We've got an MS SQL 2000 database server running internal applications (< 50 concurrent users, tables up to a few 100K rows, some web, some .NET clients). We have no intention of shelling out $$ to upgrade the server, and are trying to decide whether to leave it on SQL 2000 or migrate to MySQL 5.1. I've used MySQL for smaller installations, and have always liked it. The pros of migration from my standpoint are that I like writing queries in MySQL more than MS SQL, and we can afford to run the most up-to-date version of MySQL. The pros of remaining on MS are better integration with our active directory environment and better .NET interoperability. I'd be interested in hearing others' advice on this, and further pros (and cons) about going either way.

No flames please, I like both MS SQL and MySQL and believe they both have their place.

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Upgrade to SQL Server 2005 Express, or even SQL 2008 Express. These are both free and are much more powerful than MySQL (not that there's anything wrong with MySQL!). SQL 2005 will even restore backups from SQL 2000, so it's trivially easy to port the database (2k8 may do this too but I've never tred it).

Contrary to popular myths SQL 2005 and 2008 have no limit on the number of users, but there is a 4GB limit on database size and they will only use up to 1GB of memory.

You won't be able to manage SQL 2005/8 using the SQL 2000 Enterprise Manager, but both have a free management too (Management Studio Express) that is very good.

John Rennie

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    Can you back your "much more powerful" statement up with any facts? From what I've gathered, MySQL claim they are faster and Microsoft claim they are faster. I was unable to find any other benchmarks. – Andrioid Jul 13 '09 at 8:25

Where possible use free and open source software.

MySql cost nothing and works very well - Why waste the money on MsSql. MySql has a large user base and is fast and reliable what more do you need?

  • MySQL is only free for GPL software or for use with php. Otherwise, it's not free. – Fabricio Araujo Mar 3 '10 at 5:44

As @renniej has mentioned, MSSQL has free Express versions now (with some limitations) so there's no need to waste money. I'm also in the free / open source camp when it makes sense. My say is that you use what you are most comfortable with and what works best for you, especially in a small office environment where you probably wear many hats.

A big pro of MSSQL (2005+) in my mind is the .NET interop, especially being able to create CLR objects within MSSQL. This is hugely powerful (also at times fraught with peril :)

Another pro in my book of MSSQL is DTS (in 2000) and SSIS in 2005/2008 and the SQL Job Agent for automation tasks.


Have you considered other open source databases, such as PostGres or Firebird?

They are both more historically standards compliant than MySQL, and therefore more likely to be compatible with MS-SQL.

  • My experience is with MSSQL and MySQL, so I'm inclined to go one of those directions. However, this isn't the first time I've heard that and other good things about PostGres so I'll probably check that out as an option as well. Thanks. – nedm May 18 '09 at 16:45

MSSQL 2000 is a robust and very reliable product. If you already have the licenses on the company, there's no sense at all to use MySQL.

If you want to go the open source route, there are much better servers which rivals MSSQL (and in some aspects win) in terms of features and reliability.

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