Duelling databases: Four apps tested

Summary:Databases are by no means an easy product category to understand. Many of the big players now offer free or "light" versions of their databases, but comparing them all is no easy task -- as we found out.


Product IBM DB2 8.2 Express Edition Microsoft SQL Server Express (Beta2) MySQL V4.1.14 Oracle 10g Release 1 Standard Edition
Company IBM Australia Microsoft MySQL AB Oracle Corporation
Phone 132 426 13 20 58 02 83 073 824 1300 366 386
Web site www.ibm.com www.microsoft.com.au www.mysql.com www.oracle.com/au
Price as per test scenario Per CPU, unlimited users $8106, or, per server $1037.84 plus $206.24 per user Free $0 without support, US$595-4995/year MySQL network subscription depending on support requirements. Per CPU (unlimited users) $19814 (+ software update and support of $4358.97 per annum), or per named user $396 (minimum of 5 users) (+ $87.18 per user for software update and support per annum)
Number of CPUs supported Maximum of two Single CPU (single user scheduler thread) Unlimited (dependent on OS/hardware) Maximum of 4 -cores"
Maximum buffer pool memory size Around 3.5GB 1GB Limited by OS. MySQL utilises multiple buffer pools for different purposes, each individually tunable. Restricted to the hardware size
Maximum database size Theoretical limits: 512GB Per Table space , maximum 32768 tablespaces, practical limit would be smaller 4GB 4GB-64TB per table depending on storage engine, no per-DB/server-wide limits (depending on OS). Restricted to the hardware size but indicative values are: Win 32-bit: 2.75GB or 64GB with memory extensions. Theoretical limit 140TB.
Hardware requirements (recommended, CPU, RAM, Disk) Recommended for 50GB to 250GB of data: 100GB to 500GB of disk space, 3GB to 4GB RAM per CPU, One or more 2.5GHz CPUs 1 GHZ processor, 512 MB, 425 MB disk space recommended Anything from for instance 64MB Flash card + 16MB RAM for embedded boxes, to multi-CPU multi-GB environments. 1 GB RAM, 2GB Hard Disk space for Database.
OS supported Windows, Linux Windows Any Unix, Linux, Windows, NetWare and Mac OSX. Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP OpenVMS, Mac OS, AIX, IBM z/OS, HP Unix
Computing Cluster Support No No Yes Yes
ANSI SQL Compliant Yes Basic Extended subset of SQL-99, plus SQL-99 and SQL:2003 features. Yes
Memory Management (auto) Manual/auto Yes See buffer pool info. Yes
Server managed backup and recovery Yes Yes Yes No
Legato Storage manager compliant Yes NA NA  
Multiple block size support Yes, 4,8,16,32K Page No Yes, with recompile. Yes
Triggers (eg before, after, instead, DB event) No cascade before, after, instead of, insert , delete , update After, Instead of, DDL MySQL 4.x (As tested) no, MySQL 5.0 for each row triggers, before/after. Yes
Stored procedures Yes Yes MySQL 4.x (As tested) no, MySQL 5.0 supports SQL:2003 stored procedures and functions. Yes
Index types supported Type1, Type2, Clustering, Multi Dimensional Clustering, spatial index with spatial extender Btree, XML Dependent on storage engine and column type used: Btree, Rtree, Hash, T-Tree, FULLTEXT. B-Tree, Bitmap, Function-Based, Partitioned
Array support? Yes Not in t-SQL, however yes in client. No VARRAYS Supported
User defined functions (list) Yes Yes Yes N/A
Column name length 30 128 64 (>512 for aliases inside queries) 30
Index name length 128 128 64 30
Table name length 128 128 64 (>512 for aliases inside queries) 30
Constraint name length 18 128 As column names 30
Max char() size 254 8000 1048543 Column size-2000, Variable size-32767
Max varchar() size 32762 2GB 1048543 Column size-4000, Variable size-32767
Max columns per table 1012 for 32K page table 1024 2599 1000
Max table row length 32772 for 32K page table none 65534 + any text/blob cols up to 4GB each Unlimited
Max columns per index 16 16 16 Bitmap-30, Others-32
Max indexes per table 32622 or storage limit 249 non clustered, 1 clustered 61 Unlimited
Max nested stored procedure levels 16 32 Limited only by thread stack (OS/configurable) 254 (Unlimited subqueries in the FROM clause of a top-level SQL query)
Password Management Yes yes Yes Yes
Native Data Encryption Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auditing Features Yes Yes Yes Yes
Java Yes Yes Yes Yes
JDBC Yes Yes Yes Yes
XML Yes Yes Yes Yes
ODBC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Transaction Server Yes Yes Yes Yes
OLE DB.NET & ODBC.NET ODBC.NET Yes Connector/Net Yes

Topics: Enterprise Software, Big Data, Reviews

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.