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Ryan Cerney
Principal JDE Business Analyst at a manufacturing company with 201-500 employees
Real User
It's working great for us with availability groups, columnstore indexes, and other features
Pros and Cons
  • "I like the availability group functionality. We are setting up more clusters using availability groups. The enterprise licensing or Software Assurance makes it a little bit cheaper as well. It is nice to have that read-only copy for reporting and everything else."
  • "On the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) side, I have noticed more bugs in terms of being able to connect to our SQL servers. I can't tell how many times my recent server list got dropped or cleaned out. It is a pain, and it would be nice to have that recent connect list when you connect in. For whatever reason, once in a while, I get a hard error, and it'll close. When I go back in, everything is cleared out. It is annoying when you are working with more than a hundred database instances."

What is our primary use case?

All of our .NET applications and some of our third-party applications require a single server database, AutoCAD, and things like that. Our custom apps are the largest estate of databases.

In our production environments, we're on version 17. I've worked with the most recent version but not in a production environment. 

What is most valuable?

I like the availability group functionality. We are setting up more clusters using availability groups. The enterprise licensing or Software Assurance makes it a little bit cheaper as well. It is nice to have that read-only copy for reporting and everything else.

They've been adding a lot of great functionality such as columnstore indexes to improve the way indexes are rebuilt and to be able to do online index rebuilds. All those are great features.

What needs improvement?

On the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) side, I have noticed more bugs in terms of being able to connect to our SQL servers. I can't tell how many times my recent server list got dropped or cleaned out. It is a pain, and it would be nice to have that recent connect list when you connect in. For whatever reason, once in a while, I get a hard error, and it'll close. When I go back in, everything is cleared out. It is annoying when you are working with more than a hundred database instances.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this solution for probably 18 years.

How was the initial setup?

Everything is pretty much scripted out, so it is pretty straightforward for us. 

What other advice do I have?

They've been adding a lot of great functionality, and hopefully, they continue down that path. We don't use a lot of the more advanced features at this point, but for what we're doing right now, it's working really great with availability groups and other features. 

Its usability has gotten a lot better after version 14. There were a lot of great updates after version 14 for SQL or query performance with the engine.

I would rate it an eight out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Project manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
A good choice in terms of price and quality, good speed, and good user interface
Pros and Cons
  • "Its speed and the ease of server management are valuable. If I compare Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL, what I like in Microsoft SQL Server is the speed. We are using Microsoft Management Studio for managing our Microsoft SQL Server, and the user interface that I get to work with is also better."
  • "There should be more tools and documentation for tuning the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. It would be nice to have more tools for tuning because currently, all the tuning that we have to do with our databases is almost manual. We have to read a bunch of knowledge base articles, and this information should be better documented. Its free text search should also be improved. It is quite important for us. Currently, we're developing our own free text search because of the lacking flexibility in Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, we're kind of using elastic search and making different implementations in order to reach our targets. Using just the native free text search of Microsoft SQL Server is not enough for us. It should have more flexible features as compared to the current version."

What is most valuable?

Its speed and the ease of server management are valuable. If I compare Microsoft SQL Server to MySQL, what I like in Microsoft SQL Server is the speed. We are using Microsoft Management Studio for managing our Microsoft SQL Server, and the user interface that I get to work with is also better.

What needs improvement?

There should be more tools and documentation for tuning the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. It would be nice to have more tools for tuning because currently, all the tuning that we have to do with our databases is almost manual. We have to read a bunch of knowledge base articles, and this information should be better documented.

Its free text search should also be improved. It is quite important for us. Currently, we're developing our own free text search because of the lacking flexibility in Microsoft SQL Server. Therefore, we're kind of using elastic search and making different implementations in order to reach our targets. Using just the native free text search of Microsoft SQL Server is not enough for us. It should have more flexible features as compared to the current version.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than 15 years. Our clients are using its multiple versions, starting from SQL Server 2012.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In general, it is scalable, but we are only using the single-server mode. We are not using any kind of clustering. Therefore, I cannot say anything from my personal experience about the scalability of Microsoft SQL Server.

How are customer service and technical support?

I do not have any experience with Microsoft support. We either use in-house knowledge professionals or third-parties for consulting services.

How was the initial setup?

