Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Something for Oracle DBA's to worry about?

So, I do odd things like check the database book best seller lists on different book selling web sites. One thing I've noticed which bothers me a little bit is this....

On Amazon the first Oracle book that shows up on the Database best seller list is number 35. Before that book are 4 books on SQL Server, another 4 books on MS Access (please, get a real database) and 2 on MYSql and an assortment of how to do SQL books.

On Bookpool, the first Oracle book is number 11, with 8, count 'em 8 SQL Server books ahead if it. 4 more SQL Server books sit between the first Oracle book and the next.

What is also interesting is that many of these SQL Server books are certification books.

So, this makes me wonder, is there some momentum behind SQL Server that we Oracle DBA's need to be watching for? Do we need to protect ourselves and our skill sets by becoming SQL Server DBA's? Certainly, to add SQL Server to our set of skills is not a bad thing in and of itself, but is it becoming imperative to long term employability?

What is the implication of the fact that many of the SQL Server books being sold are certification books? Does this mean that there is an increasing demand for SQL Server DBA's?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Bryan Hinton said...

Robert - Oracle will obviously continue to be a critical DB for most companies for years to come and so Oracle DBA skills will continue to be needed.

That said IMHO SQL Server has a enormous amount of momentum behind right now. SQL Server 2005 and the upcoming 2008 continue to bring SQL Server and Oracle closer in terms of key feature parity.

Along with that SQL Server has going for it the cost per the features delivered - now I haven't been in contract negotiations so I don't know all the figures and details, but I do know this when I buy a SQL Server Enterprise edition license I get a DB with high availability and reliability options which includes partitioning (I don't need to add partitioning to my license for an additional fee like you used to with Oracle and may still have to today.).

You also get an ETL tool that matches up favorably with any in the industry (and plugs into standard industry source code control and development environments instead of introducing it's own).

You get an Analysis Services with great tool support to do OLAP.

All those features and many more in the box. Oh I shouldn't forget you get two good graphical tools - one with a developer focus (inside Visual Studio) and another with a DBA focus (SQL Server Management Studio).

Lastly this is just an observation from my personal professional experience, but in general SQL Server has a lower cost of ownership from what I have seen than Oracle does. At Intel where I worked last it took a lot more Oracle DBAs to administer the Oracle DBs than it did SQL Server DBAs to administer the SQL Server systems - not sure why that is - there were bigger Oracle DBs, but the SQL Server DBs outnumbered in sheer numbers of DBs.

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