Sql server updating large databases

26-Feb-2016 18:41 by 9 Comments

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I know it's not scientifically rigorous to do a comparison like this when I don't have equal experience with both databases, but this is not an academic exercise – it's a real-world comparison.I have done my honest best to get my facts about MS SQL Server right – we all know it is impossible to bullshit the whole internet.

sql server updating large databases-20sql server updating large databases-14

I am comparing the two databases from the point of view of a data analyst.

Let's not understate this: a data analytics platform which cannot handle CSV robustly is a broken, useless liability. The commands support the spec outlined in RFC4180 (which is the closest thing there is to an official CSV standard) as well as a multitude of common and not-so-common variants and dialects. When an error occurs, they give helpful error messages.

Importantly, they will not silently corrupt, misunderstand or alter data.

If Postgre SQL says your import worked, then it worked properly.

Maybe MS SQL Server kicks Postgre SQL's arse as an OLTP backend (although I doubt it), but that's not what I'm writing about here, because I'm not an OLTP developer/DBA/sysadmin. Do please use it if you wish; I will do my best to respond. This section is a comparison of the two databases in terms of features relevant to data analytics.

CSV is the de facto standard way of moving structured (i.e. All RDBMSes can dump data into proprietary formats that nothing else can read, which is fine for backups, replication and the like, but no use at all for migrating data from system X to system Y.

A data analytics platform has to be able to look at data from a wide variety of systems and produce outputs that can be read by a wide variety of systems.In practice, this means that it needs to be able to ingest and excrete CSV quickly, reliably, repeatably and painlessly.I work as a data analyst in a global professional services firm (one you have certainly heard of). I have spent that decade dealing with data, database software, database hardware, database users, database programmers and data analysis methods, so I know a fair bit about these things.I frequently come into contact with people who know very little about these things – although some of them don't realise it. This document is my way of automating that conversation.Over the years I have discussed the issue of Postgre SQL vs. Unless otherwise stated I am referring to Postgre SQL 9.3 and MS SQL Server 2014, even though my experience with MS SQL Server is with versions 2008 R – for the sake of fairness and relevance I want to compare the latest version of Postgre SQL to the latest version of MS SQL Server.Where I have made claims about MS SQL Server I have done my best to check that they apply to version 2014 by consulting Microsoft's own documentation – although, for reasons I will get to, I have also had to rely largely on Google, Stack Overflow and the users of the internet.

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