Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server

Top Rated
Score 8.7 out of 10
Top Rated
Microsoft SQL Server

Overview

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database.
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Recent Reviews

Microsoft SQL Server Review

9 out of 10
October 28, 2022
I am a computer engineer. I have been working as a software developer for about 7 years. I've been using Microsoft SQL Server since I was …
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SQL Server Review

8 out of 10
June 19, 2021
We use MS SQL Server as our main database to store customer data. We have a monolith web application that is using a single MS SQL Server …
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MS SQL Server

8 out of 10
May 25, 2021
For the uninitiated it is first important to point out that many programs use a Database at the back-end and the end-user will be totally …
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Pricing

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Subscription

$1,418.00

Cloud
Per License

Enterprise

$13,748.00

Cloud
Per License

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee

Offerings

  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services
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Product Details

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database.

Microsoft SQL Server Video

Microsoft SQL Server Technical Details

Deployment TypesSoftware as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsUnspecified
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database.

Reviewers rate Usability highest, with a score of 9.9.

The most common users of Microsoft SQL Server are from Enterprises (1,001+ employees).
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Comparisons

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Reviews

(1-4 of 4)
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Lisandro Fernigrini | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use Microsoft SQL Server as the DB option for the commercial back-office modules of our MLFF (Multi-Lane - Free Flow) Tolling solution. All the commercial back-office (from Customer registration to involvement and payment handling) relies on Microsoft SQL Server databases. Other vital components of the entire solution, like Security and Vehicle Management, and the Reporting environment also utilize Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Microsoft SQL Server is simple to install and configure.
  • Many advanced options like Compression and Partitioning are available with no extra cost, thus reducing the overall TCO.
  • Partitioning does not provide as many options as Oracle (like Foreign Key partitioning, list partitions, hash partitioning and sub partitions)
  • The default READ COMMITED isolation level block readers, so it is important to use the READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT option, that should be default right now...
I've found Microsoft SQL Server a robust and affordable solution for most OLTP scenarios, starting with department solutions up to enterprise-level systems. There are many advanced features (like compression and partitioning) that correctly implemented provide huge benefits on performance, reducing hardware requirements and costs. The default locking mechanism can be a problem for systems with high concurrency if the READ_COMMITTED_SNAPSHOT option is not selected.
  • Customers know and trust the product, so it is easier to implement our solutions.
  • Licence cost are usually lower than other products if all advanced options are used.
We use both Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server for our entire product line, using the best features of each of them to solve different business requirements and technical challenges. Microsoft SQL Server is simpler to install and use, but lacks some advanced features and has fewer configuration options than Oracle, so we use each of them based on each module requirements.
We have not used official support to solve any particular problem, we have used different community resources (like forums) to obtain additional information on specific issues or doubts that did not require escalation to Microsoft support.
100
About 70% of our Multi-Lane Free-Flow (MLFF) tolling software, including all of the commercial back offices, is designed on the Microsoft SQL Server database engine. Software Architects and Developers design and create the data model and develop data processing procedures (like invoicing, notifications) while testers use SQL Server to validate the features of our system.
3
Since we do not host real production data, we try to keep our environments as simple as possible. We have source code repositories where all data model and stored code (views, procedures, functions, etc.) are kept. We keep a simple backup policy to be able to recover for accidental data loss on testing and customer acceptance environments.
  • It is a central piece of software in our MLFF product.
  • Besides using Microsoft SQL Server for our product, many support tasks (like customers legacy systems migration mapping information) are stored on Microsoft SQL Server databases.
We understand that the Microsoft SQL Server will continue to advance, offering the same robust and reliable platform while adding new features that enable us, as a software center, to create a superior product. That provides excellent performance while reducing the hardware requirements and the total cost of ownership of our solution.
