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Ossama Benaziz
Operations Director at ALTERSIS Performance
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible and easy to use but the performance could be better

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a good option for those that have a lot of Microsoft solutions in use."
  • "The solution needs to be more secure. It's lacking, compared to, for example, Oracle."

What is our primary use case?

We use the product for information systems. This is a must both for us. We use it for our Enterprise Portal.

What is most valuable?

The solution has proven to be very flexible.

The product is quite stable.

Overall, we've found it to be extremely easy to use. 

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. It's not difficult to implement and the deployment doesn't take too long.

Technical support has been pretty good so far. They are helpful.

It's a good option for those that have a lot of Microsoft solutions in use.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to be more secure. It's lacking, compared to, for example, Oracle.

The product needs to work on its scalability. Oracle can scale a bit more effectively.

Sometimes we have some performance issues. It's not like Oracle. Oracle is more powerful in terms of performance. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've just been dealing with the solution for a few months. It hasn't been too long just yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've had some performance issues overall. It's something that's a pain point for us. They need to work on their capabilities in this regard.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution could be more scalable. Oracle scales better for companies that need to expand.

We have two to three customers that use the solution currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support in the past. They've been helpful and responsive. We haven't had any issues when we deal with them. We are quite satisfied so far with the level of service we receive when we reach out. 

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

I've also used Oracle in the past. From my side, Oracle is more technical and is more scalable, and more secure than the SQL server.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is quite straightforward. It's not overly difficult or complicated. I found it to be quite simple.

The deployment is rather quick. It took us about one hour, from what I can recall.

We just need one technical person to handle the implementation and maintenance processes. 

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

Customers do have to pay to use the solution. They tend to pay on a yearly basis. 

What other advice do I have?

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

I'd recommend the solution to other customers, users, and companies. It's a good option of r many. Sometimes the customer is Microsoft-oriented and sometimes they are Oracle-oriented. If the customer is already using a lot of Microsoft products, SQL just makes sense. 

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: Integrator
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PR
Technical Specialist at a media company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Stable, intuitive, and easy to use for non-technical users

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is very easy to use. It's intuitive and easy to navigate. Overall, it's a straightforward product."
  • "The documentation could be much better. It's lacking right now. If there are better help pages, for even complicated queries and stuff like that that would be quite a help for users."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use it to extract some configuration information for my product - in order to understand how the configuration is done for my base product.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very easy to use. It's intuitive and easy to navigate. Overall, it's a straightforward product.

You don't really need a learning code to study MySQL. If you know the basics, it's quite easy to use the product. There isn't a high learning curve and you don't have to be overly technical.

The initial setup was straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The documentation could be much better. It's lacking right now. If there are better help pages, for even complicated queries and stuff like that that would be quite a help for users.

There were times where it was not working all the time, however, that could be due to some issues on our network side as well. I'm not really sure of that, and therefore can't blame the solution. However, I do remember experiences where, when I tried something, it didn't work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for seven years now. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For my purposes, I haven't had any issues with stability. I find it to be reliable in terms of performance. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. It's good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't really use it heavily, basically, my usage is quite small. It's been okay for me for my purposes. However, it's my understanding that it can scale.

We have more than ten engineers that currently use the product regularly.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've never needed to reach out to technical support from Microsoft, I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they are. I don't have any direct experience I can draw from.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not overly difficult or complex. It was quite straightforward. It's a pretty simple process. 

Our team is capable of handling the maintenance internally.

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

In terms of pricing, I just downloaded it and started using it. I don't have a lot of information on licensing. I can't speak to the costs.

What other advice do I have?

We are just a customer and an end-user. We do not have a business relationship with SQL.

I would recommend the solution to other users. So far, the experience I have had over the years has been a positive one.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

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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Learn what your peers think about SQL Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
KR
Information Technology Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to set up and configure, integrates well with other components, and the support is good

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it is easy to use and you don't have to do a lot of configuration."
  • "More things in SQL Server need to be automated."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

It can be used for different things such as data warehousing and online transactional processing (OLTP). This is a product that I have never used in production, however.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it is easy to use and you don't have to do a lot of configuration. For example, there is no installation.

When you want to insert data, it is easy to do. For example, if I want to test something then I log into my GitHub account, download what I want, and then upload it to the SQL server.

The integration with other products like SQL Developer is really good. Connecting it to Visual Studio is also quite good.

What needs improvement?

More things in SQL Server need to be automated. We need to do a lot of things, especially on the cloud, and Oracle has better automation for handling these kinds of tasks. Automation is the key, these days.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SQL Server for a couple of months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With respect to scalability, I can say that the cloud version is scalable. I don't have much to say about how an on-premises deployment scales. However, in general, both Oracle and Microsoft products scale really well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is responsive and quite good.

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

I also have experience with Oracle Database. When I compared pricing between the two products, I found that Microsoft was more expensive.

How was the initial setup?

There is no installation. Everything is done by Microsoft and all you have to do is deploy it. The process takes less than five minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I have done the installation many times by myself.

As a cloud-based product, there are no special resources required for maintenance. Once you deploy it, you just want to make sure that the data is displayed or presented in the way that you want it. Most of the technical work is handled by Microsoft.

