SQL Server Admin

For SQL Server Architecture, please read my post here.

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational model database server produced by Microsoft. Its primary query languages are T-SQL and ANSI SQL

Brief introduction:
The code base for MS SQL Server (prior to version 7.0) originated in Sybase SQL Server, and was Microsoft’s entry to the enterprise-level database market, competing against Oracle, IBM, and, later, Sybase.
About the time Windows NT was released, Sybase and Microsoft parted ways and each pursued their own design and marketing schemes. Microsoft negotiated exclusive rights to all versions of SQL Server written for Microsoft operating systems.
Since parting ways, several revisions have been done independently. SQL Server 7.0 was a rewrite from the legacy Sybase code. It was succeeded by SQL Server 2000, which was the first edition to be launched in a variant for the IA-64 architecture.
In the ten years since release of Microsoft’s previous SQL Server product (SQL Server 2000), advancements have been made in performance, the client IDE tools, and several complementary systems that are packaged with SQL Server 2005. These include: an ETL tool (SQL Server Integration Services or SSIS), a Reporting Server, an OLAP and data mining server (Analysis Services), and several messaging technologies, specifically Service Broker and Notification Services.

Version Year Release Name Codename
1 1989 SQL Server 1.0
(OS/2) (16bit)
1.1 1991 SQL Server 1.1
(OS/2) (16bit)
4.21 1993 SQL Server 4.21 SQLNT
(WinNT)
6 1995 SQL Server 6.0 SQL95
6.5 1996 SQL Server 6.5 Hydra
7 1998 SQL Server 7.0 Sphinx
1999 SQL Server 7.0 Plato
OLAPÂ Tools
8 2000 SQL Server 2000 Shiloh
8 2003 SQL Server 2000 Liberty
64-bit Edition
9 2005 SQL Server 2005 Yukon
10 2008 SQL Server 2008 Katmai
10.5 2010 SQL Server 2008 R2 Kilimanjaro (aka KJ

Table
SQL Server 2005
SQL Server 2005 (codenamed Yukon), released in October 2005, is the successor to SQL Server 2000. It included native support for managing XML data, in addition to relational data. For this purpose, it defined an xml data type that could be used either as a data type in database columns or as literals in queries.
For relational data, T-SQL has been augmented with error handling features (try/catch) and support for recursive queries with CTEs (Common Table Expressions). SQL Server 2005 has also been enhanced with new indexing algorithms, syntax and better error recovery systems. Data pages are check-summed for better error resiliency, and optimistic concurrency support has been added for better performance. Permissions and access control have been made more granular and the query processor handles concurrent execution of queries in a more efficient way. Partitions on tables and indexes are supported natively, so scaling out a database onto a cluster is easier. SQL CLR was introduced with SQL Server 2005 to let it integrate with the .NET Framework.
SQL Server 2005 introduced “MARS” (Multiple Active Results Sets), a method of allowing usage of database connections for multiple purposes.
SQL Server 2005 introduced DMVs (Dynamic Management Views), which are specialized views and functions that return server state information that can be used to monitor the health of a server instance, diagnose problems, and tune performance.
SQL Server 2005 introduced Database Mirroring, but it was not fully supported until the first Service Pack release (SP1).
SQL Server 2008
The current version of SQL Server, SQL Server 2008, was released (RTM) on August 6, 2008 and aims to make data management self-tuning, self organizing, and self maintaining with the development of SQL Server Always On technologies, to provide near-zero downtime. SQL Server 2008 also includes support for structured and semi-structured data, including digital media formats for pictures, audio, video and other multimedia data. In current versions, such multimedia data can be stored as BLOBs (binary large objects), but they are generic bitstreams. Intrinsic awareness of multimedia data will allow specialized functions to be performed on them.
Other new data types include specialized date and time types and a Spatial data type for location-dependent data. Better support for unstructured and semi-structured data is provided using the new FILESTREAM data type, which can be used to reference any file stored on the file system. Structured data and metadata about the file is stored in SQL Server database, whereas the unstructured component is stored in the file system. Such files can be accessed both via Win32 file handling APIs as well as via SQL Server using T-SQL; doing the latter accesses the file data as a BLOB. Backing up and restoring the database backs up or restores the referenced files as well. SQL Server 2008 also natively supports hierarchical data, and includes T-SQL constructs to directly deal with them, without using recursive queries.
The Full-Text Search functionality has been integrated with the database engine, which simplifies management and improves performance.

