The Poll – What is Your Favorite Database?

What is Your Favorite Database?

I have been listening so many different answer to question of favorite database. I would like to know what is favorite database of readers. I encourage all of you to participate in this poll. It is very quick poll and takes a second.

A gift of USB drive will be provided to user who will also add comment discussing this subject matter. I encourage to send emails to your friends to participate in poll. I am hopping this poll becomes landmark poll for people who are finding answer to favorite database.

Reference : Pinal Dave (

47 thoughts on “The Poll – What is Your Favorite Database?

  1. Well, I look at it like this… a 2-pronged approach:

    1. RDBMS functionality (does it do what I need it to do?)
    2. Flexibility (do I like using this ? )

    Even though I have used Oracle since Oracle 5.2 (sheesh.. I’m only 37 yrs old) in my school days, I’ve enjoyed the building blocks approach to new Oracle versions, however….

    SQL Server gets my vote now for the sole reason that I can accomplish more (flexibiilty) and pure rapid speed of that flexibility is much greater than anything Oracle has produced in its lifetime.

    Oracle may be more configurable and thus tiny changes in the O/S or RDBMS can accomplish more that what I would have to change in SQL Server to get to , but the ease and power of SQL Server is just …. better.


  2. Hi Pinal,

    Always enjoy reading your blog. But I’d like to challenge the validity of this poll. Given that yours is a SQL Server centric blog and assuming that most of readers work with SQL Server, I feel that the results will be skewed. Running such a poll on a MySQL or Oracle blog will give significantly different results.

    BTW: I voted for SQL Server


  3. I do freelance website programming in so SQL Server is a natural choice for me.

    I also find the tools for SQL server management to be much easier to use than those for the other databases I have tried. Being a VB.NET programmer I want to be able to deal with my databases using a GUI and only dip into SQL when it is absolutely necessary.


  4. My vote, SQL Server. SQL Server is the only enterprise database product that doesnt require a DBA!

    Where I’m working now we have 2 Oracle DBA’s running a smaller database than our SQL Server which is maintained by our developers.


  5. SQL Server is the best by far. Some may complain that it costs money, but with SQL Express (as a server option) and SQL Compact (as an embedded option) being available for FREE there’s really no excuse not to use it.

    Also, I’m not interested in winning the USB drive; I just wanted to add a little discussion to this poll.


  6. I find the use of MySQL for small applications sufficient.

    SQL server is a great choice for medium to large applications and would be my first choice.

    Oracle is busy dying out and maintanace is not as simple as SQL Server.


  7. I voted SQL Server because I have in mind that most customers don’t want the Database ONLY anymore. They mostly want analysis services and reporting services too!

    Sure, you can connect to other Databases with SSAS and even SSRS directly or with SSIS, but we favor the “whole solution” from Microsoft because of some pitfalls you have with “alien” data sources. :-)


  8. I have polled for SQL Server because of the fact that it is very user friendly and is a trustworthy tool.

    Database is something which should not be complex and can store your valuable data. So in that case you need something trustworthy and that’s why i go for SQL server.

    Despite the fact that I have done DBA using Oracle, I still vote for it because now on I am working mainly on it and also I am familiar to it and could help my friends too. So feels kind of satisfied too.


  9. It’s a pity IBM DB2 is not included. Its free version is many times faster and has much more features than MySQL, and also comes with less strings attached.

    Still voting for SQL server since this is my primary DB, though (and it also has the most usable tools with nicest GUI).


  10. I like reading your blog,m but I think that such a poll on a SQL Server centric will be a bit biased in the results.
    It’s like asking what is your favorite programming language on a Java related blog or which car brand do you prefer on a blog that talks about Audi cars :)


  11. the MS SQL Server family has been the toolset I have preferred to use since the introduction of MS SQL SQL Server 2000. While many malign enterprise manager and management studio those toolsets have made it easy to administer db servers of all scales and opens it up to developers and non developers alike. These tools allow you to manipulate the db, diagnose performance bottlenecks with ease. The other offerings out there have faciltiies for htis but they are neither simple or nor integrated cleanly in their application.

