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Oracle Relational Database Management System Review

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A class of relational database management system (RDBMS) products compete to deliver the best results to their big data customers, but Oracle Database is synonymous with database management, and for good reason. 

Starting with its well-reviewed array of features, integrations in the broad Oracle data portfolio, and version support, Oracle Database remains one of the top enterprise RDBMS solutions in the market.

See below to learn more about the RDBMS:

A Review of Oracle Database

Relational database management system (RDBMS) software

A database management system (DBMS) is software or a software family that organizes and manages data across databases. DBMS software can organize, categorize, and label data, as well as elements like column headings and files, to simplify the data analysis process.

Relational database management system (RDBMS) software is a specific type of DBMS that shows relationships between data entries via tables. The relations across tables are managed through RDBMS software, allowing data to be cleaned and updated over time.

Database management systems should provide the interface between databases and end users or programs, allowing for data practices like performance monitoring, tuning, backup and recovery, management, and optimization, according to Oracle.

See more: What is a Database Management System?

Oracle Database features

Oracle Database is considered a standout for the many features it offers, and due to the company’s frequent releases of new and improved product versions.

Many of the features, such as Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) and Active Data Guard, are add-ons that may incur additional costs.

These are some of the top features of Oracle Database:

  • High availability
  • Database manageability through a consolidated dashboard
  • Performance and scalability through testing environments
  • Machine learning (ML) capabilities for data analysis
  • Package feature
  • Extensive security breach protection 
  • Data center, public cloud, and private cloud options
  • Custom application development capabilities with built-in tools and procedural languages
  • Assistance with migration to Oracle cloud tools
  • Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC)
  • Oracle Active Data Guard extension

Oracle Database integrations

Oracle Database integrates with many tools, both within the Oracle portfolio and from third-party vendors. 

However, it’s likely that an Oracle add-on is necessary to make those integrations and cross-platform communications possible. The top tools that Oracle offers to assist with integrations include Oracle Integration, Oracle GoldenGate, and Oracle API Management.

Some programs that Oracle Database integrates with either natively or via API include the following:

  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Quickbooks
  • SalesForce
  • Teradata
  • Apache Spark
  • Apache Kafka
  • Google Suite
  • Sybase

Benefits of Oracle Database

  • Safeguarded data: Oracle Database upholds some of the strongest security measures in the RDBMS market — via encryption, key management, data masking, privileged user access controls, activity monitoring, and auditing.
  • Feature-rich: Users can expand the functionality and value of their RDBMS through its compatibility with a family of data tools in the Oracle portfolio.
  • Scalability: The system’s integration and analytics capabilities are built for scalability, so the RDBMS can grow with users’ needs.
  • Stability: Oracle Database is a long-standing top product in the RDBMS market; consider it a tested, stable, and trusted solution.
  • Support Period: When you launch, and especially if you opt into the added cost support packages, Oracle is known for their lengthy support periods and ongoing bug fixes.
Oracle Database 3rd Party Integrations and Oracle Portfolio Connections.
Oracle Database has strong capabilities on its own, but even stronger capabilities through its Oracle portfolio connections and third-party integrations. Tools like Oracle GoldenGate, Apache Kafka, and Apache Spark help to prepare and clean up data for tools like Oracle Database. (Source: Oracle)

Oracle Database use cases

Most companies that select Oracle Database are working with a large budget and a sophisticated data team that wants the wide variety of features and tools that Oracle Database offers. 

Here’s what a few users across industries and roles have to say about their experience with Oracle Database and how they use it:

“Oracle is the industry leader in RDBMS and the go-to platform for mission-critical, performance-requiring database workloads. That is why we choose it. With the stability and performance of Oracle RDBMS, plus high-availability and DR solutions like Oracle RAC and Data Guard, we have assurance that our performance and availability needs are met.” -Systems engineer in the health care industry, a review of Oracle Database at Gartner Peer Insights

“Oracle Database is best fit for options where the database is large and there is a need for reliability, security and availability at that size. The cost of the system reflects this. It won’t be well suited and will be high cost for mostly test environments or where reliability is not a factor or concern. Oracle Database would be a great fit for any company who needs a database, especially for eCommerce cases.” -Customer service team lead in the retail industry, a review of Oracle Database at Gartner Peer Insights

“Oracle Database is an excellent Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). It is very secure, reliable and stable. The data storage and retrieval is very fast with Oracle and is very well managed. Databases in Oracle can be managed by the tools like Oracle SQL Developer or Toad or can be accessed using command line. DDL, DML and DCL operations are very well managed in Oracle.” -IT manager in the finance industry, a review at Gartner Peer Insights

User reviews of Oracle Database

Oracle Database scores well across the board with its users, and is particularly successful in the category of product capabilities. 

Overall, users give the product a 4.5 out of 5 at Gartner Peer Insights

Across four main categories and 20 subcategories, users give it scores ranging from 4.0 to 4.6.

Of the reviews, 77% say they’d recommend the RDBMS.

As far as weaknesses, several user reviews cite the product’s steep price, particularly for incorporating add-on features they need and especially for re-licensing to pass highly detailed Oracle audits. Third parties can be hired to help users remain compliant with their product licensing.

Others express some concern about Oracle’s support team, difficulty with using the user community, and understanding Oracle’s guides as non-data professionals. 

Oracle Database pricing

There are five pricing packages for Oracle Database: Personal, Mobile, Standard, Enterprise, and NoSQL Database Enterprise. 

The product is one of the most expensive RDBMS options on the market, with a single processor license for the Enterprise edition coming out to $47,500, according to a 2020 Oracle price list. 

Oracle also offers several add-on options for additional fees, such as partitioning and advanced compression for the Enterprise edition. 

More information on Oracle Database’s pricing can be found in the 2020 Oracle Technology Global Price List.

Oracle Database competitors

The database management system market has grown significantly for several years, reaching a market value of around $58.4 billion in 2020. 

The global industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.81% between 2021 and 2026, with an expected value of around $126.9 billion by 2026, according to Expert Market Research

Much of this growth is coming from larger enterprises that work with growing pools of e-commerce and social media data. 

Some of Oracle Database’s top competitors in the DBMS market include:

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Amazon RDS
  • IBM Db2
  • Altibase
  • MongoDB
  • Caspio
  • DbVisualizer
  • InterSystems IRIS
  • Teradata

See more: Best Database Management Software 2020 

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