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need a review of RDBMS as to which one to use?

Posted on 2005-02-28
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Last Modified: 2008-02-20
Hi experts,
I would like to review the following RDBMS to use in my database which contains around 100,000 records. It does not need to do any INSERT/UPdate query. Please provides every detail as possible:

1- Ms ACCESS,
2- SQL Server
3- MySQL
4- Oracle

My system: Window XP SP1

Sokhodom
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Question by:sokhodom
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16 Comments
 
LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:JesterToo
ID: 13425302
1.  How many concurrent users?
2.  Web accessible?
3.  How much downtime can you afford to have?
4.  Is this for Corporate or Private use?
5.  How much are you willing to spend on it?
6.  What are you going to use if for?

Since you're not inserting/updating you may not need the "heavy hitters" of SQL Server and Oracle.  And, if this is multiuser and/or you have little tolerance for downtime, I wouldn't choose Access.  That leaves MySQL as a strong contender.  But, I'd still like to know the answers to questions above to be more confident in recommending it.  MySQL is used commercially in some pretty big applications.  And, the price is much better than the  big vendors' products.

HTH,
Lynn
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:sokhodom
ID: 13425357
1.  How many concurrent users?
> Maximum 500 users
2.  Web accessible?
> Yes (the result of the database will be used for the web)
3.  How much downtime can you afford to have?
> Very LITTLE to NONE
4.  Is this for Corporate or Private use?
> For Corporate use
5.  How much are you willing to spend on it?
> As Less as possible
6.  What are you going to use if for?
> user can search currently avaible information based on Keyword search in our database

Thank Lynn, But would you state clearly on the FEATURE, performance etc.. of each DB?
sokhodom
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

by:
jrb1 earned 800 total points
ID: 13425825
1) While Access isn't particularly robust, most people already have the software on their PC...making it available for little or no cost.  Performance isn't great.  Multiuser apps have some problems with that many users.  But for reporting via a web server, I can't say that it would be the wrong choice.  It might be all you need.

2) SQL Server is pretty robust.  It is workable for large scale corporate applications.  Multi-user support is good.  Standard version costs about $5,000.  This is a lower end, pro database.

3) Pretty solid database.  Lots more features than Access.  I haven't worked with this DB a lot, but it seems a bit lower end than SQL Server.  I don't know a lot of companies that use it for critical apps, but at free to low cost, you get lots of features at the best price.

4) Oracle is the biggie.  Lots of features available, but not for cheap.  Not a lot of competition for big scale corporate apps.  The standard version starts at about $15,000.
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:jrb1
ID: 13425828
Just reread...will say...for downtime, Access may not be best. Again, for reporting only, it may be OK.  But that's not what it is intended for.
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:sujit_kumar
sujit_kumar earned 80 total points
ID: 13425952
If you have  100,000 records and you want to spend as little as possible then go for SQL Server.
0
 
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

by:billmercer
billmercer earned 320 total points
ID: 13426365
Sokhodom, based on your priorities, I think MySQL is probably the best choice.  It meets all of your criteria. It's free, quite stable, could easily handle your volume, and for the sort of use you're describing it's one of the fastest engines available, if not the fastest. MySQL is extremely popular as a web back end, especially as part of the so-called LAMP platform of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
 
MySQL lacks some basic features of other SQL engines, (that's partly where it gets its speed) but from your description it doesn't sound like you'll need those features anyway.

Oracle is incredibly powerful, can handle incredibly huge amounts of data, and is incredibly expensive. For the use you describe, it would be overkill.

MS-SQL would be a reasonable choice, it's more powerful than MySQL, but it's still expensive, and if you don't need all that power, it's still probably overkill. Access is the least stable and least powerful one you listed, and is not going to handle 500 simultaneous users.

Given your emphasis on performance and low cost, another option you might consider is Firebird, an open-source database derived from InterBase. Firebird is free, very powerful, and pretty fast. It's also very compact, and extremely easy to use.

I'm curious how you narrowed your choices down to the four you listed. Oracle is arguably the most powerful database platform in the world, and Access is basically a consumer desktop application. Choosing between them is like choosing between a fishing boat and an oil tanker.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:JesterToo
JesterToo earned 400 total points
ID: 13426407
Actiually MS SQL Server will likely cost a lot more than $5K... It can be licensed either by CPU or by seats (number of users).  Also, there is, or used to be, a separate "WEB Connector" license needed (per web server?... don't remember).  With the uptime requirements, this should be in a cluster for high availability... more license costs.

Sokhodom, there are just too many features to list for any of these DBMS to do any kind of justice to them.  You should just visit the vendor's web sites.  They all do a pretty decent job of touting their strong points and all of them are very capable at delivering most of the common functionality that any relational dbms should have.

The single biggest weakness, in my mind at least, is the current production release of MySql (4.x) does not support triggers.  It is in development, and is partially supported in the current alpha 5.x release.  However, this shouldn't affect your planned use for the db since triggers are only useful when altering the contents of a table... and you've stated you won't be doing that.

