April 15, 2008

Difference between MS SQL 2005 & Oracle 10g

Difference between SQL Server 2005 & Oracle 10g

1. The logical components

1.a SQL SERVER 2005:

The fundamental unit of data storage in SQL Server is the page. The disk space allocated to a data file (.mdf or .ndf) in a database is logically divided into pages numbered contiguously from 0 to n. Disk I/O operations are performed at the page level. That is, SQL Server reads or writes whole data pages.

Extents are a collection of eight physically contiguous pages and are used to efficiently manage the pages. All pages are stored in extents.

Data rows are put on the page serially, starting immediately after the header. A row offset table starts at the end of the page, and each row offset table contains one entry for each row on the page. Each entry records how far the first byte of the row is from the start of the page. The entries in the row offset table are in reverse sequence from the sequence of the rows on the page.

Extents are the basic unit in which space is managed. An extent is eight physically contiguous pages, or 64 KB. This means SQL Server databases have 16 extents per megabyte.
To make its space allocation efficient, SQL Server does not allocate whole extents to tables with small amounts of data. SQL Server has two types of extents:
• Uniform extents are owned by a single object; all eight pages in the extent can only be used by the owning object.
• Mixed extents are shared by up to eight objects. Each of the eight pages in the extent can be owned by a different object.
A new table or index is generally allocated pages from mixed extents. When the table or index grows to the point that it has eight pages, it then switches to use uniform extents for subsequent allocations. If you create an index on an existing table that has enough rows to generate eight pages in the index, all allocations to the index are in uniform extents.

1.b Database Files
SQL Server 2005 databases have three types of files:
• Primary data files

The primary data file is the starting point of the database and points to the other files in the database. Every database has one primary data file.
• Secondary data files

Secondary data files make up all the data files, other than the primary data file. Some databases may not have any secondary data files, while others have several secondary data files.
• Log files

Log files hold all the log information that is used to recover the database. There must be at least one log file for each database, although there can be more than one.

1.c Database Filegroups
Database objects and files can be grouped together in filegroups for allocation and administration purposes. There are two types of filegroups:
The primary filegroup contains the primary data file and any other files not specifically assigned to another filegroup. All pages for the system tables are allocated in the primary filegroup.
User-defined filegroups are any filegroups that are specified by using the FILEGROUP keyword in a CREATE DATABASE or ALTER DATABASE statement.
Log files are never part of a filegroup. Log space is managed separately from data space.
No file can be a member of more than one filegroup. Tables, indexes, and large object data can be associated with a specified filegroup. In this case, all their pages will be allocated in that filegroup, or the tables and indexes can be partitioned

The dialect of SQL supported by Microsoft SQL Server 2000 is called Transact-SQL (T-SQL). The dialect of SQL supported by Oracle 9i Database is called PL/SQL. PL/SQL is more powerful language than T-SQL. This is the brief comparison of PL/SQL and T-SQL:
Feature PL/SQL T-SQL
Indexes B-Tree indexes,
Bitmap indexes,
Partitioned indexes,
Function-based indexes,
Domain indexes B-Tree indexes
Tables Relational tables,
Object tables,
Temporary tables,
Partitioned tables,
External tables,
Index organized tables Relational tables,
Temporary tables
Triggers BEFORE triggers,
AFTER triggers,
INSTEAD OF triggers,
Database Event triggers AFTER triggers,
INSTEAD OF triggers
Procedures PL/SQL statements,
Java methods,
third-generation language
(3GL) routines T-SQL statements
Arrays Supported Not Supported

