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Mohamed_Farouk
Information Technology Manager at OrchidaSoft
Real User
Top 5
Reliable, easy to maintain, easy to develop, and easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "The performance of SQL Server is perfect."
  • "Security is an area that can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We develop software for another company. We mainly develop on-premises solutions.

We use this solution with our accounting ERP software. Our product is called Orchida ERP and we have many clients in Egypt who are using this software. Its database is SQL Server.

We mainly work in ERP. 

We currently have a small project in SharePoint for Microsoft, but 80% of our work is with Orchida ERP

We have our software with SQL server for 20 years. Our software will not work without SQL Server. 

We provide consultancy in installing this solution for our clients.

What is most valuable?

It is easy to maintain, and it's easy to set up.

It is also easy to develop. Overall, it's easy.

It can work with many different sizes of data, anywhere from 10 to 50 gigs of data.

The performance of SQL Server is perfect. It does not need to be enhanced.

What needs improvement?

If you work with more than 50 gigs of data, it will run slower than Oracle.

Security is an area that can be improved. It could be more secure; more security is needed.

We have some clients who have been exposed to the SQL injection virus. 

We would like SQL to be able to manage this problem or to come up with an alerting system to alert the user that the server has been exposed. This has become more of an issue because of the Corona Virus and people are working from home.

Some have been infected by the SQL injection Virus and will lose their data.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using  SQL Server for 20 years.

Most of our clients work with version 14 and version 19, which is the latest.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SQL Server is scalable. Our clients are medium-sized companies, not large. They don't have professional IT.

We have 20 people in our organization who are using this solution, but we have many clients who are using it. We sell our consultancy service to more than 200 clients every year.

How are customer service and technical support?

If we have any issues, we search Google and the internet to resolve them.

Our company has not used Microsoft Support. 

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

We have tried many versions of Oracle, including Oracle 11, Oracle 12, and the latest version, which is easy to maintain and similar to Microsoft.

Some of our clients are also using Express SQL. It is not good, but also not bad. If you have small amounts of data then it will meet the requirements.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. It is easy, you continuously click the next button until you are done.

It takes 20 to 25 minutes to install. There are no issues with the installation, it is very basic.

What about the implementation team?

We did not use an integrator, we have an in-house team to install and implement this solution.

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

Some of our clients purchase the license and others do not; they use Express SQL Server.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

One of our clients is using an SQL Server on Linux. We don't use it but it is a very interesting product. It's a good trend, the Linux environment has become a market share that is growing in Egypt.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it.

We can't compare this solution with other databases, as we do not have enough experience with other similar tools. 

Overall, SQL Server is good. I would rate SQL Server an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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DB
Sr Tech Business Analyst, Group Data Projects & Ventures at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable, flexible, and scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution seems to be pretty flexible."
  • "Due to the fact that I'm dealing with the product more as a data analyst, the SQL Server management studio is really relatively primitive compared to other more advanced tools."

What is our primary use case?

Currently, I'm moving to another set of projects. One is for a small company that supports a client and is building on a different surface on the SQL server. The cloud that is used is essentially Amazon AWS.

What is most valuable?

SQL SSIS is the most useful aspect of the solution.

We find the product to be relatively stable.

The solution seems to be pretty flexible.

What needs improvement?

Due to the fact that I'm dealing with the product more as a data analyst, the SQL Server management studio is really relatively primitive compared to other more advanced tools. There are other tools on the market that are much more advanced. It would be better if they managed to give us a bit more of a user-friendly product with just a bit more meat on the bone. It's a bit basic.

There are a number of features that are lacking. Just recently I had to do something and it's not available on the SQL Server. However, it's available on another solution that's actually a much cheaper product. 

Some areas need improvement. For example, how you deal with the manipulation of data is probably not the best.

For how long have I used the solution?

While I haven't constantly used the product all of the time, overall, I've used it for over 10 years at this point. I have quite a few years of experience with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. It doesn't have issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In general, the solution is scalable. Microsoft, compared to the others, tends to focus more on the programming ability of the solution rather than the user experience. Rather than making it more user-friendly, they tend to make it more program-friendly.

We have about 70 users on the solution currently.

It's my understanding that the client is planning to scale up to be able to take on more customers in the near future. They may therefore increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

Mostly, I personally am on the analytics and new project development side of things in our organization. Therefore, I typically don't deal with technical support. I can't speak to how supportive, knowledgeable, or responsive they are. 

