What's the Difference?

MS SQL, also known as Microsoft SQL Server, is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. It is a proprietary software that offers advanced features and capabilities for managing and querying large databases. On the other hand, SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a standard language used for managing and querying databases. While MS SQL is a specific implementation of SQL, SQL is a more general term that can be used with various database management systems. MS SQL offers additional features and functionalities that are not available in standard SQL, making it a more powerful and versatile option for managing complex databases.


AttributeMS SQLSQL
VendorMicrosoftVarious vendors
Primary KeyClustered and non-clusteredPrimary Key constraint
Data TypesSupports more data typesStandard data types
Stored ProceduresSupports stored proceduresSupports stored procedures
TriggersSupports triggersSupports triggers
TransactionsSupports transactionsSupports transactions

Further Detail


When it comes to managing databases, SQL (Structured Query Language) is a crucial tool that allows users to interact with databases. However, there are different implementations of SQL, with Microsoft SQL Server (MS SQL) being one of the most popular options. In this article, we will compare the attributes of MS SQL and SQL to help users understand the differences between the two.


One of the key factors to consider when choosing between MS SQL and SQL is performance. MS SQL Server is known for its robust performance capabilities, especially when it comes to handling large databases and complex queries. It is optimized for high-performance computing and can efficiently process large volumes of data. On the other hand, SQL may not offer the same level of performance as MS SQL, especially when dealing with complex queries or large datasets.


Scalability is another important aspect to consider when comparing MS SQL and SQL. MS SQL Server is designed to be highly scalable, allowing users to easily scale their databases as their needs grow. It supports features like partitioning, clustering, and replication, which can help improve performance and availability. On the other hand, SQL may have limitations when it comes to scalability, especially for large-scale deployments.


Security is a critical consideration when it comes to managing databases, and both MS SQL and SQL offer robust security features. MS SQL Server provides advanced security features like encryption, auditing, and role-based access control to help protect sensitive data. It also supports integration with Active Directory for centralized authentication and authorization. SQL, on the other hand, may not offer the same level of security features as MS SQL, which could be a concern for organizations with strict security requirements.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use, MS SQL Server is known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive documentation. It offers a range of tools and utilities that make it easy for users to manage databases, write queries, and troubleshoot issues. Additionally, MS SQL Server has a large community of users and developers who can provide support and guidance. SQL, on the other hand, may have a steeper learning curve for beginners, as it requires a deeper understanding of database concepts and syntax.


Cost is another important factor to consider when choosing between MS SQL and SQL. MS SQL Server is a commercial product that requires a license fee, which can be a significant expense for organizations with limited budgets. However, MS SQL Server does offer a range of editions with different pricing options, including a free Express edition for small-scale deployments. SQL, on the other hand, is an open-source language that is free to use, making it a cost-effective option for organizations looking to minimize expenses.


Compatibility is an important consideration when choosing a database management system, as it can impact the ability to integrate with other systems and applications. MS SQL Server is compatible with a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, and tools, making it easy to integrate with existing systems. It also supports industry standards like ODBC and JDBC for seamless connectivity. SQL, on the other hand, may have limitations when it comes to compatibility, especially with proprietary systems and applications.


In conclusion, both MS SQL and SQL have their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing databases. MS SQL Server offers robust performance, scalability, security, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for organizations with demanding requirements. However, the cost of licensing can be a barrier for some users. On the other hand, SQL is a cost-effective option that is easy to use and compatible with a wide range of systems, but it may lack the advanced features and performance capabilities of MS SQL. Ultimately, the choice between MS SQL and SQL will depend on the specific needs and budget of the organization.

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