Microsoft SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) designed to run on platforms ranging from laptops to large multiprocessor servers. SQL Server is commonly used as the backend system for websites and corporate CRMs and can support thousands of concurrent users.
SQL Server comes with a number of tools to help you with your database administration andprogramming tasks.
SQL Server is much more robust and scalable than a desktop database management system such as Microsoft Access. Anyone who has ever tried using Access as a backend to a website will probably be familiar with the errors that were generated when too many users tried to access the database!
Although SQL Server can also be run as a desktop database system, it is most commonly used as aserver database system.
Server Database Systems
Server based database systems are designed to run on a central server, so that multiple users can access the same data simultaneously. The users normally access the database through an application.
For example, a website could store all its content in a database. Whenever a visitor views an article, they are retrieving data from the database. Asyou know, websites aren't normally limited to just one user. So, at any given moment, a website could be serving up hundreds, or even thousands of articles to its website visitors. At the same time, other users could be updating their personal profile in the members' area, or subscribing to a newsletter, or anything else that website users do.
Generally, it's the application that provides thefunctionality to these visitors. It is the database that stores the data and makes it available. Having said that, SQL Server does include some useful features that can assist the application in providing its functionality.
SQL Server Editions
SQL Server comes in many editions. Some are paid versions others are free. The examples in this tutorial were done using the free Express version of SQLServer.
SQL Server 2008 Editions
If you are serious about installing (or upgrading) SQL Server, this page provides a quick overview of your options.
SQL Server 2008 comes in many different editions. The edition you choose will depend on your requirements. If you are looking for a free database management system, you will need to choose one of the Express editions or the Compact edition. You couldalso try the Evaluation edition, which allows you to trial SQL Server 2008 for 180 days.
Here are the different editions available for SQL Server 2008.
* Enterprise Edition
Data management and business intelligence platform providing enterprise class scalability, high availability, and security for running business-critical applications
* Standard Edition
Data managementand business intelligence platform providing ease of use and manageability for running departmental applications
* Workgroup Edition
Data management and reporting platform providing secure, remote synchronization, and management capabilities for running branch applications
* Developer Edition
May be installed and used by one user to design, develop, test, and demonstrate your programs onas many systems as needed
* Web Edition
A low-TCO, scalable, and manageable database option for web hosters and end customers looking to deploy publicly facing web applications and services
* Express Edition
A free edition of SQL Server ideal for learning and building desktop and small server applications and for redistribution by ISVs
* Compact Edition
A free, SQL Server embeddeddatabase ideal for building stand-alone and occasionally connected applications for mobile devices, desktops, and web clients
* Evaluation Edition
This edition may be installed for demonstration and evaluation purposes until an expiration period of 180 days.
SQL Server Edition in this Tutorial
The examples in this tutorial were made using the (free) Express edition of SQL Server 2008. To...