The technology used in SQL Server is not even closely related to what Oracle uses. Oracle uses a rules based engine which means you have to spend an inordinate amount of time feeding it query hints, etc. SQL Server uses a very advanced querying algorithm where it will do most of this work for you. You simply spend your time designing your database, determining the indexes you need, and leave it up to the engine to provide the data to you in the most efficient manner. Second guessing Oracle by using hints can yield very impressive performance gains. Second guessing SQL Server by using hints will very rarely improve performance and in many cases will hurt performance.
Text and image data in a SQL Server 6.5 database is not a very stable combination. I would suggest getting that stuff out of 6.5 and moving it to either 7.0 or 2000 and then taking advantage of the built in full text indexing. The benefits to upgrading from 6.5 to 7.0 are extremely large and very well documented .
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