John Topley’s Weblog

Nothing For Nothing

“Subject: ms sql server vs oracle sql server
From: Catalin Enache

My name is Catalin I am assigned to choose an ERP for our company based in Bucharest, Romania, Europe. The maximum number of simultaneous users of the ERP will not be bigger than 60. We have to buy some local product and I reached the point where the databases used by the last two applications remained on the shortlist are in discussion. One uses Oracle and one MS SQL Server. Probably is important to mention that we already have licenses for MS SQL Server.

Would you care to give me some advices and/or clues that would help me reach a fair decision?

Any help would be appreciated.

Best regards,


—This e-mail was sent in reply to an innocuous, one sentence posting I made on the Joel on Software Forum, in a topic thread about the relative merits of Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. Although you wouldn't guess from the familiar tone of the e-mail, I don't know this person.

I love the way the message cuts to the quick and talks about the constraints on the system, as if this is more detail that I've asked for during previous correspondence. I also wonder if this is the same person who made the original posting in the Joel on Software forum. The use of oracle sql server is quite distinctive.

What makes Catalin think that I'm even qualified to comment on this? (S)he doesn't know anything about me apart from what's in the public domain. Sure, I've worked with both products and I have an idea of the sort of things that you should look into if making this evaluation, but it's far from my area of professional expertise. That's supposed to be your job, Catalin! There are lots of people who gave more detail in the original discussion, and many of them will be more qualified than me to give advice on this topic. Hey, I wonder if they got contacted too?

Let me be clear: just because I have a website and occasionally post in discussion forums or weblog comments, it doesn't mean it's open season to e-mail me and ask me to help you do your job. I don't mind following up on specific technical matters that I post about here, and if you look you'll see that I've replied to various comments in my knowledge base that are only loosely related to the original entry.

For the record, I'd go with Microsoft SQL Server. You've already paid for it and you can use the money saved to pay for some proper ERP consultancy. Just don't blame me if it's the wrong decision for your company. After all, you didn't pay me to consult for you, therefore my advice is without value i.e. it's worthless.


There are 4 comments on this post. Comments are closed.

You didn't pay me to consult for you, therefore my advice is without value i.e. it's worthless.


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