SQL Server is only operable on the Windows platform, and this is a major limitation for it to be an enterprise solution. Oracle is available on multiple platforms such as Windows, all flavors of Unix from vendors such as IBM, Sun, Digital, HP, Sequent, etc. and VAX- VMS as well as MVS. The multi-platform nature of Oracle makes it a true enterprise solution.
SQL Server has no multi-version consistency model which means that "writers block readers and readers block writers" to ensure data integrity. In contrast, with Oracle the rule is "readers don’t block writers and writers don’t block readers". This is possible without compromising data integrity because Oracle will dynamically re-create a read-consistent image for a reader of any requested data that has been changed but not yet committed.
In other words, the reader will see the data as it was before the writer began changing it (until the writer commits). SQL Server's locking scheme is much simpler (less mature) and will result in a lot ff delays/waits in a heavy OLTP environment.
Also, SQL Server will escalate row locks to page level locks when too many rows on a page are locked. This locks rows which are uninvolved in any updates for no good reason.
In SQL Server 2000, a long uncommitted transaction can stop other transactions which queue behind it in the single transaction log, and this can stop all activity on the database, whereas in Oracle, if there is a long uncommitted transaction, only the transaction itself will stop when it runs out of rollback space, because of the use of different rollback segments for transactions.
Oracle allocates transactions randomly to any of its multiple rollback segments and areas inside that rollback segment. When the transaction is committed, that space is released for other transactions, however Sql server allocates transactions sequentially to its single transaction log, the space occupied by committed transactions is not released to new transactions until the recycling of the transaction log is complete (in a circular round-robin manner).
This means if there is an uncommitted transaction in the middle, and the transaction log cannot grow by increasing the file size, no new transactions will be allowed. This is the potential of a single uncommitted transaction to halt database activity.
a. No control of sorting (memory allocation) in SQL Server. Oracle can fully control the sort area size and allows it to be set by the DBA.
b. No control over SQL Caching (memory allocation) in SQL Server. This is controllable in Oracle.
c. No control over storage/space management to prevent fragmentation in SQL Server. All pages (blocks) are always 8k and all extents are always 8 pages (64k). This means you have no way to specify larger extents to ensure contiguous space for large objects. In Oracle, this is fully configurable.
d. No range partioning of large tables and indexes in SQL Server, whereas in Oracle a large table (eg. 100 GB or more) can be seamlessly partitioned at the database level into range partitions, for eg. an invoice table can be partitioned into monthly partitions.
Such partitioned tables and partitioned indexes give performance and maintenance benefits and are transparent to the application.
e. No Log miner facility in SQL Server. Oracle 8i and 9i supply a Log Miner which enables inspection of archived redo logs. This comes free with the database. But in the case of SQL Server, external products from other companies have to be purchased to do this important DBA task.
f. A SQL Server DBA claimed that fully qualifying the name of an object in SQL Server code would lead to performance gains of 7% to 10%. There are no dictionary performance problems like that in Oracle. Oracle would have some gains if it fully qualified all names - say 0.01 percent.
This actually shows the difference in the internal database technology between Oracle and Microsoft and implies that the technology of resolving object names via the dictionary is more advanced in the case of Oracle, ie. Oracle seems to better access its internal dictionary and resolve names, unlike SQL server.
a. No public or private synonyms b. No independent sequences c. No packages ie. collection of procedures and functions.
a. Significant extensions to the ANSI SQL-92 standard in SQL Server, which means converting applications to a different database later will be a challenge (code re-write).
b. Sql Server has no inbuilt JAVA database engine as in Oracle. In Oracle, Java classes can be loaded and executed in the database itself, thus adding the database's security and scalability to Java applications.
c. In SQL Server, stored Procedures are not compiled until executed (overhead). In Oracle, packages and procs/functions are compiled before execution.
In Oracle 9i it is also possible to translate Pl/Sql into C code and then compile/link the code, which gives very good performance gains for numeric intensive operations. SQL Server has no such ability.
d. In SQL server, there is no ability to read/write from external files from a stored procedure. Oracle has this ability.
e. SQL Server uses cryptic commands for database administration like:
exec sp_addrolemember N'db_datareader', N'davidb' go
This is to add the user davidb to the role db_datareader.
On the other hand, Oracle uses standard English-like SQL commands to do the same:
grant db_datareader to davidb;
This one statement does all, in simple English, what the cryptic SQL Server command does.
f. Oracle SQL and PL/SQL syntax is more powerful and can do things more intuitively than Microsoft Transact-SQL. Try to sum up a column by each month, and show the totals for the month, in SQL Server you do it in T-SQL by grouping on strings, in Oracle it is possible to do this grouping by the trunc(,'month') function. This method in Oracle is more intuitive, it understands the dates, the method in SQL Server does not.
g. In SQL Server, you cannot issue a "create or replace" for either procedures or views, in Oracle you can. This one facility simplifies code writing, since in Sql Server the procedure or view must be dropped first if present and then recreated ie. two commands, in Oracle there is no need - a single command "create or replace" is enough.
h. In Oracle, a procedure/function/package/view is marked as invalid if a dependant object changes. In SQL Server there is no concept of an invalid procedure, it will run but give unexpected results. The former is more suitable for change control and preventing unexpected errors.
i. A recompile reuses the code that is in the Oracle database, the actual command is "alter procedure compile". This is applicable to procedures/functions/packages/views. This concept of recompiling is not there in SQL Server where you have to resubmit the whole code if you want to recompile a procedure.
j. Triggers in Oracle do not allow transactional control ie. commit/rollback/savepoint statements. Whereas, triggers in SQL Server allow commits/rollbacks, which is potentially dangerous and can cause problems with transactions which fire the trigger.
Triggers in SQL Server also can start transactions of their own which is not very good and shows lack of maturity of the language.
SQL Server and Oracle have differences regarding standby databases. A standby is a database set up on a second server and to which logs are applied ie. all database changes, so that the standby can be activated and used in the case of a failover.
a. In the case of Sql server, when there is a failover, the "master" and "msdb" databases have to be restored from backup or copied over from the primary to the standby and then the standby is activated after all logs are applied. In Oracle, there is no need for a restore to be done, the standby can be activated at any time after all logs are applied.
This difference exists because of the fact that in SQL server, new users/roles added to the primary are not carried over to the standby (these users/roles go in the master/msdb) and backups have to be done continuously of the master and msdb, these backups are then restored when the time comes for a failover.
