One of the challenges that database teams face every day is keeping up with their responsibilities in multi-platform environments. In many shops, a DBA cannot concentrate on only one database solution. To be successful, individuals need to remain flexible and adapt to the demands of the business they support.
Pros and Cons of Multiple Platform Database Environments
There are distinct benefits as well as some disadvantages to deploying more than one database solution. Here are some of the most impactful characteristics of multi-platform database environments.
- Shops possessing technical expertise with multiple database solutions can use the one that best fits with business requirements. Contrast this with a single-platform environment where specific business goals and applications need to be modified to fit the chosen solution.
- The ability to support multiple platforms allows organizations to take advantage of new features that may have been introduced to one of the products they are using. In extreme cases, data can be migrated to alternative platforms that may better address the needs of a specific application or database rather than continue with a less than optimal solution.
- Fostering a culture that employs diverse solutions will serve an enterprise well as technology continues to evolve and new products are introduced. A versatile workforce will be better positioned to take advantage of new platforms and applications that can further business goals.
- Administrative complexity is one of the disadvantages of having more than one database platform in production. Either the database team needs to have versatile skills or additional resources will need to be employed to support more than one solution.
- Support costs are another potential disadvantage of having a multi-platform database environment. This problem can be felt in two ways by an organization. There are the additional costs of hiring technical resources and the expense of having multiple support tools to address each platform. It can be substantially more expensive to be supporting multiple database solutions at once, though the business advantages make it a likely scenario in many companies.
Comparing SQL Server and Oracle
Two of the most popular database solutions are SQL Server and Oracle. They are both relational databases that have a lot in common as well as some important differences in how they are implemented. The following are some of the differentiating features of these two widely used platforms.
- Operating system compatibility – SQL Server is optimized for Windows environments though since 2017 it can be installed on Linux systems. Oracle runs on a variety of Unix and Linux operating systems.
- Server-side scripts – SQL Server uses Transact SQL whereas Oracle uses the PL/SQL language.
- Query optimization – Oracle supports Star query optimization. There is no native query optimization in SQL Server.
- Parallelism – Oracle can execute INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and MERGE statements in parallel. INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements are executed serially in SQL Server.
- Value changes – IN SQL Server values are changed before a commit. Oracle waits until the commit before changing values.
While the general concepts of relational databases hold for both SQL Server and Oracle, as you can see, some differences impact the way they are supported. Database teams need the requisite knowledge as well as the proper tools to manage and administer these two platforms.
Minimizing the Cost and Complexity of Database Support
Most IT managers would jump at the chance to simultaneously reduce their software support costs while providing their database team with a tool that lessens the complexity of performing their daily tasks. IDERA offers a versatile application that DBAs can use to support a wide variety of database platforms including Oracle and SQL Server.
Aqua Data Studio enables database professionals to perform many administrative and management activities on more than 30 different platforms from a unified interface.
Providing a database team with Aqua Data Studio can result in productivity gains as well as reducing the costs of support tools. DBAs will become proficient in using the tool across all the platforms they support, making it easier to get things done. Since there is no need for specialized applications to address the various solutions in place, software costs can be trimmed down.
An IDERA webcast is available that goes into detail concerning how Aqua Data Studio can help database teams be more productive. The webcast concentrates on how to use the tool with SQL Server and Oracle databases, but many of the insights apply to any platform supported by Aqua Data Studio. If you support these platforms or you want to discover the features of this versatile application, we strongly recommend you give the webcast a look.