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Linux Helping Oracle 148

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-the-merrier dept.
Mr. Fahrenheit writes "CNN has a story about how Oracle's effort to port their database to Linux may be helping them to out pace IBM." From the article: "In its biennial survey of the world's largest databases, WinterCorp, a database research and consulting company, reported that Oracle dominated its list of 175 large databases. For the first time, databases running on Linux appeared on WinterCorp's list -- and all of them came from Oracle."
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Linux Helping Oracle

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  • by ThatGeek (874983) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:25PM (#15095085) Homepage
    This story demonstrates enlightened self-interest, not kindness. While us folks using Linux will get a better operating system as a result, the Oracle corp will get an OS which can run its software well.

    I just wish the people at ATI and NVIDIA would start to understand that giving technical details to open source developers doesn't always have to hurt. Technology is not a zero sum game; it's like science in which there are benefits to working together.
    • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:30PM (#15095102)
      And you know what? I'll take enlightened self-interest over kindness any day. At least, then I know where I stand. But if someone is being kind to you for no apparent reason, you really have to wonder about their actual agenda.
      • Spoken like a mean person.
      • And you know what? I'll take enlightened self-interest over kindness any day. At least, then I know where I stand. But if someone is being kind to you for no apparent reason, you really have to wonder about their actual agenda.

        I see you have chosen your nick "ScrewMaster" for a reason..

        • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:28PM (#15095248)
          Read what I said again.

          The term "enlightened self-interest" has nothing to do with screwing the other guy ... in fact, it very much has to do with deliberately not jacking the other guy around. That's what the term "enlightened" means in this context. I ran a consulting company for about fifteen years, and yes, I was out to make a profit. After all, that's why I was in business. But I fully expected the other guy to come away from the table with some benefit as well, which is what any good business relationship is all about. If your only goal is to get whatever you can, by any means, no matter what the cost to your business partners or your customers, well, that's self-interest without the enlightened part.

          Furthermore, when people would come to me with "opportunities" that seemed to good to be true (i.e., being "kind" for no apparent reason) I was naturally very suspicious. I would always ask, gee that sounds great ... but what do you get out of it? If the answer was nothing I knew they were lying, and that I would end up getting the shaft. But if someone came to me and said, "I have a mutually profitable business arrangement I would like to discuss with you" I would at least listen, because they were being honest about their expectations.
          • There is something profoundly wrong with the world and mankind when acts of kindness are looked upon with suspicion and kind people are berated.
            • I wasn't picking on kind people ... I was picking on people who deliberately give the appearance of kindness, when in fact they are something else entirely. But yeah. There's something profoundly wrong with the world all right.
          • But if someone came to me and said, "I have a mutually profitable business arrangement I would like to discuss with you" I would at least listen

            Somebody called Abacha mails me about that every day. I must have received a few hundred of his mails by now. Maybe I should listen to the guy. Apparently his father was the president of Nigeria.

        • As a practitioner of random acts of kindness I understand where you are coming from with the sentiment. On the other hand I know where ScrewMaster is coming from as well.

          With someone looking out for their own enlightened selfinterest you know the rules. You can talk. You can negotiate win/win situations. If something goes bad and you get screwed you can still talk and negotiate to figure out why and what can be done about it.

          There is no talking to someone being "kind" for "your own good." These people are l
        • How do you know he doesn't work for a hardware store? Meanie head.
      • But if someone is being kind to you for no apparent reason
        I believe you meant "some corporation" ...
      • by lawpoop (604919) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @06:21PM (#15096404) Homepage Journal
        You are right. With enlightened self-interest, both parties are capable of positioning themselves to benefit. With kindness, it can be taken away at a moments' notice.
    • This story demonstrates enlightened self-interest, not kindness.

      In my view, the reason why ATI and NVIDIA do not release specs is not because of "lack of enlightenment", it probably has more to do with the fact that they are infringing on each other's patents. I'm not in the graphics hardware field, but it is my understanding that it is impossible to build a product without infringing multiple, multiple patents. When you release specs, your infringements are aired for the world to see.

