An early consideration in the establishment a business-wide relational database managements system (RDBMS) is selection of the main database platform.

Many of the current and planned applications may well allow open access to internally stored and generated data. Many will be required to export data and others will produce data traffic which will be captured in transit. In order to maximize use of information there will be a need for a large data store.

There are many relational database management systems available, but the best choice will be made only after the implementation of an in-depth needs analysis.

Oracle will be amongst the systems evaluated.


Amongst its many advantages Oracle offers scalability. At the top end of the market, the Oracle Enterprise Edition, for four or more CPUs and unlimited memory, competes successfully with IBM’s DB2.

However, in order to capture lower end scales the Oracle Corporation offers a range of less powerful yet still very potent versions. A growing enterprise may well consider the Express Edition, Oracle Database XE, as a start point. This delivers Oracle version 10g, limited to a single CPU, a maximum of 4GB of user data and 1GB of memory. Support on this product is limited to forums and does not come directly from Oracle.

Upgrade and expansion

There is a clear upgrade path from Express to Enterprise with many options and features along the way. Each of these usually incurs an extra charge and each step along the product path requires increased licensing fees to be paid. The advantage comes in having a platform that will serve the business from the early stages and allow consistent growth in the areas of database design, administration and use.

Successful use of the Oracle product range requires the deployment of trained database architects, designers and administrators. However, the extensive use of Oracle across the world of commerce ensures that there is a wide marketplace of suitable individuals and outsource services available.

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