Database Management systems

A Database Management System (DBMS), is a collection of software tools, that enables the creation and management of a large set of data. Typically this data will be too complex to keep in a spreadsheet, and too big to keep in a spreadsheet.

a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS), is a database that stores its data relationally.

Some of the more popular relational database management systems include:

  • Oracle
  • MySQL
  • SQLite
  • SQL Server

There is a set of processes to go through as an Oracle Database Administrator. It will be the same or similar for most database management systems. Some of these processes are:

  • Database creation
  • Table creation and tablespace sizing
  • Adding data to the tables in your database
  • Selecting data from the database
  • Relational database design, is something that you may not need to do as a DBA, but you should have a clear idea as to the principles involved, if you are going to maintain the database properly.

Database Management System’s


MySQL is a fast and accurate database. Reliable enough for financial systems. Fast enough for real time transactions.

MySQL can be administered from the command line as well as from a graphic user interface. There are various graphic interface tools, free and paid for that you can use.

Sadly MySQL was bought out by Oracle. Oracle still has a free to use community edition. However Oracle has done nothing to the community edition, and all the enhancements have gone into the paid for version. Because of this the original creators of MySQL have created MariaDB, which is very much like the old MySQL, but being actively improved and developed all the time. When I refer to MySQL, I really mean MariaDB.

Unless you need a support contract for your MySQL database, rather use MariaDB. The MariaDB community is very helpful, and you could potentially get helped quicker than with an expensive support contract.


Oracle is the top of the range of Relational Database systems. Just the core of Oracle constitutes the most complex piece of software on the planet. Likewise Oracle is also the most expensive RDBMS system to use.

Oracle has and continues to buy out a number of technologies, which get incorporated into the Oracle offering. As a result Oracle has become an extremely specialized and complex suite of database and related tools.

If you are serious about your data, and your data is very valuable, then Oracle is your choice.


In many ways PostGreSQL is similar to Oracle. It may not be as fast as MySQL, but like Oracle it is a secure and stable database. Oracle and PostGreSQL are the heavy weights in database technology. Unlike Oracle, PostGreSQL is open source, and the community edition is free.

For most database requirements, I would say that the community edition of PostGreSQL running on Ubuntu server or CentOS stream server, will be more than adequate for the purpose.

You certainly don’t want to have a Rolls Royce, to do your weekly shopping with, when something smaller like a Volkswagon golf, will be more than adequate. In the same way, why pay large sums of money for an expensive database, if PostGreSQL can do a rather splendid job for you for free, or for a fraction of the cost.

If you are running on PostGreSQL, then the only reasons for changing to Oracle will be, because of management decisions, or because you want to take advantage of some specialized tools provided by Oracle. If you have hundreds of Terrabytes of data, then maybe you should look at alternative technology to RDBMS technology. Technically PostgreSQL has the horsepower to handle the big databases, and you can get support contracts for PostGreSQL if required. PostGreSQL, also has an excellent community that you can turn to for help.

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is common these days. We used to consider that it was OK for the smaller database requirements. These days, there are some fairly robust systems running on SQL Server.

SQL Server used to be much cheaper than Oracle. However these days, Oracle and SQL Server are more or less in the same ballpark, when it comes to the cost of running your data on SQL Server, instead of on Oracle. By comparison, Oracle has always had a superior transaction handling capability build into the database, right from when Oracle was first developed. At some point I will get into the concept of dirty reads / writes to illustrate this point. Oracle has always used redo technology which eliminates the potential problem of dirty reads, and writes.






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