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Would You Choose SQL Server?


Would You Choose SQL Server?

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Would You Choose SQL Server?

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Jeff Moden
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I have to say "it depends" on what the app is supposed to do (including "scale") and how specialized it needs to be. Having written a small and specialized "data engine", including my own sort routines, clustered and nonclustered indexes (non B-Tree), date/time functions, etc, etc, I might not even use a database engine. Of course, I'd also have to weigh out whether doing such a thing were cheaper than buying SQL Server and what the hidden cost of people hating proprietary databases might be. They might not buy the product unless it uses a recognized/established dtabase engine.

--Jeff Moden

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David.Poole
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As Jeff says, it depends on the scale.

But if you are talking about a small business startup I'd say use AWS and one of the RDS options as a starting point.

The other thing is to look at your requirements. If you suddenly find that you need an RDBMS and capabilities that look like SSRS, SSAS and SSIS then I'd look at SQL Server. If you only need a small part of the SQL Server eco system then perhaps not.

I'd reitterate that the decision has nothing to do with the quality or lack of features within SQL Server. It is purely on getting an acceptable solution at an acceptable cost to start and grow the business. Remember that a high proportion of business startups fail in the first 18 months.

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MKEDataGuy
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So, I'll sort of echo what's already been said...

If we're looking at just the data engine, I'd look at other products, too.

But as soon as the requirements start needing ETL and reporting tools, SQL Server gets a lot more attractive.

Thanks,
MKE Data Guy
OCTom
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Any decision as to which database to use depends on what the application will do today and for the forseeable future. Even if you are a SQL Server shop, it pays to analyze whether SQL Server is the correct platform. Sometimes the decision is made for you. If the vendor of a package that has already been purchased says the platform is MySQL on Linux then that's what it is.
John Hanrahan
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Second David Poole's comments. I am looking at building small apps for researchers and AWS is probably how I'm going to go. Even using free SQL Express wasn't interesting to me.

But for a large enterprise MS SQL would get considered.
TomThomson
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I guess I have to agree with everything that people have said so far.

However, it's probably worth saying that while MSDE was not really a consideration for anything but trivial applications, SQL Express is much more useful. So there's a class of app for which SQL express is adequate, and it's certainly difficult to claim that the license for that is too expensive.

I think some of the changes in licensing recently have made SQL Server much less competitive that it used to be. If I understand the increased costs correctly, there are many cases where a couple of years ago I would have recommended SQL Server but today I would recommend Postgres.

Tom

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No I would not buy SQL Standard to build the app on the hardware you describe. I would by Developer Edition write the SQL code in ANSI standard and then load test it to see what hardware was required and see if I would have enough customers to make it profitable to run on Standard or needed to be ported to another SQL product.
However I completely agree that 2012's licensing was a major step in the wrong direction.
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Don't even start with the Express version. We started with SQL Standard, then had memory / CPU constraints and moved to SQL Enterprise, being the easier upgrade path. Now pricing is ridiculous and web scale is limited, so we're looking to get out from under the cost/limitations of it. Unfortunately; we have a lot of development, years of it, around MSSQL at this point and migration is difficult. If I had to do it over, I'd find another solution, there are plenty, one that web scaled and was either open source or cost effective at web scale. MSSQL is not!
mike.gallamore
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Like everything ... it depends. Generally if you are being paid for and paying for (ie have customers and are paying employees salaries) you have to manage some combination of what you are best able to use as a tool and what your customers demand. 8k is not a lot it is about 1 developer month worth of expense. So if you are building anything that you expect to use more than say 6 people months developing the SQL cost is relatively trivial.

If you are a small shop/just starting out try some combination of SQL Express, Azure, or getting hooked up with BizSpark. By the time you need to scale up you should have the revenue to do so. It is all what you as a developer and your customers can support in house. In my experience the expectation is that MySQL/PostGres will be a free/cheap offering and anything on Sybase/DB2/MS SQL etc (the enterprise dbs) will be at "professional" prices. Part of that is they have the built in expense of the database license but I think a part of that is customers mindset IMO too. Give me a computer department ticketing system running on MySQL and I'll assume it is FOSS or try to find a free one. Give my one running on SQL and I'll expect to spend $2000 a year and have someone to call that one time in 10 years I need customer support. If the problem it solves is worth the cost I don't care one way or another make the problem go away and I'll be happy. I suspect most customers are that way too (and the ones not willing to pay a profitable amount for the development cost of the software aren't really customers worth having are they?).
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