Now I never really found Oracle very easy to get into and I didn’t like their sales pitch to me which boiled down to that “…you should use Oracle because everyone worth worrying about does…”. Strangely, this didn’t quite have the intended effect.

I’ve been trying to think back to when I started using SQL Server 6.5 and I really don’t remember it being so difficult but I recognise that memory has a habit of tricking you like that.

So this weekend, I decided to bite the bullet and try again with Oracle 9i. At work, I deal with a variety of different customers and some of them do like to work with Oracle so I figure I have to make allowances and getting more of a handle on Oracle would be a Good Thing.

I’m still a bit confused though. First off, I went through the installation procedure trying to install the minimum amount of software so that I’d have a database and the admin tools to work with it (I already have a web server, etc. and I want to code against it with ADO or .NET so I don’t need an extensive Java based application server thing). This used about 1.3GB of space on my disk (my SQL Server installation is about 180MB) which was a bit of a surprise, but I’ll be the last person to deny that Microsoft also manage to produce bloatware.

What really shocked me was that creating what I hoped was a minimal database with the Database Configuration Assistant was far from easy - I didn’t really understand what was happening. To top it all, though, it used another 1GB of my disk to make an almost empty database.

What did I do wrong? Okay, I know hard disk space is supposed to be cheap these days, but why does it need so much?