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Oracle - where to begin?

I know nothing about any Oracle product.  Their downloads page...

http://otn.oracle.com/software/index.html

...has a long list of various products, and various versions of those.  I have no idea where I should even start.

If I wanted to (eventually) become an Oracle DBA, what should I download to fiddle with and learn?  I'm thinking perhaps it's 9i, but what's the difference between Regular, Lite, and Personal editions?

Kyralessa
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Oracle is a sham, you'd be much better off with Microsoft SQL Server, it is the future of corporate databases.

Software Engineer
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Try the Oracle 9i standard version for your favourite platform.

If you want to understand what is going on, read the Concepts guide first!

http://asktom.oracle.com/pls/ask/f?p=4950:8:::::F4950_P8_DISPLAYID:6112959647233

hennings
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Do you know your way around another DB, though? If not, start by installing another DB and begin learning SQL with that. Oracle is --even for experienced users-- rather difficult to install. You'll definately have to know SQL in order to administer Oracle, but you don't really need Oracle to learn (basic) SQL.

For first steps in getting acquainted with Oracle's dialect of SQL, try Philip Greenspun's SQL for Web Nerds (http://www.eveandersson.com/arsdigita/books/sql/). Once you start getting a hang of general DB concepts, you'll be able to figure out where to go next and eventually will be able to pick the version of Oracle to install. Finally you'll be able to experience the unbound joy of actually installing it. And then the hell of learning to adminster it. And taking the Oracle DBA exams.

If that seems to much to do, download the personal edition for Windows and band around on it. I assume that the install won't be to hard.

  -tim

a2800276
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"Oracle is a sham, you'd be much better off with Microsoft SQL Server, it is the future of corporate databases.

Software Engineer
Wednesday, February 04, 2004"

Software Injenear, perhaps.  Engineer I doubt. 

Though SQL is a nice somewhat OS and hardware limited DB for smaller data stores.  When you have a database with a table that by itself is 4+ billion rows and eats 427 gb of disk space you need something a little more robust than SQL Server.

You can't beat SQL Server's Click Next Click Next Click Next install for the braindead though.  You wanna see a Windows Software Injenear crap their pants?  Have them install Oracle.

sad to say
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I second "sad to say"

Begin by downloading 9i or 8i.

Do the install yourself.

The first time I installed Oracle on Linux a few years ago, it took me about a week. In between corrupt media, dodgy Java and learning curve, I must have rebuilt the Linux box about 20 time before I got it right.

I did find God.
I learnt a lot about Oracle.
Oracle is a good thing (tm)

If you want install notes for Linux, you might want to search the archives at http://openacs.org . They are pretty good, and are tailored for the beginner. Step by step all the way

(running this was my primary motivation for running Oracle)

Tapiwa
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Tapiwa -- that's what I did.  The Linux/Oracle starter kit.  You learn a heck of a lot more and quicker in Oracle, because it's either sink or swim.  You can't connect, well its a great opportunity to learn about net 8.  Everything is documented so you don't have to scour the 4 corners of the web for howto docs.  But you will have to quit expecting a wizard to hold your hand.  There's something to be said for scott/tiger.

Btw, there is also a an NT/Oracle starter kit. 

sad to say
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I'll go with a Windows version instead of Linux, because I haven't done anything with Linux, and one big new thing at a time is enough.

"Oracle is a sham, you'd be much better off with Microsoft SQL Server, it is the future of corporate databases."

Actually I have the SQL Server Developer Edition on order already.

"Do you know your way around another DB, though?"

3-4 years' experience in Access, with plenty of VBA and SQL.  Time to learn something more.

Kyralessa
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The NT/Oracle kit is Oracle 8i I think.  I don't think there is a newer one, but for what you want to do would be perfect, plus you could probably pick it up on amazon used cheap.  Just be sure to get the cd with the book.  Although, you may still be able to download 8i for NT from Oracle's site.  I don't believe Oracle deny's all knowledge of previous releases quite as bad as Microsoft does.

sad to say
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"When you have a database with a table that by itself is 4+ billion rows and eats 427 gb of disk space you need something a little more robust than SQL Server."

