Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Manageability: an Oracle fan gets illogical

Thanks to Doug Burns for pointing out this interesting article on the comparatitive manageability of MS SQL Server and Oracle by Buck Woody (crazy name, crazy guy!).

I was particularly struck by his assertion that SQL Server is easier to manage because it requires fewer steps to achieve any given task. Despite touting this as a scientific assessment Buck Woody fails to provide even the most basic information, such as which versions he's comparing. His "proof" of this statement amounts to an invitation to install MSSQL and see for ourselves.

On the other hand, there was a very interesting presentation at OOW2K5 called "Which Database Is Easier to Manage: Technical Case Study Comparing Oracle, SQL Server and IBM DB2" by Kevin Canady and Aaron Werman of Edison Group, Inc (not Oracle employees) who asserted the opposite. They presented a set of findings based precisely on counting the number of steps reuired to do common database tasks using the vendor's GUI management tool. Oracle have made a lot of progress in manageability in 10g and the Edison Group assessment is Oracle 10g is considerably easier to manage than MSSQL. They have published these findings as head-to-head slapdowns(Oracle 10g vs Microsoft and Oracle 10g vs DB2) but the three-way comparison was dead instructive. In some areas MSSQL is less manageable than DB2. Of course, Canady and Werman were comparing production versions, which meant MSSQL 2000; an old, old product but whose fault is that?

In the Q&A slot I questioned whether counting steps in the vendor's GUI is the appropriate metric for assessing manageability. Particularly for repetitive tasks a GUI is a lot less productive than even SQL Worksheet; besides, many experienced DBAs would have scripts to undertake common tasks. The presenters took the point, but it's the old case of measuring what is what measurable. We can count the number of steps it takes to achieve something in a wizard. It's a lot harder to compare how easy it is to achieve that same thing by the quickest possible means, because that might vary from DBA to DBA: my PL/SQL is quicker than my Python scripting but not as quick as your Perl scripting.


Blogger Danny R said...


I am studying databases as part of my final year at university. I need to justify which dbms I am going to use in my project (which is a web based way to cash cheques). Do you think there is any content in these documents that may be of use?

Can you think of any other resources that may be of use to me in order to justify my choice (10G XE). I am reviewing 10G XE, SQL Server XE and MySQL.


Danny R - My Final Year Blog

14 December 2005 at 09:32:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why dont you look at them then decide instead of being a typical student and getting other people to do it for you.

3 January 2006 at 08:16:00 GMT-8  
Blogger Danny R said...

Anonymous said...

Why dont you look at them then decide instead of being a typical student and getting other people to do it for you.

Yeh thanks anonymous for that really constructive comment!

Have you ever done a degree? Have you ever tried to do anything positive? From that comment I really doubt it. I bet your one of those people who responds to technical questions with 'RTFM'. As my mom always says 'if youve gotnothing constructive to say, dont say anything at all!'

12 January 2006 at 09:14:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did your 'mom' ever teach you the value of spelling correctly? No, didn't think so.

Comment still stands, do you own work and stop being lazy.

15 January 2006 at 08:16:00 GMT-8  
Blogger Danny R said...

Hey, look anon I work damn hard and as such hope to get a good degree out of it. If you want to know how hard just look at my blog and judge for yourself. I ask a nice civilised question, that wasnt even addressed to you and you come back with comments like that?

What kind of a society do we live in where a question evokes an unnecessary response like that?

And no, my mom didnt teach me to spell. My secondary school managed that, well sort of.

and my questions still stand, have you ever done a degree? to what level? and would you be brave enough to give up a relatively lucrative career in your mid twenties to embark upon a new unknown one?

I await your reply...

20 January 2006 at 15:29:00 GMT-8  
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