Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server

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


What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database.
Read more

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 …
Continue reading

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 …
Continue reading

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 …
Continue reading
Read all reviews


Products that are considered exceptional by their customers based on a variety of criteria win TrustRadius awards. Learn more about the types of TrustRadius awards to make the best purchase decision. More about TrustRadius Awards

Reviewer Pros & Cons

View all pros & cons

Video Reviews

Leaving a video review helps other professionals like you evaluate products. Be the first one in your network to record a review of Microsoft SQL Server, and make your voice heard!

Return to navigation


View all pricing



Per License



Per License

Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services
Return to navigation

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).
Return to navigation


View all alternatives
Return to navigation


(1-4 of 4)
Companies can't remove reviews or game the system. Here's why
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
  • 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
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.
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.
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
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)
February 16, 2016

MS SQL server

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
It is used across the whole organization to build analytical tools for the business users to best analyze the sales data.
  • Sql Server Integration services is a a great tool for ETL needs
  • SQL Server Analysis Services is a great tool to build data marts and data cubes.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services is a great reporting tool.
  • SQL server installation always takes long time, that can be definitely improved.
  • The Management Studio front end still needs work as does Indexing.
  • Few in SSIS Realtime data refresh in SSRS More datasources in Power BI
Volume of the data, it cannot store as much data as Oracle or Teradata does.
  • It is definitely one of the best tools available for all the database needs
  • It is easier to install and easy to get on with.
  • Consistent and reliable.
MS SQL server is the best database management tool available and it has been improving every year addressing the needs for ever growing data.
Redgate SQL Monitor, Java Reporting Engine
Tsql, Admininstration Skills,SSIS,SSRS,SSAS
  • DataWarehouse
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Reports
  • C# and coding and scheduling them
  • Web Service calls
  • DataBase transfer
  • Make use of cloud technology with SQl Server 2016
  • DataStorage space is increased a lot because of sql server 2016
It is a great product answering all Data needs.
MS Access... MS Access wouldn't support huge volumes of data like Sql Server does.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
Product Usability
Not many changes
  • Implemented in-house
  • Server compatability issues
Check your hardware before installing SQL Server like hard disk space.
  • Online training
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
It was good
very hands on and detailed training
Yes, easy to pick up
Its is very good
Hardware requirements have to be met, make sure RAM is available
No - there is no facility to customize the interface
Some - we have added small pieces of custom code
we can use code or C# code and its easy to implement.
Use add on tools like red gate
It is not my decision.
I had prompt responses and forums to look into from time to time.
The issue was with MDS and MS support helped with excel plugins.
  • SQL Server Management studio is easy to understand
  • SQL server reports are easy to build
  • Running queries and retrieving data and moving it to excel is easy
  • Analysis services may be complex to start with
  • Integration Services to an extent
  • MDX queries
Yes, but I don't use it
Ease of use and over all functionality
SQL server does handle growing demands of a mid sized company.
Its does not have outages.
SSAS data cubes may some time slow down your Excel reports.
  • MS Excel
  • SharePoint
  • Cognos
Its is easy to implement
  • Hadoop
  • File import/export
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
  • Javascript widgets
  • ETL tools
Cognos reporting tools
It is easy to integrate
Check the compatability
Easy to work with and knowledgeable
Support is available most of the times
Installation ,support
little bit of patience needed while dealing with support teams
Integration services may take a little longer
  • Query execution times
  • New functionality available
  • Data Storage space
  • Cloud technology
  • Improved Reporting services interface
  • New additions to analysis services
All the features are not available in free editions
Advanced features in enterprise editions.
John Orate | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We use SQL Server for numerous purposes - Line of Business applications, ERP, Sharepoint, Reporting, and Analytics. It is tightly integrated with other systems used throughout the worldwide organization utilizing various tools to provide that integration (Integration Services, linked servers, etc.)
  • Installing and administering a SQL Server instance is one key area that I've found very compelling when using this solution. If you are a power user, you can do many administration tasks via the command line. The visual tools are very good as well.
  • Development on the SQL Server platform is another area that I have found to be extremely flexible, powerful, and easy to manage code. It also integrates nicely with source control so you can keep track of changes.
  • Performance - While this is a debatable topic, it has performed really well with the type of business applications that we've developed in-house as well as packaged solutions (ERP, etc.). I especially like how you can partition data across multiple drives to increase performance even more. The key idea (as with any solution) is how it is architected within your environment to best suit your requirements.
  • One area that I'd like to see improve is it's monitoring toolset. While the built-in tools are good, I've found better 3rd party solutions that do a better job in this area (Embarcadero in particular).
  • Another area is backups. The out-of-box solution is good for small-to-medium sized databases. When your data gets large (gigabtyte/terabyte), then being able to have a robust backup solution with compression becomes critical.
  • Needs better out-of-box analytics and reporting tools. Again, the tools included in the SQL server package are good, but I find that we have to do a lot of workarounds to get these to work the way we need them to. However, for the most part, Reporting Services and Analysis Services are good toolset to quickly produce reports that would otherwise be too cumbersome with other tools on the market.
  • Integration Services is ok for the most part, but it lacks that Enterprise class level of robustness of an effective ETL tool.
During the selection process, I would recommend the following areas be addressed:
1. Usage - How will SQL Server be utilized in your environment? For example, number of users, how many databases, geographical area, etc.
2. What type of expertise will you need to administer and develop against SQL Server? There are a lot of skilled professionals in the industry that have this type of experience, so something to consider during your selection process.
3. Scalability - How will your application/database scale as your business grows?
4. Accessibility - How will the database be accessed? Will it be only internal to your business? Will the data need to be accessed by mobile devices?
5. Reporting and Analytics - How can I use the tools provided by Microsoft to ask questions of my data? How easy will it be to provide me the information that I'm looking for to make sound business decisions?

