Nothing like a freebie

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-02-27 Print this article Print

There are plenty of other reasons why the price cuts dont impress SQL Server fans, including the fact that Microsoft gives away its Reporting Services business intelligence software for free with SQL Server, whereas Oracle charges extra for this functionality. Thats a huge value-add for a small business. Take a company like Cascade Designs, a company that sells outdoor products such as camping stoves and takes in less than $100 million a year. The companys been using both Reporting Services and Microsofts OLAP product, Analysis Services, for the past three or four years. Between those two free products, theyre doing BI that they would have only been able to achieve were they to spend five or six figures on something like Cognos or Business Objects. Theres more. Theres the cost of the manpower it takes to run Oracle. That relates to ease of use—which, granted, is supposed to be pretty darn improved in 10g. But still, Oracles got a long, long history of requiring a lot of knob-turning by a lot of very smart, very well-paid people.
Give credit where its due: Click here to read how Oracle Database 10g is all about automation.
Obviously, the reasons for sticking with SQL Server go on and on. But, to be fair, there are good reasons why some businesses should stop and think about the choice, now that the choice of Oracle has been made more appealing in some respects. High availability and the potential for exponential growth come to mind. Next page: Reasons why Oracle might be a better choice.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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