I have just started to review Oracle 10g and IBM DB2 UDB and I can say four things about both products. First, the installs are simple, easy and relatively fast for database systems packed with clustering, parallel operation, automatic backup and recovery plus powerful replication and messaging features. I really was expecting much more trouble than I got.
Second, I have not used either system from the DBA point of view for at least two years. Both systems have taken a decided swing towards complete, comprehensive , and centralized control. This is welcome. Also both systems, but especially Oracle 10g, have taken the Web interface to heart. Oracles Enterprise Manager uses a browser interface with intelligence and remarkably good response time (with notable exception of logon). Ditto for SQL*Plus which is entirely web based. I cant wait to see what the vendors do now that J2ME supports Swing (3rd party) and J2SE supports JSF-Java Server Faces. Good GUI interfaces can be made ever better.
Third, the response time for both systems has been uniformly lightening fast. Now remember, they have the “drag” of the web interface up front and I have loaded up a personal database of 100,000 records; yet both systems have bearly broken a sweat.
Fourth, both vendors are being driven by Microsofts free giveaway of both OLAP and Data Mining with Analytical Services as a freebie in SQL Server. To my surprise there sitting in Oracle and DB2 were their BI freebies too. I have not had a chance to look over the offerings from either vendor in any detail. But clearly Oracle and IBM are marching to Microsofts beat.