Oracle takes on a new identity in this releaseas a native XML databaseproviding significantly more capabilities for organizations storing or manipulating XML-based data. Incremental improvements have also been added in the way of data warehousing, administration, fault tolerance and OLAP. Overall, Oracle9i Database Enterprise Edition continues to lead the database market in terms of sheer functionality.
Oracle continues to be the most expensive database on the market by a significant margin: Enterprise Edition costs $40,000 per CPU, or $800 per named user, and Standard Edition (which is significantly less feature-rich than Enterprise Edition) costs $15,000 per CPU, or $300 per named user. The XML database features are included in both editions, making Standard Edition less costly than most XML databases on the market (where outlandish pricing is the norm).
(+) Native storage of XML data and an XML document repository accessible through a number of common protocols; provides easier ways to restore deleted data using SQL undo extensions; failover database can also be used to process queries, allowing existing hardware to get more use; adds data warehousing improvements; compression of repeated values will speed report generation.
(-) Lacks support for XML Query; high cost; lacks built-in support for importing, exporting or querying data in other databases; OLAP and data warehousing APIs are still quite new and have little support outside of Oracle.
EVALUATION SHORT LIST
Microsofts SQL Server
Sybases Adaptive Server Enterprise
Software AGs Tamino XML Server
Ipedos Ipedo XML Database
Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.