SQL Server Express: overview and features of SQL Server Express

Each of Microsoft SQL Server products released over time comes in several versions and is directed for different user populations. However, what they have in common is that each new release of SQL Server always contains a version named SQL Server Express. In the 2014 version it is a free product that allows users to download and become familiar with the capabilities of the SQL Server. The SQL Server Express versions do not incorporate the full capabilities of the other commercial versions but do content the main features available for that particular release.

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The SQL Server Express product has been available since the release of the server 2000. This particular variant of the SQL Server was specifically addressed to embedded and small scale applications acquired the brand ”Express” since its release with the sql server 2005 bundle. The restrictions imposed on the SQL Server Express versions include a maximum size of 10 GB per database. This limit has progressively increased through the product revisions. It was originally 2 GB in the first avatar of the product as released with the MSDE (first version of the SQL Server product). The database size limit increased to 10 GB from SQL Server Express editions of 2008 R2, 2012 and the SQL Server Express 2014. One is not allowed to use more than one CPU for the SQL Server Express edition products. You could use multi-core devices though. Analysis services or SQL Server agent services are not available for the SQL Server Express product variant (some variants of the Express version are available). Some usage limits exist. The SQL Server Express product variant will not be able to access more than 1 GB of RAM, even though the machine physically has more availability. The SQL Server Express variant with advanced services must have 4GB per instance of the reporting services.

The SQL Server Express editions do contain some of the very useful GUI tools. These include the

  • Management Studio Express version,
  • Configuration and Surface Area Configuration Tools.
  • Business Intelligence Development Studio is also made available with SQL Server Express editions to let the user carry out BI related work comfortably.

However some useful services that are excluded (compared to Standard and other higher level editions) from the SQL Server Express editions include Integration Services, Notification Services. Analysis Services also are not included. All of these are included in higher versions as SQL Services Analysis Services (SSAS). This service enhances the capabilities of OLAP and data mining features. These capabilities thus are going to be limited in capability in the SQL Server Express products. Analyzing and spotting the trends that can only be discerned across tables could not be done in the Express edition. Integration, reporting and analysis services are part of this SSAS package. OLAP, data mining, data warehousing and overall business intelligence capabilities will be limited with these products.

Overall, even though SQL Server Express edition has its limitations, it is a great tool to start to get familiar with SQL Server and its features.

At SQL Server Tutorial we are always happy to help with any questions regarding SQL Server Express or any other related topics. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Recommended links:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42299

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL_Server_Express

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server-editions/sql-server-express.aspx

 

 

SQL Database: overview and six editions of SQL Database 2014

The main product from Microsoft in the RDBMS category has been the SQL Database. The main query language supported is T-SQL which is the ANSI standard SQL extended by MS. MS SQL Server was first created for the PS/2 systems in collaboration with Sybase and Ashton Tate. The first release was in 1989, an updated version was released on average every two years. By the time the SQL Database 2005 version became available, the code base was completely owned by Microsoft and the SQL Database was offered as an independent product. Sybase developed a similar product with a similar sounding name.

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Microsoft offers the product in a number of editions, including an Express version that is available for free. It is limited in features but does give you a good feel of what the SQL Database can do. The latest release has been Community Technology Preview which have been made public in April 2016. SQL Server 2016 became generally available on June 1, 2016

The SQL Database 2014 editions have changed over time. The different editions of the SQL Database in any specific release are addressed to different usage scenarios. There are six editions available with the SQL Database 2014. These include an Express edition, Enterprise edition, a Business Intelligence edition, Web edition, Developer edition, and a Standard edition.

  1. The Express edition provides all the the necessities to get started with SQL Server. It is free and easy to use.
  2. The Enterprise edition is intended for enterprise level applications. These typically have demanding and mission-critical services from the database and business analysis needs.
  3. When you have a need for building secure BI applications that are scalable as well as manageable, you need to invest in the Business Intelligence (or BI) edition.
  4. The Standard edition of the SQL Database is useful for BI and core database functionalities.

The latest SQL Database 2014 has incorporated in-memory that improves performance significantly by letting users’ process complete tables to in-memory. This feature is available in all the editions of the sql database and allows minimizing the time for transporting data back and forth from disc. Even if the applications need to be disk bound, performance is enhanced through the use of extension of SSD buffer pool in the sql database. These solid-state drives can act as a cache between the hard drives and main memory. Full text search capabilities incorporated into the latest editions of the sql database.

