Oracle Provider Might Boost .NET Success

Several weeks ago, Microsoft released the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle (available at the first URL below), which provides native .NET access to Oracle databases. I work primarily with SQL Server, but I've heard rumors that a few people in the world still use Oracle <g>. Microsoft is protecting its interests by fully embracing all major database platforms, which the company needs to do to ensure the .NET Framework's success. The recent release of the managed .NET provider for Oracle helps Microsoft promote the .NET Framework for two important reasons.

First, benchmark tests show that the new provider is up to 200 percent faster than the non-managed OLE DB provider for Oracle when you use it from a .NET-based application. Features are nice, but performance is king in the land of database development, and a 200 percent performance boost is a compelling reason to use this new provider. Developers might have been hesitant to use the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle unless performance was top-notch. You can check out benchmark results for the Oracle driver test run, which used the Nile 3.0 application benchmark suite, at the second URL below.

Second, but perhaps even more important to .NET developers, the new .NET managed provider for Oracle uses a programming model that's similar to SQL Server's native .NET managed provider. So, .NET developers can use their database-development skills to work with data on a SQL Server or Oracle back end. In addition, Microsoft made great effort in designing the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle to fully support Oracle9i data types and other native Oracle functionality. Lack of full support for native Oracle data types was a small problem with the Oracle drivers that Microsoft provided in the past.

Microsoft knows that it needs to provide compelling interoperability tools for customers who have heterogeneous environments. Microsoft needs to make rolling out .NET-based technology simple and painless. Customers shouldn't have to rip and strip their existing database infrastructure. And I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the SQL Server and Oracle managed .NET provider programming models are so similar. Microsoft would never consciously roll out a migration strategy for moving Oracle customers to SQL Server after they've written their applications in the .NET Framework. Would it?
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