      • Did you consider the possibility that if they don't release their specs Bill Gates will give them head? Just a thought.
      • Actually, they could easily (if they haven't already) cross-license their own patent portfolios to eliminate the problem of infringing each others patents. That's what all the big boys do, to avoid being drawn into expensive and fruitless patent suits. But, yeah ... the more sophisticated (and successful!) your product line the more likely you are to infringe, particularly in this day and age. I mean, suing over patent infringement has long since ceased to be a matter of protecting an inventor's limited mon
  • MS Access (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sartak (589317) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:32PM (#15095107) Homepage
    I'm still awaiting an Access port. Then we'll have a truly fantastic Linux database. Til then, I'll stick with my trusty flatfiles.
  • Bollocks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by teslatug (543527) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:35PM (#15095117)
    The assertion that Linux is helping Oracle gain grounds on IBM isn't supported at all in the article. DB2 also runs under Linux, and if they said that Oracle on Linux is faster than DB2 on Linux then I could understand it. But just because Oracle runs under Linux, doesn't mean existing DB2 customers will jump ship to Oracle. Also new customers in the market for a database will not go to Oracle just because it runs under Linux because so does DB2. They'll compare the merits of the databases, and the costs that go with them.
    • Re:Bollocks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Khuffie (818093) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:50PM (#15095156) Homepage
      Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2. Now Oracle has a chance of making sales from these customers
      • Re:Bollocks (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Oracle has been running on Linux for many years. In fact, Oracle runs on just about any OS. The biggest difference is that you can port your Oracle applications from one OS to the next with no code changes and your applications should work (you still need to test - more likeley it would be a bug in the version that you ported to that may crop up). DB2, different code base for each OS that it runs on (which I think are AIX and one or 2 Linux versions). You would most likely have to change your code to mak
        • DB2, different code base for each OS that it runs on (which I think are AIX and one or 2 Linux versions). You would most likely have to change your code to make it work to get it to work on the different OS.


          Wrong. DB2 is built from a single code base on every platform it runs on [ibm.com]. Currently that includes Linux, AIX, Solaris, HPUX, and Windows.

          • You're both wrong.

            DB2 also runs on the mainframe -- you know, OS's like OS/390 and z/OS. That DB2 -- which is the one most people mean when referring to DB2 unless they say DB2 UDB -- is from a completely different code base, and works very, very differently. Little things like "the number of columns that can constitute a unique index" and "how partitioning works" differ wildly between the two DB2 "Universal Database" implementations. So if you want to move databases off z/OS onto a z/Linux partition or
            • Saying that DB2 has three lines of code:
              - unix/linux/windows
              - mainframe
              - as/400

              while oracle only has one for:
              - unix/linux/windows

              is a nonsensical comparison: Oracle doens't have any product on the as/400, and their product for the os/390 (mainframe) is practically non-existent. A more reasonable statement is:
              "db2 and oracle each have just one codebase for the common distributed platforms"
              db2 has a slight
              • 10gR1 is available on OS/390 and works very well and include all the same features as any other platform.

                OS/400 is a different beast and very different from z/OS (OS/390) and UNIX/LINUX world and currently this market is very well covered by IBM and most AS/400 customers are fanatical IBM customers. Not a market that Oracle put much interest in, nor is there much money to be had in this market anymore.

                Oracle's code consists of 2 parts, one general part which is identical on all supported platforms and o
      • >> Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2. Now Oracle has a chance of making sales from these customers

        The Oracle Corporation released the first Linux port of their database to in August 1999, and, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_database#Versi on_numbering_conventionsWikipedia [wikipedia.org], Oracle was the first commercial RDMBS with a Linux port. So DB2 was the latecomer.
        • I ran 7.3.2 of SCO Unix version of oracle under Linux back in 97.

          There were internal version of the database running natively under Linux long before it was released.
      • You talk about it like this was something Oracle just did to catch up with DB2. Oracle has been on Linux before DB2. It is ported to linux since 8i version and Linux has been the primary development platform for Oracle RDBMS since the version 9i. Which means that it is developed on and for Linux and Solaris and others are now just ports of the Linux version. Oracle has been pushing the Oracle on Linux for so many years now, touting the cheap hardware to offset the cost of licenses, I wonder there is still s
      • Yes, but new customers who already have a Linux environment running previously had one choice: DB2.
        But Oracle has run on Linux for a long time - I remember installing 8.15 (well, 8.x for some value of x), and the current Oracle release is, what, 10g?
      • You make it sound like there are only 3 databases in the world.