No
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
We chose Microsoft SQL Server as a good cost/feature product, that provides a robust backbone to our Multi-Lane Free Flow software product. The ability to use features like compression and partitioning with no extra cost made Microsoft SQL Server a good choice.
  • Implemented in-house
No
Change management was minimal
As a software center we have been using SQL Server for many years, so there were no actual issues implementing the latest versions of the product.
Nothing special to mention
  • SQL dialect is simple to use and usually very easy to understand
  • Installation is really simple
No
Having a strong background on Oracle Databases, Microsoft SQL Server is pretty simple to use. There are fewer options and some behaviour (like writers blocking readers) require an adaptation, but overall Microsoft SQL Server is an excellent product that has been adding features in the last 15 years, making it a database engine easy to use but powerful at the same time.
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
SQL Server is being used across the entire organization in my previous company, along with Oracle. It's being used for our POS system, our website, and dozens of internal applications. It's very easy to install and configure so we can rapidly deploy it for new applications. It can also be considerably cheaper than Oracle.
  • It's very easy to automate the install so we have a website set up where an application team can go and within a few mouse clicks, they've requested a new VM with SQL Server installed on it. The VM itself can take a day or two to deployment because it's not fully automated yet, but SQL Server is automatically installed within an hour or two.
  • All the different wizards within SQL Server Management Studio make it relatively easy for non DBAs to perform many tasks, thus making self-service possible in many instances.
  • The Always On Availability Group feature makes both High Availability and Disaster Recovery much easier to plan and implement, especially with SQL Server 2014's multiple secondaries.
  • The Database Tuning Advisor can also help relative novices tune their queries for better performance, though it can still recommend way too many indexes be created.
  • SQL Server needs something to compare/compete with Oracle's RAC. When is that coming, Microsoft?
  • I don't care for the evolution of its pricing model. SQL Server used to be a no-brainer when compared to other products on price but that's not the case anymore.
I wouldn't move to SQL Server just because management or reviewers said to. I would go with the expertise you have in house. If you have a bunch of Oracle experts and no SQL Server experts, I'd go with Oracle. However, if you've got even one SQL Server expert, you should know that one SQL Server expert can probably handle a lot more SQL Servers than a single Oracle expert can.
  • We can implement projects on SQL Server much faster than we can on any other platform. That's partly due to how quickly we can deploy it but also how easy it is to administer.
  • We can also administer far more SQL Servers per DBA than any other database platform we have in house. Oracle tends to be particularly hands-on in our environment.
We select databases based on what vendor applications support, our in-house expertise, and price. SQL Server tends to win all of those comparisons.
We use SQL Server for many, many different business functions at our company from POS to store design, to our website, to SharePoint, to market research, to recipe development, to the lawyers...
6
You need to be detail oriented for production support and for the rollouts of new functionality from development to production but you also need to be interested in learning new things if you're going to be able to keep up with the changes and explain them to application teams, i.e. where new functionality is applicable to the work they're performing.
  • We run our POS system on SQL Server.
  • We run our website on SQL Server.
  • We run our SharePoint instances on SQL Server.
  • We plan to use in-memory tables to speed up our website soon.
We're constantly rolling out new applications on this platform.
Not Sure
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
The SQL Server DBA team is very familiar with SQL Server so we have a lot of in-house experience with it. The Oracle DBA team has lots of experience with Oracle. So a lot of it is down to price, what the application teams are familiar with, and what the vendor application was developed on.
I wouldn't change anything.
  • Implemented in-house
Yes
We have test, dev, cert, and prod environments, at least, and we prove things out before moving along to the next stage.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled
  • Getting the various machines talking to each other because of the way the network has been partitioned and firewalled.
  • Network performance has also caused problems.
Make sure that all teams are fully represented in project meetings and planning. You'll need full involvement from networking, Windows, security, application teams, architects, and DBAs.
Yes
A problem with SQL Server can have a huge monetary impact to the company so problems need to be resolved very quickly.
We've had problems with support bouncing the incident around between groups or engineers and having to repeat information that was already presented.
Yes
no, it was marked as won't fix
  • Setting up AlwaysOn Availability groups is easy once the Windows Shared-nothing cluster is set up and working.
