back to article Microsoft's SQL Server 2014 early code: First look

In-memory database engine, improved integration with Windows Azure, and new indexing technology for high performance data warehousing applications - there's plenty to like in SQL Server 2014, released to manufacturers on Tuesday. But while Microsoft has been busy and done some heavy lifting, the code that will become generally …

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Paris Hilton

But shoorli ... ?

... if we are talking about speed that means processing is hardware driven?

So this new release must have its operationally optimised hardware in which to run?

Otherwise if it is wholly/mostly/partly software driven it will run like a dawg?

Se, el Reg,would it be helpful for new operating systems to identify what hardware (eg chip architecture) it has been optimised on?

EDIT: el Reg, the links to articles have some pleasant images worthy of further exploration (76 drawing with person wearing what appears to be a bowler hat) but when I click the link the thumbnail image does not appear in the article if you know what i mean.

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Re: But shoorli ... ?

The author has missed stacks of new features. For a real list, see here: http://www.slideshare.net/d501159/sql-server-2014-mission-critical-performance-level-300-deck

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Re: But shoorli ... ?

True, I am covering almost all of these at SQL Saturday Exeter my "SQL Server 2014 (not Hekaton)" talk.

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WTF?

There's a news article on this?

How is this worthy of report?

MariaDB ftw.

(Before anyone is like "WTF, you can't do X using MariaDB (or MySQL)" remember that you can add storage engines to MariaDB, there's a cool one ideal for storing graph data and does some magic to make it perform surprisingly well)

I shan't say more because .... sometimes it's better to leave people with MS than to explain (slowly) why they are silly.

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Re: There's a news article on this? @ATeal

when you have sufficient real-world experience you might realise who is being 'silly'. It gets tiresome to have assorted wallies be anti-MS for the adolescent pleasure of having something to kick against.

Get some experience on some sizeable data, using a professional DB (of which I still number MSSQL amongst ...just ...barely) then post here.

> MariaDB ftw.

meh

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Re: There's a news article on this?

"I shan't say more because .... sometimes it's better to leave people with MS than to explain (slowly) why they are silly."

I'm pretty sure I've been in your local, mate. Looks a bit run down, a bit like your line in flamebaiting.

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Paris Hilton

Re: There's a news article on this?

There's an article because, shockingly, Microsoft and Sql Server are still very popular in today's world.

Listen, we can argue pros and cons as to each RDBMS and No-Sql DB out there - however posts like yours that simply attempt to denigrate a technology that you personally don't feel is relevant, does nothing to help and serves mainly to inflame.

Guess what, it's a big world out there and we like this little thing called 'Choice'.

Troll much?

(Paris, because she's apparently got more tact than ATeal)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a news article on this?

"How is this worthy of report?"

Because it's a new major realise of the most widely used database on the planet perhaps?!

"MariaDB ftw."

Yeah, right, because that's such a close competitor to SQL Server. Not.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

Am I the only person out there who thinks that MariaDB/MySQL, SQL Server (express and full), Firebird, Postgres, and DB2 are all -frickin' awesome- databases? (I tolerate Sybase and its crappy admin tools, and it's hard not to loathe Oracle.) And sqlite, let's not forget that too.

Not only are they all suited to wildly different environments and project scales, they're all absolutely insanely powerful, featureful, bug-free, and easy to use, compared to what I had to use in the 90's and early 2000's. I'd be quite happy to work with any and all of them. The only MS databases I dislike are the various flavors of Compact, its sqlite competitors which were never easy to peek into to debug, but LocalDB has vastly improved that.

Reading comment sections on any technology site, I feel like retards rooting for sports teams are running the asylum.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

> How is this worthy of report?

Because it's new and interesting? I'm not going to run it, but it's still interesting to read about the new features.

> MariaDB ftw.

MariaDB is a very slightly improved clone of MySQL, and the main reason to run it is because you don't trust Microsoft and Oracle to not fuck with MSSQL or MySQL. We tested it and it's OK, it does work as advertised, but when a product's main selling feature is "We're Neither Microsoft Nor Oracle" then it's kindof hard to motivate migrating an existing site.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

MS SQL Server is very widely used and while MainDB has many good features it's not something I'd use when I wanted something to go quickly or if I needed the richer features of an enterprise DBMS like MS SQL Server.