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

There is a charge for this product if you are using it in production. For development, there is no cost. The pricing from Microsoft is quite expensive compared to Oracle.

What other advice do I have?

In summary, this is a good product, I plan to continue using it, and I definitely recommend it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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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Tim Platson
Solutions Architect at One Click
MSP
Top 5
Knocks ROI out of the park

Pros and Cons

  • "Scalability, cluster ability, ease of use, ease of implementation — these are all great."
  • "In terms of exceptionally large databases, it doesn't scale as well as Oracle."

What is our primary use case?

SQL Server is enterprise database software. It provides the back end for any number of different applications, including web applications, and other types of internal applications, and software-based applications. It also provides a back end for enterprise backup tools. It's incredibly diverse in terms of its use case.

What is most valuable?

Scalability, cluster ability, ease of use, ease of implementation — these are all great. 

What needs improvement?

In terms of exceptionally large databases, it doesn't scale as well as Oracle. It scales excellently and it's flexible and it can provide a solution for exceptionally large databases, but it doesn't work as well as Oracle does for this particular use case. The performance starts to drag in the case of exceptionally large databases; especially where there's a lot more feature functionality. With Oracle, there's a lot more tunability.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with this product for 20 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's exceptionally stable. The ease of implementation and the ease of use can't be beaten. I think it's outstanding overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it's outstanding. The one limitation it has is that at the very, very high end of petabytes-sized databases, it doesn't scale as well as Oracle. Still, you're not going to run into very many exceptionally large databases. Almost 100% of the use cases for it scale very well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is available for a separate cost. If you don't have a subscription or a support contract, then you don't get support. You'll be stuck with online forums — that's how you'll have to get answers to questions. Assuming you have a support contract with Microsoft, it's outstanding.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. 

What was our ROI?

This solution is available at a much lower price point than Oracle. Plus, it includes 99% of the same feature functionality. I'd say it knocks ROI out of the park.

What other advice do I have?

If you're interested in using this product, make sure that you have a good understanding of best practices for database implementation. Make sure to incorporate them in your deployment right off the bat. You won't want to have to go back and have to take production databases down because you have to change the configuration, post-implementation. Make sure you get all of these things done, pre-production implementation.

They've come a long, long way in the 20 years I've been working with them. Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give SQL Server a rating of nine.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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RU
Senior Solutions Architect at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
User friendly, performs well, and backward compatibility

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of the solution, compared to other RDBMS solutions, such as Oracle MySQL or IBM DB2, it is more user-friendly and has backward compatibility. For example, if you have an application that requires an old version of SQL Server and you have the latest version of the license, you are able to install and use it in backward compatibility mode. They keep supporting the existing legacy application."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is an RDBMS and can be used to simplify customers' requirements for a back-end database. The main function of the solution is to store information from front-end users.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature of the solution, compared to other RDBMS solutions, such as Oracle MySQL or IBM DB2, it is more user-friendly and has backward compatibility. For example, if you have an application that requires an old version of SQL Server and you have the latest version of the license, you are able to install and use it in backward compatibility mode. They keep supporting the existing legacy application. Additionally, the solution is simple and if it is configured properly it performs very well. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used the solution for approximately six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I find the solution to be very stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is scalable. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is only provided to the customers having a subscription-based license with a Software Assurance server. For other forms of licensing the solution will not provide support. 

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

    I have previously used other RDBMS solutions, such as Oracle MySQL, Maria DB, PostgreSQL, and IBM DB2.

    When comparing PostgreSQL, Oracle MySQL, and Microsoft SQL, Microsoft SQL has an advantage over the other two server databases because it provides a graphical user interface by default.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup of the solution is very easy and the time it takes depends on the architecture required. If the deployment of a cluster is required then the setup may take up to three hours, whereas standard environment deployment needs half an hour. 

    What about the implementation team?

    The solution can be installed by our selves but the use of an integrator makes it much easier. 

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

    The solution requires authorization in either the form of perpetual licensing or subscription-based licenses for two years. If a perpetual license version is purchased then customers have it to the end of life, whereas a subscription-based called server with Software Assurance, has to be renewed every two years. 

    The areas that need improvement are with regards to the commercial aspect of the solution, the licensing cost could be reduced in order to help customers to adopt it.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution. However, the customer has to make sure it fits their use case.

    I rate SQL Server a nine out of ten. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    SB
    Software Manager at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    I like the community where we can get good responses and replies to our questions

    Pros and Cons

    • "SQL Server is quite stable. And now we are using the Lattice 2017 version."
    • "In some cases it is quite difficult, like the lack of ease of the replication and other issues. They have to improve on that. They do not have features like "always on," which is complicated."

    What is our primary use case?

    I handle the banking software. We have another software called City Life, a life insurance package. We develop those packages - the banking package and the life insurance package. We have almost 70 - 80% of the market share in our country. I also use and love Delphi. We develop in that language. The backend is SQL Server at this moment and we are researching how we can move from SQL Server to some other open source solutions.

    What is most valuable?

    The only problem with this product is that it doesn't have an open source version.

