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EnterpriseDB: Oracle Compatibility
Oracle Tips by Burleson

In this chapter, I am going to discuss some of the areas of potential impact when trying to maintain compatibility between EnterpriseDB Advanced Server and Oracle.  Obviously, you will have to determine your version of Oracle.  I will assume that you are also either developing primarily on and for Oracle or that you want to be able to easily port between Oracle and EnterpriseDB.

If it seems that I am being negative here, I am not.  As of this writing, EnterpriseDB is a great database and is the most Oracle compatible database available.  It will only become more so over time.  To accurately assess the ability to port an application, it is important to see where the compatibilities exist and where they don't.  That is what I am trying to do in the chapter.

Before assuming that a feature is not supported (by trying it and getting an error or by reading the installed documentation and not seeing it), it is important to check the online manual and the user forums.  EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is continuously evolving and what may have been true when the documentation was written is not necessarily true now.

In the same vein as what was true then may not be true now, if you find an answer to your question on the forum, check the date.  If it's more than a month old, it may be worth it to post a new message verifying if it is still true.

Do not forget that the support team is a great resource for verifying features and providing information on using them.  They are frequently able to provide a work-around for features that are not currently supported natively.

To maintain compatibility between any two databases from different vendors, there are three areas of pain:

* Administrative – Will your administrative scripts run, is the administrative interface the same, can you perform the same tasks as easily between them, etc

* Design – Will the current design work, are foreign keys declared and implemented in the same way, are advanced features used the same, etc

* Coding – Is the SQL syntax compatible, is the procedural language compatible, is the same feature set supported

Oracle PL/SQL has been available much longer than EnterpriseDB SPL has.  PL/SQL is currently a much more robust, feature rich language.  SPL however already supports the core set of PL/SQL functionality and advances are being made regularly.

For SQL programming, function availability, syntax and data type support is paramount.  EnterpriseDB Advanced Server supports a huge set of data types and provides a large set of functionality.  Unfortunately, Oracle provides several data types that are not available in EnterpriseDB and provides whole sets of functionality that are not easily reproducible in EnterpriseDB.

Administration is not often thought of as a compatibility feature.  I believe that if you need to port between databases, it is important to understand how those databases will be administered.  For example, administering Oracle 7 is vastly different from administering Oracle 10g. 


As discussed in Chapter 6, the DBA Management Server is the EnterpriseDB database management platform.  The comparable tool in Oracle is Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM).  OEM provides access to most of the configuration options in Oracle as well as replication and other add-on features.

While the DBA Management Server provides excellent visibility of database performance, actually administering requires knowledge of server configuration files.  There are not that many files.  Chapter 2 provides an overview of most of those files including security.

Having said that, administering any database has some common areas of concern:

* Space Management

* Database Creation

* Memory Management & Performance

* Availability/Reliability

* Security

* Client Management

If you have to retrain and/or hire DBAs to manage the new database, or if the management of that database is much more time consuming, much of the benefit and cost savings go out the window.  Moving from Oracle to EnterpriseDB should not be an undue burden with a little knowledge and advanced planning.

This is an excerpt from the book "EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference" by Rampant TechPress.


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