It's a shame the new in memory DB features are still a bit behind others like Sybase ASE but otherwise this seems like a nice small step forward.

BTW @foxyshadis I've never had any problems with Sybase admin tools. They're not perfect but then neither are MS SQL server's. Each has something the other lacks.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

> and it's hard not to loathe Oracle

Oracle started it. After 20 years experience I can safely say that the defining characteristic of Oracle is that it hates people.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

In my experience, the management of most companies that have chosen SQL Server aren't likely to move to another RDBMS, unless it's to something like Oracle or DB2. DBAs in these companies don't choose SQL Server. It is chosen for them. I'm not saying that they wouldn't choose SQL Server, rather that the choice in their world doesn't exist.

There are many companies running SQL Server, and especially SQL Server 2005, which ran out of support last year. SQL Server 2008 will be running out of support next year (or soon after).

The last 3 three releases of SQL Server have not offered much to the small to medium DB (read under 500GB). They were aimed at the big boys and Big Data.

This release is, on the other hand, offers some new and worthwhile — in-memory tables with the promise of substantial speed improvements. It will require new hardware with massive amounts of memory (in comparison to what they had before). Database schemas will have to be re-written. The application code that sits on top of the DB will have to be re-written.

This release has the potential to have the biggest impact on current installations of SQL Server since the release of the SQL Server 2005.

I can't see MariaDB-DBs being migrated, but then, they aren't the target here. The management and DBAs of RDBMSs with expensive licence arrangements, like Oracle and DB2, are.

And because so many companies use SQL Server, this is why this news is important.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

"Guess what, it's a big world out there and we like this little thing called 'Choice'."

Lock-in beats Choice like Lizard beats Spock.

It is inevitable.

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@hplasm

I don't see how you get much in the way of freedom from lock-in regardless of which database format you choose. Migrating away from them is always going to be an absolute ball-ache.

Ironically, SSIS graphical data migration means that SQL Server is probably the easiest to migrate away from of the lot.

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Re: There's a news article on this?

DBAs in these companies don't choose SQL Server. It is chosen for them. I'm not saying that they wouldn't choose SQL Server, rather that the choice in their world doesn't exist.

Oh yes.

It's not a question of whether or not it's suitable for their needs, they don't even consider (or know) other DBs. It's the de-facto standard, for Windows devs.

It's what their friends use, what they used in the last project, and is what they'll use in the next - as long as they need data storage, MSSQL is the solution.

Right or wrong, that's what happens at nearly every MS shop I've worked at.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a news article on this?

"Am I the only person out there who thinks that MariaDB/MySQL, SQL Server (express and full), Firebird, Postgres, and DB2 are all -frickin' awesome- databases?"

Quite probably. In my experience most people are more selective.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a news article on this?

"I can't see MariaDB-DBs "

Me neither. Not a widely used product in the enterprise.

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Re: There's a news article on this? @ATeal

I do for a living ... and I do not know why, but we usually sell our stuff / Oracle or DB2 rather than MS SQL server except with customers who have already chosen MS before architecture design - you know the guyz who buy kit, then plan what to do with it.

We are a bit the same, you are tired of the freetards and I am tired of the FUD repeaters.

Do you work for/hire in Accenture ? Because they are the biggest FUD repeater in the industry ... just saying....

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Re: There's a news article on this?

<quote>but when a product's main selling feature is "We're Neither Microsoft Nor Oracle" then it's kindof hard to motivate migrating an existing site.</quote>

I can't think of a better reason really. It makes certain future decisions aren't misguided by lock-in from these 'professional' suppliers and could save a lot of resources.

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I've been wondering what was coming up next in MS-SQL land... but really couldn't summon the self-loathing to look it up.

So... in-memory databases where you can't use some very common SQL statements / operators. Thanks for that Microsoft... play catch up with other RDMSs and just fail to implement anything useful, that just sounds rather too typical.