Its initial setup is quite straightforward. A major upgrade is a bit more complicated. We had some issues with the upgrade.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. It is a good choice in terms of price and quality.

I would rate Microsoft SQL Server an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about SQL Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
563,208 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Founder and Managing Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 10
Feature-rich databases and user-friendly interface
Pros and Cons
  • "SQL Server's Management Studio is very user friendly. I like their database and the additional features it offers. It's also easy to integrate SQL Server with things like CLR, PowerShell, and command shell"
  • "I would like to see SQL Server add the ability to write to multiple sites or support replication between multiple sites at the transaction level."

What is our primary use case?

SQL Server can be useful for a lot of businesses and enterprise solutions. SQL Server is very powerful and useful when you need to store, retrieve, process, and analyze a large amount of data. In my organization, almost everyone uses SQL Server. That's about 10 people using it.

What is most valuable?

SQL Server's Management Studio is very user-friendly. I like their database and the additional features it offers. It's also easy to integrate SQL Server with things like CLR, PowerShell, and command shell

What needs improvement?

I would like to see SQL Server add the ability to write to multiple sites or support replication between multiple sites at the transaction level. If we can have data available on multiple sites as quickly as possible, that would be a great feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using SQL Server for around 10 years. I have 30 years of experience in the IT industry. In that time, I have worked on different kinds of databases, such as Oracle. Before that, I worked on FoxPro. I have also worked with PostgreSQL.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's absolutely scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Our clients are the end-users of the SQL Server applications, and we do all the development and maintenance for them. So anything related to support, our clients take care of it.

How was the initial setup?

I work on the development and performance-tuning side, so I don't do the installation but my guess would be that it is pretty straightforward by now. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am not aware of the cost because our clients take care of them, but I think there are enterprise licenses. If you go for Azure Cloud databases, then you just can pay as you go.

What other advice do I have?

SQL Server is my favorite database. Because I've been working on it for so many years, I like it. I have only good things to say about it. I would rate SQL Server nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Data Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to manage, stable and scalable, and has backup and recovery tools
Pros and Cons
  • "It is easy to manage for the administrator. It is also easy to use for applications that are Windows-based. It is a very stable product, and it has got backup and recovery tools."
  • "Its security can be improved. When you look at the Windows environment, it isn't the most secure environment. It is exposed to so many attacks. They continuously need to improve the security of the platform on which it sits."

What is our primary use case?

SQL Server is used as database software. People who are using .NET and Windows-oriented tools prefer SQL Server.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to manage for the administrator. It is also easy to use for applications that are Windows-based.

It is a very stable product, and it has got backup and recovery tools.

What needs improvement?

Its security can be improved. When you look at the Windows environment, it isn't the most secure environment. It is exposed to so many attacks. They continuously need to improve the security of the platform on which it sits.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for more than ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty scalable. You can scale your machine and nodes. Instead of using just one node or one server, you can use multiple servers and then cluster them together for failover and performance. You can also do replication across sites. Currently, we have around 50 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have got support from Microsoft. They are very quick at resolving issues. They are quite good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using different products. 

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install. It might take 20 or 30 minutes to install.

What about the implementation team?

I installed it myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Its price is fine. You have to buy the license and support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared it with Oracle and MySQL. We got a lot of dev inputs, and we also looked at the vendors supplying the solutions. We found SQL Server to be the best and chose it because of the vendor.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others. We would definitely keep on using this solution.

I would rate SQL Server an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Domain architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Rich feature sets, business oriented, and reliable
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is easy to use, has rich feature sets, and is business-oriented."
  • "They could improve the solution by allowing more portability between on-premise and the cloud."

What is our primary use case?

There are many applications between Microsoft and SQL. Most are in the legacy direction, but some are more modern databases with those application requirements. We have used it for multi-purposes such as back-office products applications and cloud office environments.

What is most valuable?

The solution is easy to use, has rich feature sets, and is business-oriented. 

What needs improvement?

They could improve the solution by allowing more portability between on-premise and the cloud.

More improvements can be brought around hyper-threading. Like we see in work engines of hyper-threading. It is very complex in terms of the way they do it. If it was via CPU or something else, it would be much easier.

In a future release, they could improve by expanding their form base capabilities.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have found the solution to be very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is good for the solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Oracle and DB2 in the past.

