Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why I hate oracle

I unfortunately keep running into places that need to migrate oracle or I have had the unfortunate responsibility of teaching it. I absolutely can not stand this product and I have a list why:

1. Cost. what an expensive POS.
2. useless junk. Oracle ships with tons of utilities that will never need to be used
3. Bloated install. Installes several apache instance / services I don't need
4. GUI = the suck. I have never used such hard management tools
5. no good query tool. The query tools appear to be wrappers around their dos sql utility. Its like microsoft word using dos's edit command for an engine.
6. TNS Names. The only way to connect to a database is to setup a tnsnames.ora file that makes a name map to an ip, port, and service. Pray you dont have a syntax error. Why not just have it so the client can connect to an IP? It makes no sense and is just another step.
7. Roles are sooo confusing. whats a SysOper, SysDba, normal? why not just have a good permissions model
8. Client size. Just to download the client so that I can connect is 550MB. 550MB! Thats MegaBytes! glad I am not on dialup.
9. Support. I tried to email them but they don't have an address on their site. I tried to call them but because I don't have some CID number (or something like that) I can not get through the voice system. I press 0 over and over to get an operator and it just says "Thanks for calling" and hangs up on me.
10. 80's style application. The application takes so long to learn and is so convoluted it reminds me of working on my Apple IIe (may it rest in peace). The GUI looks like a win 3.1 app and the steps required to do anything seem to take forever.

Now I know a lot of this is due to me not knowing a ton about oracle but software should be intuitive. I have learned the basics of a database in an afternoon but I have been playing with oracle (very rarely but still using it here and there) for the past 3 years and I still have no clue why anyone uses it when there are products out there that are comparable for a fraction of the price.

My recommendation to oracle is to keep the engine the same but build some tools that make a developers life easy. Make the install for both client and server as minimal as possible and then allow me to choose what I want. Make it affordable. Modernize the application and interface.

Oh btw Oracle has had a pretty crappy security record. Just now they released 80 patches for Oracle 10 in their quartly patch cycle. YAY! 80 security holes in 3 months!

My other issue was Oracle 9i. It was originally called Oracle 9i Unbreakable as it was sooo secure no one could hack it. Security Researcher David Litchfield found high risk security holes in the application days after it was touted as "Unbreakable". I could not find a count of security holes in the 9i database but I know it sure was replaced with Oracle 10 pretty quickly.

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