-- Lynn
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:mcmonap
mcmonap earned 200 total points
ID: 13427200
Hi sokhodom,

For my two pence worth I would suggest MSDE (free version of SQL server - http://www.microsoft.com/sql/msde), the cost is obviously negligable, the feature set is amoung the best, the only possible impact is the performance limiters placed upon there are details regarding this in this article:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/?url=/library/en-us/architec/8_ar_sa2_0ciq.asp?frame=true

I think from  what you say above though that it may meet your requirements, 500 users of a web application do not necessarily require 500 connections to the database, I would be (very) surprised if you needed many more than 8
>>Yes (the result of the database will be used for the web)
>>user can search currently avaible information based on Keyword search in our database

The obvious advantage of going this method is that if you like what you see and decide you do need more connections to the database then you can upgrade to full SQL server by simple buying the software and upgrading the server - the actual database format is identical between MSDE and SQL server so there would be no hit on the developers at this point.

This details where and when you can use msde for free are here:
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/msde/howtobuy/msdeuse.asp
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:oleggold
ID: 13427272
Hi,I'M NOT Sure that MySql can handle nice 500 concurrent users.This is a job for Oracle,surely.You can take it's Standard version,it's chipier.
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:oleggold
oleggold earned 120 total points
ID: 13427327
You can use the similar question from heanseng in Your quest:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Databases/Q_10636761.html
I found comments from dbalaski  very usefull.
You can use also following link:
http://www.benchmarkresources.com/handbook/10-6.html
Hope it will helps
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LVL 51

Assisted Solution

by:Gustav Brock
Gustav Brock earned 80 total points
ID: 13428170
First, Access cannot go with 500 simultanous user, 255 is max.
Then, any of these SQL Server engine can easily handle 100.000 records and 500 users.

Of those mentioned, I would suggest MySQL. Get a commercial license and you have prime support.
Alternatively, have a look at FireBird which is absolutely free:

  http://firebird.sourceforge.net/

/gustav
0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:sokhodom
ID: 13428721
hey guys,
sorry for the delay, i have just get access to the internet. Will reward points after posting this comment :)

According to http://www.mssqlcity.com/Articles/Compare/sql_server_vs_oracle.htm , i think Oracle and SQL server will be out of the list (based on the cost involved and the technical expertise issue)
Will need to review some more on Microsoft ACCESS(which we currently have it) and MySQL. Whereas Firebird, i really had no idea of it but will give it a try.

Thank you all for the valuable comment :)
Regards,
sokhodom
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 13432168
Oleggold, the web is packed with forums, message boards, and other web sites based on MySQL that entertain hundreds of simultaneous users, and they're doing updates, which the original poster is not doing. MySQL should be able to handle 500 to 1000 simultaneous database connections.

Sokhodom, using Access is NOT a good idea for the volume you describe. Aside from absolute limits on connections and file size, Access lacks some basic features to protect the database from corruption, and it's slow. If you were dealing with ten to twenty simultaneous users, Access might be a viable choice, as long as you don't mind restoring from backup every time the files get corrupted.


Mcmonap, the MSDE is a great choice for a low traffic site, but it's not intended for the volume Sokhodom described. The performance throttling feature in MSDE slows the database more and more as the number of connections grows. With 20 to 25 users, performance is reasonable, but beyond that it's going to run slower and slower. Also, if you read the fine print on the MSDE distribution, it's not intended for production use. Probably just lawyer language, but still....





0
 
LVL 8

Author Comment

by:sokhodom
ID: 13432816
billmercer,
I really appreciate your act :)
So are you suggesting that we should go with MySQL? Do i need to buy any license fee or just download source code from mysql.com site?

Best Regards,
Sokhodom
0
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:mcmonap
ID: 13433150
Hi billmercer,

http://www.microsoft.com/sql/msde/howtobuy/msdeuse.asp
>>Can I use MSDE as a database for Web applications?
   >>Yes, MSDE is an ideal solution for basic Web applications with up to 25 concurrent users.

also, if you have a reference saying MSDE is not for production use I would be very interested, this may affect some of our uses of it, this is all I see:
1.1 General License Grant.  Microsoft grants to you for your internal use a nonexclusive, limited, royalty free license to install and use the Software.
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:billmercer
ID: 13435063
Sokhodom, if you want to you can just download MySQL and start using it. No need to pay a fee unless you want to. However if you do, you'll have access to technical support from the vendor. Personally, I prefer FireBird to MySQL, but your situation is exactly the sort of thing MySQL is perfect for. High speed, low cost, mostly reading, simple queries.

Mcmonap,  Sokhodom specified up to 500 concurrent users on his web site, that's only the reason I wouldn't recommend the MSDE to him. I didn't mean to say that the MSDE is not permitted to be used for production, just that it's not intended for production. I probably should have said "enterprise" instead of Production. MSDE  has a maximum database size of 2GB, does not allow more than 25 connections, and is missing a few features its big brother has, like full-text searching and management tools. It's appropriate as an engine for a single-user application, or for a small workgroup or not-too-busy web server. I'm not dissing the MSDE, I use it often. I just don't think it's going to be fast enough in this situation.
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