Microsoft SQL Server - A robust database platform for the Enterprise
October 28, 2014

Microsoft SQL Server - A robust database platform for the Enterprise

John Orate | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • SQL Server, Analysis Services, Reporting Services

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft SQL Server

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.
  • 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.
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?

Evaluating Microsoft SQL Server and Competitors

Yes - 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.

Microsoft SQL Server Support

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.
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - 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.
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.

Using Microsoft SQL Server

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.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • 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