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IBM Db2 Database vs Oracle Database comparison

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IBM Db2 Database Logo
8,565 views|5,637 comparisons
Oracle Database Logo
15,552 views|9,184 comparisons
Comparison Summary
Question: What is the biggest difference between IBM DB2 and Oracle Database​?
Answer: Per all previous posts "it depends". Platform, type of use and ability to be stable for the work-load are the concerns. Finding Oracle skills vs DB2 skills in the mainframe world is an area where Oracle comes out really ahead. Mainframe DB2 people with good skill and experience are hard to find. The engines have different distinctions and interface with other tools/platforms somewhat differently. Some data-types (such as varchar2 for Oracle) only exist for that engine.
Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Db2 Database vs. Oracle Database and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Reliable, robust with great features.""The solution is a very stable relational database and has integration with legacy systems. It is a great product.""We are dealing with millions of transactions a month and the performance is very good.""The solution is easy to install and simple to maintain. The most valuable aspect of the solution is its general user-friendliness for users of all kinds.""The solution has very good data compression of up to 50%. For example, if you have 50 terabytes of data, it can be reduced to 25 terabytes.""Its robustness, scalability, availability, and performance are valuable. All these are the major attributes of a relational database for supporting a very high-volume business, and Db2 is very good in all those areas and in all those attributes.""IBM Db2 was much cheaper as a package than using other products. This is because IBM supplied a package with its product. It's an application. So it was much more efficient and a stronger competitor in that regard.""It has a good feature called pureScale, which is just for scalability. It is a perfect solution for environments where scalability is going to be an issue."

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"The ease of use has been great.""The autonomous database simplifies everything.""The solution is very stable with the performance being very reliable.""I found the ease of backup, partitioning, and robust indexing most valuable. The main feature of Oracle is the structure of the database. The way your backups are taken on the online backup system and the way it restores and handles partitioning of your data are also valuable. Its performance is great, and it is also very flexible.""The solution is extremely stable.""The most valuable features are stability, its backup and recovery, and its performance.""As a database, the solution has been number one from the beginning.""You can scale the solution without any issues."

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Cons
"It would be ideal if the solution offered backup functionality. Many similar tools already do, which means Db2 is somewhat behind the curve in terms of what a customer might expect from it.""Their view of it is they're maintaining it, they're continuing to upgrade it, they're continuing to grow it, however, they don't go out and try and sell that as an architectural solution the way they do Linux and Unix.""They should simplify the management of Db2 as a relational database system. There should be the simplification of management. This is probably one of the most important asks for being successful in the future.""In terms of improvements, IBM Db2 can improve its interface and its functionality. Also, the embedded functions should be much richer than the current ones - the functions which are embedded in the engine itself.""The technical support team is not very good when compared to the efficiency of Oracle's support.""We just want a bit more integration with Linux. That said, we are already seeing Linux more readily available on the mainframe environment.""The capabilities of this solution could improve.""Performance is something that can be improved with DB2."