  1. The “Web” edition is meant for SQL Database integrated into web applications, and only available for service providers hosting public websites that use SQL Server.
  2. The “Developer” version is meant for application development, test and roll out of sql database applications. It has all the capabilities of a full SQL Database.

Please contact us at SQL Server Tutorial if you have any further questions regarding SQL Server or SQL Server 2014 in particular. We are ready to help!

 

Related sites:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00b3baKf3R0

http://msftdbprodsamples.codeplex.com

http://searchsqlserver.techtarget.com/essentialguide/SQL-2014-Investigating-Microsofts-latest-database-release

 

MS SQL Server: A Glance at the History of MS SQL Server

Microsoft has a database offering for quite some time. Their product, the Microsoft SQL Server, is a RDBMS (relational database management system). In the early days of the PC (PS/2 and OS/2 combo) era Microsoft SQL Server product was offered in collaboration with Ashton Tate back and Sybase. However, from 2005 Microsoft provides SQL Server product completely independetly. Initially Microsoft SQL Server was the database product with which a large number of clients could connect and transact database operations. After that a number of versions have followed. Latest being the SQL Server 2016.

By the time Microsoft SQL Server 2000 came out, it was extended to the 64 bit architecture of the Intel processors. Supporting tools such as an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), an ETL (Extract-Transform-Load), etc. were added. A Reporting Server has been added to the Microsoft SQL Server portfolio as has the OLAP and data mining functionalities enhancing the analysis services. OLAP or the on-line analytical processing capabilities provide data analysis feature on multiple dimensions. Trend analysis and data modeling capabilities also become available to the Microsoft SQL Server. This feature helps discover patterns from large data sets where these patterns may not be easily discernable.

There have been several major versions released for Microsoft SQL Server since the SQL Server 2005. Next versions of the product came in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and now in 2016. While the general naming pattern of the Microsoft SQL Server is SQL Server 2005 (year of release), the version released in 2010 was named SQL Server 2008 R2.

The 2005 version of the Microsoft SQL Server added the support of XML data in addition to the relational data. While Microsoft SQL Server supports an extended form of SQL, the T-SQL, XQuery based query feature was added to support the xml data. This version added some extensions to the T-SQL itself so that XQuery queries could be embedded in the T-SQL queries. Data mirroring support added in this Microsoft SQL Server 2005 helps implement high availability solutions with support of automatic or manual fail-over configuration. Support for working with web services was introduced in this version too.

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Version 2008 introduced support for structured and unstructured data. Support for multimedia data in the form of BLOB (binary large objects) and “filestream” type provided support for semi-structured and unstructured data. This Microsoft SQL Server version also has support for spatial or location based data. Full text search features got integrated in this version of the Microsoft SQL Server 2008. Later Microsoft SQL Server kept introducing features that make it suitable for handling larger data analytics. In-memory execution feature already exists in the latest Microsoft SQL Server product that make execution of large data analytics quite quick.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Microsoft SQL Server please contact us at SQL Server 2014 Tutorial for a free consultation. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

 

More related links:

 

Cloud Database: Overview of Cloud Database

Big data constantly grows. Predictions are that it will continue its’ expansion at around 60% yearly. Therefore, it is obvious that enterprises need a place where their growing database is living.

Database that runs on the cloud platform – Cloud Database – provides this much needed space. There are two ways this can happen.

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First – is to run one’s own database of the rented space (a server, virtual server, shared server or whatever) in the cloud service.