In the case of Oracle, users/roles when created in the primary are automatically carried over to the standby. So when the failover time arrives, all that is needed is to activate the standby.
b. In the case of Sql Server, if the standby is opened as read only, to switch it back to standby again, a restore from backup has to be done. In the case of Oracle, from 8i version onwards, if a standby database is opened as read only, it can be reopened as a standby without restoring from backup.
c. The time delay to apply logs between the primary and the standby can be varied, but it can never be 0 minutes in the case of SQL Server.
In the case of Oracle, in 9i it is possible to have logs applied simultaneously to the primary as well as standby, using Net8 protocol. This means zero data loss in the case of a failover whereas SQL Server's log shipping cannot avoid data loss d during the time gap.
d. SQL Server's log shipping mechanism also happens at the OS level, whereas Oracle's mechanism can take place directly at the Net8 level where logs are automatically applied to standbys without any scripts or OS batch files, this mechanism in Oracle is called managed standby.
e.One deficiency of Oracle in the standby was that datafiles, if created on the primary, had to be manually created on the standby whereas SQL Server does this automatically. However, in 9i, this deficiency is fixed and data files are created automatically at the standby.
f. Another deficiency of Oracle in the standby is that direct loads, if using the unrecoverable facility to bypass redo logging, require the data files of the primary database to be manually copied across to the standby. This is not fixed in 9i. SQL Server's version of log shipping and direct loads do not require this copying across.
In clustering technology, in the case of SQL Server, two nodes cannot work on the same database, they "share nothing". At the best, to utilize the power of both nodes, the application must be manually spit up and redistributed between the hosts, working on different sets of data, and it is not possible to seamlessly scale upwards by adding another node to the cluster in the case of SQL Server.
Most cluster configurations in Sql Server use the power of only one node, leaving the other node to take over only if there is a problem with the first node.
In the case of Oracle Parallel server, it is possible to have two or more instances of the database on different nodes acting on the SAME data in active-active configurations. Lock management is handled by the Oracle Parallel server. With the new version of Parallel Server in Oracle 9i, renamed as the Oracle real application cluster (9i RAC), there is diskless contention handling of read-read, read- write, write-read, and write-write contention between the instances.
This diskless contention handling is called Cache Fusion and it means for the first time, any application can be placed in a cluster without any changes, and it scales upwards by just adding another machine to the cluster.
Microsoft has nothing like this clustering technology of Oracle, which can best be described as "light years ahead".
In Microsoft SQL Server's version of simple replication ie, publisher-subscriber using transactional replication, even if only one table is being replicated, the entire transaction log is checked by the log reader agent and transactional changes applied to the subscribers.
In Oracle's simple replication, changes to a single table are stored in a snapshot log and copied across, there is no need to check all the archive logs.
As of 2002, Oracle has 14 independent security evaluations; Microsoft SQL Server has only one.
SQL Server and Internet articles of the magazine are only available with paid subscription. Whereas, Oracle has given its magazine free for many years, all articles are free on the internet, and the Oracle Technical network (OTN) is also free on the internet.
Some people say Microsoft SQL Server tools, like Enterprise manager, are easy to use. Oracle Enterprise Manager is a huge tool and seems daunting to inexperienced people. This is true to an extent, however ease of use cannot be compared with the many features in Oracle, and its industrial-level strength, and its many technical advantages.
13. TCP Benchmarks
March 2002 Benchmarks from TPC.org show that Oracle 9i is seen in the majority of top benchmarks in "non-clustered" TPC-C for performance (OLTP), whereas SQL Server is seen in the majority of entries for "clustered" TPC-C for performance (OLTP).
This gives the strange impression that SQL server is faster in a cluster than in a non-cluster, which is misleading. The fact is that this result is due to the use of "federated databases" in clusters by Microsoft in which pieces of the application are broken up and placed on separate active-active servers, each working on separate pieces of the application.
While excellent for theoretical benchmarks, this is not a practical approach in the real life IT world because it requires massive changes to any application, and also ongoing changes to the application when new servers are added to the cluster (each server has a view that sees the data in the other servers, adding a new server would mean rewriting the views for all tables on all servers) and would be rejected by any practical headed manager.
Using this impractical approach of federated databases in clusters, the impression is that Sql-server leads in clustered performance, but the practical reality is otherwise. This is seen in the way SQL Server is not to be seen in the non-clustered benchmarks.
Also, Oracle leads the way for Tpc benchmarks for Decision Support Systems with 1,000 Gb and 3,000 Gb sizes (TPC-H by performance per scale), whereas SQL Server is only seen to a small extent in the 300GB range.
14. XML Support
To provide a more native support for XML, the first release of Oracle9i Database introduced the XMLType datatype and associated XML specific behavior. In addition, built in XML generation and aggregation operators greatly increase the throughput of XML processing.
With the second release of Oracle9i, Oracle significantly adds to XML support in the database server. This fully absorbs the W3C XML data model into the Oracle database, and provides new standard access methods for navigating and querying XML - creating a native integrated XML database within the Oracle RDBMS.
The key XDB technologies can be grouped into two major classes - XMLType that provides a native XML storage and retrieval capability strongly integrated with SQL, and an XML Repository that provides foldering, access control, versioning etc. for XML resources. The integration of a native XML capability within the database brings a number of benefits.
In summation, Oracle9i Release 2's XDB functionality is a high- performance XML storage and retrieval technology available with the Oracle9i Release 2 database. It fully absorbs the W3C XML data model into the Oracle Database, and provides new standard access methods for navigating and querying XML. With XDB, you get all the advantages of relational database technology and XML technology at the same time.
In contrast to this, Microsoft SQL Server 2000 only has limited ways to read and write xml from its tables.
SQL Server is clearly positioned between MS-ACCESS and ORACLE in terms of functionality, performance, and scalability. It makes a work group level solution (small number of users with small amount of data), perhaps at the departmental level.
Oracle is much more advanced and has more to offer for larger applications with both OLTP and Data Warehouse applications. Its new clustering features are ideal for Application Service Providers (ASPs) on the Internet who can now start with a cluster of 2 small servers and grow by just adding a server when they need to. Besides, Oracle's multi-platform capability makes it the most convincing argument for an enterprise.

