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Dbms Comparison

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Autor:   •  February 9, 2011  •  2,380 Words (10 Pages)  •  431 Views

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DBMS Comparisons

DBM502 Week 2 Individual Assignment

Abstract

This paper will discuss and make comparisons on the markets top Database Management Systems (DBMS) currently available. The paper includes a table for side-by-side comparisons of feature sets and other factors required when making decisions on which DBMS to purchase and implement in a business. While this may not be a complete list of all available DBMS systems it will include important discussions on aspects required when evaluating any major application / system choice.

Introduction

Currently in today's complex computer systems environment there are more choices available than ever before. While this is a huge advantage to the purchasing agent, it adds an enormous amount of work to the IT department tasked with specifying which DBMS is best for the organization. Making the wrong decision can definitely be a career-limiting  move in more ways than one. The amount of resources and time invested in an endeavor such as development of a database needs to be take very seriously and fully researched prior to the first line code is written or the first data table specified.

Choosing a DBMS is not as simple as looking at the specifications and finding the feature set you are interested in and then going with the lowest price option, while at first this may sound exactly like what most companies have done. There are things beyond the technical specifications that may require some in-depth thought and decision-making.

While price plays a factor it is not the only factor when making a decision your company may have to live or die with.  If price were the only factor, we'd all be trying to run MS Access for everything.... Basing a decision solely on price could lead you down a path that turns out to be more expensive than investing in the proper DBMS initially after factoring in all the changes and work around that have to be implemented to accommodate a DBMS that does not meet the feature-set requirements of your business. Adding on extra modules or hiring consultants to design and implement special patches or options can be more expensive and time consuming that the most expensive DBMS on the market today and those costs do not include the potential lost revenue or other intangible items that can add up when your company is struggling to make do with the wrong DBMS.

This paper will discuss various aspects of some of the premier DBMS systems on the market today. Those products include Microsoft Access, SQL, DB2, and Oracle. While each of these systems has specific features and advantages they also have distinct disadvantages as well. Our job is to gain an understanding of each of them to best determine which the best choice today.

Technical Comparisons

While each application may be generically the same there are technical differences between them. This section will discuss some of the basic technical specifications of each of the systems. This can be a very detailed task and while a majority of these comparisons fall outside the scope of this particular paper due to the size constraints placed on this requirement.

The table below points out some basic features of each DBMS system:

DB Name Max Size Max Table Size Max Row Size Max Columns per Row Max Char Size Max Number Size

DB2 512TB 512TB 32677 Bytes 1012 32KB 64 bits

MS Access 2GB 2GB 16MB 255 255 32 bits

MySQL Unlimited 2GB to 16TB 64KB 3398 64KB 64 bits

Oracle Unlimited 4GB * block size Unlimited 1000 4000 bytes 126 bits

 Source of information for the table?

It's obvious when you look at these basic features that one option stands out as being a little less than the other, Microsoft Access. While Microsoft Access may appear to have a less robust feature sets it is one of the most prevalent DBMS on the market today. Given Microsoft's penetration into just about every aspect of computing it is no wonder that they would offer a base line product that would give them the entrance they need into this market. Microsoft has a big brother version of a DBMS (Microsoft SQL Server) that has numbers that hold their own against the others listed in the table above. Do you know the origins of SQL Server? It is Sybase. Up until around release 4, the two products were identical until MS got what they needed from Sybase....

IBM's DB2 and Oracle are the venerable standards when it comes to DBMS. Both have been around in one form or another for a number of years. Each has its own feature set that has definite appeal and Oracle has made great strides in combating who they believe to be the arch enemy of the computer industry, Microsoft, over the past few years. Both applications can be pretty costly in regard to price-per-seat comparisons. IBM has stated that Oracle is their largest competitor.

The most unique participant in this comparison has to be MySQL. MySQL is a freeware DBMS made available through the GNU General Public License rights while a company does maintain the codebase and offers maintenance options. With over 10 million reported installations of MySQL it is most likely the absolute most prevalent single DBMS available today. While this low cost option appears to be making a huge headway into the DBMS marketplace it does so with some risks. Having an open source freeware application as the heart of your business data applications may leave some businessmen very uneasy and rightfully so.

Comparisons

While this admittedly is a superfluous look at some of the features and limitations each DBMS system has to offer there is much more to looking at file size limitations when it comes to choosing an investment that can make or break an organization.

Each package has some features that a business owner may find important. As I see it, going from one package to another is natural progression of how these applications are perceived.

Microsoft Access while it has limitations when compared to its big brothers is part of the Microsoft Office package and therefore readily available and the cost has already been absorbed in the purchase of the office word processing

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