Is SQL Server Mature?

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Is SQL Server Mature?

  • I think that SQL Server is mature. More than that, I think that unless Microsoft maintain both the core product and a reasonable pricing structure that there is a danger of it becoming unprofitable for them. That would be a disaster.

    For people to keep on SQL Server when they have reached whatever their upgrade point is, it would be terrible for MS to have priced themselves out of the market.

    As a developer I can see that my tranche of work for the next decade might not be the conversion of uses of MS Access and MS Excel into SQL Server backed applications, often with a web front end, but the conversion of applications with a SQL Server back end and a dated application that might warrant a rewrite.

    I hope not. But the customer is always right.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • My 2 Cents: The SQL Server database platform is probably the most mature product Microsoft offers, some of the other components of the sQL Server Stack are less so. It still has some catching up to do compared to some of the competitors in terms of scalability and functionality but when it comes to "user friendliness", it leaves most others in the dust.

    😎

  • Eirikur Eiriksson (9/26/2014)


    ...but when it comes to "user friendliness", it leaves most others in the dust.

    😎

    Currently, choking on that dust at a client's site where Oracle is the database in use :crying:

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • I realise this applies to the editorial less than the SQL Server 6.5 example, but 2008 r2 is such a good product I can't see any real reason to upgrade to a newer Version of SQL Server. Naturally that also depends on its usage...

    More and more I think that key to continued adoption and growth of SQL Server is licensing by scale, not edition, and not by feature. Just like Azure, let me pay for the cores and RAM I need, and let me easily grow that as needed.

    <-- I agree with this.

  • I'm currently working at a company that actively pursues upgrading to the latest version. I've also worked in environments where the oldest 'active' DB platform was SQL 2000 (and is probably still 'actively' used). I strongly advocate staying on an older version if it works well. This obviously depends on the usefulness of new features, of course.

    In my personal opinion MS is currently out-pricing itself. The new 'per-core' licensing model is very budget draining. Personally, I don't believe the 'upgrades' to the core functionality (i.e. the DB engine) is worth the new price point between SQL 2008 / R2 and 2014. It seems to me like MS is milking the need for enterprise-class database platforms. The 'New Features' in database related apps like SSIS, SSAS, SSRS and HADR / AO don't really justify the huge price associated with MSSQL.

    As for SQL Servers Maturity; It seems to act like a 'mid-life crisis male'. Old enough to know better and sometimes showing its maturity well, yet at times, acting like a teenager and not conforming to 'societal norms'...

  • We are in the proces of dropping our Oracle DB + SAP BODS + Cognos stack and starting fresh with SQL Server 2012 (we asked for 2014 but our mother organisation doesn't 'support' it yet 🙁 ). It is a huge price drop for us and our business case was approved very fast.

    If you come from previous SQL Server versions and have seen the price rise multiple times the perception is very different.

    For us it has 'recently' become mature enough to replace our BI stack.

  • pjdijkstra (9/26/2014)


    We are in the proces of dropping our Oracle DB + SAP BODS + Cognos stack and starting fresh with SQL Server 2012 (we asked for 2014 but our mother organisation doesn't 'support' it yet 🙁 ). It is a huge price drop for us and our business case was approved very fast.

    If you come from previous SQL Server versions and have seen the price rise multiple times the perception is very different.

    For us it has 'recently' become mature enough to replace our BI stack.

    It is good having this perspective as all too often the developers perspective is that there are some developers that constantly push the use of open source solutions with religious zeal. The "its free" argument seems a little simple to me as, quite frankly, it is not. It may or may not be the right choice but as with all other decisions it is a case of "it depends".

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Gary Varga (9/26/2014)


    pjdijkstra (9/26/2014)


    We are in the proces of dropping our Oracle DB + SAP BODS + Cognos stack and starting fresh with SQL Server 2012 (we asked for 2014 but our mother organisation doesn't 'support' it yet 🙁 ). It is a huge price drop for us and our business case was approved very fast.

    If you come from previous SQL Server versions and have seen the price rise multiple times the perception is very different.

    For us it has 'recently' become mature enough to replace our BI stack.

