Saturday, September 16, 2006

SQL Server guys' problem of learning Oracle - Part 1

In the first episode I’m going to write about the main issue that a SQL Server expert might face as he start learning Oracle.

I’ve always liked Microsoft SQL Server not only because it’s easier to manage and I can be more productive with – which isn't the whole point, of course - but also because it’s one of Microsoft’s products with which I have least amount of trouble (e.g.: bugs, security holes, etc) compare to other products like Visual Studio or Windows itself.
After a while, I realized knowing about other DBMSs is necessary, too. Because working with similar products in the same field gives you a lot of new ideas and, at the same time, options.

Starting with Oracle can be confusing if your mind is set on SQL Server. I, myself, had to start by figuring out differences of terminologies ("instance" and "database" to begin with). Oracle databases I setup were running into numerous number of issues. And it was all merely because I wanted to do things the same way I use to do in SQL Server.
It’s true that they have similarities, lots of lots of similarities. But the way they work are different. If you are a developer that doesn't look at database as a black box, you understand what I am talking about.
In my opinion, you have to learn Oracle from scratch, in the same way you learned SQL Server. This seems very obvious. But many good developers I run into don't seem to have realized this.
You have to understand how things really work in Oracle and solve problems in the Oracle way, not in SQL Server way.
This would be true as well if you were an Oracle DBA or programmer and you wanted to learn SQL Server. That’s why in the next post I am going to write more about this issue and compare quite a few concepts of Oracle and SQL Server that sound similar but are not and show you how they are different. That will hopefully make it easier for those who work with SQL Server to start learning Oracle.
There is a book from an expert that could make the learning process easier; “Expert Oracle Database Architecture” by “Thomas Kyte”. I wish it was available when I was starting with Oracle.
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