Oracle is definitely the Mercedes Benz of database servers. We can debate the merits of different databases but in terms of the most features, Oracle definitely stands alone. Excellent high availability features such as RAC, Data Guard and Streams offer excellent enterprise solutions. So for running enterprise business applications such as PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel and the Oracle EBusiness Suite the Oracle Database Server is in a class by itself.
When you look at all the applications running in an organization, what percentage are enterprise class applications that require an Oracle database server. I would say the major percentage of applications running in an organization do not need an enterprise database server like Oracle. This is where MySQL plays nice. Heterogeneous environments running Oracle and MySQL will run at a fraction of the costs of running Oracle-SQL Server, Oracle -DB2 or SQL Server-DB2. Also MySQL being a friendly open source company does not bring in the religious issues Oracle DBAs would have with SQL Server or DB2. Some examples of how Oracle and MySQL would be a cost effective solution:
- Greatly reduced software costs. For example backup and recovery is free in Oracle (Recovery Manager - RMAN). In a heterogeneous environment, a company can buy a great online backup solution such as InnoDB Hot Backup that is roughly $1000 per server. If running Oracle with SQL Server or DB2 the 3rd party backup solutions or vendor add-ons can easily run into six figures.
- If an organization has already purchased Oracle Grid Control it would be very easy to have Oracle Grid Control monitor MySQL database servers.
- Oracle SQL Developer could easily support MySQL database environments. Someone told me they got Oracle's SQL Developer to hook into MySQL easily. I'll have to try and find time to test this.
- Oracle JDeveloper can deploy into JBoss environments and other open source application servers.
- Oracle's stored procedure language PL/SQL is very close in syntax to MySQL's stored routine language. You could easily write a parser in Perl that would address most of the syntax differences.
If I could ask Larry one question it would be if he regrets not trying to go after MySQL. I wonder if the Oracle acquisition team was so focused on the business applications market they did not look into the database market as closely as they should have. If Oracle had purchased MySQL could a strategy have been developed to use MySQL to keep SQL Server out of the lower end database market. Would the purchase price of MySQL have generated a significant ROI to justify the purchase by being able to help keep SQL Server out of Oracle's lower end market? Hmmm. Too bad, I guess we'll never know.