Oracle Database vs MySQL vs SQL Server vs Teradata vs SAP IQ

What are operations engineers, BI developers, solution architects, and other IT professionals saying about relational databases?

IT Central Station users have compared the key players in the relational database industry: Oracle Database, MySQL, SQL Server, Teradata, and SAP IQ.

What can prospective or existing users learn from the relational database reviews and feedback that our user community has shared?

Read the review excerpts below to find out.

Oracle Database

Adaptable to Many Use Cases

George Akkara, Senior Database Consultant at IGT, Senior Database Consultant at IGT, describes Oracle Database’s most valuable feature:

 “The most valuable feature is how evolved the solution is right now. It's been around for a while, and I think it's been servicing a lot of different use cases. I think it's really stabilized, evolved, and you can actually put it to use in multiple scenarios. It adapts itself just as well to most business use cases.”

Real Zero Downtime Patching

An Oracle DBA at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees describes how Oracle Database can be further improved:

Real zero-downtime patching, that's what I want.

When you have a fallback system with RAC and Data Guard, the autonomous help framework could support it, but collecting the logs and reading the logs is still a nightmare. Improving this would be very good. The way Oracle does it today is OK, with in-memory options, with NoSQL database integrated and so on, but it could be a really good feature for the future.”



EER Diagram

Rehana Parvin, Database Administrator at a recruiting/HR firm with 1,001-5,000 employees, writes about the value added by MySQL’s EER diagram feature:

“The EER diagram is the most important feature for me as the EER diagram can show the inner picture of the database, such as the relationship between the tables very easily. We can also add, modify or delete EER diagrams very easily.”

Menu Navigation

Parvin continues that in terms of improvements, because MySQL has “a lot of options to interact with...Sometimes it is hard to find the appropriate options quickly. They need to add descriptions somewhere as to where a user can go to find the proper menu easily when required.

Another problem is that since all the databases can be seen and operated together, it’s possible to make mistakes such as dropping the wrong database.”


SQL Server

Wide Range of Admin Tools

Aimee White, Website and EComm at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees, discusses the value SQL Server has added to her organization

“Where to start?

Great range of admin tools (far outnumbers MySQL) - I like the database tuning tools.
Nice BI tools and integration ability.”

Screenshot of BI tools:


Data Encryption and Horizontal Partitioning

Prakash Somasundaran, Project Advisor at a private sector company, suggests how SQL Server could improve further: 

“I am not sure if these areas have been taken care in SQL 2012 but areas for improvement include:

1. In SQL 2008, data encryption is not a fully mature feature. Encryption works fine for individual rows. For handling a batch, a loop has to be written. This is not straightforward.

2. Horizontal partitioning is not a fully mature feature. In horizontal partitioning, partition key has to be part of primary key. This becomes difficult to implement in an already existing database.” 


Real-time Operational Reporting

Royden Akerley, Enterprise Programmes Architect with 1,001-5,000 employees, discusses Teradata’s real-time operational reporting capabilities

“Each has its strengths and weaknesses; this is why we use a blended environment. We have a holistic view which is very mature and thus, it is impossible to give a concise answer.

However, converting the Teradata from a pure BI to an ODS has been our greatest achievement; it effectively has allowed us to remove over 20 portion copies of the data sets on other DB platforms for real-time operational reporting purposes.

Data Synchronization

A Teradata Team Leader at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees writes about necessary improvements to Teradata’s data synchronization features;

“Data synchronization to the DR site.

My company’s management has to decide whether to invest in this area. This is more an internal issue at the company and definitely not a problem with the Teradata product. If we end up migrating to another platform, this will be the reason.”


Speed of Query Response and Data Loading

Larry Gale, Data Architect, Enterprise Data Warehouse at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees, names SAP IQ’s speed capabilities as its most valuable feature: 

The speed of the tool - both of the query response and the loading of data...It’s the central component of our enterprise data warehouse. Queries and reports that would require hours or days from the original source systems are now available in minutes or seconds. It’s really fast!”


Gale also discusses SAP IQ’s stability features, which he believes needs improvement:

“The stability needs improvement. We’ve upgraded through multiple minor revisions because of issues where the database server would crash when attempting to answer a perfectly legal SQL query.”


Read more relational database reviews from Q2 2017 on IT Central Station.

Related Categories: Relational Databases

author avatarНедашковский Евгений
Real User

To be honest I believe Oracle is the best option if you have unlimited budget. For companies that want to spend some reasonable money SQL Server is the best option. It is suitable in 95% cases but it functionality is a little bit limited comparing to Oracle. Though I am sure that 99,99% is that you do not need that 5% of functionality. But who knows.
All the freebies (MySQL, Maria, PostreSQL) are questionable. Usually you get what you pay for. If you paid nothing...
What to choose? Choose what other companies use and check what kind of workforce is available in your area. You may find it funny to find out that after purchasing DB2 the cheapest option to support it is to relocate some guy from Slovenia.

author avatarCEO, owner and freelancer at a tech services company

Oracle is the best commercial SQL DB, and PostgreSQL the best free alternative. MySQL or MariaDB not so good. And MongoDB for future needs, if applicable.

author avatarIndependent DB2 Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees

DB2 should be named as a key relational database. The world's first commercially available RDBMS and arguably still the best.