Manageability: an Oracle fan gets illogical
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.