Eli5: Why do companies use the products of Oracle to store information, when they can just use spreadsheets like Excel, or make their own spreadsheet software?


I just can’t seem to comprehend how Oracle can be so wealthy off of making a database when it’s theoretically easy for a company to store its own information.

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Because why bother? Why bother paying your own employees to maintain or develop such things, and have them work across software versions and updates that may or may not be in their control. If you can pay a company for the convenience of not having to worry about it, then do it. Same reason most of these companies are profitable over these types of services. It’s cheaper and easier to have your own folks maintain and store it. It’s not just Oracle either. They in turn use other services to store and manage their software stack. Cloud companies like GCP, AWS, and Azure make billions and billions by providing software/infrastructure as a service.

If you’ve ever dealt with a huge Excel file, you will see how slow it gets, especially if you have loads of complex formulas.

There are of course many other reasons, but just being able to access the data quickly is important.

To begin with, databases are not spreadsheets. Very different things. Also it takes time, effort and money to develop any software. So using a proven off-the-shelf product usually makes a lot of sense.

Excel is not a database program and should not be used as one.

You can force it to do whatever you want but it won’t be good at it. They sell Access if you want a database program

Databases are far far more efficient at storing and more importantly, quickly accessing information

Making your own database and making a database that runs well and isn’t riddled with security issues are two very different things. People pay Amazon/Microsoft/Oracle/Apache/etc to buy a database software that is more efficient and secure than they could make for the same cost

When there’s a lot of data to be stored and sorted, it can get quite tedious for many companies. Oracle simply makes storing information more efficient and time saving, especially for larger companies.