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

I typically use SQL wherever I go, however, I don't necessarily use Microsoft all the time. I also occasionally use a solution called Teradata.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the installation of the solution. I'm more on the side of creating metadata. Therefore, it would be difficult for me to comment on if the solution was easy or difficult to implement or how our team deployed it. I don't have any exact details on that front.

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

While there are costs involved in using the product, I'm not a part of the billing or payments team. I can't speak to how much the solution costs or how much our organization pays. I do not know if it's monthly or yearly and how long our contract is for, if we have one.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using the 2016 or 2017 version of the solution.

There are many SQL options. I'd only recommend this one if it made sense to the individual company and their requirements.

In general, I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about SQL Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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BL
Owner at 2 Bit
Real User
Very fast with reliable, easy-to-access data

Pros and Cons

  • "For me, the initial setup is very easy as I have years of experience with the product."
  • "With so much data, things can get slow, which is why I would like to be able to understand how to better optimize queries."

What is most valuable?

The solution is very fast. 

The data is reliable and I can normalize the database and normalize the data so that I can collect whatever information I need. If I collect the data correctly, then I can share whatever report I want.

Normally, when the data is in the database, it will always be a long-term information holder, instead of putting it in Excel or something like a spreadsheet or something like that. 

For me, the initial setup is very easy as I have years of experience with the product.

What needs improvement?

I could use some more guidelines about making the correct queries to understand the structure better. I'd like to have a better idea and to understand how to make a nice query, which is good for the system and good for the hardware.

Sometimes you have to have different data in different tables and you want to merge them into something together. I'd like to be able to do this in a different way. 

Sometimes I need to have more optimization. I want to understand how can I optimize this or that? Especially now, when we're working with a lot of camera information, where we are using a lot of cameras for photogrammetry, we need to take this data and put it into the SQL Server and we would like to be more flexible with the data.

With so much data, things can get slow, which is why I would like to be able to understand how to better optimize queries. 

Those who are not familiar with the solution can find the initial setup intimidating and difficult. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 30 years at this point. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't have so much experience with scaling. It's my understanding that that task is a specialist job.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have dealt with technical support in the past. I'm happy with them. They have been helpful.

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

I'm not only working with SQL Server. When I need the database, I will always do it in SQL Server or Maria Database or something like that.

How was the initial setup?

For me, the initial implementation is easy, however, I know a lot of people can't set it up and believe everything is hard. It's difficult if you didn't know how to do it. You have to know, in the beginning, how to define what hardware you need and how many disks, for example. You need to understand if it should be a cluster disk or not. Long ago, it used to be hard disk access only. Things have changed. 

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

The solution does come at a cost.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a customer and an end-user.

This solution is one of my favorites and I would rate it at a nine out of ten. I'm very pleased with its capabilities. 

Microsoft has a freeware option that might be called something like SQL Server Express. I'd advise new users to try to put that one up. It's easy to implement. If you need more data, then buy the correct server. The SQL Server is expensive, however, when you see how nice data is installed and how easy you can get access to it, it may be worth it. If new users need help, they can always go to YouTube to find answers for the freeware.

SQL Server has a steep learning curve, however, it's worth it to learn about it and understand it. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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BruceCollins
Senior Developer at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Easy to scale, simple to set up, and offers many great features

Pros and Cons

  • "The backups are excellent."
  • "I would like to see better integration between their link server and other platforms, such as IBM."

What is our primary use case?

Usually, we use a lot of the vendor software, like ManageEngine, and stuff like that. They use Postgres, however, I prefer to use Microsoft's SQL server. We have a couple of servers and we integrate that information into it. I can run reporting and analysis off of that.

What is most valuable?

There's a lot of great features. I like T-SQL, which is wonderful. The backups are excellent. There's a lot of things that are much easier to manage. All of the features and functions within the SQL language itself, the store procedures, I really, really enjoy. The security has been excellent.

The initial setup is very straightforward. 

The stability is very good.

We find it easy to scale if we need to.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better integration between their link server and other platforms, such as IBM, due to the fact that, a lot of times, you want to set up a linked server so you can be on SQL and pull data off of another server using that link server. Sometimes they don't play well together. There just needs to be better integration for those types of situations.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about eight or nine years at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great. There are no bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable. The performance is great. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is easy if you need to do it. You simply set up a cluster and you can just grow it up.

