Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server is our relational and structured storage tool of choice. We use it to manage multiple resources within the organization from sales data to telemetry data on the software that we create to reporting and managing data for multiple departments. We also develop software in support of SQL Server that helps manage, maintain, develop and deploy SQL Server. SQL Server is a fundamental part of our business.
- SQL Server is first a relational management engine. It stores and manages relational data extremely well.
- SQL Server is highly scalable. With correctly designed databases and well-tuned queries, we're able to store and retrieve data at almost any scale.
- SQL Server is highly ubiquitous. Almost every development tool and language can be used to build software with it. Almost any reporting tool can be used to retrieve information from it.
- Deployments of changes to existing databases can be challenging. Better support within the tool for language constructs in assistance of deployments would be helpful.
- Development processes such as using source control to build your databases is not a native part of the tool set.
- Query tuning is difficult for those who don't have specialized knowledge.
- The wide user base of SQL Server makes hiring a DBA easy.
- SQL Server has a very extensive support community, primarily focused around the PASS organization for Data Professionals, which makes training and support easy to find.
- Microsoft has extensive resources dedicated to SQL Server and there's a thriving third party market, so anything you need to do with the software can be completed.
When talking about structured storage, the big three currently are SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. You can also toss in PostgreSQL into the mix. From a straight forward relational storage stand point, any of these tools will work, and work well. However, SQL Server is superior in multiple areas, especially related to ease of use and the training and support network.
It's all about relational storage. There it shines and will do exactly what you need. For non-relational storage you may be better off with another tool such as DocumentDB. The ability to set up hybrid environments within SQL Server using local machines, virtual machines on services such as Azure or Amazon Web Services, and platform as a service offerings such as Azure SQL Database or Azure SQL Data Warehouse, all of which are the same SQL Server engine, makes for a very complete experience.