Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server

SQL Server

What is Microsoft SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications—which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network (including the Internet).

SQL Server 2016 is the biggest leap forward in Microsoft’s data platform history with real-time operational analytics, rich visualizations on mobile devices, built-in advanced analytics, new advanced security technology, and new hybrid cloud scenarios. Other benefits include enhanced in-memory performance, stretching OLTP data to Microsoft Azure, and simplified management of relational and non-relational data.

History of Microsoft SQL Server

The history of Microsoft SQL Server begins with the first Microsoft SQL Server product – SQL Server 1.0, a 16-bit server for the OS/2 operating system in 1989 – and extends to the current day.

The following versions are supported by Microsoft:

  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2008 R2
  • SQL Server 2012
  • SQL Server 2014
  • SQL Server 2016
  • SQL Server 2019

Evolution of SQL Server

Evolution of SQL Server

Downgrade Rights for the following software

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2019
  • Office 2019
  • SQL Server 2019
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2019
Downgrade rights for Microsoft

Components of SQL Server

Server components


SQL Server Database Engine

SQL Server Database Engine includes the Database Engine, the core service for storing, processing, and securing data, replication, full-text search, tools for managing relational and XML data, in database analytics integration, and Polybasic integration for access to Hadoop and other heterogeneous data sources, and the Data Quality Services (DQS) server.

Analysis Services

Analysis Services includes the tools for creating and managing online analytical processing (OLAP) and data mining applications.

Reporting Services

Reporting Services includes server and client components for creating, managing, and deploying tabular, matrix, graphical, and free-form reports. Reporting Services is also an extensible platform that you can use to develop report applications.

Integration Services

Integration Services is a set of graphical tools and programmable objects for moving, copying, and transforming data. It also includes the Data Quality Services (DQS) component for Integration Services.

Master Data Services

Master Data Services (MDS) is the SQL Server solution for master data management. MDS can be configured to manage any domain (products, customers, accounts) and includes hierarchies, granular security, transactions, data versioning, and business rules, as well as an Add-in for Excel that can be used to manage data.

R Services (In-Database)

R Services (In-Database) supports distributed, scalable R solutions on multiple platforms and using multiple enterprise data sources, including Linux, Hadoop, and Teradata.

Management tools


SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Management Studio is an integrated environment to access, configure, manage, administer, and develop components of SQL Server. Management Studio lets developers and administrators of all skill levels use SQL Server.

Download and install
Management Studio from Download SQL Server Management Studio

SQL Server Configuration Manager

SQL Server Configuration Manager provides basic configuration management for SQL Server services, server protocols, client protocols, and client aliases.

SQL Server Profiler

SQL Server Profiler provides a graphical user interface to monitor an instance of the Database Engine or Analysis Services.

Database Engine Tuning Advisor

Database Engine Tuning Advisor helps create optimal sets of indexes, indexed views, and partitions.

Data Quality Client

Provides a highly simple and intuitive graphical user interface to connect to the DQS server, and perform data cleansing operations. It also allows you to centrally monitor various activities performed during the data cleansing operation.

SQL Server Data Tools

SQL Server Data Tools provides an IDE for building solutions for the Business Intelligence components: Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services.

(Formerly called Business Intelligence Development Studio).

SQL Server Data Tools also includes “Database Projects”, which provides an integrated environment for database developers to carry out all their database design work for any SQL Server platform (both on and off premise) within Visual Studio. Database developers can use the enhanced Server Explorer in Visual Studio to easily create or edit database objects and data, or execute queries.

Connectivity Components

Installs components for communication between clients and servers, and network libraries for DB-Library, ODBC, and OLE DB.

Different Editions of SQL Server – Enterprise, Standard, Web and Express

The different editions of SQL Server accommodate the unique performance, runtime, and price requirements of organizations and individuals. The SQL Server components that you install also depend on your specific requirements. The following sections help you understand how to make the best choice among the editions and components available in SQL Server.

The following table describes the editions of SQL Server.

SQL Server edition



The premium offering, SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition delivers comprehensive high-end datacenter capabilities with blazing-fast performance, unlimited virtualization, and end-to-end business intelligence — enabling high service levels for mission-critical workloads and end user access to data insights.