        MS SQL Server is the only large scale database I know of that doesn't have a linux version. But that's hardly surprising since they don't seem to have any unix versions at all. (Hmmm... intriguing)

        etc.

        There are more than 2 unix databases commericially available.

      • ...is the fact that the only verison of DB2 that is fully instrumented is on the mainframe - it is in the end impossible to fully quantify performance problems under the Windows/UNIX/AS400 platforms. Oracle is fully instrumented everywhere.



        Of course, I read this in some Oak Table literature, so I wonder if I should trust it fully.

  • since i have had much, much more success with db2 on linux than with oracle on linux. as always, YMMV...
  • by dretay (583646) <<ude.dmu.sc> <ta> <werd>> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:50PM (#15095154) Homepage
    I have recently had a lot of experience trying to install Oracle 9i on linux. The installer is broken in multiple places, and the only way to get it to install is to buy an Oracle support contract (there are specific "coyprighted" scripts that can not be found on the web). Even after you buy the contract, you have to go through several permutations of apply this patch, run this script... to get it to work. Once working the database becomes a resource hog, and seems to break quite often when I am applying system updates. Trying to move database tables from one server to another is also a major pain in the ass (although it could just be that MySQL is very easy) I can not think of anything short of a gun to the head that could convince me to try installing oracle on linux again.
    • I can not think of anything short of a gun to the head that could convince me to try installing oracle on linux again.

      I think that OTN is probably one of the better resources out there for all things Oracle (Linux or not). If you've not gone there, I highly suggest it. You'll find answers to prety much anything you'll run up against.

      That aside, if your company wants to run any major commercial software on top of that database (HR, CRM, Financials, etc.) it's most likely going to have to run on top

    • by dknj (441802)
      wow, first of all this is a truely misconceived post. second, shame on the moderators that are artificially increasing the validity of this.

      first of all, any worthwhile company running oracle WILL have a support contract. period. second, the installer (which i agree blows chunks) is not broken to the point where you REQUIRE a support contract. i speak from experience here, because i have had no problem installing oracle 9i on linux (without calling oracle support). third, oracle is a resource hog becau
      • now when you're talking million records or more, then oracle will "hog your resources" to ensure you get lightening quick responses while ensuring data integrity

        You're implying that consuming many resources is required to ensure data integrity. It's not. Correct programming is required to ensure data integrity. "Hogging resources" (i.e. allocating lots of memory) is useful for acheiving better performance on a large database.

        You also imply that a million records is a large database. It's not, unless of cour
    • Installing Oracle on Linux is a non trivial process, but it is well documented by both Oracle [oracle.com] and Werner Puschitz [puschitz.com]. I would recommend installing Oracle 10G-R2 rather than 9i on either CentOS 4.3 or RedHat AS4.
    • Trying to move database tables from one server to another is also a major pain in the ass Hmmm: exp and imp aren't all that hard to use. You do have to answer horribly difficult questions like "Export table data? y/n" and you can move the entire tablespace in on swell foop.
      • Heck, he could set up database links and:

        1. Reference the remote table directly.
        2. Set up replication to continuously replicate the tables at the remote database to the local database.
        3. Use import/export (or impdp/expdp) to create a dump file which is portable cross-os and cross-release.
        4 Issue "create table X as select * from X@otherdb;" ... but I'm guessing anything that might require reading the documentation will be considered way too hard for the GP.

        Oracle is a big, complicated piece of software.
    • The installer in 10g has improved radically over the previous version. You should give it a try. It has been a long outstanding problem and they really made an effort to do something about it. It will be even better in the next version from what I've seen.
    • Disclaimer: I work with Oracle databases for a living and the linux box I'm typing on runs no less than six oracle databases at the moment.

