Types of server database applications

Introduction

The goal of this assignment is to discuss the leading types of database server applications. Also to be discussed is what type of environment they are to be used in and the language the application uses. Furthermore I'll be providing extra information on these applications to give the reader a better understanding of how the programs and its history.

First a brief discussion is in order.

A server database application is most commonly referred to as a relational database management system or RDMS

The small and medium sized market is commonly abbreviated to SMB.

Statistics used in this project is more based on an average on various reports as most of the studies were done by the company responsible for the production of the product. This has long been a problem in the IT industry and obtaining accurate results may become difficult because of lack of accurate studies and conflicting studies.

Types of Server Database Applications

Oracle Database

Introduction

Oracle database, which is mostly just referred to as Oracle, is a relational database management system produced by the Oracle Corporation.

The corporation was started by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oats, and was originally called Software Development Laboratories.

The corporation claims to be the first company to have created a commercially available SQL-based database.

Market Performance

Oracle is one of the leading SQL-based database applications on the market. It was mainly designed to be a SQL-based database for use in large companies and was thus marketed as Enterprise software. Historically they have catered for large enterprises but this has however changed in recent years with the introduction of their standard and express versions, catering for the medium sized enterprises, small businesses and even personal use.

Some argue this has given them yet a further grip on the market, while others argue it is a desperate attempt to remain on top as more and more relational database management system become available to the market. Some of these competitors include big names such as Microsoft SQL Server or freeware applications such as MySQL.

Although in the large enterprise market Oracle has more formal, established competition such as Microsoft, they are however quickly losing ground in the medium and small business markets due to the powerful, fast and cheap alternative solutions available.

Language

Oracle database is based on the Procedural Language/ Structured Query Language or PL/SQL. PL/SQL is Oracle's procedural extension of the Structured Query Language.

Usage Environment

As stated before Oracle's main focus has historically, and continues to be large enterprises. Their recent foray into the world of the small and medium sized businesses has proved successful in moving some of the competition. In a test study on a number of customers, it was found that 78 percent of Oracle's SMB customers completed their project on time, 63 percent of customers stayed on budget, and while this may seem low most of the other customer were only slightly over budget or it was due to massive changes in the project scope. It was also noted that 89 percent of SMB customers would recommend Oracle to their peers. Because SMB customers needs cheap, efficient and effective database solutions to be effective in the market Oracle can both offer business an efficient and effective database solution but it is still going to set those businesses back a few steps in capital when obtaining the software.

Microsoft SQL Server

Introduction

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by the Microsoft Corporation.

The MS SQL Server's codebase for all versions up until MS SQL Server 7, was based on the Sybase SQL Server. It was Microsoft's entry into the database market.

Market Performance

As the same with Oracle, Microsoft's main historical intent and focus was to market their relational database management system to large enterprises as these companies seemed to be where their target market would be. Although they may have been a well established name in the IT industry, at the time they were new to database applications and this scared potential customers off. Although they started slowly, they quietly raised up into the ranks of the leaders in large enterprise level relational database management systems.

This continued for a few years when disaster struck. In 1991 Microsoft was under investigation under the Sherman antitrust act. The investigation looked to find evidence that Microsoft was using its monopoly in the computer industry to push competition out of the market and to fix prices. At the time the US market was considered MS SQL Server's largest market. Although it wasn't publicly announced until 1998 the antitrust allegations caused a large part of the US market to doubt the motives and goals of Microsoft. The product that suffered the most from Microsoft's bad reputation was MS SQL Server. As most large enterprises had grown weary of high prices, they tended to view MS SQL Server as having to cost more simply to enrich Microsoft rather than paying for its improvements. Microsoft lost a large chunk of their market to Oracle in the 90s because of this.