More stuff for MS-Cloud... not exactly a surprise. Easy backup or sync to MS-Cloud would be useful, except for the pending legal and ethical minefield of exporting data outside of the EU. Would be nice if MS could make features such as these vendor neutral, but we know that will never happen as all they exist for these days is to push everybody onto MS subscription services.

So MS, instead how about actually fully supporting SQL standards, such as those from 1999? Maybe even reducing some of the annoying as hell language restrictions in T-SQL? Maybe even adjusting the management interface so it is easy to find useful information rather than trawling through three or four otherwise unrelated windows full of unsorted and otherwise impossible to filter options? Improving the performance through optimising the software would be nice too: new hardware <> optimisation.

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@Nick Ryan

> Maybe even reducing some of the annoying as hell language restrictions in T-SQL?

could you clarify? am curious.

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SVV
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Nice summary of my main thoughts

Shame some senior executive decided to "go all out for cloud integration" in order to look in touch rather than implement SQL properly for the umpteenth time.

I've used SQL Server in a fairly undemanding application and it was OK, but saw no real advantage over Postgres at that scale (apart from the fact that everyone there was used to it). How it reaaly fares as transactional demands on it increase against Oracle and DB2 is something that I've never had enough concrete information on.

This quote was rather a rib tickler though :

"A copy of the data is streamed to disk for persistence, though you can disable this for maximum performance if you do not care about losing data."

Sitting here contemplating the thought processes of someone who is writing data to a database but doesn't care about losing it......

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Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV

> How [postgres] reaaly fares as transactional demands on it increase against Oracle and DB2 is something that I've never had enough concrete information on.

Nor have I firsthand but I worked with a guy who had and said postgres was good but didn't handle large amounts of data as well as mssql.

> Sitting here contemplating the thought processes of someone who is writing data to a database but doesn't care about losing it......

I can think of 2 good use cases for this.

a) you're doing a conversion of data. It takes days to run. The logging of a RDBMS is a real overhead. If I can disable that I get a real boost. If the DB dies (e.g. power cut, etc.) you just start again. But snce the DB dying is a very rare event and getting the conversion right is repeated iterations of work over months (and then the bastard project gets added to by some incompetent bastard manager, growing it yet more), it's a net win [*]

b) Value of some DBs is in their cumulative mass of data, not their detail. Missing an hour's worth of updates is barely noticeable, missing a day's worth is not a big issue. (Moral: much data is not unconditionally precious; don't treat it all the same way)

I've worked with cases a) and b).

[*] though write-buffering raid cards now mask some of these drawbacks

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Re: @Nick Ryan

> Maybe even reducing some of the annoying as hell language restrictions in T-SQL?

could you clarify? am curious.

It's the inconsistencies that are annoying... such as having to explicitly define parameter vars before being able to pass values to a function rather than performing inline calculations in the call itself. In T-SQL There's a whole host of missing of annoyingly limited string manipulating functions requiring slow workarounds (string manipulation in T-SQL defines a new kind of epic slow more accurately measured on a glacial cycle), even down to there's LTRIM() and RTRIM(), but no TRIM() and my "favourite" is the 4k char limit on PRINT (yes, dumping 100k chars out of the terminal might be stupid, but let me do it if I need to please).

When you've developed in as many languages as I have, it's these kind of stupid things in any one of them really annoy!

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@ Nick Ryan

I agree, the MS SQL administration software is a nightmare, that is why I use osql - the tool made for real men - know your code or do not touch it. It is the same with everything IT:

You know what you are doing and use the command line

You do not and should not touch it

If you administer enterprise software from a ui it means you should never have been allowed to get close to it. If enterprise software does not have a cli, you should not buy/use it.

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Re: @Nick Ryan

> such as having to explicitly define parameter vars before being able to pass values to a function rather than performing inline calculations in the call itself

er, eh? Still don't understand. Example?

If I may make the point (if this is related to what you're saying), you *can* define a func that gets evaluated *inline* in a select statement. It's a inline table-valued function. Clumsy but removes the overhead of the call and gives you moderate flexibility.

> [stuff about string functions]

yep, I guess, though never been a biggie with me. Lack of arrays occasionally hits me much harder.