SQL Server 2016 Standard edition delivers basic data management and business intelligence database for departments and small organizations to run their applications and supports common development tools for on premise and cloud — enabling effective database management with minimal IT resources.


SQL Server 2016 Web edition is a low total-cost-of-ownership option for Web holsters and Web VAPs to provide scalability, affordability, and manageability capabilities for small to large scale Web properties.


SQL Server 2016 Developer edition lets developers build any kind of application on top of SQL Server. It includes all the functionality of Enterprise edition, but is licensed for use as a development and test system, not as a production server. SQL Server Developer is an ideal choice for people who build SQL Server 2016 and test applications.

Express editions

Express edition is the entry-level, free database and is ideal for learning and building desktop and small server data-driven applications. It is the best choice for independent software vendors, developers, and hobbyists building client applications. If you need more advanced database features, SQL Server Express can be seamlessly upgraded to other higher end versions of SQL Server. SQL Server Express Local DB, a lightweight version of Express that has all of its programmability features, yet runs in user mode and has a fast, zero-configuration installation and a short list of prerequisites.

How to license SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Pricing


Open no level price (US$)

Licensing model

Channel availability

Enterprise$13, 748[1]2 core packVolume licensing, hosting
Standard – per core$3,586[1]2 core packVolume licensing, hosting
Standard – server$899[1]Server[2]Volume licensing, hosting
Standard – CAL$209CALVolume licensing, hosting
DeveloperFreePer userFree download
WebSee your hosting partner for pricingNot applicableHosting only
ExpressFreeNot applicableFree download

Subscriptions and add-ons

Subscriptions and add-ons

Price (US$)

Licensing model

Channel availability

SQL Server Enterprise$5,434/year2 core packVolume Licensing
SQL Server Standard$1,418/year2 core packVolume Licensing
Big data node cores[4]$400/year[4]2 core packVolume Licensing

SQL Server licensing makes choosing the right edition simple and economical.

Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Software Assurance Benefits




Big data nodes core entitlement NewProvides customers a limited big data node core entitlement for SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters.
Fail-over servers for disaster recovery NewAllows customers to install and run passive SQL Server 2019 instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in anticipation of a failover event.
Fail-Over servers for disaster recovery in Azure NewAllows customers to install and run passive SQL Server 2019 instances in a separate OSE or server for disaster recovery in Azure in anticipation of a failover event.
Azure Hybrid BenefitEnables customers to use SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance or qualifying subscription licenses to pay a reduced rate (“base rate”) on SQL Database vCore-based options such as managed instance, vCore-based single database, and vCore-based elastic Pool; on SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines (including, but not limited to, Azure Dedicated Host); and on SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).
Fail-over servers for high availabilityAllows customers to install and run passive SQL Server 2019 instances in a separate OSE or server for high availability in anticipation of a failover event.
Unlimited virtualizationAllows customers to run any number of instances of SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition software in an unlimited number of VMs. Applicable under the core licensing model only.
Power BI Report ServerAllows SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers to run Power BI Report Server.
Machine Learning Server for HadoopAllows SQL Server Enterprise Edition customers to run Machine Learning Server for Hadoop.
License mobility through Software AssuranceAllows license reassignment of SQL Server 2019 to third-party shared servers. Does not apply to SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW).
Additional benefits for Server and Cloud Enrollment customersIn addition to the benefits noted above, Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) customers may also qualify for premium benefits, including unlimited problem resolution support.
Additional benefits for SCE customersIn addition to the benefits noted above, Server Cloud Enrollment (SCE) customers may also qualify for premium benefits, including Unlimited Problem Resolution Support.


[1] Pricing represents open no level (NL) estimated retail price. For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller.

[2] Client access licenses (CALs) are required for every user or device accessing a server in the Server + CAL licensing model. See the product use rights for details.

[3] SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters consists of two distinct components:

  • SQL Server master instance is SQL Server 2019 Enterprise or Standard Edition on Linux with all the typical features.
  • Big data nodes are worker nodes that has HDFS and Spark built into the SQL Server engine for scale-out storage and compute.

[4] Big data nodes can only be used with Enterprise and Standard editions are purchased separately and priced per two-core pack.