Re: Why is Oracle unaffordable?

  • From: Guillermo Alan Bort <cicciuxdba@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kjped1313@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2010 11:17:41 -0300

I agree with the statement that if customers are willing to pay more, the
price will go up. However, Oracle has a deep market penetration and is
critical for some applications, and there is no competing product that
reaches the flexibility, resiliency and support (note that I did not mention
performance because SQL Server, MySQL and Posgre have all beat oracle in a
benchmark or two at a point) that Oracle does (don't start a fight on Oracle
Support please, I know it's declined over the past few years, but it's still
better than Tivoli's or Veritas'). There are products that may be viable for
a certain application, but development costs would go up considerably if
they had to start defining new ways of doing things, that Oracle already
does, on another RDBMS and then sacrificing something in return.

Another thing that Oracle as a company has that, AFAIK, no other company
does (except perhaps IBM) is the level of integration of their product.
Basically you could run your entire company only on Oracle products, as
opposed to having several different collaboration tools, backoffice tools
and so on.

So: yes, customers are willing to pay for Oracle. But, on the other hand,
customers hardly have any other choice.
And there is another added problem: while we, as technically savvy may be
able to tell that an alternative product (namely a much cheaper one) is just
good enough for a givel application, both software factories and management
types will usually go for the well known, expensive solution because in
their minds 'you get what you pay for'. Several years ago, internally in IBM
salespeople would have a motto "nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM". This
was back when the service provided by IBM was really bad, but their point
was that they could give a bad service and charge a lot and still be chosen
because, well, they were well known and nobody would be blamed if something
didn't work.

Imagine you manage to push a project from using Oracle to an open source
alternative and eventually you have a major crash or lack a feature, then
all the blame would be on you. If you chose Oracle and you had a major crash
or lacked a feature, then you'd be covered saying: "Hey, I got the best
product out there!"

I don't know if I'm expressing myself correctly, I'm fairly tired today and
my brain still needs its morning coffee, so please excuse any gross
mistakes, I hope the idea is not lost in the words.


On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 6:35 PM, Kellyn Pedersen <kjped1313@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I've also had a couple managers threaten Oracle when they've gotten a bit
> out of hand with the licensing costs, (usually extra costs to mid-year
> license additions) and stated, "I have a DBA who can run this application
> just as well on SQL Server/MySQL, so if you want to test her out on that
> theory, please, continue to add to my license costs..."   I've actually been
> surprised a couple times how often Oracle chooses to turn a blind eye,
> stating that the company is compliant or work a secondary option instead of
> the "it's Larry's way or the highway..." :)
> Kellyn Pedersen
> Sr. Database Administrator
> <>
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* Andy Klock <andy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> *To:* William Muriithi <william.muriithi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> *Cc:* "jobmiller@xxxxxxxxx" <jobmiller@xxxxxxxxx>; "
> passionate_programmer@xxxxxxxxxxx" <passionate_programmer@xxxxxxxxxxx>; "
> dbvision@xxxxxxxxxxxx" <dbvision@xxxxxxxxxxxx>; "oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <
> oracle-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "William.Blanchard@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <
> William.Blanchard@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> *Sent:* Tue, November 9, 2010 2:22:28 PM
> *Subject:* Re: Why is Oracle unaffordable?
> Wow. I didn't mean to take this thread in another direction but speaking
> economics (which I will be the first to admit I have only a rudimentary
> understanding) if customers are willing to pay more for a product then, yes,
> the price will continue to go up.  Case in point, I just purchased Oracle
> Linux support today for $499, had I done this two weeks ago I would have
> only had to pay $449. But don't worry, I won't hold any of you responsible
> for driving the price up.
> On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 4:15 PM, William Muriithi <
> william.muriithi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> On 2010-11-09, at 3:54 PM, Andy Klock wrote:
>> >
>> > Fair point.  I have zero experience with Berkeley DB so I've stayed out
>> of the fray. But I do have experience with Oracle's "embedded" license
>> structure and depending on the application and how embedded the database
>> actually is, Oracle offers up to an 80% discount on the price.  Not bad.
>> >
>> > But, regarding the OP's original question "Why is Oracle unaffordable?"
>> we must remember it is customers who drive the price up, not Oracle.
>> Ah,  common Andy, customer driving up oracle price?  How did you arrive at
>> that?  Not trying to be rude, but I disagree.  Software is not like oil
>> which is inelastic.  Oracle selling one copy to you does not diminish their
>> stocks in any way.  They have just arrived at that price purely by fiat
>> after Larry decided he just need  x percent of the market

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