    If I were building a new applicaiton today I would be hard pressed to not consider MS SQL as the db of choice.


  12. Am I the only one that wants to make a joke about Master or AdventureWorks being my favorite database? No wait – TempDB is by far my favorite database!
    I think the question should have been “What is your favorite rdbms?” or “What is your favorite database server”.

    But while we’re asking – what’s your favorite schema? Mines sys for sure! ;)


    • Simon,
      Absolutely, I like sys schema as well.

      I totally agree that question should be what is your favorite database server but when I showed this to my team they all suggested that I should drop server word as not all database are called server. Calling server may be too much indicating SQL Server.

      I hope it is now clear to everybody.

      Btw, SQLAuthority community loves your comments and suggestions. You are always welcome.

      Pinal Dave


  13. Pinal it is totally not WORTH of your time to answer some of the question.

    Btw, SQL Server rocks and it is way better than any other Database available in market.


  14. I’m not sure thats a fair question to ask. There are TONS of databases out there both free and commerical. The real question is always whats you’re favorite database for X.

    For a ‘Enterprise’ DB, I like Sql server. It has a low barrier to entry, good tools, reasonable price point etc etc. I like PL/SQL as a stored proc language better than t-sql, but I find the learning curve for new developers to be higher on Oracle.

    MySQL’s licensing terms, specifically the GPL’ed ADO.Net provider, personally make it a ‘meh’ option in the open source / free category. If I had to pick an enterprise database for linux shops I’d go with Postgres or Firebird first. MySQL’s ability to have differing disk formats is a really great feature. However the disk formats that it ships with are in my book un-compelling. Postgres and Firebird both have much better concurrency models. They both have much better procedural languages. They dont ‘blackmail’ me into buying support by GPLing a component that every other vendor on the planet licenses under the LGPL and then offering a binary-only support contract.

    One database I find myself using a lot is SQLite. It’s a very very simple database. It’s serverless, locking is coordinated through the database file. The resource requirements are low enough for use in embeded systems. The great part about it is the zero-config aspect of it All you need to do is link in the library and point it at the db file. This is great for stuff you’d never think of using a database for otherwise. If I’m writing an application that needs data files, I can make them a database. I can use it as a light-weight db for unit testing. For webapps that expect an unzip and go deployment it’s a wonderful option. I can have a real db that simply lives on a file in the app.


  15. I think Microsoft Access is the best database evah! It lets management types do an initial design, get in way over their head, and then pay me to redo it in SQL Server.


  16. definitely SQL Server. I don’t have any terribly wonderful reasons except that it’s easy to use and manage. That and the tools available for SQL Server crush the tools available for any other database server I’ve worked with. I love my IDE, and SQL Management Studio is the shit.


  17. SQL Server had my vote. But I must agree that this is a predetermined winner. Something like a self fulfilling prophecy. At least when posted on a page committed to MS SQL Server driven by a MCP ;)

    At least interesting htat for now there are 22% not voting for SQL Server.



  18. This is actually a difficult question for me to answer. In many ways, I LOVE the SQL in MS SQL Server better. Allowing conditional execution to inline styles (IF / CASE), table variables, etc.

    However, that said, the MySQL admins tend to be MUCH easier to work with. I use Navicat to access MySQL and it makes things sooo easy to work with MySQL databases. On the other hand, I use SQL Server Management Studio which makes my head hurt :)

    So, all to say, I prefer SQL Server DB and MySQL admin clients.


  19. BEST RDBMS in Market :

    SQL Server

    Few reasons:

    1. Costs Less.
    2. Extra Security.
    3. Extra features
    4. Comes with many free tools.
    5. Have capabilities to handle VLDB (UPSS – 18 TB, Myspace uses SQL Server)
    6. Comparatively easy to handle/Interfaces.

