[postgis-users] PostGIS vs Oracle Spatial/MS SQL2008

Nathan Widmyer lighthousej at gmail.com
Fri Nov 27 04:57:01 PST 2009


Some of the parameters of the decision we were making were different
than the ones being discussed here.  Some of the relevant ones were
cost, maintainability, and that it wasn't for us to use in-house, but
that the database we were envisioning was one that we would deploy to
remote areas with limited access to skilled computer technicians.

Our system can hook into Oracle if a customer wants to use it.  We
aren't using any PostGIS-specific functionality, and we know Oracle
can do the work too (hence, they can "check the box"), but to keep our
cost down and claim that lower price, we offer PostgreSQL/PostGIS.

We are replacing an old DB that has a high price, so it didn't make
sense to replace it with another of the same.  I think we spent time
looking at Oracle's pricing structure and how it would fit into our
product(ouch!), and we came to the conclusion that we can provide the
same spatial capabilities, via a COTS solution, for free.  Given that
we agree that PostgreSQL is easy to maintain, and it doesn't take a
rocket scientist in DBA clothes to fix it if it ever breaks, so it
made a great fit for us.

Respectfully as well,

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 5:56 PM, Simon Greener
<simon at spatialdbadvisor.com> wrote:
> Nathan,
>> I was involved in the same sort of decision about 9 months ago.
> Often these decisions are made by one's IT department as spatial data
> mangement
> is about fundamental integration with the business's enterprise data
> management.
> So, if you business's data management is SQL Server on Wintel then that is
> what you end up with
> to do spatial data management. Putting a PostGIS/Oracle database into this
> environment such that
> "your" (what is "your" in a business?) database is a point solution in a sea
> of SQL Server? You will
> miss out on taking advantage of IT Services that they do automatically for
> those things they control:
> backup, common login, virtualisation, license cost negotiation...
>> Generally what we found was that Oracle Spatial supported a basic set
>> of functions so they can check that features box in sales brochures
>> saying "yes, we do geospatial stuff", but you have to do it Oracle's
>> way.
> Well, having used Oracle since around 1986 I find such a cynical view rather
> disconcerting.
> Where did you learn to be so cynical? How much real Oracle experience (both
> ordinary and spatial)
> do you have? What empirical data do you have to support and prove such a
> hypothesis? I have been
> using Spatial since 8.1.6 (production quality) and that is a long long time
> ago....
> before PostGIS really got going.... and really before the OGC standards got
> going...
>> OTOH, PostGIS was much more feature-filled and adheres to standards,
>> plus has all of the benefits of PostgreSQL, which was a plus for us
>> for other reasons.  Having PostGIS has opened doors to WMS, WFS and
>> other OGC services so we can use other services without being locked
>> into Oracle.
> SQL Server adheres to standards (OGC SFS 1.1) as well you know! In case you
> didn't know,
> the large majority of the PostGIS functionality is extra to the basic
> functions that are part of
> the OGC/SQLMM standards: so, ST_SetPoint/ST_AddPoint/ST_RemovePoint are not
> a part
> of any standard (the standards SHOULD include such things but they simply
> don't).....
> Oracle (that also is compliant with OGC 1.1 SFS) from 10gR2 includes a
> SQL/MM compliant ST_* API that
> is fully inherited: BTW PostGIS's ST_* implementation is not fully
> inherited!  Does it matter that it isn't? Well,
> for me, no, but for you, given you believe PostGIS is a better standards
> adherer than Oracle etc, maybe you should
> have a second look.
> The OGC services you mention are not services that PostGIS or any database
> directly provides. These are normally provided
> by the middletier. Oracle's MapViewer is fully Java middletier compliant. It
> provides WMS/WFS/WFS-T/CSW interfaces.
> Oracle's latest OGC OpenLS services supports:
>    * Location Utility Service (geocoding)
>    * Presentation Service (mapping)
>    * Route Service (driving directions)
>    * Directory Service (YP, or "Yellow Pages")
> Other, non Oracle software such as GeoServer, MapServer, MapGuide OS etc
> (including commercial software like ArcGIS Server etc)
> all support Oracle Locator/Spatial and I have seen GeoServer running against
> Oracle Locator successfully in many sites in Australia.
>> I have used and administered Oracle (I'm not a certified DBA) and it
>> was quite a handful.  Note I did not use Oracle Spatial at the time,
>> but I'm speaking in general terms.  Spending about the same time with
>> PostgreSQL/PostGIS, it's much easier to work with, smaller, and more
>> agile.
> I have a Associate DBA qualification for Oracle but because I don't practice
> as one I don't have the day-to-day skills needed to
> manage an Oracle database in a production environment. I am a geospatial
> database specialist and architect NOT a DBA. For some
> DBAs what spatial and application people do inside the databases they manage
> is specialist and they don't want to know about something they
> don't need to know about. Others feel they do need to know something about
> what goes on to make sure the database is running the best it can. In
> the end they specialise in ONE product whereas we spatial people tend to
> work with multiple - and you can't know everything about everything!
> But I do have Oracle 10gR2 and 11gR1 up and running on my consulting
> machines as well as SQL Server 2008 and PostgreSQL 8.4. How much
> administration have I done with my Oracle database? About as much as I have
> done with the other two: nothing.
> regards
> Simon
> --
> SpatialDB Advice and Design, Solutions Architecture and Programming,
> Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate; Oracle Database 10g
> SQL Certified Professional
> Oracle Spatial, SQL Server, PostGIS, MySQL, ArcSDE, Manifold GIS, FME,
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