  • Using the Database Tuning Advisor is remarkably easy, even if interpreting the results properly requires a lot of knowledge.
  • Installing and configured MDW is quite easy, even if making use of the information it captures can require a lot of knowledge.
  • Configuring Merge Replication and keeping it working can be a handful.
  • Troubleshooting performance issues can be a real handful. It does require a lot of knowledge.
No
It was the first to introduce features to make it easier for non-experts to get things done and it continues to lead the pack.
Luca Campanelli | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
I use SQL Server for 7 years.
I currently work in the Database Administrators department, we mainly use SQL every day. We use SQL for various needs, some examples: the management of corporate databases, for ETL processes (extract, transform, load) for data warehousing, data historicizing, reporting, OLAP cubes, dashboards, maintenance plans, monitoring and alert, the management of integration services packages and more.
  • Management of very large volumes of data such as bulk loading
  • Is one of the best (if not the best) relational database
  • It brings you great ETL tools and data warehousing such as SSIS and SSAS
  • Data indexing
  • The management of VLDB (Very Large Databases) requires a lot of maintenance and preventive work to avoid falling into uncomfortable issues.
  • The introduction of In-Memory (sql 2014) has opened up new prospects but still has many limitations (data types, functions and various restrictions)
  • Table partitioning is as useful as awkward to handle.
SQL Server is suitable for any company, anyone who has the need to keep and maintain sensitive data, can safely rely on SQL (available in different versions depending on your budget and needs).
Is less appropriate, however, if you want to handle a small amount of data, or if you use want to cache data (for sites) or data that don't need to be static and maintained for a long time, in these cases you can take into account of commonly said DB No-Sql.
  • Data always accessible and available
  • data history and previous analyzes (even many years back)
  • development and maintenance of the data warehouse directly in-house
I started working with databases many years ago with Access, which allows you to create relational database and provide an old-fashioned desktop interface. I had a look at Oracle but I never had the opportunity to get to the bottom (also because of the budget that had the company where I worked at the time). SQL is an enterprise solution that allows professional management of DBs and DWHs in maximum safety and allows it to be applied in countless situations.
50
It is not easy to determine how many resources actually uses sql server, this because the use of sql server is of various kinds, from those who simply makes queries via the sql management studio, who uses the various business reports or dashboards, users of the sites, up to our DBAs department that directly manages the databases and data warehouses.
4
To use SQL Server are required detailed knowledge of relational databases, data warehousing concepts, notions and management of ETL (if you intend to use a corporate data warehouse), maintenance of databases, data management, data quality, high reliability of the data, indexing, queries optimization, management of a large amount of data and more.
  • Data management
  • Reporting and Dashboard
  • ETL
  • High Availability
  • Datawarehouse
  • transactions management
  • Datawarehousing
  • OLAP
  • IN-memory OLTP
I think it is unlikely that sql server has disappointed someone, it is likely that someone will come initially discouraged if the needs and problems that occur are very challenging, but definitely have a SQL oriented system means having a solid base to work and on which maintain the their data securely.
No
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Analyst Reports
I personally have not taken the decision to use SQL Server, but the reason why I specialized in SQL systems is because I think it definitely one of the best RDBMS in circulation, the support is great as well as his strength and for his great effectiveness, is chosen to secure by many companies to these factors and results.
If I had to choose whether to use an RDBMS the first question that I would do it if I really need a SQL db oriented or if I could draw benefit from a no-sql db, if my need is to have an RDBMS, the only choice that I should make is between Oracle and SQL, due to my experience in SQL would repeat this choice, if I'll have the opportunity to deepen Oracle will also evaluate this hypothesis (prices permitting) .
  • Implemented in-house
No
Change management was minimal
Has no organizational change management needed.
However, if you are thinking of definitely migrate your data structure on sql server, you have to do several observations , you need to plan in detail every single operation, each database step by step and evaluate all the compatibility between your structure and the version of SQL on which you will migrate. This definitely requires a lot of time and tests.
  • No issues
As mentioned before, the implementation of SQL Server in a company that is beginning to use a new structure, which does not require any type of data migration, do not requires particular comment to make.
If you must to do a porting of databases from a different platform, definitely you need to consider the situation in detail depending on your needs.
No