    It is good having this perspective as all too often the developers perspective is that there are some developers that constantly push the use of open source solutions with religious zeal. The "its free" argument seems a little simple to me as, quite frankly, it is not. It may or may not be the right choice but as with all other decisions it is a case of "it depends".

    Yeah we have a lot of web developers with the "its free" mantra around here. I disagree since I like to examine the total cost.

    I do think MS is pricing SQL too high for standard edition. It makes postgres more attractive.

  • As of SQL2008R2 I think it is quite mature... and with Windows 2008R2 I think the platform is mature now. Sure, there are features in the newer two releases that are good. However, what is good enough?... will you take advantage of the new features? How much does it REALLY cost in man hours for testing and building the new servers, documenting these and testing disaster recovery and then doing the final upgrade is the question. One thing that needs to be addressed though is for these company critical dbs is that you need to stay within Microsoft support as well. SOX compliancy will not look favoribly on you if you are running an auditable system with SQL 2000. If a critical security issue creeps up Microsoft will not create a patch for it.

  • I agree with the editorial and would add as someone who's worked both as a DBA and now as a server side software developer: it often depends on how actively you are developing on the the backend. If you are for the most part hosting someone else's application, or it is an old low churn application: why bother with an upgrade? But if you are actively creating new tsql code etc: developer convenience can when out very quickly. For example recently at my work we finally did away with our last SQL 2005 box and now are on 2008 or greater. Simple thing but we no longer have to use a separate line to initialize variables: "declare @actionAllowed bit = 0" is just fine. Very simple feature but slowly these types of things accumulate and if you figure each developer MINUTE is worth about $1 sql pays for itself pretty quick.

    That said we aren't directly paying for SQL Server I think on most of our systems because we host our application on AWS so we pay the same regardless of the version we are running and or developers all get whatever they want because we have MSDN subscriptions.

  • I do think MS is pricing SQL too high for standard edition. It makes postgres more attractive.

    Bingo!

    If you can afford the license costs and need all the features, SQL Server is fine. But the price increases and unwanted/unused features and bugs and bad interfaces that get marked as "Status: Closed as Won't Fix" make you question if every project requires the latest version.

    Sometimes the only thing that keeps SQL Server in the project is that the client never looks bad if they pick a Microsoft solution. On web based projects, many of them don't care, as long as it's secure and backed up.

    If I don't need any feature beyond a reliable, maintainable RDMS, why wouldn't I consider Postgres, if I can administer it? This is the reality the Redmond faces. Many projects don't need their products, so how can they make their solutions more desirable? This is true for their server products and Visual Studio too.

  • Pricing... yea... Microsoft is starting to think they are Oracle.... soon they will be pricing themselves out of the small applications space. There are starting to be a lot of alternatives that are way cheaper now. Don't look now Microsoft... MySQL is a low end server RDBMS.

  • Markus (9/26/2014)


    Pricing... yea... Microsoft is starting to think they are Oracle.... soon they will be pricing themselves out of the small applications space. There are starting to be a lot of alternatives that are way cheaper now. Don't look now Microsoft... MySQL is a low end server RDBMS.

    SQL Server Express works for small applications.

    Most of the upgrades we do is because vendors require it. Vendors often lag behind by two versions.

    A mature product tends to have fewer and fewer additional benefits as the new versions come out. I think we are seeing this will 2012 and 2014. At least my small shop is seeing no benefit to versions after 2008R2.

    Tom

  • We are currently in the process of upgrading to 2012 for a majority of our sql servers. I still have one server on 2008 only because the 3rd party product does not yet support the higher versions. Being a state university, we do have decent discounts from MS but money is money. Also being a state entity, we need to be good stewards of the students and tax payers money. As such, with this upgrade we will be moving our dev/beta/test sql servers to MSDN since we have a handful of current subscriptions. The per core pricing has had a huge impact on our infrastructure budget.

    As for maturity, the database engine is very stable, I would have all of our sql servers stay on 2008r2. But our BI developers are looking forward to the new BI features in 2012 along with the new features in SharePoint 2013.

    Bill Soranno
    MCP, MCTS, MCITP DBA
    Database Administrator
    Winona State University
    Maxwell 143

    "Quality, like Success, is a Journey, not a Destination" - William Soranno '92

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