What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case for this product is as a transaction database and for the provision of rational data through the application-based server. The main application of my current organization is pointing towards the SQL server database and some servers which are later used for data warehousing. So mainly we use it for transaction data and data warehousing. I'm the assistant manager and data administrator, and we are customers of SQL.
What is most valuable?
Security is obviously the most valuable feature because I can provide certain logins for a particular level of security and I can provide specific permissions for certain logins. That's a very good feature. I like the user interface as well, it's easy to use. The SSMS Management Studio, which we use to do some work in database file query is a recent feature from 2018 and the SSMS is quite good. It has many features and it also shows the query statistics which I was not getting previously. The other feature I like is the query store which helped me a lot to analyze the data getting hit on the database.
What needs improvement?
I'd like to see a simplification of the query optimizer and feel that SQL needs to look into the internal processing of the query because the query optimizer sometimes uses a different query plan, which we don't expect. It is similar to the triggers they have which are used after execution and not before. For example, if I'm running a query, my trigger will be run after the query has executed although I sometimes need the trigger before execution. That's a feature not supported by the product.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using this solution for four years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is quite scalable compared to other data engines and the latest version has increased support for new technologies, like Python and other languages. It's a big improvement on the previous version. We have 30 to 40 SQL servers installed and they're used for different different applications; internal applications, client applications as well as for ETA tools and reporting purpose. We probably have up to 200 users querying the SQL server of the product on a daily basis.
How are customer service and technical support?
I'm satisfied with the technical support. Whenever a call is raised to Microsoft they see to it that all our questions are answered properly and in a timely manner. It doesn't take long for things to be resolved.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is very straightforward, just like any typical software where you just click next, next, next, next. You just need to know your environment properly and which exact features you need to install. Deployment takes max one to two hours to install on-premises. Depending on the environment and whether or not you're installing any cluster environment, it will take a couple of hours. To deploy a stand-alone SQL server doesn't take much time.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend this solution, particularly for OLTP purposes, the transactional data purpose rather than for warehousing. For data warehousing I think there are better solutions but for the transaction data, for application purposes, SQL Server great.
I would rate this solution a nine out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?