In our organization, all the end-users are pretty much integrated into it and using it. As far as developers, there are two developers and me that are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't used tech support as we used to have a business partner that wanted us to talk to them instead. Therefore, I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they would be if you need assistance. 

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

Here at the company, they used Postgres, and what I didn't care about it was that it was okay, but it didn't integrate with a lot of the other applications. I felt Microsoft did a better job of that.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is pretty straightforward. The only thing that sometimes gets weird is if you have somebody that's needing an ODBC driver from another type of application back to the SQL server. It's usually that other application trying to figure out what it needs to connect to SQL. It's not really SQL's fault.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users.

We are using both the latest version and a previous version of the solution. I don't have the exact version numbers on hand. 

I would advise new users first to get help implementing it unless you know the solution well, as there's so much that it can do. A lot of times you can actually make a little mistake. Say if you're going to go in a certain direction, if you get some advice, you may be much happier going in another direction completely.

In general, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. I've been quite satisfied with its capabilities. It's an excellent product that still has room for growth.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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FZ
Principal Database And Cloud Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A relational database management system with a valuable developer edition, but the price could be better

Pros and Cons

  • "I love the developer version. Microsoft tells you about all the cool things they provided for everybody. You can develop and do anything with it. It's really good to learn. Oracle will not give you that much freedom, and Microsoft really kills it. You don't do anything with it but develop, learn, break, and push it to its limits. If there are problems, you show Microsoft or ask them, "what's going on here?" There is good community support for the developer edition, and that's what I really appreciate. You can teach people about it without limitations. You can have small databases created. You can keep it for a year and then work on it. It's a good thing for learners and developers."
  • "The price could be better. It costs a lot, and competing databases like Postgres are free."

What is most valuable?

I love the developer version. Microsoft tells you about all the cool things they provided for everybody. You can develop and do anything with it. It's really good to learn. Oracle will not give you that much freedom, and Microsoft really kills it. 

You don't do anything with it but develop, learn, break, and push it to its limits. If there are problems, you show Microsoft or ask them, "what's going on here?" There is good community support for the developer edition, and that's what I really appreciate. You can teach people about it without limitations. You can have small databases created. You can keep it for a year and then work on it. It's a good thing for learners and developers.

What needs improvement?

The price could be better. It costs a lot, and competing databases like Postgres are free.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL Server for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are problems in all systems, and I don't see any difference between open source and proprietary solutions. SQL Server, Postgres, and Oracle are all vulnerable. There are no known issues per se, but any system can be broken. There is nothing special about this database.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SQL Servers and other databases are all scalable. I just don't see any problem with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Whenever we have issues, we talk directly with Microsoft. They are responsive, and they help.

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

I'm more into open source solutions, and I love Postgres. I've worked as a database administrator as well. But I really hate all the tools used to manage performance or backup or just any of those disaster, recovery, and availability solutions. I hate them. They really impose a lot of overhead in a demonstration and aren't really flexible. When you're in the cloud, you don't have to worry about most of those things. 

Some of them still exist, but the cloud providers do provide them and you stick to that. You enhance them or add some more features, but really the most hated feature is, making sure that your database really can recover from many kinds of disasters. Resiliency, the most important part and when that is really managed by the cloud online, the overhead costs  are removed. The rest is really easy. Performance is okay, and there are indicated spots for data because I work with financial data and a lot of it is our important critical data. So, the cloud is really the best thing that happened to us.

How was the initial setup?

When it comes to the initial setup, most of them can be automated. For example, most setup settings for progressions, management, disaster and recovery, failover, and failback. Most of those things can be automated and provisioned into one kind of pipeline. Connecting that data to an application and even provisioning from the code repository through Jenkins. Those things are really easy to automate.

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

It costs a lot.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise potential users to use SQL Server with Microsoft Azure. I don't recommend managing it locally.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give SQL Server a seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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ITCS user
Senior Database Administrator at a government with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to use, quick to set up, and pretty scalable

Pros and Cons

  • "The ease of administration, in general, is the solution's most valuable aspect."
  • "Its ability to handle certain kinds of large data could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the product for internally developed applications. There's some business intelligence and data warehousing used as well as some financial information.

How has it helped my organization?

It's evolved over the years. It's become a truly useful enterprise situation and an enterprise tool. The amount of data that it can contain is significant.

