Well, this is a topic we have reviewed numerous times over the years for projects and customers. The fact is, like most important decisions, picking a winner is based mostly on your specific needs. Of the many aspects we review, we will discuss one line of thought in this article.
If there is in-house expertise in Oracle, and management is happy with the skills, productivity of existing staff, and license fees, stick with it. I don’t know many — actually, I don’t know any — CIOs or Directors in IT Management that have been berated for choosing Oracle as an enterprise-wide database platform. I’m not suggesting that “not getting fired” is a good way to make decisions, but unfortunately, it is the nature of decision-making in business today. I’m interested in hearing real world examples of organizations that switched to MySQL from Oracle because only MySQL could achieve a certain functionality, as opposed to the more common reasoning of being an open-source (free to use commercially), lightweight (relative to Oracle) database solution.
That said, if the strategic decision to use Oracle database for all purposes hasn’t been made, MySQL is worth a very serious look, especially for web-based applications that it has been so popular/successful in. There are many lower-cost developers and administrators quite skilled with MySQL in the marketplace today that have used it for much, much more than their personal websites. Like many products and packages, the power of the tool comes from people understanding how best to use it. MySQL performs very well and I would estimate that 99% of the projects I have seen could have successfully used MySQL as their database if they had the desire and comfort to explore it.