Organizations that are already using Microsoft SQL Server for their database needs will likely find that the software’s integration services (SSIS) are adequate to meet their needs. It integrates easily with other Microsoft products and offers data quality and master data management features as well as data integration capabilities.
Microsoft also offers a cloud-based solution called Azure Integration Services that is very highly rated by analysts. It’s a good option for hybrid cloud deployments and Gartner estimates that Azure Integration Services “tripled its client base during 2017, making it one of only a handful of vendors with more than 5,000 client organizations.”
Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft first gained prominence in the 1980s when IBM chose to use Microsoft’s DOS as the operating system for its personal computers. In 1979, the company moved to Bellevue, Washington, and today it makes its headquarters nearby in Redmond. In 1990, Microsoft launched Windows, its flagship operating system that continues to dominate the market today. Its other popular products include the Office suite of office productivity software, the Azure cloud computing service, the Xbox gaming system and Surface computing devices.
Microsoft is one of the world’s largest software companies and is number 30 on the Fortune 500 list. The company employs more than 131,000 people worldwide, including more than 77,000 in the United States. In its fiscal 2018, it reported revenue of $110.360 billion and net income of $30.267 billion. It is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol MSFT, and it is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.
Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is included in the Microsoft SQL Server software. Some 98 of the Fortune 100 use SQL Server, and the company lists Rolls-Royce, Infosys, Carnival, Jet and Stack Overflow among its customers for the product. It includes graphical tools for creating ELT jobs without writing code. It typical Microsoft fashion, it comes in several versions: Express, Express with Advanced Services, Developer, Web, Standard and Enterprise. Most SSIS features are available only in the Standard and Enterprise versions.
SSIS is a platform for building enterprise-level data integration and data transformations solutions. It can extract data from relational databases and data warehouses, XML files, flat files and other sources before transforming them and loading them into other applications.
Microsoft also offers Azure Integration Services, a set of cloud-based solutions for integrating data, applications and services. It includes the Logic Apps, Service Bus, API Management and Event Grid services.
Gartner ranked Microsoft SSIS as a Challenger in its most recent Magic Quadrant (MQ) report on data integration tools. Azure Integration Services is a Leader in the MQ on integration platform as a service (iPaaS) solutions.
SSIS can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Azure Integration Services is cloud-only.
Microsoft SQL Server runs on Windows or Linux. Most Windows editions require a 1.4 GHz or faster x64 processor (2.0 GHz or faster recommended), 1 GB RAM (4 GB or more recommended) and 6 GB of storage space. The .NET framework must also be installed.
On Linux, SQL Server requires at least a dual-core x64 processor (2GHz or faster), 2 GB RAM and 6 GB of storage space with the XFS or EXT4 filesystem.
SSIS includes pre-built connectors for ActiveX Data Objects, Excel, flat files, FTP, webservers, message queues, ODBC, OLE DB, mail servers and a few others. Addition connectors for Oracle, SAP and Teradata are available for download, and the software also allows users to create their own connections.
Design and Development Environment:
- Import and export wizard
- Built-in connectors
- Built-in tasks and transformations
- Hadoop support
- Change Data Capture
- Data mining transformations
- Analysis, master data management, data quality and reporting also available through SQL Server.
Support and Services:
Training, certification, support and services available
Microsoft SQL Server pricing depends on the edition:
- Express – Free
- Web — Available through hosting providers only
- Developer — free
- Standard — $3,7171 per core
- Enterprise — $14,256 per core
Volume licensing and other discounts may be available.
Pricing for Azure Integration Services depends on services used, data center used and other factors.
|Deployment||SSIS: on-premises or cloud|
|Azure Integration Services: cloud|
|Operating System||Windows or Linux|
|Processor||1.4 GHz x64 for Windows|
|dual-core 2 GHz x64 for Linux|
|2 GB Linux|
|Software||.NET Framework for Windows|
|Connectors||for ActiveX Data Objects, Excel, flat files, FTP, webservers, message queues, ODBC, OLE DB, mail servers, others|
|Design and Development Environment||Graphical environment|
|Data Quality||Yes through SQL Server|
|Data Governance||Yes through SQL Server|