> string manipulation in T-SQL defines a new kind of epic slow more accurately measured on a glacial cycle

Yes. I think from testing that strings are represented as btrees internally. nlogn access, with a big constant overhead.

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@Hans 1

> MS SQL administration software is a nightmare, that is why I use osql - the tool made for real men - know your code or do not touch it. It is the same with everything IT:

osql is superseded by sqlcmd, and your whole comment is stupid snobbery. Try (e.g.) detaching a DB using cli and BOL. Or start a profile trace. Or a million other tasks.

If I need to create a script for reuse/distribution I'll do it, if I need a one-off I'll use mouse+click and just get the job done. I get paid by results, not purity of my sould, so I use the most appropriate means.

Or maybe you were just making exactly this point, in which case, touche.

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If you administer enterprise software from a ui it means you should never have been allowed to get close to it. If enterprise software does not have a cli, you should not buy/use it.

That is a highly generalising and elitist comment that goes against the general consensus of most IT professionals.

And I full heartedly agree with you!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Nick Ryan

... it's these kind of stupid things in any one of them really annoy

Yes! I thought I was the only one.

SQL Server is all very well (I use it at work), and has the usual "head-line" features, but whenever I need to do something not quite mainstream, but still pretty basic, I do feel it somewhat lacking.

I Google for the T-SQL specific command/function, and there's always a 25 line "snippet" for something that I think should really be built-in. I can't think of anything of the top of my head (and I can't be bothered with nit-picky counter-arguments)... it's just my feeling, and overall impression of it.

My fellow .NET devs swear by it, but when I (un-provokingly) challenge them, it turns out that they just haven't used anything else.

(Personally I have no preference, depends on the job's requirements/constraints)

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"Easy backup or sync to MS-Cloud would be useful, except for the pending legal and ethical minefield of exporting data outside of the EU"

You do not export them outside of EU, if in Europe you use European datacenters (Azure North or West Europe regions).

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Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV

@BlueGreen

The logging of a RDBMS is a real overhead. If I can disable that I get a real boost…

Sure, so you just disable logging and possibly even transactions or integrity checks (eg. UNIQUE) as desirable. And you run it on a RAM disk if you can't configure cache to be big enough. This has been standard practice for years and presumably possible with MS SQL. One would expect the "in memory" database to bring something more to the party. Presumably for temporary tables as part of expensive queries.

The quip that the next version will dramatically increase the size of such databases is worth reflection. It suggests to me that what is being released now isn't really finished or is dependent upon other components which are also still "work in progress".

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Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV

> How [postgres] reaaly fares as transactional demands on it increase against Oracle and DB2 is something that I've never had enough concrete information on.

Entreprise DB who promote their flavour of Postgres as a drop-in replacement for Oracle have been remarkably frank about this in the past. Many of their customers' requirements have driven the 9.x series which seen serious performance improvements across the board (raw speed but also scalability). Don't know if Postgres is quite there yet. As usual, however, getting the most out of any of these systems is as much about having a good DBA who knows what to tweak as anything else.

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Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV @Charlie Clark

> Sure, so you just disable logging

You can't disable logging on mssql.

> possibly even transactions or integrity checks (eg. UNIQUE) as desirable

What's a transaction check? And integrity checks tend to be cheap compared to logging.

> you run it on a RAM disk

For a *small* db, if you have enough ram. We didn't. Still, will bear that one in mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV

"getting the most out of any of these systems is as much about having a good DBA who knows what to tweak as anything else."

I think you've hit the nail on the head.

SQL Server may look great on paper, but as soon as you let an idiot loose on it, all bets are off.

The DBAs I respect tend to be the ones that know several DBs, and know when or not to use them. Failing that, they have enough knowledge on a single DB to know that it's not perfect.

Unfortunately for MS, the fast majority of SQLServer-only DBAs don't fit into this category.

[I'm a dev working only on SQLServer, dabbled with MySQL before Sun]

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Happy

Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV @Charlie Clark

You can't disable logging on mssql.

What's there to say about that apart from facepalm?

What's a transaction check? And integrity checks tend to be cheap compared to logging.

