Friday, February 15, 2008

DATAllegro, DW appliances and the Oracle lock-in effect

Andy Hayler has an interesting post on DATAllegro - talking about its sweet spot at the very high end of data volumes; apparently helped by a grid with up to 1TB/minute transfer speeds.

What caught my eye was Andy's observation that "Oracle customers can be a harder sell (than Teradata's, for example) not because of the technology, but because of the weight of stored procedures and triggers ... in Oracle's proprietary extension" (ie PL/SQL).

Just looking at the various technologies people talk about on OraNA blogs, I wonder whether the continuing growth in Java and .NET based applications over the last decade - where many of the business rules are executed outside the database - might hurt Oracle precisely by removing the PL/SQL "stickiness" Andy describes.

Admittedly Apex is a counter example - thoroughly PL/SQL, thoroughly Oracle; no chance of moving Apex clients to another RDBMS yet. And the tendency to provide management interfaces through PL/SQL (or very Oracle-specific SQL extensions) also helps to keep Oracle customers tied down. Which is good for us Oracle died-in-the-wool crowd. Whether the lock-in is good for the customers (or even Oracle) is another question; an existing customer lock-in can feel like a lock-out to new customers.

Any thoughts out there?

Regards Nigel

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