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"We believe that the usability could be improved, especially within the data lakehouse. We found content management to be a little bit more simpler within the GUI part.""Their local support can be better. Local support is a challenge in Africa for all IT companies.""CRM could be improved.""The licensing could be cheaper and clearer.""Oracle could improve by providing better integration with other solutions, such as Angular platforms.""As of now, Oracle is branded to Oracle only, the option of migrating to other databases is not available.""Support is not available when one encounters problems.""I would like to see more integration with other databases and the cloud as well as Microsoft's Office 365."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "Db2 is less expensive than Oracle."
  • "We did not buy it. It came with our hardware without any complimentary maintenance. If I compare Db2 Database with Oracle Database, its price is lower than Oracle Database."
  • "There is a license for this solution and we pay every three years."
  • "Among Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Db2, Microsoft SQL Server is the cheapest one, and Oracle is the most expensive one. Db2 is in the middle. As compared to SQL Server, its price could go down. It will be good for customers."
  • "We normally handle large size businesses and as far as I am aware, the license is negotiable based on the number of users and the quantitative data."
  • "It is expensive."
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  • "Our licensing costs are between $40,000 and $50,000 per year. Those are the costs that cover maintenance and licensing."
  • "The pricing is something that Oracle should work on to make the product more affordable, especially to businesses in third-world countries."
  • "It is very expensive. We pay in dollars, so the inflation and conversion cost is also there for us. They charge on a yearly basis for the license."
  • "Its price is already low. Oracle has a competitive and cheaper price as compared to others. Oracle Cloud is cheaper than other clouds. The pricing is very competitive for Oracle Cloud to be in the market. Their pricing makes customers interested in using this product even though Oracle doesn't have a local data center at this moment."
  • "They are pricing themselves out of the market."
  • "It is expensive."
  • "It's expensive. I would say that it is more expensive than other competing products."
  • "It's not cheap, but sometimes, you get what you pay for."
  • More Oracle Database Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Answers from the Community
    Nurit Sherman
    author avatarit_user100737 (Architect)
    Real User

    Both DB2 and Oracle are legacy relational databases. 20+ years ago you might pick DB2 for reliability and scalability, but today you would choose Oracle for the sheer size of partners, applications, skills and tools available. So if you have to pick today, I would choose Oracle (I am an ex IBM DB2 Lab person and used to be VERY DB2 bias as it's an excellent engine)... and if I ask you more detailed application and business landscape questions I would recommend decommissioning BOTH those legacy databases and move to PostgreSQL, MariaDB or MySQL (MySQL is ironically now owned by Oracle too), and cloud host your database farm. If you had to pick a legacy "perpetual license" relational database I would go wall to wall MS SQLServer. That's what I would generally recommend without knowing more about your application or business landscape. (SAP, Apps, Mobility, Cloud, Regulatory, Security, HA, Scale, etc etc).

    author avatarRehana Parvin
    Real User

    I think -- Oracle is well known for its performance and security feature and continuous efforts to reach the highest level of performance.
    A few comparisons are given below:
    1. Oracle has multi version read consistency -- but not in DB2
    2. In oracle, neither read nor write blocks each other-- DB2 -read blocks write and write blocks read
    3. No Dead locks under load in Oracle whereas deadlock is a serious problem in DB2
    4. In Oracle --intelligent advisories such as SQL Tuning, Index, Summary, MTTR but in DB2 only Index advisory presents. In terms of Self-tuning capabilities-- Oracle has Automatic Performance Diagnosis, Automatic SQL Tuning , Self-tuning memory, free space, and I/O management and so on but in DB2 No equivalent or limited capabilities
    Besides all good features exist in Oracle but it is bit complex. When problem occurs then figuring out the right problem in a very short time has become a challenge, Also Oracle is bit expensive.
    There are a lot more difference. I think you can find good resource by searching online.
    I think all database software has their own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the budget and compromises in which feature loss they can afford--companies decide their choices.


    author avatarSydney Chidambaram
    Consultant

    I have worked on both, I kind of agree and disagree with the first repsonse, Both are very stable databases, I work currently on Oracle, and have worked for 20 years on DB2 on I-series and S38.
    Both have its place, it is totally dependant on your requirement. However DB2 is shipped free with the IBM platform, oracle comes at a cost.

    Your business requirement and the person in charge of your IT systems should be able to tell you which one would suit your business, All the other databases mentioned can also do the job.

