SQL Server Review

A stable and scalable relational database management system

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to analyze the profitability of sales.

Within our organization, there are roughly 30 people using the analysis services solution from the Business Intelligence side.

What is most valuable?

The performance can be great. Tuning and understanding SSAS is not straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The issue is that Microsoft is not really supporting the Multi Dimensional Analysis Services feature any longer and it's looking very obsolete. We're looking at replacing it.

SSAS-MD is difficult to make changes. It's a very complicated product in general — that's the issue. It is too complicated for most. It's too difficult to change. It's too difficult!

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for more than 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This particular product is quite stable. We've not had any particular problems. We've had problems with Microsoft Excel recently, but Analysis Services has been quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's quite good. It's not scalable up to the big data type of thing that people are doing now. It's scalable up to a point, but it has been overtaken by newer products.

How are customer service and technical support?

We try and avoid calling Microsoft support, generally. That's the truth. We've tried getting support for other products like Power BI — support is an issue.

They're changing their products and they're not stable enough. Analysis Services has been okay, but some of their other products, like Excel and Power BI, are not stable.

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

We're looking at alternative solutions because we think Microsoft's licensing costs have been expensive and multidimensional cubes have been overtaken by other technologies such as in-memory databases and products like Snowflake.

We're looking for a solution that allows us to pay by usage rather than pay by the number of users. We don't want to pay for hardware capacity that we rarely use. I'm looking at several products, including Snowflake, that bill by how much we use the product. I'm not sure if Microsoft is on board with that yet. I was also looking at Qlik — they do a commercial model that is paid by the amount of time. I think paying per usage is a rising trend at the moment.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give SQL Server a rating of nine. It's generally a good product.

If you're interested in using this solution, my advice is to do your research. It's a good product, but there are other products available.

One of the biggest issues that I have with Microsoft is that they change their products and don't continue to support the old product. We've got some things in Microsoft Excel that are no longer supported. They bring out a new model and they drop support for some of the older features.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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