To Oracle or NOT to Oracle

John Robert Gardner jrgardn at
Wed Jan 5 15:11:19 GMT 2000

On Wed, 5 Jan 2000 pmalone2 at wrote:

>        My situation is this...the company that I work for wants a project done
> in XML, it is not overly complicated, but it poses some problems for me. 1) They
>        If Oracle isn't the answer...any suggestions???

A great deal of the other possible suggestions has to do with the kind and
amounts of data you are working with also.  I floated something of this to
the list a few months back (cf. archives October under subject: XML/Oracle
and consulting), and had some enlightening repsonses to which I hope to do
justice and add info from subsequent experience.

The most interesting suggestion was for an ODBS from RMIT called
Structured Information Manager (SIM).  Again, not knowing your
requirements, it's hard to be sure this hits the mark, but I noted your
concern for proprietary limitations.  In our project, archive and
source-to-client requisites of our grant necessitate non-proprietary
formats.  SIM archives native SGML/XML, and allows multiple access shemas
via its logical views structure.  Several reports on performance give it
the edge over other options, including those you're considering.  If
you're into Z39.50, it's support in SIM is native, as is full unicode in
the recent release.  XTech's XLink tool apparently works with it based on
early reports I've heard.  For myself, I'm litterally _just_ beginning to
look into SIM, so for anything further on it, see the archives or

Also as to Oracle 8i:

pmalone2 at wrote:  
As for working with NES, you will almost certainly have to have OAS
(Oracle App Server, sometimes called Oracle Web Server) to build a solid
n-tier environment.  NES does _not_ happily talk directly to Oracle, as
it has no facility to.  That's where a servlet engine/code comes into
play (and we're back to Cocoon again).

I would definitely agree on this.  I think it was OAS 2.6 that our DBA was
was struggling with on our Enterprise 250, with Solaris 2.7.  Stonebridge
consulting noted that this OAS is "formally" not compatible with 2.7,
though after some work-arounds, it functions.  Our DBA also feels the the
Oracle JVM is a severe performance impediment . . . but I personally think
that's because he's not gotten XML religion yet <g />-- he's e-commerce,
and we're heavily text-based with unbounded heirarchies.  THus far, all
we've worked with are fairly shallow heirarchies, however, and he's just
using a sort of table-representing/pointing to-another-tree table or STAR

Again, we're only just beginning to play with this as well, so we've not
really deployed the technet XML/XSL tools from Oracle yet.  Steve Muench's
presentation at XML '99 was pretty convincing, however, and i'm sure he
will have something to say on all this.

good luck, however, in the quest

John Robert Gardner
Emory University
"If there is something you're thinking of doing, or wish you could do,
begin it.  In boldness there is mystery and power . . . . "  -Goethe

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