Comparison of Business Intelligence Strategies between SQL and Oracle

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  • Hi there

    One item you may have overlooked - its important to remember that the "user experience" in all of this is poorly served in both areanas of dbms's. For example the pivot control is hardly useful for any serious BI and the oracle express tools (name has probably changed) are clunky and somewhat limiting. When making a decision, take a careful look at the packages to deliver the real functionality to the end user such as Cognos and others (I cant remember the freaking names!). These tools all "plug in" to the underlying BI infrastructure and their associated API's, the plug in's may also be limitinng based on the company/version your connecting to, and worst still, if the GUI vendor does or does not support XYZ feature from the dbms vendor's cubes/bi framework. The other end of the stick is that the GUI vendor like cognos also gens its own the cubes, with a good security model wrappered around it; so then the matrix of choice broadens for you...

    Dont expect to be coding up screens using API's, it may be very costly for you, and there are a huge number of vendors out there will all the hooks to MS and Oracle with extremely function UI's for your hardcore and "standard" users. Perhaps code up the "executives" BI screens yourself, but Id be supprised that you can pull off the rest.



    Chris Kempster
    Author of "SQL Server Backup, Recovery & Troubleshooting"
    Author of "SQL Server 2k for the Oracle DBA"

  • Hello Everybody

    Dinesh has done a good job in pointing the difference betwwen SQL Server and Oracle in favour of Sql Server.Since this place is only for SQL Server everybody will readily accept this but if you this article in an open place(where both Oracle & SQL Server guys can read) we would see a real debate between these two products and can evaluate better.

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  • Hi all,

    I received an email from Oracle expert saying it is not so much cost as I have mentioned. As per him, by using only Oracle Express, you can create BI platform even without DW Builder. Any idea?

    Another thing, Cognos has so many products for BI like Decision Stream, PowerPlay. For entire BI platform, should buy all these products?

    mcp mcse mcsd mcdba

  • The costing is a very valid argument. Feature for feature you could make Oracle match SQL (or vice versa) to the point where the business wouldn't really care as long as they got their reports. The simple reality of it all is that the SQL option will be cheaper - and I have seen clients implement a SQL DW + a dedicated resource for the same price it would have cost them to take the Oracle route. In this period of IT Budget contraints (yada yada) price counts for an awful lot...

  • ...and besides, the SQL option is just sooooo much easier to implement! Less headache factor 🙂

  • I would have also added the difference in cost between and Oracle developer and a SQL developer for ongoing maintainence which can cause a TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) blowup.

  • I wonder why the cost of Oracle developer so high. Because of Orcal DBA has wide knowledge than SQL DBA or besoming Oracle DBA is too difficult and too cost.

    mcp mcse mcsd mcdba

  • Obviously an Oracle Fan wrote the following article. In relation to the article mentioned above and the very long discussion about Oracle VS SQL. Are all the arguments that the author makes correct and if so would the cost of Oracle be worth it??,289483,sid13_gci834319,00.html

    David Weil

  • As I think, this is depend on cost and familirity. I read the page what you have mentioned but can't agree to all like partitioning, triggers, external file accessing. Even bitmap indexing is also available in SQL 64-bit version. Some parts are unknown to me as I do not have much experience in Oracle. It is better to read this page by someone who has good knowledge on both sides and let us know.

    mcp mcse mcsd mcdba

  • Hey David, I guess most of us are SQL fans? I took a look at the article, I'd guess most of it is right, I see a few things I disagree with. Worth discussing another day perhaps.

    Seems to me that it most cases the BI platform is going to be based on the existing db platform you already have. I work in a MS only environment, even if Oracle BI was SUPERB - it would be hard to pick - we'd have to find an Oracle pro, go through the learning pains, etc. The alternative is to buy a product like Cognos that can use whatever you have in place.


  • I think that the issue of third party front end tools is practically irrelevant because all the major BI Tools out there are platform independant nowadays. I accept that Microsoft and Oracle have their own tools, but I have always found that companies specialising in BI tools do a better job and offer more functionailty.

    I have used business objects on sql server and oracle to report from a datawarehouse and there is little difference between the two.

    I think the real issue is:

    1. Getting the data into a warehouse easily, robustly and quickly

    2. The speed of query performance.

    I wonder if anyone out there has compared a typical data warehouse in both Microsoft and Oracle in terms of these two requirements.

    Personally I have found sql server better than oracle 8.17, mainly because oracle did not always use the right execution plan often performing full table scans where indexes were prevalent. I found I need to give hints in Oracle that I have not needed to in sql server. Incidentally, this was raised as a TAR to oracle by a dba to no avail. I also find sql server analysis services far easier to use when putting together olap solutions.

    The Users are always right - when I'm not wrong!

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