I have personally seen the SQL Server platform serve as the basis for solving countless business, technology and user challenges by talented professionals. Sometimes the solutions are masterpieces and other times you could say the workarounds are not pretty. To me, Microsoft delivers a relatively simple platform with SQL Server to resolve a wide variety of challenges around the globe. However, I still see technology and business professionals wanting more from the product. What's on your SQL Server wish list?
Here is your opportunity to take a few minutes and think about what is missing from SQL Server and share your thoughts with the greater community. As a SQL Server DBA consultant by profession, you might be surprised by a few of my thoughts, but we want to hear from you. Take a look a my thoughts and share yours in the comments section of this tip.
Simplicity for SQL Server
Both personally and professionally, I really like to keep things simple, straightforward and avoid any sort of complexity or drama. With some aspects of SQL Server there may be too many options. I have seen a number of customers struggle with solving a problem because they are not sure which option to select. They also do not have the time to test every option. As long as the code works and performs relatively well, they move on because their task list grows by the minute. Unfortunately, this can result in performance problems in the future. One classic example is the use of IN, EXISTS, JOIN, INTERSECT, EXCEPT, etc. commands. I generally try to use simple JOINs, but that is not always possible based on the database design.
Having options is generally good, but do you feel like too many options sometimes causes confusion?
Lightweight SQL Server Command Line Tool
Speaking of tools, I can remember the days of Query Analyzer and really loved the tool. It was simple, lightweight and did everything I needed. I like SQL Server Management Studio and use it every day. I can also understand why Microsoft is trying to have a single toolset based on Visual Studio, but I miss that simple lightweight tool to handle my core SQL Server DBA responsibilities.
I know many DBAs and Developers are looking for more bells and whistles with the tools, but I am more interested in a simple tool. What are you looking for with the SQL Server tool set?
SQL Server Functions
Another area I have seen and experienced some issues with SQL Server are related to mathematical and reporting functions (User Defined | System). Some other database\reporting vendors have financial, mortgage, statistical, etc. functions included with their product. Are there functions you wish were included with SQL Server? Would they potentially benefit the entire community, your industry or your business?
End to End SQL Server Integrated Business Intelligence Platform
With the recent tips on PowerPivot, DAX, etc. I am eager to see how business intelligence and reporting changes for all data professionals. Unfortunately, I still see confusion on the BI side of the SQL Server platform. The integration with Excel has always made a great deal of sense to me and my hope is that business intelligence and reporting is simplified by leaps and bounds with the future SQL Server platforms. How do you think the SQL Server platform can improve business intelligence even more?
Simple SQL Server Licensing
Virtualization, multiple cores, multiple instances, clustering, AlwaysOn, and more have all been beneficial for a variety of infrastructure needs. Unfortunately, I am hesitant when answering any licensing questions for customers because of upgrade paths, enterprise agreements, etc. I also have customers get confused with all of the terminology and licensing implications. I guess we are coming full circle back to "simplicity". Are you struggling with SQL Server licensing? How have you simplified SQL Server licensing at your company?
What's next for SQL Server? Do you think it is:
More cloud offerings?
Improved performance and manageability for BIG DATA implementations?
Screaming fast in-memory OLTP database?
Working with more unstructured data?
High performance for distributed SQL Server instances?
Now here is your opportunity to let the community know what you are thinking. Post your SQL Server wish list in the comments section below. We want to hear from you and get your opinion!
Last Update: 1/18/2013
About the author
Jeremy is the CTO @ Edgewood Solutions, co-founder of MSSQLTips.com and SQL Server MVP since 2009.
What would be really helpful from a DBA perspective is to have a 'create new login like' command where you could just copy an existing users security settings over to a new user. This needs to include all database and object security.
Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:19:13 AM - Jeremy Kadlec
Variables that survive across a GO! I would like to be able to have a long script with all of the configuration settings up front instead of interspersed. Passing parameters to scripts would be nice, too.
Friday, January 18, 2013 - 1:35:28 PM - Jeremy Kadlec
I have often thought tht a simple median function in SQL Server would be extremely useful. There are certainly ways to get that answer out of SQL Server right now, but they are all unnecessarily complicated for something like getting the median. (Adding mode would also likely be useful, but that has been less significant for me personally.)
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 11:29:50 AM - Jeremy Kadlec