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PostgreSQL vs SQL Server: Difference Between SQL Server and PostgreSQL

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The author is a tech enthusiast and QA analyst who works at DevNami.

PostgreSQL vs SQL Server

PostgreSQL vs SQL Server

MS SQL Server and PostgreSQL are popular databases in the database market. To help you choose the correct database for your requirement and use case, we will compare the features and point you to the resources that help you choose.

Let's take a look at the tabular data of comparison between MS SQL Server and PostgreSQL database.

Difference between MS SQL Server and PostgreSQL.

PostgreSQLSQL Server

First Release

8th July 1996

24 April 1989

Type of Database

Relational DBMS

Relational DBMS

Written in

C language

C++ language


Open Source.

Closed Source. Microsoft owned code.

Supported Platforms

Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and few other platforms.

Windows and Linux.

Database Model

Document store

Document store and Graph DBMS.

In-memory Database

Not supported.

Yes, supported.


Logical replication, streaming replication, and physical replication.

Transactional replication, snapshot replication, and merge replication.


Declarative partitioning

Horizontal partitioning

Stored Procedure

Yes, SQL Syntax used for writing stored procedures.

Yes, using CLR languages like C#, Python and other .net supported languages.

Dynamic Actions

Yes, Supported.

Not supported feature.

Materialized Views

Not supported.

Yes, supported feature.

Case Sensitivity

Yes, case sensitive.

No, case insensitive.

Computed Columns

No, feature is not supported.

Yes, supported feature.

Update-able Views

Yes but not automated.

Yes, with automated updatable view feature.

Authentication Methods

Yes, lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) and pluggable authentication module (PAM).

Yes, Windows authentication mode and mixed-mode.

Data Encryption

Yes, includes SSL and cryptogenic functions.

Yes, includes transparent data encryption (TDE) and advanced encryption standard (AES) algorithm.

User-Level Privileges

Yes, includes user-level privileges as role assignments, table-level privileges via roles, and role inheritance.

Yes, using user groups and roles.


Concurrency support makes it more usable for most projects.

Despite being a bit lower on performance side than Postgresql, Enterprise choose SQL Server for overall performance to feature benefits.

NoSQL Support



Installation Comparison (PostgreSQL vs SQL Server)

SQL Server has multiple editions - Express, Developer, and Enterprise. Express edition is limited with some hardware limits. Most of its use is intended for learning purposes. In the case of the developer edition, it has everything you can get in the enterprise edition. Moreover, the only thing missing is the commercial edition.

PostgreSQL has open source and EDB commercial editions. From the official site, you would be able to use the open-source edition. This edition is free to use for both personal and commercial use cases.

In the below video, you may find the MS SQL Server installation. Here the edition being used is the - Developer Edition.

Scroll to Continue

For those searching for the PostgreSQL installation and the use case, you may find the helpful video below for your use case.Here the Open Source Edition is being used.

PostgreSQL is similar to SQL Server it can be used for both commercial and private projects. There is no license and per CPU and RAM limit. You'd have some of the performance difference in comparison with the SQL Server but you get much better performance and support for that price.

Maintenance and Upgrade Costs (PostgreSQL vs SQL Server)

PostgreSQL is a free database, and everything it offers is freely accessible. You can download and use it as you please. However, you must hire external support and developers for any extension or technical help. So the cost would vary in the freelance market space. Your upgrade and maintenance costs would be a lot cheaper in comparison.

SQL Server is a premium database. It has multiple editions that you can use for your use case. However, you have to pay for its premium features. You would also have to hire the developers and the support people, which is an additional cost. All of this would add up to increasing your upgrade and maintenance costs.

Reporting Tools

SQL Server has the reporting tool called "SQL Server Reporting Service". This service is available for all the editions of the SQL Server. The tool is easy to use with the "SQL Server Management Studio". This reporting output can be used for development with the Visual Studio too.

PostgreSQL has the PgAdmin tool. The tool allows the reporting and the GUI features which would allow the reporting, data visualization and other editing features. For PostgreSQL database, the enterprise version has it's own reporting service and tools too.

Which Should You Choose?

PostgreSQL and MS SQL Server are both famous, usable, and in-demand databases in the market. Which one suits your needs? Which is easier for you to use? Which is a lot easier to maintain? Which is cheaper to upgrade and maintain?

A lot of these questions would decide the direction of your database purchase. Most freelancers and Linux users choose the PostgreSQL database for most of their operations. SQL Server is popular among Windows hosts, servers, and developers. So the choice is often leaning towards the SQL Server by default.

Which one should you choose? Do the assessment of your requirements and the available choices and choose what works for you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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