In my current job i have the pleasure to work on an Oracle powered environment.
That has allowed me to get enough knowledge to give a personal evaluation of it, compared to the newest MS database server MSSQL 2005.
In summary, MSSQL 2000 has nothing to do against Oracle 9i or Oracle 10g, in that case MSSQL 2000 looks like Access with Steroids.
But when we put in the mix the latest and greatest MSSQL 2005 things change. Under such situations MSSQL 2005 goes along the way of Oracle 9i, but fails to reach the performance and tweaking capabilities of Oracle 10g.
Oracle has put lots of effort on simplify the Oracle installation and management of the database, but still lacks to the easy of use of MSSQL.
My current home project is being developed on MSSQL 2000, but it already pass some initial testings on MSSQL 2005, so, it is almost guaranteed that by the time its first version is out, it will be running on it.
The next step will be to move my ADO components to dbExpress so i can proceed thanks to DataSnap to support Oracle and MSSQL on deployments.
Why picking MSSQL over Oracle after saying that the last one is better? well, simple, easy of use, i need to have the initial version out soon and there is no time to spend on a database migration.
DeadLocks? well that was the big cons with MSSQL 2000, but i must admit that having all those locking problems did help me improving my SQL skills and my general knowledge of the MSSQL engine. What about Oracle? well, so far, it has behave properly, but we havent hit the system with enough transactions to safely say that is better.
What i do know is that Oracle manages a better locking system, If i'm not mistaken it is applied on a row level , now you can specify that manually on MSSQL (2005 has it by default) but come on wouldn't be nice if you dont have to specify your locking hints everywhere in your SQL statements? (yes you have to if you are doing any serious enterprise system).
Now, I'm going back to my duties and i will keep entering more rants on system performance later.