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Choosing a database for use in an OLTP environment

What parameters should a project team use to decide which database to use in an OLTP environment?

There are multiple parameters to take into consideration in choosing a specific vendor for their RDBMS solution. One needs to answer questions such as 1) How many concurrent users or transactions do we expect to service? 2) Do we expect our concurrent workload to grow over time? 3) What OS platform(s) do we have available? 4) Do we have 'in-house' expertise in the specific OS platform and/or database vendor? 5) If we don't have the requisite expertise, can we train staff or hire consultants? 6) While it's not a popular thing to talk about, it's only good business sense that makes us ask what our budget holds for database software. 6) How much data do we expect to hold? 7) What are the database uptime requirements? 24x7? 8x5?

Unfortunately, there is no easy chart which says to choose one RDBMS vendor over others depending on the answers to the above questions. And often times, there is more than one solution. If your company is having difficulties deciding which vendor to choose, then I'd suggest hiring a consultant. Try to pick a consultant who has experience with many different RDBMS vendors as well as OS platforms. Let the consultant give you recommendations. A consultant may not be cheap, but if she does her job well, then her expertise can save the company money in the long run. It's better and cheaper to get the right database vendor the first time than to switch in the middle of the application's lifetime.

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Now in my admittedly biased opinion, Oracle is a very good choice for many different situations. It definitely should be a database package that you examine in your decision making. But keep in mind that I do not have any answers to the above questions.


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