Alternatives to Microsoft SQL Server10 May 2014
Microsoft SQL Database licensing is expensive, however you do get the benefit of very good development tools and integration. They have three versions:
- Web – no performance tools, SSIS or replication
Alternatives to Microsoft SQL Server are:
- MySQL – Currently owned by Oracle and is slowly being moved away from Opensource. Its a quick database, however is misses alot of features of SQL Server and it very slow at stored procedures and views that your current system uses extensively. MySQL simplifies database development and this is why it is the most popular database system. There are a number of compatible databases including MariaDB and Percona Server.
- Postgres – Fantasic open source database that has excellent performance and features. Originally based on the Ingres database system (which is the original base of SQL Server), it is under
- constant development and they have recently added a number of features to compete against nosql databases like MongoDB.
- Ingres – Sadly neglected by owners over the past 10-20 years
- Other commercial databases – IBM DB2, Oracle, etc all very expensive
If i had to choose a database system for a new system, i would go for
Postgres, however there are a number of risks with Postgres when migrating an existing project:
- Current system will need changing to work. Postgres driver and database might not have the same abilities and features as provided by Microsoft drivers.
- Migrating to a different database will be difficult and possibly need training and support for current staff. You would need significant downtime to migrate the data from one system to the other
- Less used in industry, so experienced staff are not easily available.
- Development tools are not fully integrated into development tools like Visual Studio etc.
- Less documentation/blogs/advise available due to lower usage.
Unfortunately there is no simple replacement and although you might save money on licensing fees, you may end up spending the savings elsewhere.
However if your starting a new project, i would use it.