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Many companies have a heavy influence on market and technologies around them, and you often compare the products before you choose, e. g. I liked Oracle APEX, its flexibility and features, and we're using it production, however it requires Oracle Database (at least Express Edition), thus we had to install the latter.

I would like to know what are noticeable features Microsoft SQL Server can suggest and Oracle Database cannot, and vice versa; I imply the last versions of both products, because I've recently been told that Microsoft has left Oracle behind since 2005, and they (Oracle) should really think over it (maybe he was just payed).

I've consulted Comparison of relational database management systems on Wikipedia, but on the surface their feature sets don't seem to differ much.

I suppose the order with the most important features on the top is reasonable.

Thank you.

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Best we can collect some or many links to such comparisons. –  bernd_k Jan 5 '11 at 13:39

4 Answers 4

Here is Microsoft's take:

http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/compare-oracle.aspx

and here is Oracle's take:

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/039433.pdf

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by the papers, you can see that MS tent for simplicity and "out of the box" "easy to use". while Oracle tend to the more complex, more robust, "only for those who know their shit :)" attitudes –  Tomer W Mar 7 '13 at 13:01

You might want to look at what features you need or want, then make a decision on which platform. Do a little reading on each product and see what interests you, then see if the other supports the same thing, or something similar.

To me, since they both support the same core features, price will determine route, unless there's something in the other product that I couldn't live without. That being said, I would go with SQL Server the vast majority of the time as it continuously wins on price. A lot of other technologies (SSRS, SSAS, SSIS, etc) come bundled with SQL Server for free. Similar offerings from Oracle usually cost extra.

Yes this is a biased answer, but I enjoy the product and would recommend it to anyone looking for a db platform.

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Let us focus on some differences.

Oracle has no temporary tables or table variables. Oracles so called global temporary tables are predefined database objects of fixed structure. They are definitely something different.

When working with cursors you need one variable which represents a record as opposed to endless declare lists for each single field in the result set.

Oracles varchar2 datatype has a maximal width of 4000 chars as opposed to around 2GB of varchar(max) (SQL-Server 2008).

SQL-Servers makes it much easier to work with case insensitive varchars.

In SQL-Server you have little problem in returning result sets, while Orcale requires that you understand a concept called ref cursors.

In SQL-Server you have 2 layers SQL and TSQL. in Oracle you have 3 layers SQL, PLSQL and sqlplus which all contribute to syntactical differences.

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I wouldn't say this is an exhaustive list of differences / and it is a very biased one / and it is focused on developers. –  René Nyffenegger Jan 18 '11 at 22:11
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@René Do you expect that each answer is a complete list? I think you have to read all answers together to get the whole picture. –  bernd_k Jan 19 '11 at 6:41
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Actually yes, I DO expect complete answers - and certainly unbiased and technically correct ones. Now, for this question: I don't believe that this is even possible, so I would rather have the question closed than attempted to be answered. –  René Nyffenegger Jan 19 '11 at 9:10
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@René This is a free forum in which people take time out of their day to provide answers to questions. You cannot expect someone to do a week's worth of work to compare every feature between the products for free. If you expect that level of work, you need to hire a consultant. –  Eric Humphrey - lotsahelp Jan 19 '11 at 14:59
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@Eric This is exactly why I would rather not have this type of questions asked. –  René Nyffenegger Jan 19 '11 at 15:03

If you're looking at core feature comparisons, there aren't going to be a lot of differences between the two. Oracle has better support for the windowing functions and maybe a few other things. They both support hosting an application language (PL/Java vs SQL CLR). The feature differences become more pronounced when you start looking at offerings above the standard edition.

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