SQL server is available in several versions.
Enterprise Edition includes the complete set of SQL Server data management
and analysis features and is uniquely characterized by several features that
make it the most scalable and available edition of SQL Server 2000. It scales to
the performance levels required to support the largest Web sites, Enterprise
Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) systems and Data Warehousing systems. Its
support for fail over clustering also makes it ideal for any mission critical
line-of-business application. Additionally, this edition includes several
advanced analysis features that are not included in SQL Server 2000 Standard
There are four main areas in which the additional features of SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Edition are most evident:
Ms SQL Server 2000 allows different types of resources to be locked by transactions. SQL Server locks resources automatically at a level appropriate to the task. SQl Server can lock rows, Extents, tables and databases. There are also different locking modes that determine how the records are locked. Shared lock is used for operations that do not change or update data. Update locks for updates, Exclusive locks for data modifications, etc.
There is an excellent review of both the databases OLAP feature on 'http://www.microsoft.com/sql/evaluation/compare/DSSOLAP.doc' site. The site compares features offered by Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services, Service Pack 1 and Oracle Express 6.3.0 for an OLAP system based on a relational data warehouse.
One of the points made in the review is that It took less than a-day-and-a-half to create all of the dimensions, cubes, attributes, and calculations for SQL Server 7.0 OLAP Services compared to the five days to design and implement equivalent structures in Oracle Express.'
With the above comment one can easily understand which is more user friendly and cost efficient.
'The review was on a Microsoft site.'