Fortunately we do not need premium or paid support because, fortunately for us, our team is well mixed and every time there is a problem to solve, we trying to reach a solution as soon as possible in the most constructive way possible by sharing the experiences and our know-how.
In my previous work experience I happened to have asked for assistance to the Microsoft support, they are very professional and the service is immediate, if necessary they can intervene remotely or onsite.
Alternatively you can of course refer to the microsoft guides, the forums and of course the now famous msdn.
No
As I said before, fortunately it has never been necessary to seek assistance from Microsoft support regarding SQL Server, many of the answers you seek are on the MSDN Microsoft, alternatively you can open a ticket with microsoft and in the short term you will have solution to your problem .
Very useful are the Unleashed books (in your sql version) that have all the basics you need to manage sql servers.
  • Always-On
  • Availability Groups
  • Jobs with SSIS packages integration
  • Managing VLDB
  • Table Partitioning
No
Once you have gained adequate experience to manage autonomously SQL Server sql server usability it is excellent, the fact remains that the SQL Server platform has a variety of very wide use, are so many variables to consider in a sql oriented system. Usability (mean maintainability) becomes more complicated if it is larger the amount of data to manage (with large I mean some TBs for each databases)
Bill Starling | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
SQL Server is used throughout the organization in differing capacities. Research and Development uses it to develop new software and to fix previously coded bugs or issues. Our software communicates with a SQL server database that has almost 1000 tables with varying relationships and data amount. Support uses SQL to log customer/client issues and to see what clients have downloaded what products and who the contacts are that are viewing our released software from the Salesforce website which communicates with a local SQL database we have on site. Our Professional services team will configure databases in SQL server at client sites to help set up a new client or to solve issues that the client is encountering.
  • Handle large amounts of data. SQL can process thousands of rows of data in a pinch when given the correct hardware to utilize. SQL likes memory and it will utilize it very efficiently when given the chance.
  • SQL provides at least 2 methods to do everything. You can write simple SQL query scripts or you can use the built-in GUI (which coincidentally just runs SQL scripts behind the scenes).
  • Allows for jobs to be setup that can do simple tasks such as database backups, database restores, export and import data and even send out notifications when SQL Server encounters a problem.
  • Integrates with a lot of other programs and software. Microsoft allows SQL Server to integrate with Visual Studio and you can utilize SQL tools with SSIS, SSMS, SSAS, and SSRS to get deep into integration tools, Analyzing data, and reporting on various data in each database. You can also integrate with third party tools such as the suite of products from RedGate.
  • Speed up installation times. A manual installation of SQL server can take up a good chunk of time. You can be forced to go through an installation wizard screen by screen and it can take a lot of time waiting for each screen to load.
  • Allow for easier integration with GUI's. SQL has the capability to use a visual query builder where you can drag and drop fields, tables, etc to build a query but it is not as user friendly as you would imagine.
  • Make the permissions more stream lined. Users can have permissions to a SQL Server but not a particular database and trying to find the right spot to add the correct permissions can be painful for someone who is new to SQL Admin work.
The larger the database and project the more efficient it will be if kept running smoothly. Small projects/businesses will find SQL Server useful also but for the cost of licenses it may not be as cost effective as some would like. Also if your business depends on the data in the database or server you will want a full time DBA to watch over the Server (both the hardware and software of the server) to insure you don't have any data integrity or security issues.
  • Allowed my company to expand the services we offer and the speed at which our software runs due to the efficiency that SQL has.
  • Negatively, it is hard to find SQL experts or seasoned veterans who can handle the data load and enterprise level functionality we have implemented.
I have used Microsoft Access, MySQL, and I have been a user of systems that run on Oracle database servers. All but Oracle are really intended for smaller scale projects and teams as they start to get slow or the performance will suffer once you start getting lots of data input and output into them. They are good for single user or single entry applications that can be maintained by almost anyone who understands databases. Oracle is a real competitor for SQL Server as it can handle large and small scale applications and data loads. It is competitively priced to SQL Server but I have heard it can be a bit tricky to work through in the back end. Since I only used applications that had Oracle databases on the back end I can only attest to the fact that the front end applications always worked just fine.
150
