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When you need something that’s faster and more powerful than Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server and Azure SQL are possible alternatives. Both are relational database management systems, but there are key differences between the two. The main difference is that SQL Server is on-premise software, whereas Azure SQL is a cloud-based service

Let’s learn more about these two relational databases and which one is right for your business or organization. 

SQL Server 

SQL Server is built upon SQL, a standard programming language for interacting with relational databases. It functions similarly to other databases with tables relating to one another, though the core component is the SQL Server Database Engine that controls processing, data storage and security. 

SQL Server also includes a relational engine that processes commands and queries, as well as a storage engine that manages database files, tables, pages and more. Other notable features include data encryption and fine-grained auditing. Most of these features are also supported by Azure. 

We recommend SQL Server for medium and large businesses that need a better solution than Microsoft Access. Microsoft SQL Server can handle large quantities of database queries, as well as offers better performance, security and capacity. There is a learning curve, however, as SQL Server has more features and is more difficult to set up and manage. 

Azure SQL

Azure SQL is based on SQL Server, so they both share many similarities. You can migrate applications with ease and continue to use the tools, languages and resources you are familiar with. Plus, Azure SQL applies automated updates and patches and monitors your data for threats. 

Even though Azure SQL and SQL Server share a lot of similarities, they are also very different. In SQL Server, databases are the only entity on the database server. In Azure SQL, a single database can host databases from different customers. This means that it shares its physical resources with all the clients who use that service. 

We recommend Azure SQL for businesses and organizations that want a cloud-based service and a managed service, which means that Microsoft will manage the infrastructure and security. This allows businesses to reduce costs and streamline operations. And like other cloud services, you only pay for what you use with Azure SQL. 

Hopefully this basic breakdown has provided you with some insight on the differences between Azure SQL and SQL Server. It’s important to choose the right database solution so that you can run your business efficiently while streamlining operations and reducing costs. To discuss your options for a new or upgraded database, contact Arkware today.