I'll make a note of that if SQL Server ever starts failing me. In the meantime, I will be saving a lot of money on headcount and licensing by using SQL Server (though I will not feel as superior as an Oracle DBA and will cry myself to sleep at nights).

As far as learning Oracle, go for it! Make sure to learn unix pretty well though as many Oracle shops run unix.

Good luck!

m
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

We've run systems with tables in the hundreds of millions of rows on SQL Server and Sybase ASE.

If we get to billions of rows in an OLTP system then we've done something very, very wrong.  Our Sybase IQ systems *do* have scrillions of rows, run faster, cost less, and take up less disk space than the Oracle counterparts.

MR
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"I will be saving a lot of money on headcount and licensing by using SQL Server"  Not anymore.  Check Oracle's new pricing.

Also one other note, there are a lot of businesses that need to do ad hoc queries against an OLTP database (that it is recommended against notwithstanding, it happens)  In this case Oracle stomps SQL Server because readers don't block writers and vice versa.

As far as being available on Unix, that is a good thing.  You can run on Wintel until the 32 bit limits you. (Itanium = dead)  Then go to Unix for 64 bit platforms that are tried and true  (more than a first try at 64bit as Wintel is).

sad to say
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I have more experience than I care to admit with Oracle - I've set up more than 20 relatively large scale installations, taught training classes for a year, wrote a huge chunk of a web toolkit that runs on top of oracle, etc. 

Now I use postgreSQL and SQL server almost exclusively.

Why do you want to use Oracle?  The main market for Oracle DBAs is systems maintenance for fucked up oracle installs from the late 1990s. It is a scary, hairy beast - which is why "Oracle DBA" is a separate job. 

Oracle has some nice SQL extensions, but I can't say I recommend it anymore. I'd do postgres if you want to do unix, and SQLServer if you want to do XP...

If you really want to stick with oracle, I recommend oracle on linux and a gym membership so that you can haul the 300lbs of huge red oracle press books back to your apartment.

oracle DBA
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"Though SQL is a nice somewhat OS and hardware limited DB for smaller data stores.  When you have a database with a table that by itself is 4+ billion rows and eats 427 gb of disk space you need something a little more robust than SQL Server"

So I should call the agencies with Terabyte databases in production on SQL Server and tell them to stop - it's not possible?

As far as running reports against OLTP databases - you said it yourself, that's not a best practice.

SQL Server is *always* cheaper than Oracle, before you even consider that Analysis and Reporting Services are in the box, as opposed to extra-cost with Oracle.

And Oracle is, quite simply, painful to manage. I'm pretty sure those stories of "and Oracle sent a legion of consultants to help us get it right" exist because it takes a legion of Oracle consultants to get it running right. ;-)

My opinions only, of course, and not those of Microsoft.
Philo

Philo
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

" Oracle sent a legion of consultants to help us get it right" exist because it takes a legion of Oracle consultants to get it running right. ;-)"

Whereas Microsoft sends in a legion of sales people to oversell you.

Mike
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Oracle consultants/sales, Microsoft consultants/sales, IBM consultants/sales.

There's a difference?

From my experience with all of the above they're basically all marketing shills with a technical veneer.

Stephen Martin
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Software engineer wrote:

>Oracle is a sham, you'd be much better off with Microsoft SQL Server, it is the future of corporate databases

Come on Bill it has been a long time since you were a software engineer :-)

Just in case you want a comparison...

http://www.databasejournal.com/features/mssql/article.php/2170201

http://www.mssqlserver.com/faq/general-sqlvsoracle.asp

To answer the main question about learning about Oracle

http://www.rocket99.com/oracle/
http://www.wittys.com/files/vvandal/sld001.htm

Code Monkey
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

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