SQL vs. Oracle – The Great Debate
When it comes to Costpoint’s underlying Database Tier, many companies are torn over whether to use SQL or Oracle-based technology. Costpoint 7, just like its predecessor, supports both databases, but with a few caveats. If you’re currently on SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 32-bit, you’ll need to upgrade to SQL Server 2008 64-bit. On the other hand, if you’re operating on any Oracle technology prior to 10g Release 2 (10.2.0.5), you’re also facing an upgrade to the newer version of 10g or even 11g.
Both platforms are widely used by the Costpoint market and appear to be very similar on the surface. So, what’s the difference?
The true differentiator between the two lies in the hidden operational costs. If you’re hosting an Oracle-based Costpoint environment internally, staffing an Oracle-proficient IT team is more costly than one with purely SQL expertise. In fact, the training and salary costs of Oracle database administrators can be up to 40% higher than their SQL counterparts. That means if you’re using a hosting provider for your Oracle-based Costpoint environment, you’re paying for a level of expertise that’s not necessarily needed.
There are other advantages to using SQL as well. SQL’s out-of-the-box Reporting Services allow you to create complex reports faster and with lower maintenance than Oracle. Not only does this lower costs but it also gives decision-makers the ability to make timely and informed decisions to keep the company growing profitably.
Since MS SQL Server has been outperforming Oracle in benchmarking, if you’re still an Oracle shop, you might want to consider converting to MS SQL Server. The cost to convert your database will pay for itself in a year or even less. And, the effort needed to manage MS SQL Server will save you the extra hassle that comes with running an Oracle database.
If you use a hosting partner for your Costpoint database, make sure that you know what you’re paying for. Chances are that you don’t need the high-cost capabilities of an Oracle environment. Your hosting provider should also offer you the ability to convert your database type based upon your forecasted needs. NeoSystems offers both SQL and Oracle hosting options, and will help you decide which one is right for your company.
For most Costpoint environments, there’s really no debate over which database type to use – SQL reigns supreme. That’s not to say that for the very largest installations, there isn’t a benefit. But for the other 98% of us, it’s a needless extra cost.