  • Microsoft SQL Server has made an extremely positive impact on our organization. It was been running our core business for well over 20 years (starting with SQL Server 6.5, and now on SQL Server 2012), so the ROI has been huge!
  • Our administrators and developers have been accustomed to this technology, so the learning curve from version to version has been very little.
We've evaluated a number of database platforms, including Oracle, MySQL, Interbase/Firebird, and MongoDB. While there are similarities in each of the platforms, one key difference is the tools included to administer and develop against the platform. We found that Microsoft SQL Server, hands down, to be the easiest and more robust toolset and have entrusted our organization with this technology.
We have entrusted our organization on the Microsoft SQL Server platform due to its robustness and solid architecture. We have had very little downtime throughout the years and have found the platform to improve greatly with each new version. It's tight integration with the Visual Studio environment makes development much easier. Administration and maintenance is easy as well, utilizing its out-of-the-box toolset for ensuring that the database platform is running smooth and performing well.
We had an Oracle instance that was at the heart of our operations. It held master data as well as details behind many of the products sold through our offering. We ended up replacing Oracle with SQL Server due to two main reasons. Cost and technical expertise. At the time, the cost model was based on a per processor license and was really expensive. The expertise needed to administer and develop against the platform was much greater than was expected, hence the switch to SQL Server.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
Ease of use. Microsoft SQL Server is much easier to deploy, manage, and maintain in a world wide organization than other platforms that we evaluated and used. We took our in-house expertise with Microsoft technology and leveraged that to deploy solutions created on this platform. To this day, it is one of the smartest moves we've made.
If we had to do this again, we would definitely utilize recommendations provided by sites like TrustRadius to assist in the evaluation and selection process. With so many choices out there on the market, it is very difficult to narrow down your selection because of the skilled way that products are being demonstrated and sold. It is through trusted recommendations where you can be assured that you are making a good choice for your organization.
Yes, we pay for premium support if it is absolutely necessary for us to escalate the issue at this level. We have done so on a couple of occasions where it was mission critical to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. Microsoft provided a wealth of resources on the case and got the job done.
Microsoft support is a world class organization. While there are challenges in resolving real world problems, the support team goes beyond the call of duty to provide the necessary expertise to get the issue resolved.
We had a case where we had corruption state in one of our Sharepoint instances. We had the Microsoft support team on calls for roughly a day to troubleshoot the issue. They provided various levels of expertise (Sharepoint, SQL Server, Network Administration, etc.) so that we can isolate the issue and get it resolved. At the end of the day, while everyone was exhausted, it was a great overall experience that should be mentioned.
  • Information gathering through SQL Server Management Studio
  • Simple import/export of data utilizing Integration Services
  • Creating and publishing reports using Reporting Services
  • Complex ETL processes
  • Querying Analysis Services data
  • Accessibility of the data for mobile devices
Microsoft SQL Server is a sold and robust platform. We find it easy to administer, develop, deploy, and manage solutions on this platform. We have used this technology for over 20 years and have entrusted our organization to run on this platform on a worldwide scale. It has been one of the best business decisions we've made.
Return to navigation