- It comes with lots of excellent tools like Sql Server Profiler, SQL Server Management Studio, BI tools and Database Tuning adviser. all will save you a lot of time in development and troubleshooting.
- You will find setting up almost everything exceptionally easy.
- Its one of Microsoft's premier products so it is well supported with ton of documentation and you will easily find help from MVPs
- SQL server has been evolving rapidly in multiple technologies, in Sql Server 2012 they introduced column based indexing which in a way is introduction to NoSQL in sql server.
- Sql server 2014 will be coming with memory optimized table (It should not be compared to MEMORY engine of MySQL)
- T-SQL remains consistent across new versions of sql server.
- Best XML support
- SQL Express edition is free and includes almost all functionality of full featured sql server with the limitation of supporting on 10 GB of Database.
- There are connection drivers for almost all platform to connect with it.
- These are some of the highlights but it has ton of features and list is too long. for further reading
- Its freaking costly. Its priced at $27,494 per processor + $8,592.00 for server + $164.00 for CAL (Client Access Licence)
- You have to be in Microsoft's Ecosystem to use sql server. meaning buying their Server products which would again be costly.
- You depend on Microsoft for any new feature and Microsoft generally ships updates in 2 years cycle.
- Due to now rapid development from Microsoft to get new and latest features you again have to make big investment.
MySQL ( I would be targeting 5.6)
- Its Free. Though they have Enterprise Edition which is not free and is available at Yearly subscription. In most cases free edition is more than enough.
- You have lots of choice. Since MySQL is open source you can get many forks of MySQL. Among the popular is MariaDB which is Drop-in replacement for MySQL.
- Tooling support with Workbench is good
- phpMyAdmin is absolutely wonderful tool available for it.
- Version 5.6 came with Support of NoSQL
- Connection drivers available for most of the platforms
- Facebook, Google and Oracle are only some of the names among millions of others using MySQL
- Since its open source you can get bug fixed by yourself or community will help you get there.
- Oracle MySQL has very rapid production cycle
- Used in powering 50%+ Web sites in the world.
- Biggest community to help you for almost anything in Database
- One of the Pros is Con also. Too many choice at times. hard to select at times.
- Extensive tooling support only available in Enterprise Edition
- Sql can have some in-consistency between different versions.
- Features are a bit less compared to SQL server
- Money saved in cost but sometimes errors are hard to troubleshoot due to lack of proper tools and more time consumed.
- MySQL has XML support but lacks lots of features to query over the xml column.
Overall, Both DBMS are great to work with. I have used both in production application and found sql server quite easy to work with in some scenarios.