SQL Server 2008 R2
SQL Server 2008 R2 (formerly codenamed SQL Server “Kilimanjaro”) was announced at TechEd 2009, and was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2010. SQL Server 2008 R2 adds certain features to SQL Server 2008 including a master data management system branded as Master Data Services, a central management of master data entities and hierarchies. Also Multi Server Management, a centralized console to manage multiple SQL Server 2008 instances and services including relational databases, Reporting Services, Analysis Services & Integration Services.
SQL Server 2008 R2 includes a number of new services, including PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint, Master Data Services, StreamInsight, ReportBuilder 3.0, Reporting Services Add-in for SharePoint, a Data-tier function in Visual Studio that enables packaging of tiered databases as part of an application, and a SQL Server Utility named UC (Utility Control Point), part of AMSM (Application and Multi-Server Management) that is used to manage multiple SQL Servers

SQL Server Tools:

SQLCMD
SQLCMD is a command line application that comes with Microsoft SQL Server, and exposes the management features of SQL Server. It allows SQL queries to be written and executed from the command prompt. It can also act as a scripting language to create and run a set of SQL statements as a script. Such scripts are stored as a .sql file, and are used either for management of databases or to create the database schema during the deployment of a database.
SQLCMD was introduced with SQL Server 2005 and this continues with SQL Server 2008. Its predecessor for earlier versions was OSQL and ISQL, which is functionally equivalent as it pertains to TSQL execution, and many of the command line parameters are identical, although SQLCMD adds extra versatility.

Visual Studio
Microsoft Visual Studio includes native support for data programming with Microsoft SQL Server. It can be used to write and debug code to be executed by SQL CLR. It also includes a data designer that can be used to graphically create, view or edit database schemas. Queries can be created either visually or using code. SSMS 2008 onwards, provides intellisense for SQL queries as well.

SQL Server Management Studio
SQL Server Management Studio is a GUI tool included with SQL Server 2005 and later for configuring, managing, and administering all components within Microsoft SQL Server. The tool includes both script editors and graphical tools that work with objects and features of the server.[57] SQL Server Management Studio replaces Enterprise Manager as the primary management interface for Microsoft SQL Server since SQL Server 2005. A version of SQL Server Management Studio is also available for SQL Server Express Edition, for which it is known as SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE).
A central feature of SQL Server Management Studio is the Object Explorer, which allows the user to browse, select, and act upon any of the objects within the server.[59] It can be used to visually observe and analyze query plans and optimize the database performance, among others.[60] SQL Server Management Studio can also be used to create a new database, alter any existing database schema by adding or modifying tables and indexes, or analyze performance. It includes the query windows which provide a GUI based interface to write and execute queries.
Business Intelligence Development Studio
Business Intelligence Development Studio (BIDS) is the IDE from Microsoft used for developing data analysis and Business Intelligence solutions utilizing the Microsoft SQL ServerAnalysis Services, Reporting Services and Integration Services. It is based on the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment but customizes with the SQL Server services-specific extensions and project types, including tools, controls and projects for reports (using Reporting Services), Cubes and data mining structures (using Analysis Services).

Programmability-T-SQL

T-SQL (Transact-SQL) is the primary means of programming and managing SQL Server. It exposes keywords for the operations that can be performed on SQL Server, including creating and altering database schemas, entering and editing data in the database as well as monitoring and managing the server itself. Client applications that consume data or manage the server will leverage SQL Server functionality by sending T-SQL queries and statements which are then processed by the server and results (or errors) returned to the client application. SQL Server allows it to be managed using T-SQL. For this it exposes read only tables from which server statistics can be read. Management functionality is exposed via system-defined stored procedures which can be invoked from T-SQL queries to perform the management operation. It is also possible to create linked Server using T-SQL. Linked server allows operation to multiple server as one query.
SQL Native Client
SQL Native Client is the native client side data access library for Microsoft SQL Server, version 2005 onwards. It natively implements support for the SQL Server features including theTabular Data Stream implementation, support for mirrored SQL Server databases, full support for all data types supported by SQL Server, asynchronous operations, query notifications,encryption support, as well as receiving multiple result sets in a single database session. SQL Native Client is used under the hood by SQL Server plug-ins for other data access technologies, including ADO or OLE DB. The SQL Native Client can also be directly used, bypassing the generic data access layers.

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