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What is SQL Server not good at?


What is SQL Server not good at?

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TravisDBA
TravisDBA
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steve_seeley (11/21/2013)
To quote the favorite answer of technical people everywhere, "It depends". I can take a simple select statement and if I miss something in the where clause I can tank the server. Does that mean we should put warning signs all over? SQL Server is a tool. I can use a screwdriver to drill a hole but it won't be done neatly or easily. There are too many ways to misuse any tool and get bad results. While I do think that it is nice to know limitations or shortcomings sometimes I feel that I am better off not knowing.


Tools can be misused and in some cases downright dangerous in the wrong hands.:-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Wade_S
Wade_S
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What SQL Server doesn't do well (or at all) is true active-active clustering for the purpose of load balancing. I think the lack of a solution there is leading people to look at Oracle or (gasp!) Cassandra as better database solutions.
george sibbald
george sibbald
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SQL server is not good at scale-out (in particular), or DR, 2012 always on is getting there but its still complex.

This is because SQL is so tied to the servername and metadata is held outside the database in system databases.

A simple database engine only instance is OK but as soon as you start adding SSIS, SSRS, linked servers etc it gets messy quickly to maintain failover servers.

MS tend to gloss over this.

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lptech
lptech
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Backup and restore require far too much hands on DBA work. I've mentioned this before here, but back in the 1980's, mainframe DB2 just required a restore database statement to some point in time, and it took care of the rest. The DBMS knew about all of the backup and log files, and did whatever roll back and roll forward that was necessary. Object level recovery should not require a 3rd party vendor product.

Oracle's GoldenGate walks all over replication. It queues up the replicated data, can easily be monitored, and is easily restartable when something goes wrong. It supports many DBMS', and can be used for SQL Server -> SQL Server replication.

The built in monitoring tools are primitive. Quest/Dell even give away a basic version of SQL Spotlight called Spotlight Essentials. Microsoft should include the equivalent of all of the free 'lite' versions.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Jeff Moden (11/20/2013)
The article link in the post above doesn't work. It takes me to a "Not found" window.


Do you mean the URL to the editorial? Or the one to the article I referenced? Both work for me. They're here:

Editorial: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Editorial/104983/
Article: http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/2013/11/11/why-you-should-never-use-mongodb/

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Robert.Sterbal (11/21/2013)
I tend to rely on google and experience, as well as one on one interaction to address the issue that you raised here. It is the nature of the form of documentation that it is a bad place to put what the limitations are. Makes it too easy for competitors to attack your business.


But everyone has limitations, and the fact that some features don't work for some situations isn't a place to attack things. I'm sure competitors would attack, but it would be a shallow, straw man attack. I suspect that most developers would look past such silliness.

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ahperez
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What is SQL server not good at? SSIS (sorry, I know that is too general)

At least there should be documentation and warnings about the import issues that have persisted through various versions of the product and that MS is unlikely to fix or patch. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has spent hours or days researching an error message only to find out that the issue is a documented bug (but usually on a non-MS site like this one.)

So really my answer is MS is not good at honesty about known issues. There should be a central repository to list known issues and suggested work-arounds.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Luis Cazares (11/21/2013)
Even if it's included in BOL, would people read the warnings?
Most people having bad coding habits won't even read basic documentation and go for what they suppose is better with no real bases.


Some of us would for sure.

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Robert.Sterbal
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Whatever problems open source software has, per unit/device/client licensing is very costly to scale.
Jeff Moden
Jeff Moden
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (11/21/2013)
Jeff Moden (11/20/2013)
The article link in the post above doesn't work. It takes me to a "Not found" window.


Do you mean the URL to the editorial? Or the one to the article I referenced? Both work for me. They're here:

Editorial: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Editorial/104983/
Article: http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/2013/11/11/why-you-should-never-use-mongodb/


It was in the original post of this thread. I must have caught it right while you were setting it up because it works fine now.

--Jeff Moden

RBAR is pronounced ree-bar and is a Modenism for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
     Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
Although they tell us that they want it real bad, our primary goal is to ensure that we dont actually give it to them that way.
Although change is inevitable, change for the better is usually not.
Just because you can do something in PowerShell, doesnt mean you should. Wink

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