Q

PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle or other?

Which should I choose: PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle or other? The application is not Web-based, and the database contains 50 tables with the biggest table containing 18 million rows (6GB total). The engine should have:
1- good backup/restore to/from file service
2- ability to lock at row level
3- fast inserting, updating posts

Which database version do you select? That's a tough one. It all depends on a lot of different factors. You've listed a few factors, but not all of them. The biggest one is price. How much can you afford? Oracle will cost much more. And MySQL is free as long as you follow the GPL. You state that you want the ability to lock at the row level. Oracle is one of the best at this, but MySQL with InnoDB is making progress. You also stat that you want fast inserts and updates. For that, I'd go with Oracle. A properly configured Oracle database will run really nicely.

Other factors to consider are the expected number of concurrent users, the expected data growth, and that application. Like I said, there are lots of factors to consider. In these cases, it's not a bad idea to hire a consultant to help in your determination so that your company doesn't waste time and money.

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This was first published in April 2002

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