I said transactions and integrity checks. Checks only for integrity. I didn't understand from the example why a heap of transactions would be required for what sounded like a materialised view. Much as I dislike them, MyASM temporary tables have always gone like shit off a shovel because they think ACID is a little tablet with a smiley on it!

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Already there is 2012 SP1 CU2 - Backup to Azure via Powersheel, T-SQL and SMO only.

2014 adds backup and restore via SSMS.

David.

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Re: Nice summary of my main thoughts @SVV @Charlie Clark

(Transactions) or (integrity checks).

Integrity checks i expect are unique/primary/check/foreign key constraints. We used to disable them when doing data migrations until the end.

"You can't disable logging on mssql.".

Pity, you can on Informix!

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Some questions

Is the insert performance achieved by reducing reliability? For instance, on Postgres you can speed up inserts significantly by disabling fsync, which means that a commit operation succeeds before the data is fully written out to disk. The article mentioned that this is now possible on SQL Server but does not mention whether the impressive numbers were achieved by enabling this feature.

Insert performance is only one aspect. Is query performance better? Not just simple queries that hit a single index or the primary key. Queries with multiple subqueries or joins will be interesting.

What about sharding? The cloud is all about scaling out and traditional RDBMSes are pretty complex to scale out while maintaining ACID compliance. Is this on the horizon for SQL Server?

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Re: Some questions

"Is the insert performance achieved by reducing reliability?"

No.

"Is query performance better?"

Yes - see the presentation URL above.

"maintaining ACID compliance. Is this on the horizon for SQL Server?"

It supports sharding with full ACID compliance across up to 56 nodes.

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Re: Some questions

Thanks. I've just seen your post with a link to the features. SQL Server is starting to look interesting again.

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Re: Some questions @CadentOrange

Take this from someone who's worked with it for a long time.

>>>>>>>>> If you can avoid mssql, avoid it <<<<<<<<<

It has a lot going for it BUT it's expensive, licensing is a deliberate mess, it's designed to integrate heavily with other mssql tech so basically it's software heroin to get you hooked in deeper and deeper into their ecosystem, and it's not as good in some important areas as it should be - MS is concentrating on making it flash as opposed to making it solid.

Finally, MS is not to be trusted. They *will* use this to fuck you over, eventually.

If postgres is as good as people say, try that first.

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Re: Some questions @CadentOrange

To those MS marketing shiills haunting here to downvote negative posts, get this:

I used to think highly of MSSQL. You had a lot of good faith from me. You decided to push for a features at the cost of improving, or even maintaining, the core product (server + its documentation).

You screwed up, taking my goodwill for granted then blowing it because, $$$ (capitalism, fuck yeah).

That's what MS does, it fucks you over. Then tries to use marketing twats to dig its way out of its self-dug hole (ever a fail).

If you want my goodwill back, fix MSSQL and earn my trust. 'Til then my above post stands.

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Re: Some questions

Hmm. went to event where I heard more nodes than that being used in the Microsoft cloud, of course at that scale you need to talk to Microsoft first..

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WTF?

The recommendation for hardware is two sockets to avoid issues with NUMA

"The other is that “the recommendation for hardware is two sockets” to avoid issues with NUMA (Non Uniform Memory Access) that affect performance."

That doesn't make much sense. Every modern two socket system is NUMA. AMD is NUMA since the very first Opterons (2xx) from close to a decade ago, intel since the Nehalem (XEON 5500 Series) which came out in 2009.

If they wanted to avoid NUMA issues they should have recommended single socket systems.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The recommendation for hardware is two sockets to avoid issues with NUMA

I can't find any reference to this requirement. Windows Server and SQL Server are certainly both fully NUMA aware

(SQL Server has been NUMA aware since SQL Server 2000 SP4!)

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Anonymous Coward

Ohh I mis-read the title.. I thought they were releasing the code for it. Aren't I naive?

It would be cool to (privately) port it to Linux, and give it a real chance to prove itself! C'mom, it would!

Having said that, from what I've seen of MS code... I'd expect better from my Junior (anon so I don't offend her)

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Anonymous Coward

SQL server has had the fewest security vulnerabilities of any commercial database system consistently for at least the last 5 years.

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