When left to my own devices I tend to use PostgreSQL or MySQL. They’re both free, open source, run on every platform I use, and I understand how to use them, tune them, etc…. However, when I’m building an application and database scripts that will be deployed on Oracle, and using an application which doesn’t really support PostgreSQL or MySQL for production anyhow, I will use Oracle. I don’t have much against Oracle really, mostly I just don’t understand it’s inner workings very well, and usually I only deal with it when it breaks.

Installing Oracle on Mac OS X has been possible for a while, but has been FAR from easy. More often than not the installers would throw fatal errors and die horrible deaths. However, you can now get a pre-packaged Oracle 10 XE installation running on Linux as a downloadable Parallels image.


Which takes a lot of the pain away. Just download, run, and poof you have a running Oracle 10 instance with a web admin, and you can plug your SQLDeveloper, JBoss, ATG, etc… into it.

Until it starts throwing errors. Not Oracle. Oracle just sits there happily, but your applications start blowing up. Not at first, but when you start trying to DO stuff. Like say running a bunch of install scripts, and it starts failing 1/2 way through. I finally tracked it down as a known issue, mentioned on a few blogs like this one:


So there’s a hack/fix at least, but come on Oracle! When your database falls over faster than any open source database you have issues.

This isn’t an “I hate Oracle” rant. When it comes to huge production systems I’m not 100% sure I’d pick anything other than Oracle on Veritas. But I just wish they made it easier to use all around. Has anyone seen a very serious production system using PostgreSQL? I’m sure they exist, but I haven’t seen one. By serious I mean 8,000+ simultaneous jdbc connection, tens thousands of transactions/minutes, tables with 10+ million rows, and queries that do multi table joins across tables of that size, and tested disk, hardware, and server failover. I’m not doubting that it can be done, but who’s doing it?