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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Unanswered: Would Oracle Work for Us?

    We are currently using Centura Sqlbase as our ERP database server. Our server is serving 3 same structure databases for 3 separate companies with 3 completely separate accounting, financing, receiving etc. There are a total of 40 concurrent users between the 3 databases. One of the databases is around 4 gig and the other 2 about 2 gig.

    Over the past 10 years maintaining Centura Sqlbase has been a no brainer with the exception of having to do an occasional unload/load (reorg) of the database, it required very little maintenance.

    95% of our reports are generated from within our ERP software and the 5% are done through Crystal reports.

    There are 2 primary reasons for us to move on to a more robust database server:

    1) Recently we have been having random record locking issues where there would be delays in completing labor and inventory transactions. It suspected cause from our ERP support has pointed to Sqlbase not keeping up to the tasks.

    2) We are investigating a 3rd party applications for electronic data collection, labor collecting as well as labor scheduling. These 3rd party applications only support either MS Sqlserver or Oracle.

    After researching both MS Sqlserver and Oracle SE One both seem to be viable and would perform well for my needs and are comparable in price.

    So my questions to the Oracle forum on SE One are:

    1) How does it handle record locking?

    2) What kinds of regular maintenance is required?

    3) Based on the information above, it sort of seems like putting a 12 cylinder engine on a go-cart. Is it too much for us?

    4) Are there any issues with it and Crystal reports?

    Any input or suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    1) How does it handle record locking?
    Of all the database engines, Oracle Handles record locking the best (IMHO). Writers NEVER block readers and readers NEVER block writers. Also the time and overhead to lock a billion records is the same as blocking one. I have used sql-server and Oracle for 20 years and I find Oracle MUCH more robust.

    2) What kinds of regular maintenance is required?
    While ongoing maintenance was more of a task in previous versions (I have used oracle 4 through oracle 10g), the latest version has automated most of the day to day tasks. While a DBA should be on staff for any big stuff (recovery, backups, storage allocation), the grunt work is mostly done.

    3) Based on the information above, it sort of seems like putting a 12 cylinder engine on a go-cart. Is it too much for us? Not really, full blown oracle is fairly expensive (as is SqlServer), but something like Standard Edition one will probably do just fine. That is assuming that you do not need something like partationing that is only available in Enterprise. Check out the following link for the version differences. http://www.oracle.com/database/product_editions.html

    4) Are there any issues with it and Crystal reports? Crystal reports integrates fully with Oracle and there are no issues that I know of.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Thanks for the fast reply.

    I am pretty much a 1 man show on the DBA as well as my many other daily duties. The last thing that I want to do is to work for the database, versus the database working for me. Sounds like Oracle has made some big strides on taking care of the grunt work. That's what I like to hear

    For myself I am completely self taught on DBA (and computers in general) so it would not take too much for something to throw me off.

    Not saying that being self taught is a problem, it's just that I have come to my own conclusions of operating systems, databases, and servers over the years and only know what I have read and personally tested or used. For example I started out with dBase3+, programmed in Clipper, then moved to Centura Sqlbase. I have written several applications in a LAMP environment. Linux brings a lot to the world of computing, but I primarily maintain a Win2003 server network along with Win clients as well as Linux thin clients.

    At some point I MAY want to move my database to a standalone Linux server and Oracle would be the right choice.

  4. #4
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    Talking



    Also for db's less that 4G you could consider Oracle 10g Express Edition

    The person who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it. -- Chinese proverb

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by B18
    Thanks for the fast reply.

    I am pretty much a 1 man show on the DBA as well as my many other daily duties. The last thing that I want to do is to work for the database, versus the database working for me. Sounds like Oracle has made some big strides on taking care of the grunt work. That's what I like to hear

    For myself I am completely self taught on DBA (and computers in general) so it would not take too much for something to throw me off.

