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Difference Between DB2 and Oracle

db2_book_amDB2 vs Oracle

An RDBMS or Relational Database Management System is a type of software that keeps track of multiple databases and their relationships with each other. Two commercially available RDBMS software are the DB2 from IBM and Oracle from a company called Relational Software Incorporated but later changed its name to Oracle Corporation.

Both DB2 and Oracle can be purchased independently and installed in many operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Unix, though they are not as popular in Windows as the Microsoft SQL server. You can also purchase DB2 packaged with an iSeries server computer from IBM and its operating system. IBM boasts that these package is a faster and cheaper alternative to purchasing Oracle along with a server and operating system. The speed gained is due to the reduction of non essential functions in the operating system. An iSeries computer is geared mainly to serve the demands of DB2 and is therefore much more streamlined and functional.

Oracle is the more popular RDBMS of the two as more people feel that DB2 is lacking in a lot of aspects. A lot of these shortcomings are addressed by some third party applications that you can purchase and install. One shortcoming of DB2 is the lack of direct support for Java applications. You can readily deploy Java applications if you are using Oracle but you would need additional software like Tomcat to convert scripts into Java code which can then be compiled and run.

Choosing between DB2 and Oracle is really up to your company’s or your own personal preference and experience with the product. Most users of DB2 and the iSeries servers prefer to stay with IBMs package while most new users prefer Oracle. As DB2 is only second to Oracle in market share, they have made moves to make it easier for people who have never used DB2 to shift to their system. They have even modified some aspects, making it similar to how it would be in an Oracle system.

Summary:
1.DB2 is an RDBMS from IBM while Oracle is an RDBMS from the company of the same name
2.IBM offers DB2 packaged along with its iSeries hardware and operating system while Oracle is sold as an independent software
3.Most people usually regard to Oracle as superior due to many shortcomings of DB2
4.Oracle directly supports a Java application server where you can deploy Java servlets while with DB2 you would need to employ a Java translator like Tomcat


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3 Comments

  1. This is technically confused.

    Tomcat is not a Java translator, it’s a servlet container. Both Oracle and IBM sell servlet containers/application servers — Oracle bought BEA and IBM has WebSphere. Neither server comes free with the database. Tomcat or something similar is necessary for Web-based J2EE apps regardless of the database back end.

    The major areas in which Oracle is technically superior to DB2 are
    a) Security — Oracle handles its own security within the DBMS itself and has more options for locking down certain rows or columns within the database than DB2 does. DB2 tends to rely more on the security of the underlying OS platform.
    b) Management tools — particularly in the last (10, 11) releases. Oracle has a more powerful DBA tool and does much more automatic managing of itself — which is a good thing; earlier releases of Oracle had the reputation of being difficult to administer because of the amazing range of options and settings available. Optimizing for performance was once a sort of black art; it’s somewhat easier now.

    This is not to say DB2 isn’t working on matching Oracle in these areas; competition is fierce. But Oracle is currently the leader.

    Since it purchased Sun, Oracle now sells hardware. It has a data warehouse server — “Exadata” — optimized for heavy database crunching.

  2. Where DB2 beats the stuffing out of oracle is:
    (1) speed

    (2) ease of use. DB2 can give and receive standard unix I/O on the command line – something oracle is incapable of doing. That makes all the powerful unix commands available. I can type
    $> db2 “select something..” | grep… | awk … | sed >output.file.

    (3) DB2 has another abstraction layer; a one to many relationship between server and database. So I have more flexibility to manage user objects and backups.

    I’ve worked for years on both and I think Oracle is second rate technology, with a great business model driving it. On it’s technical merits, ease of administration, speed and cost DB2 is clearly superior.

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