How has it helped my organization?
It allows me to obtain access to data that I would not otherwise obtain access to from different programs. It has helped pull statistics and data, then put it into a report form to do some Power BI on it. This really helps people above me to view what we are doing, how we are doing it, and how to improve it.
Overall, it just makes your job simpler.
What is most valuable?
- Ease of installation.
- Ease of creating your databases.
- Ease of changing what your databases look like when you need to.
- Creating tables is simple.
- They have lots of different options that you can use for the fields within the tables.
It is a simple query language. It is consistent across all versions. If you start with an older version, move to the newer version. The same code will still work.
It can go easily on a virtual machine and be accommodated by a virtual machine easily. That is a plus, as not all databases can handle that. It also will do clustering, so you can have two database servers looking at the same data simultaneously.
You can always access the data. You could have an offsite and an onsite, and if the onsite goes down, the offsite picks it up. I like that flexibility to provide continuing operations.
What needs improvement?
Right now, the tool you use to query the system updates every month. It pesters you to update the Client every month when there is nothing new that you really need to add, but it is constantly pestering you. I do not care for it.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I have no problems with stability at all, even when they are clustered.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability depends on the version. I have to know ahead of time what version I need, but that is typical of all database software. However, as long as I build it correctly, it works great.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have not had support for the SQL Server product.
This is Microsoft, so you just buy a ticket and they will just work with you until it is fixed. However, I have not had any issues where I needed to contact them.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used MySQL, because it is a free product. It was just hard to operate, do backups, and make automated. Also, it was not scalable.
How was the initial setup?
Initial setup is real simple. Just install it. Though, I recommend for new users to at least look online for training or a manual.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It has the easiest licensing.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We are a Microsoft shop, so we use Active Directory. That integrates well with this product, but we did look at Oracle. We also looked at IBM. This was the best price point for us for what we were getting.