More recently with a restored reputation and bigger market share, Microsoft has also seen a shift in their main target market to the SMB market. They have tried their hand at this market before with limited success and little acclaim. Thus when entering this market with MS SQL Server they decided upon a much more aggressive marketing strategy and another common strategy by them which was flood the market with a range of versions of the same product. This strategy worked out nicely for Microsoft and its customers. Customers had the chance to get the package that suits them without having to pay more for features they won't be using and Microsoft increased their visibility by having a larger number of products available. This time they achieved success and acclaim as the product quickly took off as an efficient, cost effective and fast database application. They gained a large share of the SMB market.

Language

MS SQL Server uses Transact-Structured Query Language which is mostly called T-SQL. Transact-SQL is the proprietary extension to SQL for MS SQL Server and Sybase.

Usage Environment

Ms SQL Server has seen a dramatic increase in usage in the SMB market. Although they are still fiercely competing in the large enterprise market they have shifted a lot of their focus to the SMB market. It is clear that Microsoft have expanded their effort to the SMB market with great success as their relational database management system comes highly recommended especially by medium sized businesses. It however lacks the low cost and efficiency to be considered as a product to be used by small businesses and for personal use across the board. It is however extremely well suited for use in the large enterprise market as it is not only fast but stable and efficient. In these markets were price is not an issue MS SQL Server excels at its job.

MySQL

Introduction

MySQL is an open source project designed to give the market a free alternative to the well known names in the RDMS industry. The source code to MySQL is freely available on the internet and under the GNU General Public License; a user is free to make changes to the software as they please.

Market Performance

MySQL has an extraordinarily big market share owning to the fact that it isn't just freeware but it is also to its fast performance, small footprint and stability.

MySQL is currently having success in all its target markets which range from large enterprises to the SMB markets, and even the personal use market. It has seen such acclaim that it was acquired by Sun Microsystems; now a subsidiary of Oracle one of MySQL's direct competitors. It has gained such popularity among internet users that at the announcement that Oracle would acquire MySQL, various campaigns was launched to try to stop the acquisition. Most notably was the 'Save MySQL' campaign. Although this has failed Oracle promised to continue the development of MySQL.

MySQL's spread through the SMB market is what makes it so extraordinary. It has gained such a following that among 40 percent of relational database users in the SMB market it is considered a waste of money and time to use any other product.

Although the product is open source and thus makes no profits by the sale of MySQL, the former owner; a Swedish company called MySQL AB was a for profit firm. Most of the income of the company originated from donations from consumers pleased with the product who wanted to ensure the survival and continued improvement of the product.

In larger market MySQL has also done very well for itself especially with internet related companies and organizations such as Wikipedia, Google and Facebook. This is thanks to it being open source and its incredible range of features that makes it unique among its competitors.

Language

MySQL uses the C and C++ codebase. It also supports ANSI SQL.

Usage Environment

On an enterprise level MySQL is well suited for high usage databases and it is fast and efficient enough to be implemented, although larger companies will rather use more established names and generally tend to have a more conservative view when it comes to open source software. This however doesn't mean MySQL is inferior to Oracle or other pricey competitor in the heavy usage RDMS sphere.

On a SMB level MySQL is brilliant it has unique features that set it apart from its other competitors while still being as fast efficient and stable, and all this without the price. MySQL also has an extremely small footprint and downloading it from the internet is easy and quick as it ranges in size from 9 to 15 megabytes which is relatively small compared to for instance MS SQL Server which is about 250 megabytes.

MySQL is also available across several platforms including Microsoft Windows, Apple's Mac OS X, BSD and Linux. It is even available in a tarball and source code version for Linux enthusiasts who want to compile the program themselves. This has enabled it to become accessible a lot of consumers making it easier for them to use it on the platform they prefer to use.

MySQL is also far better suited for personal use than any other RDMS as it is free and fast.

Bibliography

  • MySQL. (2009, August 26). About. Retrieved from MySQL.
  • Oracle. (2009, November 9). Statistics Page. Retrieved from Oracle Corporation.
  • Wikipedia. (2010, January 2). Microsoft SQL Server. Retrieved from Wikipedia.
  • Wikipedia. (2009, December 21). MySQL. Retrieved from Wikipedia.
  • Wikipedia. (2008, November 28). Oracle Database. Retrieved from Wikipedia.

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