I'm looking for opinions on what web db options would be best for a person who primarily works in Oracle. I assume the cost of Oracle would make finding an affordable host impossible...and I haven't found one yet during my searches. That leaves me with Access, MySQL, MS SQL and PostgreSQL options.
I currently utilize a lot of views, sub queries (...and unions, joins), stored procedures, triggers and transactions (roll back, commit) in Oracle at my job (I work on enterprise applications, most are not for websites though). I'd like to use many of these same options but I understand that the typical web db options listed above do not offer all of these. I've spent a bit of time research each and about as near as I can tell, PostgreSQL seems to be the closest to Oracle however, not many providers include ProstgreSQL (I don't understand the reason? Is it slow or does it require too many server resources?). MySQL doesn't seem to provide most of what I am looking for. I haven't spent much time researching MS SQL but I would assume many of the features I need are available (is MS SQL the same as Microsoft SQL Server? How come versions are frequently not listed in the hosts' offers?).
Any opinions are appreciated. FYI, my primary site coding of choice will be PHP but may also include ASP. My sites are low traffic so my ability to pick up and use the db is of greater importance than it's performance unless there are obvious and serious performance issues with one of the options.
I agree that PostgreSQL is the closest to a commercial database. It contains all of the "real" database features. MySQL, especially the versions that are common (3.x), does not allow for the very common database related things you are used to.
The reason that you can't find as many PostgreSQL hosting companies is that the vast majority of hosting providers would not understand what first normal form is if it bit them in the rear. There is a bias towards doing everything in code which goes against portabilty and is simply reinventing the wheel. Before I went to a dedicated server I hosted with multiple companies that had PostgreSQL. Now I run PostgreSQL and Tomcat on my server.
If you Google for web hosting providers that offer PostgreSQL you'll find that they are out there. They are not as common nor as cheap but a good database design waits for you...