What is most valuable?
I can't think of any specific features that are the most valuable, but all the small things that Oracle does compared to the free alternatives, such as MySQL, are valuable. I do appreciate having that power to do it. Even though 90% percent of the time I don't use those features, it's nice to have them should I need them.
How has it helped my organization?
It actually kind of fractured our organization. Half of us use Oracle for some things and the other half use MySQL for the other. I really don't care; I use both. We use Oracle a lot for authentication. I can't think of anything specific that is all that great about it. I'm not bashing Oracle, I just can't think of anything. I can't think of anything that makes me think, “Oh, we have to have it.”
What needs improvement?
I can't think of any but I know my manager was unhappy with certain features that we use, but we had to pay for those features along with a bunch of other ones that we didn't use. He wanted an option to not bundle a lot of the features. Other than that, I don't know the specifics about what he was talking about.
It's got a lot of good features, but at the same time sometimes certain niche things aren't mentioned. Some things break and I don't know why. Then when I Google it, there are thousands of reasons why they break, so it takes me a while to really pinpoint why. Its optimization could be improved a little bit, but it's good for the most part.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable, we've had no problems with that.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
For the most part, as long as you do your research and don't screw up your table structures, I don't have any scalability problems.
How are customer service and technical support?
I haven't used technical support; every issue I've run into I've been able to Google it and figure it out. I haven't had to call in or anything.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I believe we used MySQL for a while, it was free and that was the only reason we were using it. It wasn't the most stable, it was a little slow, and it doesn't scale as well, so we decided to go with a more professional solution.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I don't know why we chose Oracle, but I know we were debating between Oracle, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL. For whatever reason, I'm not sure why my manager went with Oracle, but we did.
What other advice do I have?
Take cost into consideration and pick whichever really suits your needs. Every single database has its strong and weak points. I wouldn't say it's an end-all, be-all solution, but it just happens to work for us.