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Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server offers tight integration with the Back Office series of server products. Check out this collection of SQL Server links about migrating to SQL Server, performance tuning, development and more!

Creating a Table with SQL Server 2012
Tables serve as the basic unit of organization for any database, including those managed by SQL Server 2012. Designing appropriate tables to store your data is an essential responsibility of a database developer and both designers and administrators must be familiar with the process of creating new SQL Server database tables. In this article,...

Database Engine Tuning Advisor in SQL Server 2012
SQL Server 2012’s Database Engine Tuning Advisor (DETA) provides database administrators with a powerful way to tune your database for your specific environment. DETA allows you to design a customized workload that mimics your operational environment and then analyze that workload to determine the optimal configuration settings for your SQL...

Introduction to SQL Server 2012
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 is a full-featured relational database management system (RDBMS) that offers a variety of administrative tools to ease the burdens of database development, maintenance and administration. In this article, we'll cover some of the more frequently used tools: SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Profiler, SQL Server Agent,...

Creating Traces with SQL Server 2012
SQL Profiler is a diagnostic tool included with Microsoft SQL Server 2012. It allows you to create SQL traces that track the specific actions performed against a SQL Server databases. SQL traces provide valuable information for troubleshooting database issues and tuning database engine performance. For example, administrators might use a trace...

Microsoft SQL Server 2012: Choosing the Correct Edition
SQL Server 2008 R2 is the latest release in Microsoft’s enterprise relational database platform series. In this substantial upgrade, they've packed the new database engine full of new features, but fortunately it doesn’t pack any additional punch in your wallet: SQL Server 2008 is available at the same price points used by SQL Server 2005.

Top Five New Features in SQL Server 2012
Microsoft recently released the first Community Technical Preview (CTP) of the newest version of SQL Server, code-named Denali. Three years after the release of SQL Server 2008, this new version of the popular database platform promises several exciting new features.

Microsoft SQL Azure: SQL Server in the Cloud
With the release of SQL Azure, Microsoft is now offering serious database users the ability to put their databases in the cloud. SQL Azure is a relational database that supports Transact-SQL using Microsoft SQL Server Technology but allowing you to place all of the server and operating system administration tasks in the hands of Microsoft Engineers.

Importing Data with SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) allows you to import and export data from SQL Server databases using an easy-to-navigate graphical interface. It replaces the Data Transformation Services (DTS) found in earlier versions of SQL Server.

Automating DMF Policy Enforcement
SQL Server’s Declarative Management Framework allows you to create policies with which databases on your SQL Server 2008 system must comply. In previous articles, we examined how to create DMF conditions, create DMF policies, verify policy compliance and manually enforce policies. In this final installment, we look at ways you can automatically manage DMF policy compliance with Micros…

Manually Enforcing Policies in SQL Server 2008
The Declarative Management Framework allows you to manually reconfigure policy targets so that they comply with some policies. It is important to note, however, that this manual reconfiguration cannot resolve all policy compliance issues. SQL Server will be able to modify database settings, reconfigure permissions and perform similar tasks but it cannot, for example, change the name of a stored…

Verifying DMF Policy Compliance
The On Demand Execution Mode of SQL Server's Declarative Management Framework allows you to manually test whether a DMF target complies with a policy. This is a great way to test a policy-based management strategy prior to deploying an automated policy.

Creating a Distributed Management Framework Policy
Policy objects specify the conditions you wish to enforce against database targets using the Distributed Management Framework (DMF). In this tutorial, we create a DMF policy that enforces the stored procedure naming convention condition we created together in the previous step.

SQL Server in Amazon Web Services
If you're seeking an inexpensive way to run a SQL Server database in the cloud, you might want to consider using the free tier of Amazon Web Services. AWS offers free limited use of a SQL Server Express database server for one year and is extremely easy to get up and running.

Importing and Exporting Data with SQL Server 2012
The SQL Server Import and Export Wizard is a component of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) that facilitates the transfer of information between your SQL Server databases and other data sources, including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and flat files.

