What is our primary use case?
We primarily use this solution for business applications. I was working for a company and they provided software as a service. We were serving applications to our customers.
For example, we were working locally on a system using Oracle. Then another company would need access to a different application and they would come to us to supply it. As a developer, I was using this solution to develop delivery systems principally as a convenience for our customers.
How has it helped my organization?
It does more of what a company like ours needs because it is a product that knows the business of data and data management.
What is most valuable?
The feature that was most valuable to me in this product — it will be different for different types of users — is that I could develop all the logic inside the database itself. There were no additional integrations.
The solution would also help manage the traffic on the network.
What needs improvement?
I don't believe that any product is a perfect solution. I believe that each product has some minor disadvantage about which customers need to be able ready to work with or workaround. It may not be the fault of the product but lack of compatibility, the preferences of the user or lack of knowledge of existing features. I think these can all be the case in not maximizing what Oracle already has.
Because of my preference for and knowledge of Toad and the way I work with Oracle, I am not up to date on all of the tools included in this product. But I think if we have all of the features needed as developers already in the product, Oracle will be much better. For example, something very important for all developers that could already be available now in Oracle products is weighting the data. This is a very important technical concern for data centers.
The code that developers use is built up in some instructions, so I need to understand how each instruction is executed and how the current state of the code or data application is affecting the transactions. I found that this type of analysis was difficult in Oracle itself, so I used another product — like Toad — that would give me the ability to debug all the code instruction by instruction to really understand what is going on. It's quite an important feature. If it is available in Oracle now it is not very good or well described. This is a problem that needs a solution.
If it is already there and the vendor does not know about it or understand it, I think there is a big issue. The difference is that to get the most out of the technology, the developers really need to know about the new features and how to find and use them. This is something about Oracle that I think is not very good.
Along with that idea, I think that Oracle might do a little bit improve their interface as it is not very user-friendly and I have heard other developers say similar things. I didn't use myself because it would not help me as much or as quickly as other products to develop functions and to develop other features like reporting. I would have to learn a whole different way.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using this solution for ten years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution has good integration with the hardware and it is a stable product.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
As a transactional database, I think this is quite a scalable product in a variety of ways.
How are customer service and technical support?
Any time I have had the need to use the technical support, it was at least very good but mostly it was excellent.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
I previously used Microsoft and if you compare Oracle to Microsoft SQL server, I believe Oracle is so much better than Microsoft SQL Server that they are not comparable. So, I obviously prefer working with the Oracle product. The reason for the difference is probably that Oracle is basically a database company and they focus on this aspect of their business. Microsoft, having many products, is not so focused on this competition with Oracle and they are more focused on Microsoft NET Frameworks and Microsoft Office. Oracle itself has many products right now, but all of them are database products. This concentration is why Oracle is number one in transactional databases.
How was the initial setup?
I am not the one who would be responsible for these installations alone. I would be doing the development. As it requires a team and customizations, I think it has to be considered somewhat complex to set up if you look at the whole picture. It is not as easy as starting an executable and waiting for it to finish running.
What about the implementation team?
We are a SaaS (Software as a Service) house, so we do our own installation, monitoring, and management.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We are a value add software as a service house so we are not really paying the cost of the licenses, the customer is the one who pays month-to-month. The customer is paying the money for their Oracle database in our case. We only use the product for development and testing to be able to deliver the services.
For the customer, our service becomes an advantage. So the price may seem high, but for them, it is reasonable and not so high as it could cost them much more to deploy separately. The price corresponds to the quality of the product and services they receive in return.
What other advice do I have?
We use the on-premises solution because the customer has to have their own environment. In our case, for our clients, that's one of the big advantages.
A potential issue might be getting used to the Oracle interface. Personally, I didn't use the interface provided by Oracle. In that way, the interface was not a problem for me because I used to use a third-party application like Toad that maybe more people are already familiar with and I think is easy for me to use already.
We are using the same server software application. I don't know if Oracle provided database software and SQL developer or not. But for myself, I needed an application to develop the features and functions on the Oracle Database.
While I prefer and recommend Oracle, many other factors are involved in making decisions. If all the factors are the same and there are no limitations for the cost or other issues for adopting Oracle compared with other products, I think Oracle would always be a better choice.
A lesson I learned is that you have to always verify the virtual data when you are acting as a software as a service house for the customer. Oracle is part of our winning team. It may not be the only product that we use to achieve the result.
On a scale from one to ten, where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as a seven to eight depending a little on how you use it. For us, it is an eight because it is very good at what it does and we use other tools to make it do what we want it to do. We don't fight with the one product to try and make it do everything.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.