Sunday, October 19, 2008

Progress, database from hell or bad technology

I have used in past solutions, IBM DB2, MS SQL, My SQL but using progress as suggested by our partner is turning out to be a nightmare.

It lacks the smarts to even know how to size itself or allow a business to grow without much pain and anguish.

If I get this wrong and you know Progress then please enlightening us, but either the technology is bad or my vendor is, their solution suggests the former.

in all experiences I am NOT the programmer or DBA, I am the mouth piece who has to explain to the people in suits in the corner office why this technology is causing us grief and we need more money.

My most recent project before this was using DB2 as the backend, so that becomes my main point of reference.

My Pain Points are as follows with this environment that we never had to deal with when we used DB2:

1) As I now know that when our vendor setup the database they have to specify a maximum size value, not great because you can't extend the database beyond that size without dumping and reloading the whole thing, Currently I have a 29GB database and that takes so long to update.

2) The database when created is also setup with variables for extents inside the database, the extents are created up to the maximum size specified.  Get too many extents and viola you are at maximum database size, hit the max and your database stops even though you have lots more disk it can use.

3) You need more than programmers to work in the environment, you need programmers who are inherent DBA's.  Great if your used to Oracle where you may have a team of database related skill sets to keep it going along with a massive chequebook to fund the licenses, but with DB2 you can use your programmer to write good code and the database handles so much more for everyone from sysadmin to DBA.

4) Tuning the database is 100% manual, no automated tools built in to assist you. That will cost me another $20K/yr to handle.

5) No tools to assist with and build index's, in DB2 that was very automated and the engine even helped with recommendations based upon constantly accessed pathways.

6) ODBC connectivity - what a shame, only JDBC out of the box and everything is $$$$

In short after some very serious six figure dollars I am disappointed in the enterprise class Progress database.  If you know more than me about this platform, lets talk as right now I love the application in this environment but the technology sucks.


Thanks for listening


  1. Hi Nigel,

    I found your blog post after I Googled for "How bad is a Progress database"!
    I am part way through a Progress DBA course today. My personal opinion of this software is low. I am amazed at how manual it all is. Its old technology. Its an expensive investment and you get locked into it. Its not suited to a 24/7 environment because of the maintenance needed. Why do developers use it instead of MS SQL, for example? Must be because they get big commission on the licenses they sell. This is all my personal opinion, of course.
    I wondered if your opinions had changed, further down the line. Are you still using Progress? Have you had to spend the $20k a year you mentioned? Did you hire a consultant as suggested?


  2. For anyone who may check out this post, yes I have had to stroke the cheque annually to keep this thing manually tuned. It is helping but at a cost of $20K/yr. That isn't smart IMHO.

  3. Hi, Progress SUCKS!!!

  4. progress = nightmare. development, support, maintenance, price, skills. All trash.


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