I see Oracle have published a couple of papers recently on how easy it is install, configure and manage Oracle 11g vs SQL Server and DB2. The work was commissioned from the Edison Group and the paper on the Oracle / SQL Server comparison is available here

When I read this I was reminded of one of James O’Neill’s favourite expressions “What you get is what you  measure”. In this case the trick is to measure things in such a way as to make the answer attractive to the client.  Of course Microsoft has published it’s own whitepaper refuting the Edison research on this basis and has already published research from Forrester to backup it’s manageability claims.

I work for Microsoft so you would expect me to be biased, but I chose to make a career out of SQL Server rather than Oracle long before that. Why?

I have never been on any SQL Server or Oracle database training, but it has always been Oracle that I struggled with from my first go with Forms 2 / Oracle 5 to 10g a couple of years ago. Bizarrely it wasn’t the SQL itself that was the problem but those very same areas mentioned in the Edison research; installation, configuration and maintenance. 

Like anyone I have my aaarrghh! moments with SQL Server and what helps here is the unique ecosystem behind it e.g.

  • Lots of free utilities on Codeplex to augment what’s possible in SQL Server.
  • A vast range of user groups and forums run by other SQL Server DBA to help you get the most out of it, including the UK SQL Server User Group and the SQL Bits events

The other fact I will leave you with is that 12% of the IT jobs on the various sites like JobServe mention SQL Server specifically  (as per this post) so I don’t see me jumping the SQL Server ship anytime soon even if Oracle DBA’s typically earn more than the SQL Server variety.