How was the initial setup?

Initially, the installation took a while. We have started deploying configurations that are now standardized. We have automated it, but it can still be problematic. For the most part, the installation is now quite easy. Additionally, The way they have many configurable parameters that influence performance is in a way problematic.

What about the implementation team?

We did the deployment of the solution and we have a team of 15 people doing the deployment and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licenses are really expensive. Their licensing model should be more simplistic.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others and we plan to keep using it in the future.

I rate SQL Server a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Rafael Keller
IT Manager at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good technical support, easy to set up, and the documentation is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "The documentation and manuals are very good."
  • "I would like to have the option to use fewer processors for certain tasks, thus reducing the licensing fee."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use is to maintain my database client.

What is most valuable?

What I like best about this product is the environment.

The documentation and manuals are very good.

What needs improvement?

The pricing could be improved.

I would like to have the option to use fewer processors for certain tasks, thus reducing the licensing fee. That would be great.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with SQL Server for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I use SQL Server on a daily basis.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is not very good because when you add processors to the machine, the price of the license goes up. Scaling is very expensive. We have approximately 500 people who are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used the Oracle Database prior to SQL Server.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is simple and the deployment took one day.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance with our deployment and the experience was very good.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is an expensive product, especially when you need two servers, or for enterprise solutions. We pay approximately $12,000 USD per month for both the server and the license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At this time, all of my applications are running on SQL Server. However, in the future, if the application can be migrated to Oracle or another database then I may do that because SQL Server is very expensive.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good product, although my advice is that if a company can afford it then they should use Oracle instead.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MD.SIHAB TALUKDAR
System Engineer at a non-profit with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good system architecture but they need to implement load-balancing capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "SQL Server is a stable product."
  • "The number of concurrent users is too limited and other databases are better than SQL in this regard."

What is our primary use case?

We are currently developing our own business application and we are using SQL Server as the database. We deploy it as a .NET application and the webserver is IIS. The SQL is a three-node clustered system.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the system architecture.

What needs improvement?

The number of concurrent users is too limited and other databases are better than SQL in this regard.

There are limitations with load balancing.

We would like to see support for in-memory processing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SQL Server for more than seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

SQL Server is a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are the largest micro-credit finance company with more than thirty companies internally. We have 25,000 employees using the business application and SQL does not scale to our requirements.

I think that Oracle is better suited to smaller applications.

How are customer service and technical support?

The supporting sites are good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have also worked with SAP HANA.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up the database clustering is too complex.

Our current deployment has been ongoing for three years and it is not yet complete because our application is still being developed.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is handling the deployment.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are currently searching for other products to replace this one with.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering SQL Server is that it works well for small applications. However, large business applications that use a content delivery network or geographical location, it is not suitable for.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Head of Technical Support at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Integrates well, high performance, and provides many features
Pros and Cons
  • "SQL Server provides good performance. Most of the SQL solutions can be integrated and this solution is no different, you are able to link other databases. For example, we have Oracle running a Postgres Server and it is linked. It follows the ISO standard when it comes to commands, it works well."
  • "They could improve by adding the SQL format."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is part of the ERP that we have for application. We use it for many purposes, such as POS in-store cash registers for enterprise companies.

What is most valuable?

SQL Server provides good performance. Most of the SQL solutions can be integrated and this solution is no different, you are able to link other databases. For example, we have Oracle running a Postgres Server and it is linked. It follows the ISO standard when it comes to commands, it works well.

What needs improvement?

They could improve by adding the SQL format.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL Server for approximately eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable, I have not had any issue using it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good.

We have approximately 500 users using the POS.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have previously used IBM Informix, PostgresSQL, and Oracle Databases.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward and takes approximately 30 minutes. If you were to add more features the installation could take longer. For example, there are many features such as table partitioning allowing you to do queries faster, transferring data from one table to another, and performing quicker backups.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation ourselves. We have a team that does the maintenance for Windows Servers, Linux desktops, and Linux Servers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is a license required for servers and for the POS we use the free version. The free version allows you to have tables and a total database size of approximately 10 GB, which is enough for our requirements.

What other advice do I have?

This is an excellent solution when it comes to databases. I would recommend it to others.

I rate SQL Server a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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