    A full business analysis will need to be done to understand where your business is now and what the future expectation is so that you can make the best choice.

    author avatarit_user783555 (Data Architect at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Real User

    IBM DB2 is a real legacy system database, that is use in old companies like
    telecom, its really couple with the mainframes of IBM really robust but
    wasn't build with the internet in mind Oracle on the other hand is a more
    modern Database it has more use cases and it also super robust but really
    expensive (both are fore big companies) the main differences is that Oracle
    runs on normal Linux box and DB2 has to work on a IBM mainframe ... the
    language is more dynamic and modern in oracle

    hope this helps a bit what is better is alway a "it depends on what you
    want to build" for me I think a more modern noSQL data base is better in
    this post internet and cloud era

    author avatarit_user473562 (Senior Oracle Consultant at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees)
    Consultant

    Few more differences......
    While IBM mainframe DB2 has a decades-long head start on the mainframe, UDB and Oracle are in a head to head competition for implementing a vast array of security features.
    Oracle offers the integrated APEX development platform and SQL*Forms.
    Oracle has the Procedural language SQL (PL/SQL) vs. DB2 UDB with their SQL Procedural language (SQL/PL).
    Both UDB and Oracle offer a host of HA features for continuous availability. Oracle offers RAC clusters for shared database, plus replication solution vs. Oracle Streams, Oracle Data Guard and Oracle advanced multi-master replication.
    While both UDB and Oracle have ANSI standard SQL, vendors have a strong incentive to add "extensions", such as Oracle with their unique DECODE operator.
    Both UDB and Oracle are struggling to incorporate automated features to make database administration easier and more automated. For Oracle we see automated storage management (ASM), automated memory management (AMM), and automated database diagnostic management (ADDM).
    A critical area of database management, both UDB and Oracle offer backup and recovery features. Within Oracle's Recovery Manager (RMAN), we see block-level backups and hot backups.

    author avatarit_user5532 (Architect at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees)
    Real User

    Well if you are asking for my opinion I will give it to you - I prefer DB2 over Oracle in most cases - Oracle has some weird data type inconsistencies like with timestamps, dates and variable fields.  I think DB2 seems to be faster for general transactions in most cases but of course, it all depends on the horses on the server underneath them.  I learned databases in a shot that had both DB2 and Oracle and DB2 was by far the easier to use and work with.  Over the years both have evolved to be bigger faster and more powerful, but I like the db2 manager which can help troubleshoot stuff much like the SQL manager can and I think it is easier to use than the Oracle version.  It really comes down to preference as I know some Oracle guys who prefer Oracle over DB2 but I think they hate IBM so they are biased as well.  I have always had better support from IBM than Oracle and that's a big deal for most folks.  As for the big difference between them I believe is the hashing algorithm each uses to do storage, retrieval, and indexing.  I just like IBM better for those things. 

    author avatarit_user118071 (Engineer at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees)
    Real User

    So many differences and in almost many perspectives.

    Short answer,
    Compared to DB2, Oracle is clear winner. Oracle is far ahead than DB2 offerings. And also ready for future. But in my personal opinion, Microsoft SQL Server beats even Oracle.

    I am sure you will many links online. So dont want to repeat that.

    Thanks.

    author avatarit_user375576 (Business Intelligence Analyst at a hospitality company with 501-1,000 employees)
    Real User

    We use both databases (and some more), I would definitely suggest using Oracle against DB2 for better performance but also because it's easier to find collaboration tools and find help.
    PS : My preference is MS SQL.

    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    DB2 versus Oracle: - Table structure is different - Data structures - there are some differences including the data type, format and length.
    Top Answer: 
    I like that its true active-active. For example, if there are two instances within a cluster, we can take one of them down and there's no failover or switch over. There's no primary and secondary… more »
    Top Answer: 
    In the 90s, there was a big problem with the IBM mainframe environment and there was a big push to move the middleware off the mainframe and put it on cheaper distributed hardware. What happened then… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It is a mature product. It is pretty stable. I've got a lot of experience with it, so it is pretty easy to use.
    Top Answer: 
    We pay for a yearly licensing subscription. Funds permitting, we have plans to increase usage for Oracle Database in the new year.
    Top Answer: 
    The software really doesn't need any improvement, but the way they do the billing should be improved. They charge by all the chips on the server, whether you use them or not. If you have a server that… more »
    Ranking
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    Also Known As
    DB2
    Oracle 12c, RDBMS
    Learn More
    Overview
    DB2 Enterprise for Linux, UNIX, and Windows is the ideal data server for the most demanding workloads. New XML support is designed to help firms minimize the time and effort it takes to persist and use their XML data reducing development costs and improving business agility.