Research and Development, Support, Professional Services, Sales, Marketing. Each department utilizes SQL for different reasons but they all boil down to it is what our software runs on and it has been developed to integrate seamlessly with SQL Server and to run as efficiently as possible. We our a Microsoft gold partner and pride ourselves on utilizing Microsoft products to the fullest extent.
3
Our Tallahassee office currently has 3 people to service/support our SQL servers. We have a senior SQL DBA who has been with us for over 20 years, we have a mid level DBA who also is responsible for other Microsoft products such as Team Foundation Server and Hyper-V and we have a systems Administrator who is responsible for the hardware and any issues that arise with such.
  • Development of new technology is the main focus of our company.
  • Troubleshooting and debugging previously released code and databases.
  • Configuring new servers and maintaining current SQL servers either individually or as a cluster.
  • We have utilized SQL to have a client that has 2 offices on opposite sides of the planet utilize one central SQL database at the same time with no issues or hesitations.
  • We can utilize the integration Microsoft allows to utilize tools outside of SQL to making reporting, error reporting, troubleshooting and data integrity easier, and more effective.
  • We could utilize the new technologies being released in the new versions of SQL to allow us to process data faster and more efficiently in order to have faster processing times in our applications.
We are a Microsoft Gold partner and are very in depth with our SQL server development with out software and it would take too many resources to try and switch to another database product, not to mention all of our clients run SQL Server so we would then have to support SQL and another product which is fiscally irresponsible.
No
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
We are and have been a Microsoft Gold partner and thus utilize most of Microsoft's products. Since we have that established relationship it made sense to continue with other products as Microsoft is known for the product integration which allows extras features and tools to be used which can then be passed down to our clients in the form of special features and benefits.
The evaluation and selection process wouldn't change. SQL did everything we did and it gave us room to grow. Training was provided and support is always accessible. Being an industry leader SQL Server is easy to maintain and troubleshoot. Finding certified and qualified individuals to service SQL is very easy as it is taught by most schools and training centers.
  • Implemented in-house
No
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled
We have been using SQL Server since it's inception and thus change management was almost non-existent. We did have some applications running on other database software previously but with Microsoft putting a big emphasis on product integration and consistency it was easy to change over to SQL server. Each version has kept the base navigation and has just introduced new features allowing for a more robust experience.
  • It can be time consuming.
  • If you change SQL's default values it can get tricky if you don't update those names or values in every SQL instance.
Other than SQL taking quite a bit of time to actually install there are no problems with installation. Even on hardware that has good performance SQL can still take close to an hour to install a typical server with management and reporting services.
Nothing is perfect but Microsoft does fairly well even though they're such a large corporation. SQL server has a large user base and there are a lot of support tools you can find without even calling Microsoft. The internet has a plethora of knowledge and help and Microsoft has also done a great job of making articles on their MSDN website that explain and layout a lot of different things with SQL. With that comes the fact that you still have to go to the internet or on the phone to get help sometimes.
I've never personally had to call Microsoft for SQL Server support. I have heard from coworkers that it has been fairly easy to get through to Microsoft Support and that their questions were answered. They were kept up to date on their cases and in all cases a resolution was provided or was at least documented with a reasonable work around solution.
  • Writing and executing SQL queries is fairly simple. Just open up SQL Management studio and you can find a table you want and select rows from it using the drop down GUI when right clicking it or you can write SQL scripts into the query editor.
  • Connecting to new database servers is as easy as typing the name (assuming you have permissions to connect to said server).
  • Installation is easy but time consuming. Following the installation wizard allows you to get SQL installed and running in no time.
  • Understanding the errors one might receive when you have incorrect permissions on a server or database.
  • Setting up permissions can be difficult to grasp since there are permission levels for each server and database.
No
I give it an 8 because it can be hard to start using without knowing some sort of SQL already. Having an understanding of relational databases and SQL queries would be a huge bonus for someone just starting out. But other than that it is great and there are always multiple methods to get to a result. Some people use a GUI and some just write SQL code to accomplish the same feat.
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