SQL Server Migration Assistant 2012
SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) provides database administrators with a smooth way to transition from their existing database platform to Microsoft SQL Server. The migration assistants are able to transfer data to either a server-based SQL Server database or to Microsoft’s SQL Azure cloud-based database platform.

Creating a DMF Condition
Conditions are the clauses that you may use to create DMF policies on a management facet. Examples of conditions are usernames, account creation dates and password complexity policies. In this example, we will create a DMF condition that enforces a stored procedure naming policy that requires all stored procedures begin with the "sp_" prefix.

Foreign Keys in Microsoft SQL Server
One of the most important concepts in databases is creating relationships between database tables. These relationships provide a mechanism for linking data stored in multiple tables and retrieving it in an efficient fashion. In order to create a link between two tables, you must specify a foreign key in one table that references a column in...

Declarative Management Framework in Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server’s Declarative Management Framework (DMF) allows you to proactively regulate the configuration and operation of your SQL Server databases. You may declare security and best practice policies and then apply them to your database server.

Change Data Capture in Microsoft SQL Server
With the release of SQL Server 2008, Microsoft included Change Data Capture (CDC) functionality for the first time. This highly anticipated feature provides administrators with the ability to perform detailed auditing of database changes.

Configuring Log Shipping in SQL Server 2008
Log shipping allows you to keep two SQL Server databases synchronized for high availability. In a log shipping relationship, the primary server transfers copies of its transaction logs to the secondary server on a periodic basis. The secondary server receives those logs and uses them to update its copy of the database so that it is then in the same state as the database on the primary server.

Auditing in SQL Server 2008
SQL Server's auditing capabilities were significantly upgraded with the release of SQL Server 2008, to the great relief of database administrators and security professionals alike. The new auditing capabilities allow you to track user and system activity in a manner that is compliant with recently enacted security regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HI…

Snapshot Replication in Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server's snapshot replication technology allows you to automatically transfer information between multiple SQL Server databases. This technology is a great way to improve the performance and/or reliability of your databases.

How to Subscribe to a SQL Server Publication
Once you've configured a distributor and created a publication, the last step in configuring SQL Server replication is to create a subscriber who will receive publication updates from the publisher. In this tutorial, we walk through the process of subscribing to a publication, step-by-step.

Creating a Publication
Once you've created a published/distributor, you can then use SQL Server Management Studio to create publications that subscribing servers may receive. Each publication contains a collection of database objects that will be replicated to all subscriber servers.

Creating a Snapshot Replication Distributor
SQL Server's snapshot replication technology allows you to automatically transfer information between databases to keep them synchronized. In this article, we look at the first step of the snapshot replication process: creating the replication distributor.

Importing Bulk Data into SQL Server
SQL Server provides three methods you can use when you need to insert large quantities of data into a SQL Server database. These automated techniques will help you insert data from the results of a SQL query, a text file or another database.

Creating a SQL Server Database Maintenance Plan
Database Maintenance Plans allow you to automate many database administration tasks in Microsoft SQL Server. You can create maintenance plans using an easy wizard-based process without any knowledge of Transact-SQL.

Tune Your SQL Server Database with Database Engine Tuning Advisor
Database Engine Tuning Advisor (DETA) allows you to optimize your SQL Server database configuration based upon the unique business requirements of your organization. It analyzes your database workload and uses that information to make recommendations about hte physical structure of your database and then allows you to actually implement the recommendations within DETA.

Automating Database Administration with SQL Server Agent
SQL Server Agent allows you to automate a variety of administrative tasks. In this tutorial, we walk through the process of using SQL Server Agent to create and schedule a job that automates database administration.

Importing and Exporting SQL Server Data from the Command Line with bcp
The bulk copy (bcp) command of Microsoft SQL Server provides you with the ability to insert large numbers of records directly from the command line. In addition to being a great tool for command-line aficionados, bcp is a powerful tool for those seeking to insert data into a SQL Server database from within a batch file or other programmatic method.

