Unlike many people I talk to, I like Oracle. I’ve worked in the relational world for many years. I started at IBM in 1983 as a co-op using their early System-R (DB2) and have some early experience in relational databases. I wrote my own Commodore 64 SQL database (small SQL version). This was back when Gupta SQLBase was starting to get traction and Oracle was in its early stages. Gupta surprisingly fizzled but Oracle, as we all know, exploded over time and became THE relational database company. “THE” is especially true for the “real” high-performance database systems used by all the big companies.
Over time with open source software and now cloud-based solutions Oracle and their Microsoft/IBM brothers are having their market slowly diluted. “Database” operations are greatly expanding, but Oracle is not the predominant force it once was. Microsoft Windows has had a similar fate. In 2000, Windows seemed to have 90% of the computing world operating system installs. But the computing world has grown billions of times bigger with a variety of devices/machines/Linux, and they are not using Windows as the install.
The shared cloud databases and corresponding hardware with all the benefits are now taking over. And it’s taking over in a different aggressive pricing model driven by the leader Amazon’s AWS. Oracle needs to adapt. This is NOT a secret, and they know it, but I'm not sure what they're doing about it. I've read about, but don't know, their heavy-handed tactics on existing customers to keep them using Oracle. This cannot be good, if true, and will only be short term fix for them.
They need to embrace the same suggestions that I posted for Apple on cloud computing. “Somewhat” copy what Amazon AWS has done but embracing the newer pieces of the cloud strategy. Microservices, key-value databases, fully managed databases, S3, Language Lex, Natural Language processing, transcription, queues and this is critical, Lambda type functions. Like my suggestion to Apple, they also MUST do this in a lower margin world. They need to start there even if it erodes their existing higher-end business. Amazon has been competitive from the beginning and will continue to be. I would love to see Oracle transform itself like Microsoft has done to provide various levels of generalizing cloud computing beyond their existing big company models.
I’ve looked at Oracle's cloud solutions, but they seem OVERLY complex and clumsily put together. They are not meant to engage the individual developer or the dev-ops mentality that companies are moving toward. It is still monolithic thinking, not microservices. The documentation also seems like it was rushed out.
If Oracle can get out in front of the microservice architecture and especially the natural language processing offerings they can catch up where it matters. “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”, as The Great One would say! Small microservices, aggressively priced, devices, and natural language processing are where the puck is going.
Go Oracle !