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Bridging Database Technologies – Look into SQL Server on macOS

Database technologies have continuously evolved to meet the growing demands of data management and analysis. From the early file-based systems to relational database management systems (RDBMS) and now to NoSQL and NewSQL databases, each phase of evolution has aimed at addressing the limitations of its predecessors while offering improved performance, scalability and flexibility.

The need for cross-platform database solutions emerged with the diversification of operating systems and hardware platforms. Cross-platform solutions provide the flexibility to operate databases across Windows, macOS and Linux, ensuring seamless operations and data consistency across diverse tech environments. SQL Server extending its support to macOS is a prime example of this trend, bridging the gap between different operating systems and ensuring a unified database management experience.

Why SQL Server on macOS

The demand for cross-platform database solutions stems from the need for flexibility and interoperability in diverse technological environments. SQL Server’s extension to macOS signifies a step towards eradicating operational silos, enabling a unified database management experience across Windows, macOS and Linux platforms.

Benefits of SQL Server on macOS

  • Performance: SQL Server’s performance optimization features ensure quick data retrieval and transaction processing, maintaining high performance on macOS akin to its Windows counterpart.
  • Security: SQL Server on macOS adheres to stringent security protocols, safeguarding data against unauthorized access and other potential threats.
  • Comprehensive Toolset: SQL Server on macOS offers a robust toolset comprising management studio, data tools and advanced analytics features that facilitate efficient database management, analysis and visualization.
  • Community Support: A strong community and extensive support resources ensure that users can easily troubleshoot issues, optimize performance and keep abreast of the latest developments and best practices in SQL Server management on macOS.
  • Cross-Platform Consistency: One of the significant advantages is the consistency in features and operations across different platforms, enabling teams to collaborate and manage databases effectively irrespective of the operating system in use.
  • Ease of Migration: SQL Server on macOS simplifies the migration process from other database systems or platforms, aiding organizations in transitioning without significant operational disruptions.

The integration of SQL Server on macOS not only addresses the cross-platform challenge but also provides a robust, secure and user-friendly environment for database management, fulfilling the evolving needs of modern organizations.

Getting SQL Server Up and Running on macOS


  • A Mac running macOS 11 Big Sur or later.
  • A user with administrator-level privileges.
  • Access to Terminal.

Installation Steps

  • After installation, ensure that SQL Server is running by checking the status of your SQL Server Docker container with the command docker ps -a in Terminal.
  • Install sql-cli, a command-line tool, by running sudo npm install -g sql-cli in Terminal.
  • Connect to SQL Server from Terminal using the command mssql -u sa -p Your_Password, replacing “Your_Password” with the password you set during installation.
  • Once connected, you can start executing SQL commands to interact with your databases.
  • It’s also advisable to review and configure the server settings to suit your operational requirements, which can be done through the SQL Server Management Studio or dbForge Studio for SQL Server on macOS

Follow the instructions outlined in this detailed guide to install SQL Server on your Mac.

Features and Benefits of SQL Server on macOS

Performance Metrics

  • Efficient data retrieval and transaction processing ensuring high performance.
  • Optimized for reduced latency and enhanced throughput.

Security Features

  • Robust security protocols to safeguard data.
  • Features like data encryption and user authentication to ensure data integrity and privacy.

Toolset and User Interface

  • Comprehensive toolset for database management, analysis and visualization.
  • Intuitive user interface facilitating ease of use and efficient database operations.

Comparing with Other Database Technologies

Feature SQL Server MySQL PostgreSQL
Performance High Moderate High
Security Robust Robust Robust
Toolset Comprehensive Wide Range Extensive
Community Support Strong Strong Strong
Cross-Platform Support Yes Yes Yes

SQL Server vs MySQL on macOS

  • Performance: SQL Server is optimized for high performance with efficient data retrieval and transaction processing capabilities, whereas MySQL might have performance variations especially in complex query processing.
  • Security: SQL Server and MySQL both offer robust security features. However, SQL Server provides a more comprehensive set of security features like Transparent Data Encryption and advanced auditing.
  • Community Support: Both have strong community support, though SQL Server’s support community is backed by Microsoft, providing a more organized platform for support and resources.
  • Cross-Platform Support: Both SQL Server and MySQL provide cross-platform support, although SQL Server’s recent extension to macOS demonstrates a strong commitment to cross-platform compatibility.

SQL Server vs PostgreSQL on macOS

  • Performance: Both SQL Server and PostgreSQL offer high performance, though SQL Server often excels in environments with complex transactions and high concurrency.
  • Security: Both provide robust security features, but SQL Server has a slight edge with features like Transparent Data Encryption and advanced auditing capabilities.
  • Community Support: PostgreSQL has a strong open-source community support, whereas SQL Server has organized support from Microsoft alongside a growing community.

Cross-Platform Support: Both databases offer good cross-platform support, enabling operations on macOS, Windows and Linux, though SQL Server’s support for macOS is more recent.


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