Second option would be a Cloud Database, which is provided by the cloud provider hosting a database and providing user access to it. Depending on what the service provider has, it could be the database of choice of the user:

  1. In the virtual machine image deployment mode for a Cloud Database users could purchase server space from the provider. It is possible to run a database of the user’s choice and upload a machine image with an optimized copy of the database of choice. You could set up such a Cloud Database very easily as product vendors make it simple with readymade images for this purpose. Oracle 11g Enterprise edition ready to go image for Amazon web services the EC2. One could set up a Cloud Database with Oracle for Microsoft Azure, the same way.
  2. A Cloud Database service provider may also have a database as a service or DBaaS. One big advantage of this mode of Cloud Database is that it is the service provider responsibility to keep the software current and manage maintenance needs. Users can simply pay as you go (based on usage) if the portfolio has the database you need. Amazon, for example offers “SimpleDB” and Amazon relational database service as well as “Dynamo DB”. The first one is a No-SQL service while the second offering offers SQL interface. Microsoft Cloud Database service on the other hand offers Azure version of the SQL Server database.
  3. In a third option, Cloud Database hosting provider can support a third party offering of database as a service. Cloud service provider Rackspace for example, provides MySQL service in dedicated as well as in cloud hosted mode. Cloud Database No-SQL Database through Object Rocket’s MongoDB as a service is available on Rackspace. MongoDB-as – as a service is also available on Amazon web services as well as on Azure. Consoles provided by the cloud service providers help access and use the database instance. Users are able to launch Cloud Database instances, create backups and monitor the operations.

Choice of databases in the Cloud Database includes both the SQL and the No SQL Database products.

  • Common SQL based Cloud Database include Oracle, SQL Server, NuoDB, Maria DB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc. Scaling up with these older versions of databases may be difficult on the cloud platform because they were designed before the advent of the cloud as a computing platform. Thus, they may have limitations in quick scaling. Cloud Database services based on these databases have started to evolve to make the scaling problem easier.
  • Cassandra, MongoDB or the CouchDB are the newer No-SQL Databases and have to inherent limitations in scaling up/low. However, since existing applications mostly in SQL, it is not very easy to migrate these legacy applications into the NO-SQL Cloud Database services.

If you have any further questions regarding Cloud Database and its functions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help!

 

T-SQL Tutorial: Where to Find T-SQL Tutorials

One of the best places to start looking, if you decided to learn T-SQL, is at its source or Microsoft’s resources. Microsoft offers T-SQL for querying its database, the SQL Server. Thus, one of the first places to look for T-SQL Tutorial would be the MSDN page. These resources have been updated for supporting T-SQL Tutorial for the latest SQL Server 2016. This T-SQL Tutorial takes the approach that the learner is new to writing SQL statements. It teaches such users write simple statements for creating tables in a database and how to insert data into such tables.

Transaction-SQL or T-SQL has extension to the standardize query language. The MSDN tutorial pages or the other popular T-SQL Tutorial pages available on-line focus on all the features of T-SQL. However, they do not focus on any comparison between the extended language and the standard one. The MSDN tutorial clearly declares its aim as giving the user an introduction and feel of the language only. The T-SQL Tutorial coverage does not include the production database complexities. In actual use case, it is recommended to use the SQL Server Management Studio. After going through the T-SQL Tutorial, user can start using the database references to find detailed information.

While practicing this particular SQL database you will learn how to create a database, create and delete tables. Insertion, deletion, updating, reading and deleting data pieces are another set of exercises in this T-SQL Tutorial. Configuring a database, creating a view and developing stored procedures are other functions that one can learn in these T-SQL Tutorial pages. While it is not necessary for the user to know SQL, basic database concepts need to be understood to assimilate the T-SQL Tutorial .

Learning T-sql

While this is a good starting point, there are several high quality tutorials available on-line that offer a very detailed information. These tutorials give you a complete overview of the T-SQL language.

  • First of these T-SQL Tutorial gives an overview of the SQL in a way that user gets a whole perspective on the database query language vis-a-vis the extended form of it, the T-SQL language.
  • The Techonthenet Tutorial – another one of in-depth T-SQL Tutorials that covers all aspects of the language. This particular T-SQL Tutorial does not require any pre-requisites. After finishing it, the user will become proficient not only in the query language but in SQL Server basics and features as well. Introduction to the SQL Server is provided so that it is clear how data is retrieved and manipulated in the database. The T-SQL Tutorial then progresses to creation of users, their log-ins. Creating tables, functions and procedures are also covered. This T-SQL Tutorial has a separate section on those specific T-SQL functions that are not part of the standard SQL. No pre-requisites are required for this T-SQL Tutorial; rather a structured approach is taken so that learner improves as the he-she goes through the lessons.

If you interested in learning more about T-SQL Tutorial please don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

 

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