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The annual UK Oracle Users Group (UKOUG)survey reveals an overall increase in customer satisfaction and a big increase in the number of people taking part.

Ronan Miles, UKOUG chairman, said the biggest surprise was the size of the increase in respondents. He told The Reg: "We always get more people responding, but an increase of 80 per cent was surprising. I think it shows people realise that the survey has an effect on Oracle and gets taken to heart." Oracle will see the detailed comments made by users as well as the raw figures, he said.

Overall customer satisfaction increased 12 per cent. The number of "very happy" respondents fell slightly, but this was balanced out by a reduction in the number of "unhappy" users. There was an increase in responses from CRM customers and they too are more satisfied than last year.

Alan Hartwell, VP of Marketing for Oracle, UK & Ireland, said: "We greatly value the input of the UKOUG as it helps us understand customer experiences and perceptions, which enables us to focus on areas where we need to improve customer satisfaction. Overall, we are heartened by the increase in satisfaction levels from last year, particularly with the rise in confidence in our CRM and ERP applications and the perceived excellence of our core database products."

According to Miles, the Oracle community is starting to talk about Java - another sea change from last year. This was reflected in the survey and also in a noticeable increase in the number of Java-related papers submitted for the group's conference. Miles wants to see Java move more into the mainstream this year.

The survey found increasing sentiment that Oracle is becoming more expensive compared to SQL Server with several responses mentioning MySQL.

Miles welcomed a more human side to Oracle: members welcome using electronic channels of communication but there are big benefits to meeting face-to-face, he said.

The survey was answered by 503 UKOUG members. ®

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