    Oracle Database 12c introduces a new multitenant architecture that makes it easy to consolidate many databases quickly and manage them as a cloud service. Oracle Database 12c also includes in-memory data processing capabilities for breakthrough analytical performance. Additional database innovations deliver new levels of efficiency, performance, security, and availability. Oracle Database 12c comes in two editions to fit your business needs and budget: Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition 2.

    For more information on Oracle RDBMS, visit Oracle.com

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    Sample Customers
    Knorr-Bremse, Mizuho Bank Ltd., Australian Government Department of Defence, SCHWENK Zement, Friedhelm Loh Group, YAZAKI Europe Limited, Ekornes ASA, Baldor Electric, VSN Systemen BV, Lion Brewery (Ceylon) PLC, PLANSEE Group, TE Connectivity, Hansgrohe SE, Openmatics, University of Toronto
    Agncia Nacional de guas, Anbima, Aria Systems, Asiana Airlines, Astelit LLC, Australian Finance Group, Banco Occidental de Descuento, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, BT, Caja de Seguros S.A., Casas GEO S.A.B. de C.V., Comic Relief UK, Corsair Components Inc., CSAM Health AS, CSOB Group, Datacraft Solutions, DenizBank A.S., Department of Treasury and Finance WA, Office of State Revenue, Deutsche B_rse AG, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Deutsche Messe AG, Digicel Haiti, DPR COSEA, Essar Group, Essatto Software Pty Ltd, Farmšcia e Drogaria Nissei Ltda., Fomento Econ‹mico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA), FundaÊo Petrobras de Seguridade Social, Future Group, GFKL Financial Services AG, Grupo Posadas S.A.B. de C.V., Grupo Sinosserra, Guerra S.A. Implementos Rodovišrios, Hanatour International Service, Hays plc, Henan Mobile Co. Ltd, Hochschule Hof, Hong Kong and China Technology (Wuhan) Co. Ltd (Towngas Technology), Industries Corpa_al C.A., Infrastructure Development Finance Company Limited, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatstica, Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial, Kcell, LinkShare Corporation, MercadoLibre Inc., MetLife Inc., Nextgen Distribution, €BB-IKT GmbH, Octagon Research Solutions, Pacific Lutheran University, Paragon Data GmbH, Ping ltd., PJSC Trustbank, Prodaub _ Processamento de Dados de Uberl_ndia, Purdue University, Redknee Inc., Robi Axiata Limited, Shanghai Infoservice Technology Co. Ltd, Shanghai Sihua Technologies Co. Ltd, Sistema de Aguas de la Ciudad de M_xico, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Suddenlink Communications, Suprajit Engineering Limited, Tallink Grupp, Terminales Ro de la Plata S.A., Therap Services LLC, Think Passenger Inc., Trafigura, Transmed S.A.L Lebanon, ValeShop, VelQuest Corporation, Vodafone Group plc, West Virginia Network, WIND Hellas Telecommunications S.A
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    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company28%
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    Large Enterprise63%
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    Large Enterprise55%
    Find out what your peers are saying about IBM Db2 Database vs. Oracle Database and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    563,148 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    IBM Db2 Database is ranked 5th in Relational Databases with 15 reviews while Oracle Database is ranked 2nd in Relational Databases with 120 reviews. IBM Db2 Database is rated 8.0, while Oracle Database is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of IBM Db2 Database writes "Very scalable with high availability and excellent technical support". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Oracle Database writes "Gets the job done, doesn't fail, and suitable for massively scalable applications". IBM Db2 Database is most compared with SQL Server, MySQL, SAP HANA, Teradata and IBM Netezza Performance Server, whereas Oracle Database is most compared with SAP HANA, SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB and Teradata. See our IBM Db2 Database vs. Oracle Database report.

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