    Not saying that being self taught is a problem, it's just that I have come to my own conclusions of operating systems, databases, and servers over the years and only know what I have read and personally tested or used. For example I started out with dBase3+, programmed in Clipper, then moved to Centura Sqlbase. I have written several applications in a LAMP environment. Linux brings a lot to the world of computing, but I primarily maintain a Win2003 server network along with Win clients as well as Linux thin clients.

    At some point I MAY want to move my database to a standalone Linux server and Oracle would be the right choice.
    Thats another big difference. Oracle will run on just about any OS including linus and windows. SqlServer will run only on Windows.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  6. #6
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    I also forgot to mention that you can combine all 3 database into the single database by setting up each company as a seperate schema (user). This would keep down costs and speed up the server. Your requirements are so small that everything should run fine.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beilstwh
    I also forgot to mention that you can combine all 3 database into the single database by setting up each company as a seperate schema (user). This would keep down costs and speed up the server. Your requirements are so small that everything should run fine.
    Thanks for the additional information. Every little bit helps.

    Over the past few days I have really concentrated my efforts on determining my be avenue. Talking with the maker of our ERP software to various support associates. The one thing that keeps being mentioned is there is more work involved with Oracle.

    But from my web reading this may be a lingering stigma that Oracle has prior to 10g.

    Is there a reference or some readings that can be recommended on what the current maintenance schedule requirements are; daily, weekly, monthly, or annually?

    Recommended unload/load schedule? Under Sqlbase it was recommended once a month, but I have left it go as long as a year or longer.

    I would imagine there are scripts that can be scheduled for nightly backups. Is restoring a backup straight forward?

    Sorry for the newbie kind of questions, but the more that I can get now the more that I know that I need to study later

  8. #8
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    My 2 cents: you are going to want/need training to get up to speed in Oracle. There are a couple of 5-day classes that Oracle provides, & I would take them if I were you (www.oracle.com/education). And then I would tack on at least 6 months of learning on your own.

    And, if I were you, I wouldn't expect the new features in 10g would solve all of the "grunt work" that you're hoping it will.

    That being said, 3 years after taking on Oracle as our primary database system, I am much happier with it than I was with Sybase.

    -cf

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck_forbes
    My 2 cents: you are going to want/need training to get up to speed in Oracle. There are a couple of 5-day classes that Oracle provides, & I would take them if I were you (www.oracle.com/education). And then I would tack on at least 6 months of learning on your own.

    And, if I were you, I wouldn't expect the new features in 10g would solve all of the "grunt work" that you're hoping it will.

    That being said, 3 years after taking on Oracle as our primary database system, I am much happier with it than I was with Sybase.

    -cf
    Thanks for the suggestions. And attending a 5 day class/seminar is a great idea.

    Maybe its my ignorance, but how much more/less maintenance is required other than an occasional unload/load (reorganize), backups and in an unfortunate event a restoration?

    I don't plan on running parallel servers or anything of that sort.

  10. #10
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    Actually I have active oracle databases with almost a terabyte of tables and I have NEVER had the need to reorg the database. Oracle really doesn't require it. Maybe an occasional table reorg if it gets very fragmented, but not the entire database.
    Bill
    You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

  11. #11
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    In my opinion, Oracle is organized a bit differently than what I expected (schemas in Oracle are not exactly the same thing as databases in Sybase), and there are other conceptual differences that I had to get accustomed to. And, you have to design and test your backup plan. If you go with RMAN, you need to understand how it works.

    I probably shouldn't have posted, b/c it's been awhile since I learned everything. I'm not doing you justice by giving advice without examples. I just know that I wouldn't feel comfortable supporting a user base without sufficient knowledge on how the RDBMS works. It's one thing to have a working instance, and it's a totally different thing when a query in your old system ran in 10 seconds, and now it takes 2 minutes, and you're given the task of speeding things up.

    You just need to leave sufficient time for training, and then practice afterwards. Plus you need to migrate your system over, which takes time & troubleshooting.

    -Chuck

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