Pattern Matching in SQL Server Queries
You may often need to create a SQL Server query that performs inexact pattern matching through the use of wildcard characters. The use of wildcards allows you to find data that fits a certain pattern, rather than specifying it exactly. For example, you can use the wildcard "C%" to match any string beginning with a capital C.

SQL Server Constraints
SQL Server constraints allow you to enforce rules in your database. These rules may affect business logic, database integrity and/or table structures. Each one plays an important role in your database architecture.

NOT NULL Constraints in Microsoft SQL Server
NOT NULL constraints in Microsoft SQL Server allow you to specify that a column may not contain NULL values. When you create a new NOT NULL constraint on a database column, SQL Server checks the column’s current contents for any NULL values. If the column currently contains NULL values, the constraint creation fails. Otherwise, SQL Server adds the NOT NULL constraint and any future INSERT or UPDATE commands that would cause the existence of a NULL value fail.

UNIQUE Constraints in Microsoft SQL Server
UNIQUE constraints allow SQL Server administrators to specify that a column may not contain duplicate values. When you create a new UNIQUE constraint, SQL Server checks the column in question to determine whether it contains any duplicate values. If the table contains preexisting duplicates, the constraint creation command fails. Similarly, once you have a UNIQUE constraint on a column, attempts to add or modify data that would cause duplicates to exist also fail.

DEFAULT Constraints in Microsoft SQL Server
DEFAULT constraints allow you to specify a value that the database will use to populate fields that are left blank in the input source.

CHECK Constraints in Microsoft SQL Server 2008
CHECK constraints allow you to limit the types of data that users may insert in a database. They go beyond data types and allow you to define the specific values that may be included in a column.

SQLCMD Step-by-Step
Microsoft SQL Server provides users with a variety of rich graphical user interfaces to retrieve and manipulate data and configure SQL Server databases. However, sometimes it’s just easier to work from the old-fashioned command line. Whether you’re looking for a quick-and-dirty way to execute a SQL query or wish to include SQL statements in a Windows script file, SQLCMD allows you to meet your goal.

Free and Low Cost SQL Server Options
SQL Server is an enterprise-class relational database, but that doesn't mean it has to blow your budget. In this article, we take a look at two low cost options that let you get up and running with SQL Server 2008 for free or under $50.

Free and Low Cost SQL Server Options
SQL Server is an enterprise-class relational database, but that doesn't mean it has to blow your budget. In this article, we take a look at two low cost options that let you get up and running with SQL Server 2008 for free or under $50.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Choosing the Correct Edition
SQL Server 2008 is the latest release in Microsoft’s enterprise relational database platform series. In this substantial upgrade, they've packed the new database engine full of new features, but fortunately it doesn’t pack any additional punch in your wallet: SQL Server 2008 is available at the same price points used by SQL Server 2005.

Choosing a SQL Server Authentication Mode
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 offers administrators two choices of performing user authentication: Windows authentication mode and mixed authentication mode. Making the proper choice affects both the security and maintenance of your organizationÂ’s databases.

Using TRY…CATCH to Handle SQL Server Errors
The TRY…CATCH statement in Transact-SQL allows you to detect and handle error conditions gracefully within your database applications. This statement is the cornerstone of SQL Server error handling and is an extremely important part of developing robust database applications.

Create a Trace with SQL Server Profiler
Traces allow you to track the specific actions performed against a SQL Server databases. They provide valuable information for troubleshooting database issues and tuning database engine performance. In this tutorial, we walk through the process of creating a SQL Server Trace with SQL Server Profiler, step-by-step.

Use SQL Server Upgrade Advisor
Microsoft provides the SQL Server 2008 Upgrade Advisor to help you detect upgrade issues before they occur. This tool examines your SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 databases and checks for any potential conflicts.