1. Oracle runs on many platforms, SQL on Windows only
2. Oracle includes IFS (Internet File System), Java integration, SQL is more of a pure database
3. Oracle requires client install and setup (Not difficult, but very UNIX-like for Windows users)
4. SQL is #1 in Cost/Performance and overall Performance, although Oracle will refute that
5. Replication is much easier in SQL (I have been at clients where even the Oracle consultant couldn't get it working w/oracle)
6. Failover support in SQL is much, much easier
7. JDBC support is much better in Oracle, although Microsoft is working on it
8. ODBC support in both
9. SQL is ANSI-SQL '92 compliant, making it easier to convert to another ANSI compliant database, theoretically anyway (truth is every database has proprietary extensions). Oracle is generally more proprietary and their main goal is to keep their customers locked-in.
10. SQL natively supports ODBC, OLEDB, XML, XML Query, XML updates. Oracle natively supports proprietary connections, JDBC. Not sure about XML support though. 11. SQL Server is much easier to administrate, with GUI and command- line tools. Most of Oracle is command-line (Back in SQL 6.5 days I had a customer who was so proud that after a day's worth of work he had managed to script his database. I showed him how it was a 3 click operation in SQL ;-)
12. Oracle requires add-ons for transaction monitors, failover, etc. SQL has COM+, uses NT clustering and generally has everything built-in
13. SQL Analysis Services is included (A very powerful OLAP server). For Oracle it is a separate purchase.
14. Locking and concurrency SQL Server has no multi-version consistency model, which means that "writers block readers and readers block writers" to ensure data integrity. In contrast, with Oracle, the rule is "readers don't block writers and writers don't block readers." This is possible without compromising data integrity because Oracle will dynamically re-create a read-consistent image for a reader of any requested data that has been changed but not yet committed. In other words, the reader will see the data as it was before the writer began changing it (until the writer commits). SQL Server's locking scheme is much simpler (less mature) and will result in a lot of delays/waits in a heavy OLTP environment. Also, SQL Server will escalate row locks to page level locks when too many rows on a page are locked. This locks rows which are uninvolved in any updates for no good reason.