    List goes on and on….

    More Important… I am getting monthly pay cheques because I am SQL Server DBA. :)


  20. In my work experience, I have worked in both SQL Server and Oracle. I have good experience in query tuning in both of them, probably more in SQL Server than in Oracle. However, two things I can clearly infer from my experience.

    1. SQL Server is eazy to use, program and understand. Its more user/programmer friendly than Oracle.

    2. Oracle on any day performs better than SQL Server in terms of volume of data it can store and fetching data and performance. Oracle beats SQL Server in terms of how much data it can cater.

    So Oracle is the way to go to for corporates whose data will be ever increasing. SQL Server is something programmers can use to learn querying and query tuning.


  21. I think Sql Server is the best among all of that , actually in this fast generation we need to learn fastly and know what exactly going , so that , microsoft did this in very efficient way.


  22. For years I built standalone business applications using c-Tree, a high-performance, cross-platform database from Faircom that could be implemented with native or server based access.

    I still think c-Tree is the best database in the universe, although the downside is the limited acceptance and limited developer resources.

    For the past few years, all my clients have used SQL Server.

    Like all things Microsoft, SQL Server is a “good-enough” solution, so using and implementing it is tolerable. Since it plays well with MS office and MS builds all its business-centric products around it, it becomes the de-facto standard.

    Compromise is not always the best course, but when dealing with jumpy executives and poorly-trained IT, sometimes the best you can do is compromise.

    Even for some of the grandest projects, Oracle has usually been overkill. It’s expensive, a hog, slow (in my experience — and don’t blame me, it was always administered by a “professional” Oracle admin), but will handle 500,000 transactions in a gulp. I have seen one implementation of an Oracle database that actually needed that kind of horsepower.

    Sybase and MySQL need no comments. Their fanbois are poised out there, ready to tout their superiority and flame anyone who disagrees.

    Like one of your commenters stated, the question should be “what’s your favorite database for X type of project?”

    If the environment is Microsoft and the platform is business and the clients and staff are untrained and largely uninformed, the answer is always SQL Server.

    Still, I would never undertake a project using SQL Server without one of the best ORM/EF products available. Microsoft’s LINQ and EF are both less palatable as database access layers than are the visual components that come in Visual Studio tolerable as win or web-form components. (While most of what MS delivers is “good enough,” I think MS delivered LINQ and EF so they could claim they provide something. As they dissatisfied girlfriend says of the gift from an unwanted suitor, “you shouldn’t have.”

    Just as I would never deliver a product using the world’s ugliest visual components (the VS toolbox), I would never use SQL Server without a quality (and pricey) ORM.

    Even with all it’s drawbacks, sometimes the answer is SQL Server even if the staff and clients are very skilled and knowledgeable. I can think of some cases where it is the best answer, but the meta-requirements have to go far beyond capacity, speed, platform, or tools.

    I guess there will always be a few “BetaMax” databases out there that are far superior in performance and capability to SQL Server. But the Redmond Marketing Horde has long conquered the battleground and there is little hope of the best rising above the most popular.


  23. SQLite for small, or single user embedded apps (even small web sites).

    SQL Server is great if using the MS tool chain and MS OSes.

    PostgreSQL for robust performance at very low cost, multiple platforms.

    Oracle if you need solid clustering or advanced features such as data versioning, etc. And of course you have lots of money. Many of the features in Oracle can’t be found elsewhere. It is also dizzingly fast.

    Pound for pound, SQLite is the most impressive. It is useful for hobbyists and prototyping. It also powers Google Gears and numerous other well known apps.


  24. I agree with Will. I used to hate Microsoft Access but now I realize the CFs (comical fiascoes) caused by managerials slapping crud together in Access create great opportunities for those who know how to work with real databases like SQL Server.

    In terms of the low end of the spectrum, SQLite is the way to go! Pure free awesome quicky prototyping magic!


