msgbartop
News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff
msgbarbottom

Oracle vs. PostgreSQL

SearchOracle.com has just published an article about the different opinions of a few DBAs regarding the merits of the open source PostgreSQL database management system (DBMS) as compared to Oracle. Here is the summary of the different opinions and comments:

  • PostgreSQL 8.0 is much more than just a back end for Web sites.
  • PostgreSQL can be used instead of or as a complement to Oracle and other DBMSs.
  • Oracle’s rich feature set is second to none.
  • PostgreSQL is much more suitable for the casual database developer.
  • PostgreSQL has a solid set of features that includes most, if not all, of what developers would ever use.
  • Oracle has a feature set several orders of magnitude more rich, but few if any of these features would ever be used by developers.
  • In PostgreSQL, you can recompile a stored procedure on a live system, and only transactions starting after that compilation will see the changes. Transactions in process can complete with the old version. Oracle just blocks on the busy procedure.
  • PostgreSQL stored procedure parameters are not typed. Everything is passed as strings.
  • It makes more sense to compare PostgreSQL to OracleXE, a slimmed down and free version of the Oracle DBMS.
  • PostgreSQL is easy to use and complies with the SQL standard nicely.
  • PostgreSQL doesn’t behave as nicely as Oracle when the system fills up. In those instances, the system tends to crash quickly.
  • Setting up a TCP/IP connection capability with PostgreSQL is hardly an intuitive process.
  • Oracle and PostgreSQL don’t talk to each other except by externally built and most times highly customized connectors.

My opinion is that Oracle is the king, the leader in DBMS and is the logical choice when selecting a database to store and secure your important data – If you can afford it. If you cannot afford Oracle then there are many alternatives, including the free Oracle XE, PostgreSQL, MySQL…

Updated a few hours later: Heated discussion on Slashdot.


Filed in Oracle on 06 Apr 06 | Tags: ,


Reader's Comments

  1. |

    It seems every time I turn around, someone is comparing Oracle to something. Some of the comments I agree with and some seem way off:

    1. PostgreSQL is much more suitable for the casual database developer. — I’m a DBA, so I can’t see the difference in programming Oracle or Postgres.

    2. PostgreSQL has a solid set of features that includes most, if not all, of what developers would ever use. — Oy, just because that’s all they currently use doesn’t mean that’s all they should use. If this were the case, then just what are Oracle Corp’s (or Postgres or MS) developers working on?

    Let’s all go back to flat files and skip all this complex relational stuff. :)

  2. |

    Oracle is being compared to other databases because Oracle is the leader and everyone wants to be compared to a leader. Here is another example of the competition between Oracle and IBM.

  3. |

    I am a DBA and i think today there is no such database as Oracle is it’s the big daddy of all the databases.the features that oracle provides cannot be compared to any other databases.

  4. |

    I am not a dba but running tens of website with good amount of traffic and using postgres since the version 6.0. May be its less then oracle in few sense but think no one just compare it with oracle if its not at the level of at least give a solid competition. I didn’t saw that many people comparing sybase, informix with oracle as many i saw for postgres and dude no one spend time to do that if there is no value or at least doubt that how the free database is so powerful. I am one of the beliver that Software by Community will bring down all those big thiefs like Microsoft and oracle down…

  5. |

    @vigya I’m not sure how you came up with the conclusion that Microsoft and Oracle are big “theifs”!