The relational database management system (RDBMS) is a critical component of the modern business enterprise. The selection of the correct RDBMS to address business requirements and provide capabilities for the future development of the organization is an important decision. Choosing the right enterprise RDBMS requires vetting the vendor, careful analysis of the capabilities of the database systems in relation to the current business requirements, and an assessment of the solution’s capability to meet the organization’s future needs. A thorough RDBMS evaluation would include evaluations if IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle solutions – the primary systems in today’s market,
The Big Five RDBMS vendors have now consolidated further … And Then There Were Three (with apologies to Genesis and their 1978 album of the same name) — Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft. The other Big Five vendors have not kept pace. IBM recently acquired Informix, and Sybase is now considerably smaller than the top three vendors. (van den Hoven, 2002)
The following report evaluates the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management system.
Microsoft is a publicly traded company and a leader in information technology and software solutions. According to Microsoft’s 2009 Annual Report, the company earned $14.56 billion in profit on $58.44 billion in revenue. (Microsoft Corporation 2009 Annual Report, 2009) According to a 2008 Reuters article, Microsoft SQL Server product line held 18.1% of the database market share. (“Microsoft, Oracle databases gain share vs IBM,” 2008) The Reuters article reported Oracle’s market share at 48.6%, IBM’s market share at 20.7%, and all other database solutions at 13%. (“Microsoft, Oracle databases gain share vs IBM,” 2008) Microsoft and the SQL Server 2008 product are clearly dominant players in the RDBMS market.
The Microsoft SQL Server 2008 product provides significant capabilities with a competitive total cost of administration. A 2006 survey of 100 Directors of Database Administration and Database Administrators by the information technology analysis company Alinean found the average cost of administration per database per year to be $2,847 for SQL Server and $10,206 for Oracle (Shanker, 2006) The same study found the following results regarding SQL Server as compared to Oracle:
Figure 1 Comparing Oracle and Microsoft DBMS (Shanker, 2006)
In terms of a benchmark, Microsoft SQL Server is in use in each of the major database types across the sampled businesses. Based on these figures, Microsoft SQL Server is a compelling option for an RDBMS.
Seltzer’s 2005 article, “Beyond Relational Databases,” highlights several key characteristics for next generation data management systems, including XML support, application configurable runtime parameters, and modular architecture. (Seltzer, 2005) Microsoft SQL Server 2008 offers XML support, including XQuery. (“What’s New in SQL Server 2008,” 2010) However, no evidence of application configurable parameters or modular architectures as described by Seltzer were determined to be available in SQL Server products. On the subject of modular architectures, Cavazos and Jarquin’s 2004 article proposed similar concepts for future RDBMS implementations. (Cavazos & Jarquin, 2004) SQL Server 2008 does not offer modular architectures such as those proposed by Cavazos and Jarquin or Seltzer. The Microsoft SQL Server product line is under active development and may provide configurability and modularity capabilities in a future release.
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is a cost-effective and feature rich RDBMS that would be suitable for any size business. The current product does not have some key features indicated, by academic research, for future capabilities.
Cavazos, F. A., & Jarquin, J. C. L. (2004). A 3-tiered client-server distributed database system component-based. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the winter international synposium on Information and communication technologies.
Microsoft Corporation 2009 Annual Report. (2009). Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft, Oracle databases gain share vs IBM. (2008). Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2634118720080826
Seltzer, M. (2005). Beyond Relational Databases. Queue, 3(3), 50-58.
Shanker, G. (2006). Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database: A Comparative Study on Total Cost of Administration (TCA). Orland, FL: Alinean, Inc.
van den Hoven, J. (2002). AND THEN THERE WERE THREE. [Article]. Information Systems Management, 19(2), 88.
What’s New in SQL Server 2008. (2010). Retrieved 2/7/2010, 2010, from http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/whats-new.aspx