WebSphere Commerce – Oracle or DB2

So I’m obviously biased on this. I’ve been a DB2 DBA for 10 years and believe in DB2 very strongly. Some of my biases against Oracle may be completely unfounded. I’m actually learning Oracle so I can support clients who insist upon using it.

Here’s why DB2 is the best choice to use with WebSphere Commerce:

  1. The WebSphere Commerce license includes DB2. Please verify with IBM before taking my word for it, but in every case I’ve seen, the DB2 license comes with Commerce at no additional charge. Assuming you have enough PVU’s that includes HADR and TSA for automating HADR failover. Theoretically the DB2 license is limited to use by Commerce only, but when I’ve told clients that and the clients have asked IBM, the answer has always come back that of course they can connect with their data loads/ad-hoc queries/search indexes/etc.
  2. Support. So when I open a PMR with Commerce, they can talk to the DB2 support folks and vice versa. It might take some coaxing to do so, but there’s a bit less of the finger-pointing mentality. And some person familiar with it is laughing their behind off at that. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still seen Commerce Support and DB2 Support pointing fingers at each other, but not nearly as often or nearly as unhelpfully as when multiple vendors are involved.
  3. Commerce was really built with DB2. The Commerce info center details on the db structure and details all cover DB2 more thoroughly than they do Oracle.
  4. Completely biased reasons like the horror stories I’ve heard about dealing with Oracle support, the fact that I’ve heard DBAs with experience on both talk about increased rates of corruption on Oracle (data corruption is very rare on DB2), and talk about how while Oracle is easier for developers to use, it’s harder for DBAs to use. Plus, I just don’t like the attitude I’ve seen in things by Oracle – telling clients that they don’t have to know how things work behind the scenes while IBM has a bit more open approach – there’s a wealth of internals information if you go to the conferences.

Usually, DB2 and Oracle are just about tied for the top spot as far as market share goes. They also seem to trade back and forth on which one holds the TCP-C benchmark (though DB2’s recent wins on that are much cheaper).

Obviously if you already have a shop full of talented Oracle DBAs, Oracle might be a better choice, but if you’re asking the question on which RDBMS to choose, pick DB2.

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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