SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server

SQL Server

What is 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 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.

As of December 2016 the following versions are supported by Microsoft:

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

Components of SQL Server

Server components

Description

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

Description

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

Definition

Enterprise

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.

Standard

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.

Web

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.

Developer

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.