Performance and tuning

a. In SQL Server, the DBA has no "real" control over sorting and cache memory allocation. The memory allocation is decided only globally in the server properties memory folder, and that applies for ALL memory and not CACHING, SORTING, etc.
b. All pages (blocks) are always 8k and all extents are always 8 pages (64k). This means you have no way to specify larger extents to ensure contiguous space for large objects.
c. No range partioning of large tables and indexes. In Oracle, a large 100 GB table can be seamlessly partitioned at the database level into range partitions. For example, an invoice table can be partitioned into monthly partitions. Such partitioned tables and partitioned indexes give performance and maintenance benefits and are transparent to the application.
d. There is no partitioning in SQL Server.
e. There are no bitmap indexes in SQL Server.
f. There are no reverse key indexes in SQL Server.
g. There are no function-based indexes in SQL Server.
h. There is no star query optimization in SQL Server.

Object types
Here are some object types missing in SQL Server that exist in Oracle. a. You cannot declare public or private synonyms. b. There is no such thing as independent sequence objects. c. There are no packages; i.e., collections of procedures and functions. d. No "before" event triggers (only "after" event triggers) and no row triggers (only statement)

- Stored procedure plans are indeed retained in a compiled state, it is blatantly false to say that they are recompiled every time - Statistics are much easier to manage in SQL, but you can get far more fine-grained control in Oracle - Generally speaking, SQL query optimizer is far far more reliable in SQL; query hints are used rarely, if ever. That said, every database will have at least some optimizer glitches, and it is up to the database developer to discover and fix them (usually with hints) - Generally testing performance is easy in SQL, with easily accessible query plans and statistics. These can be obtained from Oracle but are much more challenging.

very different concurrency model between SQL and Oracle. Oracle operates against point-in-time(log) snapshots of the data (using SCNs), but acquires those on demand. Therefore readers never block. In SQL, you have more choices of isolation/concurrency, but the more aggressive settings will have writers block readers, and the most aggressive can have readers block writers. In classic RDBMS this is not too bad - but in complex deep relations such as OORDBMS-over-RDBMS or other object-graph storage solutions, deadlocks can really hurt your project unless you can scale some queries back to Read Committed isolation level.

Oracle will not index null values (for compound indexes, that means all values null produces no entry).
SQL will index all rows.
On Oracle this can be an advantage for large tables where columns are often null but you want to find the non-null values quickly; but is a terrible disadvantage if you need to find null values (it produces a table scan).
On SQL sometimes you wish you could ignore nulls (but I believe they dropped that option long ago); but you almost never get surprised by those nasty table scans.

The following table addresses the most frequently asked questions (FAQ), related to migrating from Oracle to SQL Server. This is list is by no means complete and will be updated periodically.
Oracle SQL Server More Information
%TYPE data type No equivalent The %TYPE data type of Oracle, lets you create a variable and have that variable's data type be defined by a table or view column or a PL/SQL package variable.

There is no equivalent for Oracle's %TYPE datatype in T-SQL, but it can be simulated (not very conveniently though) using User Defined Data types (UDT). Here is an example:

EXEC sp_addtype 'MyType', 'smallint', NULL

CREATE TABLE MyTable (i MyType)

BEFORE triggers INSTEAD OF triggers Use INSTEAD OF trigger in SQL Server as an equivalent to Oracle's BEFORE trigger.

For more information on INSTEAD OF triggers, see SQL Server Books Online
DECODE() function CASE expression DECODE can be conveniently simulated using the T-SQL CASE expression. Here's an example:

CASE Sport
WHEN 'Cricket' THEN 'England'
WHEN 'Hockey' THEN 'India'
WHEN 'Base Ball' THEN 'America'
END AS 'Originating Country'
FROM Sports
DESCRIBE sp_help or sp_columns There are a lot of alternatives for Oracle's DESCRIBE, in SQL Server. You could use the system stored procedure sp_help for detailed information about a table's columns and other properties.

If sp_help is providing you with too much information, then try the ODBC catalog stored procedure, sp_columns.

There are a bunch of other useful sp_help* stored procedures available in SQL Server. You can find more information about those in SQL Server Books Online.