      However, I am having difficulty understanding your problems with Oracle 9i on Linux. I have installed 8, 9 and 10 on different flavours of linux and never once seen that level of problems. What distro were you using? Redhat, Suse, and Debian/Ubuntu on x86 are all simple installs using standard Oracle. I can't speak for the others but to be honest if you're installin
  • It is welcomed news that Linux and open source foster a productive cooperation in the high-end database market. The interpretation given in this article gets it just backward, wrongly positioning Linux and IBM in opposite camps (facts given in the article don't support the interpretation offered). Who the # wrote this article?
  • Or... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buddha42 (539539) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @12:58PM (#15095177)
    You could just as easily say the opposite, Oracle is helping linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 09, 2006 @01:12PM (#15095213)
    Oracle has good reputation for working with large size dbs. It's not cheap though, at ~$50K/CPU.

    We put about 210 million records in Postgresql database for one of our apps and so far Postgresql has shown itself really well. Queries are quick, database is stable, backup times are reasonable... personally, Postgresql has exceeded my expectations.

    It's good that Oracle runs on Linux, as Postgresql has done for many years, but at what point do you really need to spend all that money on Oracle? I think Postgresql will be more than sufficient for 95+% of all apps out there.
    • by briansmith (316996) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @03:05PM (#15095615) Homepage
      It's good that Oracle runs on Linux, as Postgresql has done for many years, but at what point do you really need to spend all that money on Oracle? I think Postgresql will be more than sufficient for 95+% of all apps out there.

      I agree, but I would like to point out that Oracle doesn't usually cost $50K/CPU for any system that would be sufficient for PostgreSQL. It is more fair to compare Oracle Standard Edition or Oracle SE One to PostgreSQL, which are priced significantly lower ($15K and $5K respectively, plus support). Even EE is "only" $40K/CPU, plus support.
      • $5K plus support? wow, that sucks. For $5000 they'd better throw in some support for free. And all this Per CPU stuff really gets on my nerves. Oh, sorry, you have good hardware, so you have to pay more. No wait, you don't have good hardware, you have an old dual CPU Pentium Pro, but you still have to pay more. If they want to charge more for people who have more power, they really should charge per cycle.
        • If they want to charge more for people who have more power, they really should charge per cycle.

          But we all know that clock speed is not an accurate measure of processor speed. What they should really do is tie the pricing to benchmark results on Tom's Hardware.
        • $5K plus support? wow, that sucks. For $5000 they'd better throw in some support for free. And all this Per CPU stuff really gets on my nerves. Oh, sorry, you have good hardware, so you have to pay more. No wait, you don't have good hardware, you have an old dual CPU Pentium Pro, but you still have to pay more. If they want to charge more for people who have more power, they really should charge per cycle.

          They used to charge Mhz * CPU's * platform-rate, but people thought that pricing was too complicated (a
          • if Oracle has a feature you could signifantly benefit from, and PostgreSQL doesn't, then it is probably going to be cheaper to buy it from Oracle

            Actually, if you need the feature, then it may be cheaper to pay someone to implement the feature in Postgres. Unless there's some patent or other reason why the feature can't be implemented in Postgres, It's probably better to have it implemented in Postgres. It may not be cheaper for 1 company, but probably for all the companies that need the feature, especi
    • Large companies (Enterprises, maybe telco carriers) will need to have a decent support contract, as well as guaranteed uptimes with clustering and all that shizzle. This, I think, is why Oracle is bought.

      Sure, Postgre has support, but I'm not entirely sure that when I email the outsourced support company, or ring their phone number, that someone will pick up. It's this uncertainty that makes the higher management simply decide to go with Oracle/DB2/etc.

      Forgive my ignorance, but I do not know if Postresql su
  • What's the main selling point of Oracle to begin with? From what I've seen so far, most IT people dislike it (pain to install on Linux, huge memory requirements, optimizer that needs many hints, etc).
    • 1. Oracle has good (albeit expensive) support

      2. Oracle is very customizable

      3. Oracle is very powerful (in terms of expressiveness of its custom SQLish statements)

      4. Oracle performance is incredible when properly tuned

      That said, Oracle is not a newbie database. It won't configure itself for you like MS SQL does. It expects to be operated by a professional who does nothing other than work with Oracle all day.