  25. SQL server is almost the only RDBMS i’ve ever used.
    And I do not feel like i need to change it to another soft.
    Seems to be good enough.


  26. Pingback: SQL SERVER - What is Your Favorite Database? - Poll Continuous Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

  27. SQL server is a reasonably priced easy to use database that has enterprise class features that businesses need. Its ability to integrate with other Microsoft programming languages makes it flexible enough to custom build data driven applications, but it can also be easily integrated with other data driven business intelligence applications or used as a stand alone BI applications in and of itself. I have worked with Oracle, SQL Server and various open source databases, but I have found SQL server to be the best balance of processing power, price and flexibility.


  28. About SQL SERVER

    1.When I joined Parliament House as AdHoc Programmer , i was assigned to take backup and restore critical database to production server April 2007, Sql Server 7.0 and Sql Server 2000

    2.Next, I was asked to run an DTS package , which will copy a table to another database (different server – only 5 days before Parliament Session Starts)

    3.Server Goes Down , Retored the Data Folder from backups.

    4.Sql Server 2005 was Brought – March 2008

    5. Ported All Database from SQL SERVER 2000 to 2005

    6. Corrected some Queries of old Applications which works on SQL SERVER 7.0

    7.Started to read this blog

    8. Retreated the basic of DBMS , Read SQL SERVER 2005 Administration book , attend 2 day work shop in MICROSOFT , Nehru place , Delhi

    9.I dont know what should i call my self ” Database Developer or Database Administrator”

    10. Still Confused but i know SQL SERVER 2005 is better than the best .


  29. I prefer the DB that is best suited for the job. If there job can use any, i prefer Oracle because it makes the most sense to me.

    I’ve use a few RDBMs, but for short periods, like a year or two. I have very particular tastes, and as such am heavily biased, so IMNSHO:

    SQL Server implements what programmers want, and then bends to the way things should be where it doesn’t add too much inconvenience.

    Pros: Integrated, easy to manage, secure, supported, low cost, convenient in most cases, Pinal Dave
    Cons: inconvenient in some cases (SET NOCOUNT ON et al, non-ANSI join-syntax is deprecated, and others) bar set too low for DBAs (allowing much idiocy), no robust command line tool

    Oracle implements things the way they should be done, and then bends to the programmer where it is helpful but does not break any ideas.

    Pros: Robust, secure, supported, fast, long history
    Cons: Very expensive, inconvenient in some cases

    MySQL isn’t a database. It’s free and fast for lightweight applications, but lacks security and robustness of a real database. I’d use it where speed and cost are factors, but not security or data retention.

    Pros: Fast, free
    Cons: Not secure, error messages rarely help, not robust, no reliable data retention, slow on complex queries with large data sets.

    Others include:

    DB2 implements whatever it can, trying to make everybody happy, supporting the popular features of both SQL Server and Oracle. I would use it where being an IBM shop made sense. Otherwise, SQL Server or Oracle could easily do the same job.

    Pros: Supports everything. Cheap. Supported by IBM.
    Cons: Easy to crash (i crashed it, that is the server, 4 different times by running regular queries), lack of distinctness

    PostgreSQL is similar to Oracle, but free. I’d use it anywhere other people would use MySQL but want a database instead, or where commercial support is a must.

    Pros: Fast, free, secure
    Cons: Relatively small community supporting it

    Access is a RAD for small applications.

    Pros: Cheap, integrated, RAD
    Cons: Single user, not for large applications.

    One word:

    SQL Server – Easy
    Oracle – Robust
    MySQL – Fake
    DB2 – Contender
    PostgreSQL – Free
    Access – Small

    Thank you for reading. I think i got it out of my system now. :)


  30. I vote for db4o.
    All of previous commenters are speaking about relational databases. Yes, they are good, they have big infrastructure. But all of them are slow in comparison with non relational databases.
    Also it’s more easy to work with objects directly instead of working with tuples of data for a developer.


