What is our primary use case?
We’re using Oracle Database at our customers and for any vast applications, for data warehouses, online transaction processing applications, with packaged applications like Siebel and SAP that work with Oracle. Oracle is the main enterprise database for the finance sector today, in general.
How has it helped my organization?
It fits any kind of model that we would like to incorporate in our organization, whether it's a data warehouse, implementing data models, CRMs, or online application processing. We can use clusters, we have very sophisticated, high-availability solutions. We have everything.
We generally incorporate all the solutions in an enterprise so that we can help the enterprise to have a better, high-availability solution, faster databases.
And, compared to other databases, Oracle Database is very simple to manage in terms of the database itself.
What is most valuable?
Oracle is one of the most advanced systems when compared with other databases in the market. Oracle has the ability to combine all the sophisticated architectures that we have today in the market and bring them to the customer.
One more nice thing that Oracle is bringing in is cloud on premises. This allows you to have a big Exadata machine in your enterprise and use it as a cloud, using all the available Oracle features, which is very nice. It gives you the ability to begin according to your needs and grow very fast when you need to do so.
What needs improvement?
Oracle is going now to what we call autonomous databases. Personally, I don’t believe in autonomous databases that will manage themselves. It might be that in the cloud versions they actually have the ability of doing that for you, managing the infrastructure, fixing all the patches that you need, and so on. Still, the tuning business has a long way to go to be completely autonomous. There is still a need for a person to manage the database, especially the performance and tuning.
It might be those future databases - not in the near future but in the distant future - will be autonomous completely. Oracle could be one of the first to incorporate that.
For how long have I used the solution?
More than five years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Oracle has new versions, and with them it becomes more stable. Compared to other databases, especially when dealing with vast numbers of records, Oracle is one of the leading databases; it performs much better.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability is one of the biggest features of Oracle Database. We can scale out or scale in using clusters, using the shard solutions that we have in the market today. Oracle brings a large number of methods for scaling.
How is customer service and technical support?
Support is one of the most advanced. I work with other vendors besides Oracle. If I compare the support that we have with Oracle to other leading providers - I don’t want to say the names - Oracle usually gives me answers quickly. With other vendors, I can wait for ages until I get answers, if I can get a solution at all. Oracle has a vast knowledge of problems and solutions.
For 80 percent of problems, you can find already built-in solutions. But if such a solution doesn't exist, Oracle support is prompt. They come in and discuss the problems with you and try to figure out very fastest solutions.
Which solutions did we use previously?
We didn’t switch. Oracle has always been a leader in the field of relational databases. Today, in Israel especially, all the finest companies have their major databases in Oracle, in spite of the licensing, because it is one of the best databases in the market. The big companies can still afford the licenses.
How was the initial setup?
Setup has become easier and easier with Oracle. It used to be a bit complicated in the beginning, but with the new versions, while you still need a bit of knowledge, it’s quite doable to install it and manage it.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The main issue where I feel that Oracle still has a problem is with the licensing. Licensing is still expensive and the reason why today most startups use other, cheaper databases. Those other databases are much less sophisticated than Oracle. I hope that in the future, Oracle will reach a level where it can introduce its database with different compliances and different licenses so that companies will be able to use to it and it will be competitive with other databases in the market.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
What other advice do I have?
When selecting a vendor, the most important thing is that they have people who know the business. We have some databases, for example, for which it is very rare to find a person who knows something about them. Knowledge is important. Support of the product is very, important as well. We need to know where to go, who to ask, who will actually help us out with the problems. Of course, bringing new innovations and being out front with what is happening in the advancing of the technology are also important.
My advice, especially for big companies today, would be to go to the cloud on-premises when starting out, which allows you to incorporate all the latest versions from Oracle yet have the infrastructure managed by the Oracle Cloud support team. It gives you the ability to utilize the best of Oracle and to scale when you need to.
For smaller companies, the main reason they are not going with Oracle today is the pricing/licensing. I hope that, in the future, Oracle will do something about that so we'll once again see small companies beginning with Oracle, something that we don’t see today.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.