When I switched from UNIX to Windows ten years ago, I became a big fan of Visual C++. I was happy to see today that Microsoft is making an Express version of the tool available for free, forever (it was originally intended to be free for a one-year trial period).

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/

They also are giving away a free version of SQL Server, which is good news for small websites. I’ve used the full version of SQL Server, and it is also remarkably easy to set up. And along with DB2 and Oracle, it is a serious product, not a slow buggy ersatz database system (you know who I’m talking about).

I was pleased to see that Daffodil has finally run the TPC-C benchmark on some of the free database systems ona 1.7 GHz PC. This is something the makers of these products have resisted for years, although until recently they have not really had the feature capabilities:

PostgreSQL – 62 transactions per minute
MySQL 5.0 – 483 tpm

On the TPC website, let’s see what the big boys do. On PC workstations:

MS SQL Server, 2.8 GHz Dell – 38,622 tpm
DB2 on HP Proliant – 18,661 tpm

And of course the professional systems are tuned for multiprocessor systems, where they go absolutely nuts:

IBM DB2 – 3,210,540 tpm
Oracle 10g – 1,601,784 tpm
MS SQL Server – 1,231,433 tpm

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