SQL Server Review

A scalable and easy-to-deploy solution that secures our data, saves time, and just runs

What is our primary use case?

It is used for the backend database for our ERP system and the document management system. We are using its latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

It saves time. Our data is also a lot more secure. Prior to SQL Server, things were run in a flat-file database that required a ton more maintenance to keep it running. SQL Server is pretty much bulletproof. It just runs.

What is most valuable?

The management studio is probably the thing we use the most for running quick queries and creating quick reports. Quite often, somebody comes and says, "Hey, can you find XYZ?" It is so much easier just to jump in there and run a quick query.

What needs improvement?

They can build more performance-tuning tools in it. They can also make the stuff a little more user-friendly and provide the ability to schedule jobs.

They can perhaps also streamline it a little bit so that it is not so resource-intensive, which would be helpful. SQL Server has a tendency to consume all the memory you allow it to. If you are not careful, you can basically break your server. I would like to see it having a smaller footprint in terms of system resource consumption. 

They might want to consider re-evaluating their pricing. It is expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for 12 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is pretty much bulletproof. We never had data corruption and database failure. We've had hardware failures, but that's not the fault of the software.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable, and you don't run into indexing issues like you would with a flat file. I don't think we've even scratched the surface in terms of its capabilities. Our databases are fairly small in comparison to others in our industry who are using the same software. 

We've got about 40 users using it, and primarily, they don't touch the database directly. They're just using it through ERP and our document management system. They are just non-IT employees. They are office users.

We're using it fairly extensively for the core of our business software, and we will likely increase the usage of it. We've got some projects in the hopper that will take advantage of SQL Server. So, we plan on increasing our usage of it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't have the need to contact Microsoft support.

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

We haven't used any other solution prior to SQL Server. It was just a flat-file.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. It basically walks you through the process. It took a couple of hours.

What about the implementation team?

Initially, we used a consultant to set up our ERP system, but that was 12 years ago. Since then, we've upgraded it several times, and that was done in-house. Our experience with the consultant was overall positive.

For its maintenance, we are a department of two.

What was our ROI?

We have definitely seen a return on investment when it comes to SQL Server.

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

It is expensive, especially when you have open-source products that are just about as functional and they're free. They might want to consider re-evaluating their pricing.

We purchased it in retail. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000. There is just the standard licensing fee. If they migrate this product the way they're trying to do everything else, eventually, it is going to be subscription-based, which is going to suck, but that's the way the industry is going, so it is what it is.

What other advice do I have?

If you've never done it before, Microsoft has plenty of documentation and online guides to walk you through it. Just take your time, and follow the steps. If you can do it in a virtual environment, it is better because it is easier to start over if you mess it up, but it is fairly user-friendly. If you have questions during the setup, stop and Google it. The information is out there.

I would rate SQL Server an eight out of ten because there is always room for improvement.

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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