Monday, October 16, 2006

Databases: which one to chose?

A rundown of databases from a qualified source:
  • Oracle: everyone knows it, functionality for just about everything but doesn't do anything well
  • SQL Server: The poor man's Oracle: not as much concurrency, better user interface
  • Access: WORST!!!! No concurrency control
  • DB2: Faster than Oracle, UI tools and SQL is not as robust as Oracle's
  • Sybase: Good, but dying out because of market share
  • Informix: Very good, but bought out by IBM and integrated into DB2 (prof's favorite)
  • MySQL: Up until 5 no support for a lot of things like foreign keys and indexing, free
  • PostgreSQL: Robust database, free
  • There exist other, specialized databases for streaming data
The free ones: MySQL vs PostgreSQL:
  • MySQL:
    • Larger development community
    • Just a tiny bit friendlier
  • PostgreSQL:
    • 5 years ahead of MySQL (but MySQL is catching up fast)
    • Perhaps able to handle double the data?
    • Data type storage more optimized
    • Better for update-intensive work (writes)
Other advice:
  • Cache large/popular files: look at Apache's cache setup
  • Verify that files have type, non-virus integrity

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