Oracle Database Review

It's pretty straightforward, it's easy to manage, and there's pretty good support for it.

Valuable Features:

The most valuable feature of Database is the reliability that we get from it. We really depend on it being up and available because we're a manufacturing company. It's got four 9's of uptime, and that's incredibly important.

Improvements to My Organization:

It goes back to the reliability factor with Database. We've been an Oracle Database customer for years and years, through PeopleSoft, through EBS and other products that we have that use the database. It's pretty straightforward, it's easy to manage, and there's pretty good support for it. All of these things are of vital importance to our business.

Room for Improvement:

We'd like to get some more add-ons, such as Database Vault for security. Other than that, I'd say that support has been harder and harder to get. I can remember 14 years ago, working with Oracle support, talking to the analyst on the phone, and they would sit there and work with you until the problem is resolved. Now, we spent a lot of our time and effort and wheels trying to work with support and get handed off to the next analyst and you start from scratch. We lose a lot of time. A lot of times we just have to escalate it up, without really giving it enough time. I don't know if the level-one folks are just searching through the knowledge base, like we can, online. So the biggest problem has probably been Oracle support.

Use of Solution:

I came on board at this company in 2003. We've had Oracle Database in place since at least that time. I believe they were on 7.3 when I first started. We don't really use a lot of the features that are available in there as we're just a pretty vanilla type of operation. There are a bunch of features that we would like to use, but we just don't or we're not licensed to use them. The features we'd like to use are the compression and the encryption.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had nothing but good stability around Database.

Scalability Issues:

We sized our database well for what our expected transactions were going to be. We never had to scale it up. Of course, you add space to it over time. We have done that with nothing that causes any issues.

Initial Setup:

I thought that the upgrades were fairly easy. I've done a few and it's fairly spelled out as there is a lot of knowledge base around out there. If you do run into problems, which I found going from 7 to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11, the fixes have been fairly easy. I expect going from 11 to 12 that they will be easy as well.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

It's one of the more expensive database products. From a business perspective, we try to leverage our whole entire Oracle footprint to drive down the pricing. Instead of your list price that you see on the web for Database, for example, we can work with ourselves from Oracle and we can make a bigger purchase of more products at a reduced rate. We get the Cadillac for the non-Cadillac price.

Other Advice:

You have to have a good plan of what you want to do, what your business is going to need. Are you going to need a Cadillac RDBS software system -- Oracle? Can you do it with one that isn't a standard versus Oracle Enterprise Edition? Stuff like that. Be sure that you know what your requirements are. Be able to look into the future and see what they are going to be in three, four, or five years hence.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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