      In particular, "optimizer that needs many hints" is a sign of the power of Oracle. They assume
      • In particular, "optimizer that needs many hints" is a sign of the power of Oracle.

        It's also a weakness. The plans should not be static because your data is not static. That means that when the data set changes, you need to re-optimize.
        • Oracle 10 (I can address different versions if you like) uses a very complex strategy to determine what the best sequence is for a SQL computation:

          1) Automatically generate statistics as you use tables
          2) If those statistics are good enough then using the statistics estimate costs for various strategies
          3) If those statistics are not good enough then use a rule based system

          It used to be that hints were used for rule based. However there are used for times where statistics are not likely to reflect the que
    • Most "IT" people... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      From what I've seen so far, most IT people dislike it

      The kind of "IT people" of whom you are speaking, are far too untrained and unqualified to be making a valid judgement call on the merits of Oracle. Oracle is an incredibly sophisticated database system, intended to be installed and operated only by those persons with enough training and understanding of its architecture. It is intended for really big, really complex applications and not for the mundane. In its intended applications, Oracle is powerful, f
      • There are systems so complex that merely becoming competent in them strips one of objectivity. Near as I can tell, Oracle's databases are such. db2 definitely used to be, I'm guessing it still is.

        That kind of complexity is useful for a while, but then the advances of Technology tend to bury the product. Some people suspect Oracle of trying to pervert sleepy cat and others by burying them, but the announcements make me think they've realized the same thing as IBM -- the money in no longer in the software, bu
    • I dn't know what version of Oracle the people you talk to have been using but I find that the optimizer works very well without hints. The thing I like about it is the power of the PL/SQL language and its support for complex datatypes. I also like the use of packages to group procedures and functions together logically. I can't say how this compares to PostgreSQL as I haven't really used any open source databases as the organizations I work for have, in the past, been a bit suspicious of Open Source. Th
  • Wait: Oracle is porting their database to Linux and the headline is "Linux Helping Oracle?" Sounds more like Oracle is helping Linux get into the datacenter, or at the very least, there's a symbiotic relationship. Linux is useful to Oracle (this isn't news, they've been pushing to an all-Linux solution for years) but Oracle is also very useful to Linux. Hate Oracle if you must, but admit that they've put a lot of money into Linux.
    • If you don't count Linux, then the platforms on which you can run Oracle on are:
      Windows
      Scales up to 32 CPUs, and gets really expensive above about four (although not in comparison with a 4+ CPU license for Oracle). Is not well known for security or stability, and does not have a strong reputation as a database hosting platform.
      Proprietary UNIX
      Generally is only supported on the manufacturer's own (very, very expensive) hardware. Adds vendor lock in, and cost.

      By running on Linux, Oracle lowers the ba

  • I've used Oracle on both Linux and Solaris. We were running it on Linux workstations, along with a bunch of other things, for development, and on Solaris to test it in the conditions we expected it to use in production, with nothing else running on the database server. Even so, we found that it was faster in the Linux setup. Of course, this is a while ago, and on relatively small data sets, and not an especially high-end Solaris machine, but it was still striking. At the time, at least, if you could get a b
  • Wow between a bad CNN article and a bad editor this article makes no sense at all. OK Oracle has been on Linux for years. The CNN article that got linked to is about Oracle porting their cluster file system over to Linux. This is a filesystem that is just a little faster because it removes some redundancy. To quote Oracle:

    Cluster Filesystem Options for Running Oracle
    Oracle RAC technology already provides features such as load balancing, redundancy, failover, scalability, caching, and locking, so there

