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What is SQL Server?

What is SQL Server? Is it another name for SQL? – This is a question that comes to mind of most people who are not aware of what SQL Server is. If you are a project management or software professional who works with applications based on Microsoft technologies, a common interview question that you might be asked is – ‘What is SQL Server?

1.0 So What is SQL Server?

SQL Server is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) developed by Microsoft. It uses 2 query languages – T-SQL and ANSI SQL, also known simply as SQL.

1.1 Tip

SQL Server was earlier known as Sybase SQL Server. It is however not the same as Sybase which is simply another one of the different types of databases available.

2.0 Why Should Project Managers Know About SQl Server?

In the area of project management there is a growing demand for those who are technical ie those who understand not only the process of software development but those who have a good general knowledge of the different technologies in use.

Hence it is worthwhile ensuring you have a good general knowledge of both technology concepts and also the specific software / hardware itself in order to stand out from the crowd.

3.0 What is the History of SQL Server?

SQL Server was born when Microsoft, Sybase and Ashton-Tate teamed up in the year 1989 and released v1.0. Later in 1992, SQL Server 4.2 was released. Until 1994, Microsoft SQL Server had 3 Sybase copyright notices. Since then, Microsoft has been the sole owner of SQL Server.

The versioning of SQL Server then changed to using the year of release as part of the version name e.g. SQL Server 2000, SQL Server 2005 etc.

3.1 Tip

SQL Server is mostly backward compliant with Sybase Server. For any specific incompatibilities, make sure to check the relevant SQL Server documentation.

4.0 What is the Latest Stable Version of SQL Server?

The latest stable version of SQL Server is known as ‘Microsoft SQL Server 2008’ and it was released on 6th August, 2008.

5.0 What is SQL Server 2005?

SQL Server version released in year 2005 is known as SQL Server 2005. It is also known as Yukon and is the successor to SQL Server 2000. It’s the first SQL Server version to offer native XML support.

SQL Server 2005 introduces a new method of connecting to databases – MARS (Multiple Active Result Sets).

6.0 What is SQL Server 2008?

SQL Server version released in year 2008 is known as SQL Server 2008. It is also known as Katmai Yukon and is the successor to SQL Server 2005. Microsoft uses the tag line ‘SQL Server Always On’ for this version and it aims to provide a zero downtime to users.

7.0 What is SQL Server 2008 R2?

This version of SQL Server was announced during TechEd 2009 and is now publicly available. It is also know by the name Kilimanjaro and adds a new concept called Master Data Services to SQL Server. Master Data Services offers a centralized console for management of multiple SQL Servers.

7.1 Tip

Visit the link http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/r2.aspx for more details on SQL Server 2008 R2

8.0 What is SQL Server Edition?

SQL Server has multiple editions, each intended for different target audience and having different features. These include:
  • Compact Edition
  • Developer Edition
  • Enterprise Edition
  • Evaluation Edition
  • Express Edition
  • Fast Track Edition

8.1 Tip

To try Microsoft SQL Server free of cost, download the Evaluation Edition

9.0 What is SQL Server Architecture?

SQL Server architecture has the following components:
  • Protocol Layer – It provides an external interface to SQL Server
  • Data Storage – It provides actual storage of data as a collection of tables with typed columns
  • Data Retrieval – It provides a way to retrieve data using query languages such as T-SQL

10.0 What is SQL Server Service?

SQL Server has the following services:
  • Service Broker – It provides a message queuing mechanism for SQL Server applications
  • Replication Service – It offers service to replicate and synchronize objects in database
  • Analysis Service – It offers a way to analyze data using OLAP and data mining techniques.
  • Notification Service – It provides a mechanism to generate data driven notifications.
  • Integration Service – It provides a mechanism to integrate data from different sources
  • Full Text Search Service – It provides an indexing and querying service for unstructured text.

10.1 Tip

The Microsoft MSDN is an excellent resource to learn SQL Server and provides easy to understand tutorials and examples to explain all aspects of SQL Server

What is SQL Server? - Tip

Understanding the difference between SQL and SQL Server is absolutely vital for any technical project manager to understand, since when managing IT projects you will quickly find that there are extremely few which do not involve database development especially in the internet area where SQL Server is commonly used.

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