Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Oracle or Sql Server is one thing, but SAP?

I've received an assignment to develop a large data warehouse, and been told to consider SAP for the database.  We already use and are happy with Oracle.

I hear debates between Oracle, Sql Server, MySQL, and even Ingres and Sybase, but why is it that I've never heard SAP mentioned in the same context?

Does anyone have any experiences (good or bad), or good links to share, aside from the official sapdb.org site?

K
Wednesday, March 05, 2003

"Told to Consider" SAP.

Unless thats PHB code for "You WILL use this product" where you work why not just tell them you did consider it then decided to go for a product you can actually support instead (e.g. oracle).

Robert Moir
Wednesday, March 05, 2003

SAPDB was a commercial, closed source, database called ADABAS. SAP bought the rights to it (or at least the rights to fork it) and have enhanced it and Open Sourced it.

Why did SAP do this? Simple, Oracle was (and is) the main database that SAP used in its implementation. Oracle then went and developed its own ERP package that competes with SAP. In addition, smaller SAP sites didn't have an existing database and didn't like the idea of buying costly Oracle licenses. SAP bought the database to help with both problems.

Why did they Open Source it? Good question, according to the web site, SAP has plenty of developers working on SAPDB - I doubt if they need a few outside developers. I assume that the reason is Public Relations. SAP DB is not a core product for SAP, it doesn't cost them anything by releasing the source code and letting people use it for free.

RocketJeff
Wednesday, March 05, 2003

SAP open-sourcing the components that their product relies upon.. is that an example of commoditizing your complements?

Does SAP run on Postgres or MySQL?  Would that have been another avenue for them to invest in?

nice
Thursday, March 06, 2003

SAP open-sourced their RDBMS,  not their ERP package (BTW: you get the ERP ABAP source  when you buy the R/3 system).

R/3 runs on any enterprise-class RDBMS (DB/2, Oracle, SQL Server, SAP DB); using SAP DB is just an option. Toy databases (MySQL) are not supported.

The main reason for giving away SAP DB for free is to avoid paying lots of DB bucks to Oracle (which they use to subsidize their ERP development).

Alex
Thursday, March 06, 2003

So Alex, were you agreeing with me or not?  Or were you replying to someone else?  Hmm, oh for a forum with quoting.. ;-)

The SAP 'product' is ERP etc; the database that manages the storage is a complement.  And JoS illustrates the commercial advantages of commoditizing those in serveral articles.

Obviously SAP is investing a lot of capital to secure the enterprise-class database from the original (closed source) vendor, and to maintain it.  I wondered if that money couldn't have been spent upclassing a 'toy' opensource database instead.  IIRC Red Hat is/has gone a little bit in that direction.

nice
Thursday, March 06, 2003

Nice, in my opinion it is not so much about commoditizing a complement (it is not the DB costs that prevents potential customers from buying SAP). It is more like cannibalizing a competitor's major market ;o).

Alex
Thursday, March 06, 2003

What does ERP stand for please?

treefrog
Thursday, March 06, 2003

frog, ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning. SAP is an application package for this; General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Recieveable, HR application, Project Management, CRM stuff. The whole nine yards.

SAP is as said, often run ontop of Oracle databases. However, Oracle also has its Oracle Applications which competes directly with SAP.

Patrik
Thursday, March 06, 2003

ERP - Enterprise Resource Programme.... basically the mother of all computer systems.

SAP R/3 - Save and Pray, Repeat 3 times :)

tapiwa
Thursday, March 06, 2003

I chose SAPDB and not looking back.

The features lis. It does the deed and then some...
  http://www.sapdb.org/7.4/sap_db_features.htm

But if I had to pick the best part, is not it's ease of use, how remedial to set up and get playing, hands off administration with hot backups, how it performs or whatever, but the absolutely complete documentation et al.

Using Oracle, you need hundred's of dollars of literature in books and such let alone the licence, just to be productive. SAPDB comes with huge PDF files that answer all your questions, including a document that tells you how you used to do something in Oracle, and how to do it in SAP if it supports it (and tells you if it doesnt).

If you want a good techie reason. SAP creams Oracle with its Unicode support. In Oracle you have to declare a column as NVARCHAR, and any strings in any query as N'mystring'. Where as SAPDB, it simply happens. Specify unicode in the column definition, and no modifications to queries. Truly cool if you're ever thinking of that whole "other language support" thing.

The CD's free, order it. They won't even charge for shipping (Which left me astounded quite framkly. Filled in a form, and got a package from Germany to Australia in a week). Magic happens from start to finish. In fact, if SAP don't send the CD free, email me and I'll see about sending one for them.

I'm bootstrapping my own startup, and SAPDB's been the biggest license god-send so far. On the CD you get the databse for all the 6 operating systems (actually the entire SAPDB website).

Arron Bates
Friday, March 07, 2003

Risking ridicule:
quickie in light of comment on Oracle docs:
i've spent last 6 months developing an oracle db for teaching purposes.
i've never before touched an rdbms system, so was a capital v virgin
i found the morass of documentation completely impenetrable, worked most of it out meself but had to ask oracle meta link to solve several very basic problems caused by oracle needs that were only mentioned a zillion layers deep in the books (if then)
am I a wimp (in this regard) or is oracle well known for basic lack of friendliness to newbies?

Mark Sanders
Sunday, March 23, 2003

Mark,

Oracle is widely known for its unfriendlyness to anybody :)
If you run into problems you can get stuck hard, but once
you get it all running the way you want, its robustness is
second to none.

Patrik
Monday, March 24, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home