have all the latest Oracle and SQL Server books (not published by the companies themselves). I find that most of the SQL Server books are a near-copy of Books On Line. Look through the “SQL Cookbook” by O’Reilly for a recipe, you’ll find the SQL Server solution to be 2x to 5x as long and complicated as that of Oracle! What about trying out software to see if it is the right “solution” for you? How many Microsoft products are available for free down load? Nearly all Oracle products are available for the time it takes to copy them! With regard to database internals… Ever heard of “Wait Interface”? Oracle 10g exposes over 800 wait events (probably too many) while SQL Server 2005 exposes 100+. Have you ever tried to directly query the SQL Server Data Dictionary for instance-wide information regarding space utilization, indexes, etc? It’s a total pain! Have you ever seen a “Snap Shot” report, or anything even close to it, coming out of SQL Server? There are many other means of exposing Oracle internals that Sean probably does not know about. If you’re the type of DBA that demands point-and-click, lead me by the hand, “I want it now”, and simply a place to put data then SQL Server is for you. On the other hand, if you’ve got more complex requirements and are willing to invest some time, talent, energy, and money (yes, Oracle is more expensive but there’s a reason) in the Profession of being an “Oracle DBA” cast aside the whining presented in the article and belly up to the bar!
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