Teaching Oracle About Hypocrisy on Lock In

Executive Summary

  • Oracle resources have the nerve to talk about the “lock-in” of cloud service providers like AWS.
  • The problem with trying to explain hypocrisy to Oracle resources.


Oracle’s article titled Amazon and SAP Will Never Get Off the Oracle Database, and Why That’s Good News for Them, Matthew O’Keefe proposes that essentially these companies are locked into Oracle.

Companies Cannot Follow Through on Ditching Oracle?

“Periodically, companies like AWS and SAP that strategically compete with Oracle outside the database decide that they must remove Oracle’s technology from the technology stacks their customers routinely deploy. But after bold announcements are made and firm schedules set, the effort seems to drag on and on and never seems to run to completion. These huge firms with billion dollar R&D budgets seem to have incentives to replace Oracle, but can’t get it done. Why is that?”

Yes, the Oracle database has significant lock-in. But the assumption here is that it is because Oracle is so good. A substantial reason for the lock-in is because of the time making adjustments. This is why so few start-ups use the Oracle database.

Oracle’s Proposal on Lock-In

It is odd seeing Oracle crowing about companies not being able to migrate from the Oracle DB. Whether it is true or not.

Why is it odd?

Well, because just recently, I was told by someone from Oracle that I needed to be careful not to discuss AWS without discussing lock-in. However, the only example they could come up with was Aurora, which is locked into AWS. However, all the other RDS DBs are portable. I told him that people from Oracle should not be critiquing other offers for having lock-in because a) the lock is usually is much lower than Oracle’s lock-in, and b) Oracle’s strategy is highly based around lock-in. I try to explain the concept of hypocrisy to Oracle resources, which turns out to be a very challenging task.

However, the article quoted above is Oracle promoting how great it is that their customers are locked in.


Can Oracle please take a firm position? Is lock-in a good thing or a bad thing? Because it seems like the official position is the following:

  1. Lock-in is good if Oracle does it…
  2. ..but far less lock-in is bad if the vendor that does it is not Oracle.
  3. But then, if Oracle acquires that vendor, the lock-in automagically becomes a good thing again.

Does that all make sense?

Ok, good, because that is how Oracle resources tend to see the world. You have to see the world this way to work at Oracle. This means working for one of the top monopolist vendors globally, but at the same time pretending that Oracle competes for business in a free market. It means working for a company with the worst record of punishing customers with punitive audits that no other vendor performs but feeling good about that fact. It means saying stupid things like “HANA locks the database to the application” while knowing full well that all of Oracle’s applications mostly work on Oracle.

That is hypocrisy! It is now one of the most crucial exam questions at Oracle.

Only those with the highest level of hypocrisy are good fits for Oracle. You must be able to say (with a straight face) that..

“Hasso Plattner lies so much, it is great that Larry Ellison is so honest.”

If you can embrace your inner hypocrite, then Oracle is the right place to work.