If none of those procedures are suitable for your requirements, then you could query the system view INFORMATION_SCHEMA.COLUMNS, to get the desired information. You could wrap your code inside a stored procedure named DESCRIBE, if you wish.

As a last resort, you could even query system tables like sysobjects and syscolumns, but this is not a recommended approach.
DUAL table No equivalent There is no DUAL table in SQL Server. In fact, you don't need one in SQL Server, as you can have a SELECT statement without a FROM clause.

For example, consider the following SELECT statement in Oracle:

SELECT 'Something'

In SQL Server, the same result can be obtained by the following command:

SELECT 'Something'

If you are porting some code from Oracle into SQL Server and if you don't want to remove all references to DUAL table, then just create a DUAL table in your database using the following commands:

DUMMY varchar(1)

INTERSECT operator Not supported Use EXISTS clause to generate the same result.

The following example illustrates the simulation of Oracle's INTERSECT operator:

SELECT OrderID, OrderDate
FROM Orders O
FROM RefundsTable R
WHERE O.OrderID = R.OrderID
MINUS operator Not supported Use NOT EXISTS clause in your SELECT statement to generate the same result.

The following example illustrates the simulation of Oracle's MINUS operator:

SELECT OrderID, OrderDate
FROM Orders O
FROM RefundsTable R
WHERE O.OrderID = R.OrderID
Nested tables Not supported Oracle 8i and prior versions didn't support this feature and is introduced in Oracle 9i. This feature basically enables you to store a table, within a column. It is like having an array of records in your database columns.

SQL Server has no concept of nested tables.

As a workaround, You could store your sub-tables or child tables in the form of XML inside a char, nchar, varchar, nvarchar, text or ntext type column, and parse it as needed, at runtime. See OPENXML, sp_xml_preparedocument, sp_xml_removedocument in SQL Server 2000 Books Online.

Another possible workaround would be to store comma separated values (CSV).

Note that this is against the basic rules of normalization. Columns are nomore atomic, with nested tables.

From a design point of view, best thing to do would be, to create different tables for representing different entities and link them with primary and foreign key relationships. This will also make searching easier.
Oracle SQL Server :-)
Packages Not supported No equivalent in SQL Server for Oracle's Packages and Package variables concept
PL/SQL T-SQL Every database product implements and extends the standard SQL. Oracle's implementation of SQL is called PL/SQL, while Microsoft's is called T-SQL (Transact-SQL)
Row level security No equivalent Though there is no inbuilt support in SQL Server for row level permissions, you can implement it using view and system functions.

For more information and a working example, read this article:

Implementing row level permissions/security in SQL Server databases

rownum pseudo column No equivalent Though there is no rownum or rowid in SQL Server, there are several ways in which a row number can be generated.

For some examples, read this article:

Q186133 INF: How to Dynamically Number Rows in a Select Statement

SELECT...FOR UPDATE UPDLOCK hint Use the locking hint UPDLOCK in your SELECT statement.

See SQL Server Books Online for more information.
Sequences IDENTITY It is much simpler in SQL Server to generate a sequence value for a primary key or a non-key column.

You just need to turn on the IDENTITY property of column. IDENTITY property can be set to columns of the following data types: tinyint, smallint, int, bigint, decimal, numeric

Try this example to see how it works:

i int IDENTITY(1, 1)
j int

INSERT INTO foo (j) VALUES (911)
INSERT INTO foo (j) VALUES (999)
SQL *Plus Query Analyzer For connecting to SQL Server and executing queries and modifying data, use the built-in Query Analyzer. It is much more powerful and friendlier than Oracle's SQL *Plus
START WITH...CONNECT BY clause No equivalent Though there's no direct equivalent in T-SQL for Oracle's START WITH...CONNECT BY, there are several ways and efficient techniques for processing and querying hierarcical data.

For more information, read this article:

Working with hierarchical data in SQL Server databases

Synonym Views You can simulate Oracle Synonyms in SQL Server using Views. For example, the following creates a view that returns the OrderID and OrderDate from Orders table.

SELECT OrderID, OrderDate
FROM Orders

Now you can select data from the view, using the following SELECT statement:


The following example will create a view which is equivalent to Oracles TABS synonym or USER_TABLES data dictionary view (For simplicity, I am only including the table name in the view definition):

SELECT name AS table_name
FROM sysobjects
WHERE type = 'U'

Now you can execute the following SELECT statement to return all user table names:

SELECT table_name

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