Why SQL Server?

  • Miles Neale


    Points: 13147

    For me it was a progression. Started with Direct Access Method, DAM on a mainframe and got to BDAM, ISAM, DBASE, RBASE, ADABAS, AS400 OS2 and DB2, then to SQL Server and have not left. Until I got to DB2 on the 400 I was doing direct calls to the root kernel of the database doing my own buffering and control of the data. Using pointers and walking through ADABAS L1 returns was not easy and was time consuming. When I hit DB2 it was a new world, but when SQL Server opened up to to me it was like seeing the Promised Land.

    I have dabbled in ORACLE some but have little interest of going there right now. Friends have gone there and most have returned to SQL Server, others have become ORACLE Masters and love it. It is what it is. And for me it is SQL Server by choice I guess.:-)


    Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!

  • TravisDBA


    Points: 15780

    As Jonathan Kehayias likes to calls it, i was an "Accidental DBA". I started the role years ago part-time filling a void for someone who left, and it quickly grew into a full-time gig, and the money isn't too bad either.:-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"

  • cdonlan 18448

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 723

    I actively sought out a .NET/ SQL Server career about 12 years ago. I was in the mainframe (MVS) world writing COBOL on IMS and DB2 databases. I shudder at the thought now. I got some exposure doing some BI development work on ORACLE and enjoyed SQL programming a lot more than JCL and COBOL. I went with SQL Server because I found the integrated components compelling and easy to use as well underrated if not idiosyncratic. Now I prefer data work mostly. No regrets.


    SSC Guru

    Points: 281252

    Jeff Moden (3/1/2013)

    Heh... my goodness. Why would anyone consider being "stuck" in SQL Server being "stuck"? I actually gave up the front-end world (11 years ago) to work almost exclusively in SQL Server and haven't regretted that decision for even a split second.


    Jason...AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
    I have given a name to my pain...MCM SQL Server, MVP
    Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw[/url]
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  • Revenant


    Points: 42467

    I have been on SQL Server since 1997. Until then I worked with PowerBuilder’s WatCom, Informix and Oracle.

    I got pissed off at Oracle because I had a fixed price contract and five people on payroll, and there was a showstopper problem with Oracle and their technical support took over a week to return my call and another week to suggest a circumvention. I took a bath on that.

    A few weeks later I was doing a for me-critical project for Intel and I ran into a problem with SQLS 6.5 accessed from VB5 under MTS. (MTS was Microsoft Transaction Server, then the hottest Microsoft technology.)

    I reported the problem to Microsoft. They called me back in half an hour and promised a fix. They posted that fix for me on their bulletin board – no Microsoft support Web site back then – in 40 hours. Then they called me and the support tech explained that the problem was caused by VB-to-MTS interfaces that erroneously set locks for any SELECT query and because it was an error, they were not lifted and had to expire. And the tech told me that no one on the MTS team went home for two nights.

    I have been on SQL Server ever since and I never again touched Oracle.

    On some projects I am using Azure blobs and tables, and for large volumes (“Big Data”) I use Cosmos with its SQL-based SCOPE.

  • Doctor Who 2


    Points: 7898

    This is a fun topic, Steve, for a Friday poll. I got started working with SQL Server for much the same reasons you gave. I came to the position and agency where I currently work years ago. When I started we started a new application for tracking clients, and used Microsoft Access as the database. We put a .MDB onto a network share and started writing old VB4 code (yes, VB4) against it. It seemed to work well, for a while, but we soon ran into difficulties, because MS Access couldn't handle the number of users we were hitting it with. My supervisor at the time had experience with Oracle, and it was bad experience. He made the decision to go with SQL Server (I think it was SQL 6.5 back then, I can't remember). We've been with SQL Server ever since.


  • Doctor Who 2


    Points: 7898

    Jeff Moden (3/1/2013)

    Heh... my goodness. Why would anyone consider being "stuck" in SQL Server being "stuck"? I actually gave up the front-end world (11 years ago) to work almost exclusively in SQL Server and haven't regretted that decision for even a split second.

    I agree with you, Jeff. I don't see being "stuck" with SQL Server a bad thing at all. I love how easy it is to work with. That's especially important to me because I have to work in both the back-end world and the front-end world. If it isn't easy to use, then I just can't use it because I just don't have the time.


  • rustman

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4157

    Like many others, I was tasked with supporting an application that ran on SQL server. At the time it was SQL Server Ver 6.5. The product was called Report Manager and it managed our reports that were streamed from the mainframe. Not many issues but ever so often a transaction got stuck open and then the transaction log would not truncate. Once I got into troubleshooting the database issues, I was hooked on product. Started building support applications on the tables in the Report Manager database and haven't looked back. It just seems that what ever data problem I face, with just the tools provided, I can attack and find a solution.

