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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Upgrade upgrade

So Oracle Database 11g is here. How do users view upgrades? I ask.

Most of Oracle database users haven’t yet started using all features in their existing versions. It’s like the new car full of new knobs that you may seldom turn. Given an option, I would say *no* to those premium features if that means lower priced pack. But I get no option if it comes as part of the basic version, ex-works. In the enterprise software world, users get no choice on their first buy even as they could make do with far less features. Visualize the downtime for installation of the new version, you would swear by SaaS models. The new database environments of 11g may be chic, more automated and may even free up a lot of DBA resources, but the pricing rankles. DBAs in charge of the earlier versions come comparably a lot cheaper.

Customers see frequent across-the-board upgrades (except where new applications warrant them) as candid confessions by vendors that their older releases suck. Over the years, vendors have carved a lifeline along that business model. It just means they gave crappy database environments earlier, right?

How about some refunds, Mr.Ellison…? Your friend Steve Jobs did that with his iPhone recently.

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