Created by: spiderr, Last modification: 10 Jan 2010 (11:35 UTC) by Lester Caine
This is a little soap box I have about databases. I am often asked about databases, and how they compare. I will illustrate with pictures three current favorites:

Cute and easy to drive you'll get going in a hurry, however it's not the safest place to be if something goes terribly, terribly wrong It offers rugged durability while being very easy to drive Swiss army knife of a database which scales from simple embedded to multi-gigabyte distributed systems. Totally open source and without any licensing restrictions. Being deployed as a free replacement for Oracle on many sites. When you have to kick ass and take names there's only one answer, however just getting the things moving takes a lot of training and education

What this illustrates is that database selection depends on your needs. bitweaver supports many databases via the ADODB database abstraction layer. This allows you to choose a database that fits your site's requirements - be it performance, financial, stability, or any combination there of.


MySQL is probably the most popular database when counting by unique installations. This little database is a highly functional, entry-level database. It is completely open-source, and has excellent support on almost all operating systems (particularly good Windows support). However, once your data needs become more serious, it quickly falls short due to lack of native ACID compliance (true transactions), triggers, foreign keys, stored procedures, and more. Its speed is often touted as being a benefit, however, given its lack of features (particularly transactions), it is often an unfair comparison.

(:exclaim:) If you are using UNIX, i strongly encourage using PostgreSQL over MySQL. I have personally had the "myisam" tables corrupt on me several times. Uh... if you can't trust your database with your data...

MySQL has finally offered sub-selects in version 4.1 which finally shipped in October 2004. These are great new features, however, data integrity features have a long way to go.

Also, for company websites, Mysql is not free, the commercial license kicks in. While postgreSQL is BSD license, just like Apache.


PostgreSQLSupport is another open-source database that is very stable and supports many more data-critical features to insure data integrity. These include all the features lacking in MySQL as mentioned above. There are also several replication solutions that offer great redundancy solutions. While UNIX support is excellent, Windows support is lacking, however it will indeed run with use of the Cygwin POSIX compatibility package. News! There is significant work being done on a native windows port. For enterprise class features and open-source, this is as good as it gets.

(:arrow:) If you are using any flavor of unix, I strongly recommend PostgreSQL. I have used it for many years and it has been awesome, and extremely reliable. It is just as easy to use as MySQL and offers many, many more features. Windows users should consult with others to see how good of an option it is, I proudly don't do Windows.


Firebird is a totally open source, powerful alternative to Oracle. It is a generational relational database offering many ANSI SQL standard features that runs on Linux, Windows, and a variety of Unix platforms. Firebird offers excellent concurrency, high performance, and powerful language support for stored procedures and triggers. It has been used in production systems, under a variety of names, since 1981.


OracleSupport is considered generally considered king of the RDBMS hilll. It offers every feature one could possibly dream of when needing both data integrity assurances, and performance. It often comes at a price you can only dream about too - typcially tens of thousands of dollars.

(:idea:) You can actually download Oracle for FREE from the Oracle OTN website for personal use, and I highly recommend everyone does. Oracle's thinking appears to be "If you need it, you can afford it, and you'll pay for it. If you don't, or can't, then you can get addicted to it until you can". Oracle also released Express Edition or XE which is completely free. You can check it out on the Oracle XE page.

See the database links in our Directory for more information.

To be continued as time permits...


What about Sybase??

by Peter Moore, 22 May 2004 (00:16 UTC)
having used Sybase since around 1992/1993 in many major companies i'd have to say that Sybase is also a very robust RDBMS as well. Luckily, bitweaver supports it too!!

is it easy to migrate data from mysql to postgresql ?

by chen xinhe, 23 Oct 2006 (02:23 UTC)
I have read documents about database engine choice ,but I don't if I use mysql now ,and may be in the future upgrade to postgresql for performance optimization .

one of the reason is that we have a hosting account only support mysql . So I hope database migration could be smoothly .

Thank you.

chen xinhe

example oracle install

by Steve, 07 Oct 2009 (15:22 UTC)
Does anyone have a screenshot of a successful Oracle install? I'm stuck on getting past the database step.
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