  • Dave Schutz

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4160

    I started with SQL Server as we use MS Dynamics which is SQL based. Also have created several apps that use SQL Server as the backend.

  • Ross McMicken

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4376

    I fell into SQL Server when I started a new job in 2001 supporting a new version of an accounting package I had supported elsewhere. From day 1, everything clicked. The tools are good, T-SQL works well, and the documentation is easy to use and complete. What more could you want?


    Say Hey Kid

    Points: 689

    I first started using FoxPro then moved to SQL Server 7 soon afterwards. I'll never forget opening up SQL Server in the morning and getting the message "SQL Server is not on, would you like to start it?" and always freaking out "why is it never on!!" ... eventually realizing it was my connection to the server that wasn't "on" 😛 (Something like that.)

    After that I did almost 10 years of ColdFusion to SQL Server work and loved every minute of it. It was fun to work with both sides of the brain. Eventually we became a .Net shop and I had become bored with programming the same things over and over again. So I asked if I could join the new DBA team that had just formed. I got some admin training and haven't looked back since.

    I tried working with Oracle but it just never took. The Oracle tools that come with it seem like there were developed by Larry Ellison's 14 year old kid as a summer project, instead of giving him/her an allowance. I

    've also found the SQL Server community much, much better. The learning resources at your finger tips are simply unmatched. I've done lots of SQL Server webinars and have learned so much from them ... compared to the Oracle webinars that are always sales pitches for obscure new products.

  • jfogel

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4136

    The Oracle tools became crap when 8i was introduced and Java came in to play. It is my opinion that this is a major reason the command line is the favored tool of the Oracle DBA as it is the only thing that works like it is supposed to and is fast. All the Windows based tools are iffy. If you ask me.


  • LadyRuna


    Points: 2192

    I wound up going to SQL Server by "upgrading" from MS Access. After our MS Access application grew beyond a certain size (I forgot what that size was, but it was MS Access '95), people at my company noticed that its performance was seriously degrading. So, I was tasked with finding something that we could upgrade it to...I found that MSSQL server 6.0 would be fairly easy to migrate the Access tables into, and that the Access front-end would play well with it (which meant I wouldn't have to re-write the application). So we upgraded. I then moved on to becoming a SQL Server DBA and (now) a developer because I was having so much fun "playing" with SQL. 😎 MSSQL server has certainly "grown up" over the years.

  • calvo


    Points: 12930

    It's interesting to see there are a couple common themes.

    1. Pushed/Fell into DBA work ("it's broke.... NOT IT!!!")

    2. Transitioned into it ("Programming lead me to be a DBA")

    One I haven't heard yet is "Its what I've always wanted to do". My story goes like this.

    Back in the year 2000 during my first year of college, I was impressed by Excel in Intro to Personal Computers. For my second year I took Introduction to Databases Using Oracle which peaked my interest. I had fun writing scripts and returning data sets and printing results. I really took to it and knew this was something I would like to do. After that semester I had a couple non-IT jobs but all the while had database work in the back of my mind. In 2006 I had the opportunity to get my foot in the door with a small development shop and told them my goal was to work with databases. They used SQL Server in 90% of their development and I stuck with it ever since.

    So why SQL Server? Because it was my destiny!

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  • Evil Kraig F

    SSC Guru

    Points: 100851

    I'm a semi-odd case. I work in SQL Server because it offers me the highest pay of my available skillsets. Rather mercenary but really as long as my work is good noone should care about my reasonings, at least professionally.

    I got into SQL Server via a back alley. Like everyone else I just needed a job at one point and ended up doing over the phone help desk support for applications, including VBA for Office. Started at just above minimum wage and I excelled at it, having done programming as a kid, working on PCs since I was young, and knowing things like Dataease from wayback due to my family's background in accounting and programming.

    Eventually I got involved in their top tier support doing MS Access support and was being trained in SQL Server when I just burnt out due to professional and personal reasons reaching a crux in my life. So I moved. I met a mentor who hired me for MS Access work and threw me in the deep end of SQL Server and then helped me to learn that I actually had no damned clue what I was doing... then showed me how to teach myself in SQL Server.

    My skillsets run the gamut. I've been a house painter, a framer, a stock broker, a trucker, a shop manager, office manager for land appraisals... you get the drift. SQL Server offers me the best pay for my brain. My body's degrading but my brain isn't, so this is where I'm staying.

    Besides, who wants to work on a system where every time you boot up the software you start expecting the sheriff to deliver your database a candygram?

    - Craig Farrell

    Never stop learning, even if it hurts. Ego bruises are practically mandatory as you learn unless you've never risked enough to make a mistake.

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