What is most valuable?

The ease of administration, in general, is the solution's most valuable aspect.

You can make the solution work pretty fast. Performance isn't an issue.

The initial setup is quick and easy.

The solution is stable.

The scalability is good. 

What needs improvement?

Its ability to handle certain kinds of large data could be improved. Its high availability, segmentation, and disaster recovery features can be improved upon also.

There are not really any significant features that I'd like to see added to it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a long time. It's been 25 to 30 years at this point. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution offers very good performance and is pretty reliable. 

The stability is excellent. There are no bugs or glitches. it doesn't crash or freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales pretty well. I would rate it at a four out of five. If a company needs to expand, it shouldn't be an issue. 

It's used pretty extensively by a lot of people in our organization. It's used for everything from management to clerks and external users. Clients use it in some way, shape, or form.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used technical support in the past and I would rate them as average. They aren't bad. 

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

I've also used Oracle and MySQL in the past. This company hasn't switched. I've just used other solutions in various roles over the years. We have Oracle in place for our financials still. There's no need for my SQL and Postgres. They're open-source tools.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward and the deployment is quick. You can have it up and running in three minutes. It's not a problem to get it set up.

You only need one person to handle any maintenance tasks on it. 

What about the implementation team?

We handled the entire deployment in-house. We did not need an integrator or consultant to assist us.

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

The licensing cost varies widely, depending upon what methodology you employ. It could be very cheap, for example, it could be less than $2,000. Alternatively, it can go up to well over $100,000.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a customer and an end-user.

I'm currently using the most recent version of the solution. 

I'd advise those who wish to use the solution to first practice a bit with it.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. It's a very solid product. It's very stable. The ease of use is pretty high and the amount of support that's freely available for it is significant.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Mike  Sax
Vice President, Product Engineering at Logitix
Real User
Top 5
Reliable with good scalability and offers a very high level of performance

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very high performance."
  • "The Task Scheduler has a lot of shortcomings. This could be improved quite a bit."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a relational database system.

What is most valuable?

The solution offers very high performance.

It is a very reliable solution. We find it to be quite stable.

We've found the product to be very scalable, specifically from MSSQL

The product offers various deployment models.

What needs improvement?

The Message Broker portion of the solution is not very scalable in comparison to the rest of the solution. The problem is, you can exclude that portion.

The Task Scheduler has a lot of shortcomings. This could be improved quite a bit.

The enterprise version of the product should be more cost-effective.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for the last 15 or so years. It's been a while. We have a lot of experience with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the product is very good. It offers excellent performance. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. If a company needs to expand, it can do so without any problems.

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

The enterprise version of the solution needs to be priced more competitively.

We have a couple of models. We lease through Azure monthly, which is for the Standard version. We have had to purchase the Enterprise version to the tune of a few hundred thousand dollars, which is just ridiculous.

On top of that, there aren't really any other knock-on costs.

What other advice do I have?

We have experience with almost every angle of Microsoft ecosystem that you could imagine.

We're a direct customer. We own a MSSQL server. We have it deployed both on-premises and on the cloud, so we use different deployment models. We have distinct instances in the cloud and we have distinct instances in our on-prem.

I would warn other organizations to not use their Message Broker and don't rely on their Task Scheduler. Look elsewhere. Go look at Oversource, Rabbit MQ, Azure Message Broker, or something other than what's built into Microsoft's SQL server. That would be my advice.

Our original architecture messaging infrastructure was based on Microsoft SQL server's Message Broker. It's been a complete disaster. It's a black hole that can't be diagnosed or supported in terms of troubleshooting from Microsoft when it doesn't work. When it doesn't work, it just doesn't work and no one can answer why. That is very bad. The intended use of it was for enterprise messaging. However, that is not a use case for MSSQL Message Broker, period. We're in the process of moving in a couple of directions. We're going to move to Azure Service Bus as an interim solution, as our current technical capabilities are very Microsoft-centric. Then, the next step will be to move to other more enterprise-class messaging and queuing subsystems like RabbitMQ.

The SQL server as an engine probably deserves a very high nine out of ten. It's a very, very efficient relational database management system. And it is very scalable.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Aditya Sawant
Assistant Manager at ECU
Real User
Top 20
Great security features; query store was particularly helpful with data analysis

Pros and Cons

  • "Very good security features."
  • "Query optimitzer could be simplified."

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?

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