Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Databases: What to Know

Three truths about databases:

The Big Three of databases are as follows:

These three competitors combined control 85% of the $15 billion database market [1]. The marketplace provides a snapshot of their relative value. The number of job listings for each of The Big Three when searching by keyword are as follows [Monster.com listings]:

The common language of all databases is Structured Query Language (SQL). So, the more you know about SQL the more you'll be able to manage data regardless of which relational database management system (RDBMS) is being used.

According to a recent BusinessWeek article, Taking On the Database Giants, open-source database products are gaining ground. Of these MySQL appears to have the most momentum.

So, how does one get experience using these products? Here's a two-step plan:

Step #1: Learn SQL

Step #2: Learn one of The Big Three (SQL Server)

Why select SQL Server? Quite simply, I have not been able to identify any low-cost alternatives to learning Oracle or IBM DB2. Both products are expensive and so is the training. Microsoft, on the other hand, wants technology professionals to learn its new SQL Server 2005 product so that it can capture market share from its competitors.

[1] reference: Taking On the Database Giants
[2] note: The courses are designed for SQL Server 2005, not the Express Edition, so there my be some aspects of the course that may not apply to the 'lite' version of the product.

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