SQL Server Review

Provides data quality services tools and In-Memory OLTP tables.

What is most valuable?

SQL Server integration services tools

Data quality services tools

Master data services tools

SQL Server reporting services tools

Data partitioning (horizontal partitioning) tools

ColumnStore indexes

In-memory OLTP tables

How has it helped my organization?

We design and implement data warehouse solutions with SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition tools. This solution has:

Given us high levels of productivity

Allowed us to use an agile approach to the design and implementation of data warehouse solutions for our customers

Given us a competitive advantage in our market

What needs improvement?

We do not have much to complain about SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition in itself.

We do have some complaints regarding licensing. In an emerging market like Argentina, it is very steep for our customers to pay USD 28,000 or more on licensing for an instance of SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition. This poses a limiting factor to our growth.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition for a few months so far. We have been using the previous version (SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition) for more than two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We did not encounter any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not encounter any scalability issues. This is the case even though the Developers Edition does not offer the same level of performance and scalability that the equivalent Enterprise Edition offers.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

As usual, Microsoft offers very good customer service. The amount of resources (self-study materials, online courses, and tutorials) is huge and most of it is free. Paid customer service is also very good.

Technical Support:

Paid technical support is very good and efficient.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I have used data warehouse tools from Microsoft since SQL Server 2000.

How was the initial setup?

If you do the proper training prior to the setup, there will be no issues. However, the learning curve is wide and tall.

You could get started fast and sure if you stick to the many wizards included with the tools. However, the scope of those said wizards is limited.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented with an in-house team only, with proper, prior training that was also done in-house.

What was our ROI?

Since SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition, Microsoft has been offering these tools free of charge. The ROI is mainly focused around training investment. We do the training in-house, so the ROI is around one year.

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

We have no issues with pricing and licensing for SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, as it is free of charge. The thorny issue is with pricing and licensing with customers.

We do our best to design data warehouse solutions that can cover requirements from our customers within the capabilities of SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The cost-benefit ratio offered by Microsoft's data warehouse solutions is, by a long shot, much more convenient for our customers, small and medium sized companies, than solutions from other vendors.

What other advice do I have?

My advice is focused on companies that develop and offer data warehouse solutions for customers that use SQL Server. Consider the ROI, which is mostly training investment (for the Developer Edition). If training is not done in-house, only hire training from an official Microsoft training center in your region. Look for the best training center. Once you are done with the training, you can start taking customers for data warehouse projects.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 visitor found this review helpful
IT - Server Administration with 501-1,000 employeesReal UserTOP 20

Excellent review - concise and easy to read. Your thoughts on "proper, prior training" and advice on using official Microsoft training are right on. Too often in the medium, non-technical company I work for, the technical training is skipped in favor of "Google" and all of those articles you mention. I've not implemented a data warehouse in any version of MSSQL without consulting services but will consider it in the future.

28 March 17
Gaston NusimovichReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

@KathyC, I really appreciate your thoughtful remarks on my review. Feedback is always welcome, as it helps all reviewers to focus on what is important to our peers.

Kind regards, GEN

28 March 17
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