  • Oracle didn't port their database to Linux for charity or because they love open source. They went in for the money. What a surprise. They wouldn't have known Linux existed if they wouldn't have been requested by customers, because with i386 you have been getting more bang for the buch for some time now. And Linux is THE i386 Unix. I am talking big corporate supported stuff, I know that BSD is cool and all. But Red Hat on Intel servers has been a very good deal in many cases. And if the customer doesn't spe
  • OracLinux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday April 09, 2006 @02:18PM (#15095452) Homepage Journal
    What's cool about porting Oracle to Linux is that Oracle can modify Linux. They can drop parts of the kernel that don't help Oracle run, and add parts Oracle needs but that isn't part of Oracle. I'd love to see an Oracle Linux distro that is stripped to do nothing but run an Oracle server (not even run Oracle clients) and maybe one of Oracle's Java app servers, in clusters.
  • I'd say they're right, but also this article is a tad late to the party. This has been going on for at LEAST 5 years, since 8.0 was first released for, I believe, Redhat 7. Consequently, this is not some huge rush for Redhat, and I actually have found tighter distros to run 10g better (I like gentoo, but it's a pain in the ass to get tuned right for this particular task). Anyway, what I found interesting is that our linux oracle systems absolutely STOMPED the 8 way v880/16GB Solaris boxes in archive testing involving 4+TB databases (this to us was a real shock btw... I'm currently buying v40z class servers from Sun that are 4x dual core opteron boxes for like a 10th of the price of a true solaris (Sparc) platform. Thus I would say IBM's problem is Sun's problem in this case as far as selling big iron anymore).

    I think Oracle is winning because Oracle is honest to god better than their competition. I was (am?) a DBA for 10 years on Sybase (AIX), SQL Server 6x 7x 2kx, Informix 8x 9x, and Oracle 8x 9x 10x at various times, and though I've moved on to a database architecture role with the company I'm with, I'm still making the call on systems purchases. We use mostly SQL Server 2005, for cost, in the smaller 4-6TB systems and they run great, but I wouldn't even consider DB2 for any production role anymore with Oracle out there making it happen in so many better ways.

    I'm not a fanboy of Ellison, I'm just realistic about who's driving the market today.

    --chitlenz

    PS - Oh yeah, as mentioned we're running Sun 40z's with Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 on Netapp arrays AND it is VERY MUCH worth noting that the lower end Sun/Opteron line not only runs windows, but runs windows VERY well (driver support for their servers is very very good, which was like ... well weird... 'Sun support? Can I get a download link to your windows drivers?'). Try it and be shocked ....just a tip.

    --chitlenz

    PPS - for anyone who is curious about this topic in any real way, use an isntall guide other than Oracle's, since it's usually wrong for awhile ... use something like http://www.puschitz.com/InstallingOracle10g.shtml [puschitz.com]
    instead.

  • Is it just me, or did the article and the submission vary greatly in mission. According to the article, the only thing Oracle is doing is contributing a new file system to the Linux community. According to the write up, it would seem Oracle is porting its database to Linux, which I believe it did like 5 or 6 years ago. Now the article seems to make some wand waving to this being a competitive move by Oracle, but nothing in the article points to that.
  • Oracle on Linux?

    Doesn't Linux have enough problems getting a foot in the door?

    Partially kidding, but Oracle? Who in the Linux community wants to see Oracle running on Linux?

    Oracle use to be quite grand but never evolved past the 'usability' model, mainly because they made so much money off of selling training. Virtually killing it for serious developers when interface and application independance became the norm for databases in the early 1990s.

    Although they did learn to some degree and focused on the datab
    • Um, like FOSS databases or not I just don't see them being ready for the kind of applications the ones listed in the Wintercorp report are likely being put to.

      Still considering some of the databases listed were MS SQL I suppose anything is possible.
    • I compete with Oracle daily , working for another software vendor, but I wholeheartedly recommend their database to almost any scale solution. It's a great piece of technology. And most large organizations that use Linux use it to run Oracle, or an application server of some sort, giving Oracle the largest Linux databsae market share (by revenue).

      SQL Server 2005, by my estimation, is also good, but very new.

      DB2 UDB has some positive traits, particularly the parallel edition for large data warehouses, but
      • Don't get me wrong there are a few instances where Oracle still fits the model.

        However these are disappearing because of Oracles relunctance over the years to adapt.

        Oracle was more than a Database in the early years, Oracle, like dBase and other low end tools all had a 'user interface' model that locked all applicaitons using the products to be produced 'inside' the Oracle technologies.

        Sure this exists less today, but Oracle's business model hasn't really 'got' the UI migration move of the industry.

        Even old

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