    What needs improvement?

    Our customers are willing to pay less. For SQL server they have to buy it, they have to purchase the license. So, if we can get some free open source, like Firebird, InterBase, Firebase, or something like MySQL and also PostgreSQL, whichever one is suitable for us, we'd like to pick one.

    Additionally, in some cases it is quite difficult, like the lack of ease of the replication and other issues. They have to improve on that. They do not have features like "always on," which is complicated.

    One feature which we don't like is that they are providing CLR, and CLR can only be written in dot net, C sharp. But actually it should be open for all languages to write CLR so that we can hide our code. The next thing is that the tangent PSQ is encryptable but it is decryptable, as well. From the developer's point of view, all procedures are exposed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SQL Server for a long time, since version 6.5.

    We are still using it, but everybody is going towards open source, that's why we would like to go for open source as well. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SQL Server is quite stable. And now we are using the Lattice 2017 version. But the most important thing is that the license cost is quite expensive.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We solve issues on our own. If we need something we Google it and find it. There is a good communication base and a community where we can get responses, replies, and some blog posts.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm looking at Firebird. My concentration is Firebird. I understood and researched that Firebird is the best one because it is quite robust, it has already matured, and the developer's community is quite high and stable. I'm just researching whether it can handle the huge amount of database as it did in Microsoft SQL server.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give SQL Server an eight out of 10.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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    Prashant Baste
    Solution Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Very fast with an easy initial setup and reasonable pricing

    Pros and Cons

    • "The initial setup isn't overly complex."
    • "The backup capacity needs to be bigger."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are primarily using the solution for pulling data and analysis.

    In the auto industry, are the dealer management systems for which there is kind of portals from which the dealers are maintaining information can have access to retail data, bookings, and details surrounding individual customers.

    We are fetching data and using it for analytics purposes, basically.

    What is most valuable?

    The basic features of the solution are excellent overall.

    The initial setup isn't overly complex.

    The pricing is reasonable.

    The solution scales well.

    The solutions very fast. It reads and writes six to eight times faster than any other tool.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution is very different from Oracle, which is a product we also use.

    Mainly the data capacity needs to be improved. The data values are limited. They are smaller or medium scale. The MySQL is working fine, however, when it comes to large data sets or large data volumes, Oracle can handle them better. The backup capacity needs to be bigger.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    When it's medium or small-scale data volume, people are referring to MySQL, however, when the data volume grows the people are referring to Oracle. In my estimation, the stability is fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability of the product is pretty good. It can scale effectively and expands better than other options.

    We have around 40 users on the solution currently.

    Our main usage is not for the database and we simply use basic aspects of the platform.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Technical support isn't an aspect of the solution I know too much about. I've never been in direct contact with them. Therefore, I can't speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

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

    We also currently use Oracle. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup isn't too complex or difficult. It's pretty straightforward. It's less complex of a process as compared to other solutions.

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

    The cost isn't overly expensive. It's very reasonable. Our customers are happy with the price. It's in a good range.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are partners with Microsoft. We use multiple deployment models, and typically those are private cloud or on-premises options.

    Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We've been mostly very satisfied with the capabilities of the product. It's fast. It's our preferred product.

    I'd recommend the solution to other users and organizations.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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    AhmedElbadry
    NMS Service Automation & RPA Technical Lead at Vodafone
    Real User
    Top 5
    Scalable with a straightforward setup and good stability

    Pros and Cons

    • "From a security perspective, we have no complaints."
    • "It would be ideal if the solution offered better integration capabilities."

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is a part of a product. We use it for our database, among other items.

    What is most valuable?

    The solution is very stable.

    The product scales well.

    From a security perspective, we have no complaints. 

    The initial setup is very straightforward. 

    What needs improvement?

    The solution should work to improve its search functionality.

    It would be ideal if the solution offered better integration capabilities. In the future, we expect that our company will need to make more integrations with other systems.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for three years. It hasn't been that long.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    So far, the stability has been very good. We haven't experienced any crashed or anything of that nature. There are no bugs or glitches. It's reliable and the performance is good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution is very scalable. The only thing that would limit its ability to expand is how your environment is designed. That said, a company should have no trouble scaling it if they would like to.

    There are only five of us using the solution right now.

    We do plan to increase usage in the future.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    While I haven't had a chance to open a ticket with technical support, I plan to open one next week, as I have an issue I need to ask them about. However, since I have yet to be in contact, I cannot evaluate their level of service.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not complex or difficult. It's easy. It's very straightforward and the setup guide is available if you Google it. Anyone can search for the installation guide on whichever version you're installing.

    The deployment is quick. It only takes about 30 minutes or so.

    We have a technical team of five engineers. If any maintenance is needed, we can handle it. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I installed the product myself. I found an installation guide and just followed the directions. I didn't need the help of a consultant or integrator.

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

    We do not currently pay a licensing fee in order to use this product.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm currently using the 2017 version. I am not using the latest version of the solution.

    In general, I would rate it at an eight out of ten. For the most part, we have been satisfied with its capabilities.

    I'd recommend the solution to other users and organizations.

    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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