  31. Pingback: SQLAuthority News - Database Poll and Gandhinagar SQL Server User Group Launch Today Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

  32. I have worked on both SQL and Oracle.

    By all means SQL Server is my choice. Even though Oracle is roboust and lot of features, comparing the price, ease of use ….. SQL is the Best

    Starting from SQL Server 6.5 till now, i feel SQL Server had come a long way and it may catch up with Oracle if future on all the functionality.

    So my Preference is SQL Server


  33. Hi Pinal,
    I feel SQL Server is the best Database System around. The reason being the rich feature set which covers varied aspects of data storage with 2008 including Spatial and Geometry data types. It has grown so much from SQL Server version 4.2 when it was tied up Sybase.
    The Transact SQL language is very powerful with rich set of functions, the Mgmt Studio is one of the best i have seen when it comes to working with databases from Admins to Developers. The intellisense features in 2008 Mgt studio makes it so user friendly to code.

    SSIS AND SSAS are two rich sets of tools which enable the SQL Server Database to be a complete Datawarehouse Solution. They integrate with SQL Server very well enabling us to Deploy high end Datawarehousing solutions.

    Thank you


  34. Hi pinal,

    i started database with oracle. but look and fell , comfortable, various features, navigation components in SQL Server make to sense to think. so i shifted and using SQL Server commonly for all my applications to develop.

    Finally my vote to SQL Server.


  35. Hi Pinal

    I will go for Oracle, since I have worked on oracle and few stuff which I think SQL server is not providing campare to Oracle is

    Platform dependancy

    SQL Server is only operable on the Windows platform, a major limitation for it to be an enterprise solution. Oracle is available on multiple platforms such as Windows, all flavors of Unix from vendors such as IBM, Sun, Digital, HP, Sequent, etc. and VAX-VMS, as well as MVS. The multi-platform nature of Oracle makes it a true enterprise solution.

    Locking and concurrency

    SQL Server has no multi-version consistency model, which means that “writers block readers and readers block writers” to ensure data integrity. In contrast, with Oracle, the rule is “readers don’t block writers and writers don’t block readers.” This is possible without compromising data integrity because Oracle will dynamically re-create a read-consistent image for a reader of any requested data that has been changed but not yet committed.


  36. Hi,

    I have been using sql server for last 3 years. I found it very useful and interesting to use. I voted for sql server as i have worked in sql and one of the most widely used and popular rdbms.


    Anil kumar dubey


  37. Pingback: SQL SERVER - Poll Result - What is Your Favorite Database? Journey to SQL Authority with Pinal Dave

  38. Hi Pinal,

    I have read many articles about Relational Databases on your blog they are very useful. All comarison like cost, Sequrity and other feauture SQL SERVER is good.


  39. Hi All,

    I suppose my favorite database is SQl Server since i have been using it long time and i find it user friendly and easy to learn.Also it has its own Analysis services, Reporting services.

    But when it comes to performance consideration, it is very slow when compared to other databases like Oracle,DB2 etc.
    It is not suitable for very large application.

    Also i find that its far behind in terms of features when compared to Oracle. All the new features of latest version have Sql server (2008) was present long back in earlier version of Oracle. I find Sql copying the features of Oracle in this case to be more competitive.

    finally i can say,

    coding & user interface wise favorite database is Sql server

    Based on Performance,favorite database is Oracle


  40. SQL server is the way to go.
    From cost, to ease of install, to ease of development, to support….it beats Oracle hand down.

    Now, from what I know, large databases (that most of us do not work on, such as Financal Systems or Major ERP systems) Oracle is more efficient.

    We are working on a Healthcare software/service startup and our choice was clearly SQL Server. Because it was cheaper, more compatible (I think) to web applications and certainly a lot cheaper to support on the long run.

    Have a great day

    p.s. Pinal, you are da man. I absolutely love your blogs. Very informative. Cheers mate!


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