Difference between pervasive SQL 2000 and MS-SQL 2005

Posted on 2008-01-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
How can I persuade a customer to chooce for MS-SQL 2005 instead of Pervasive SQL 2000.
Is there a difference in speed, maxsize, possibility's, security etc.
Question by:dgb
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:Bill Bach
ID: 20738831
The differences are wide and varied.

The primary advantage for Pervasive databases is its low cost, especially for server engines of 10 or more users, although small workgroup engines are pretty cheap, too.  Another is extremely low maintenance -- most times, you set up the engine and forget about it, and it just works!  Security is inherited from the file system, so there's no extra security layers to get mired in, and backups are a breeze because you're just backing up files (though it must still be done correctly using Continuous Operations mode or a Backup Agent).  For native Btrieve applications (i.e. using the low-level transactional interface), performance can't be beat by anything else out there.  Simple SQL queries perform really well also, although complicated queries can get bogged down if the database is designed poorly.  Luckily, there's little ongoing configuration requirements after the initial setup.

Microsoft SQL Server is usually a lot more expensive, although Microsoft does include a copy with SBS, so this can decrease the pricing for smaller sites.  Small no-cost versions are also available.  Maintenance is usually higher as well, requiring a bit more setup and ongoing maintenance, especially configuring backups, clean-up, and other administrative tasks.  Having a system admin available to maintain the system, deal with security configurations, and verify backups is recommended, although some companies choose to outsource this function.  For SQL-level applications, the "silver standard" (if you consider Oracle to be "gold") is hard to beat from a performance perspective, and MS makes good use of multiple CPU's and lots of memory to gain performance levels not attainable by Pervasive.  (Pervasive relies on the OS scheduler, which is far from optimal.)  SQLServer has many more enterprise-class features, such as replication, clustering, and other such joys that Pervasive lacks, too.

How do you persuade someone?  Usually, applications are written to a single database.  If someone is looking to use Pervasive, then they either have it already or the app is designed to use it.  The real question is "Why do you care?"  If the differentiating factors (such as cost and enterprise features) are not enough to sway someone to go one way or the other, and if both databases will do the job correctly, then it shouldn't matter.  The user needs to pick the "best of breed" application to suit their needs, and picking a database engine without deference to the applications that run on top of it seems a bit backwards.

Author Comment

ID: 20740688
Point is that i'm afraid that when there are 70 users the speed is not high eough. It's a deboning factory. So they walk around with RF scanners. The result on a scanning must be back in a split of a second. And in that second the program must update a registration and a orderdetail line, do some checks etc.I thought there were no stored procedures in Pervasive. So that must be slower then MS-SQL.
So speed is my big concern. Is this correct
LVL 29

Accepted Solution

Bill Bach earned 2000 total points
ID: 20742179
It sounds like these operations are very small.  This is a classic example of a place where the Pervasive database will shine, as the transactional (i.e. navigational) interface is blazingly fast, and a simple set of reads and updates will be very fast.  

If you use the SQL interface, then much depends on how much work is being done behind the scenes.  You can use stored procedures in both, so the ultimate performance test will depend on actually writing the interface for both database engines and comparing the two.  For something simple, it may be a toss-up.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31424801
Thnx, I had more the idea that MS-SQL was better, but it's not that black and white. Sometimes you read that speed in MS-SQL is much better.

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