Transaction Log Shrinking and Truncation in SQL Server
The transaction log plays a critical role in a SQL Server database: it maintains an ongoing record of database activity crucial for the restoration of recent data in the event of a disaster. However, this benefit comes at a cost: the transaction log can consume a substantial amount of space in an active database. SQL Server provides two actions designed to counterbalance these large space requirements: transaction log truncation and log file shrinking.

SQL Server Recovery Models
SQL Server provides three different recovery models that allow you to specify the way SQL Server manages log files and prepares your enterprise for a disaster. Each of these models represents a different approach to balancing the tradeoff between conserving disk space and providing for granular disaster recovery options.

Create an Alert Using SQL Server Agent
SQL Server allows you to automatically notify database administrators when unusual circumstances occur. This powerful alerting mechanism enables 24-hour monitoring of your database performance without staffing a 24-hour operations center.

SQL Server 2012 Backup Types and Scopes
One of the major advantages that enterprise-class databases offer over their desktop counterparts is a robust backup and recovery feature set. Microsoft SQL Server provides database administrators with the ability to customize a database backup and recovery plan to the business and technical requirements of an organization.

SQL Server Backup Types and Scopes
One of the major advantages that enterprise-class databases offer over their desktop counterparts is a robust backup and recovery feature set. Microsoft SQL Server provides database administrators with the ability to customize a database backup and recovery plan to the business and technical requirements of an organization.

Partitioning a SQL Server Database Table
Looking to optimize the performance of your SQL Server database? If your database contains very large tables, you may benefit from partitioning those tables onto separate filegroups. This technology, introduced in SQL Server 2005, allows you to spread data onto different physical disks, leveraging the concurrent performance of those disks to optimize query performance.

SQL Server Transaction Isolation Models
Normally, it's best to allow SQL Server to enforce isolation between transactions in its default manner; after all, isolation is one of the basic tenets of the ACID model. However, sometimes business requirements force database administrators to stray from the default behavior and adopt a less rigid approach to transaction isolation. To assist in such cases, SQL Server offers five different transaction isolation models.

Stored Procedures vs. User Defined Functions in Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server user-defined functions and stored procedures offer similar functionality. Both allow you to create bundles of SQL statements that are stored on the server for future use. This offers you a tremendous efficiency benefit, as you can save programming time by...

Other SQL Server Data Types
Other SQL Server data types allow for the storage of unique identifiers, cursors, tables and XML

Binary Data Types in SQL Server
Binary data types allow you to store any type of binary data, including entire files of up to 2GB. They include binary, varbinary, image and bit.

Character String Data Types in SQL Server
Character string data types are used to store text values in Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Date and Time Data Types in SQL Server
The date and time SQL Server data types are used to store calendar information. They include the datetime, smalldatetime and timestamp variables.

Approximate Numeric Data Types in SQL Server
The approximate numeric data types are not as commonly used as other SQL Server data types used to store numeric information. The exact numeric data types provide more precision and are more commonly used.

Exact Numeric Data Types in SQL Server
The exact numeric data types are the most common SQL Server data types used to store numeric information. They include integers (int), big integers (bigint), tiny integers (tinyint), small integers (smallint), decimal and numeric values.

Microsoft SQL Server Data Types
Selecting appropriate data types is one of the most important considerations when designing a SQL Server database. Choices you make in the database design phase may have a significant impact on the efficiency, performance and storage requirements of your database down the road.

Creating Tables in Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server databases rely upon tables to store data. In this tutorial, we'll explore the process of designing and implementing a database table in Microsoft SQL Server.

Transact-SQL
What is Transact-SQL? Find out in the About Databases glossary!

SQL Server Stored Procedures
Microsoft SQL Server provides the stored procedure mechanism to simplify the database development process by grouping Transact-SQL statements into manageable blocks.

Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2005
After a long gap in the release of SQL Server databases, Microsoft recently released SQL Server 2005. In this substantial upgrade, they've packed the new database engine full of features.

Primary Keys in SQL Server 2012
Every database table should have a primary key that uniquely identifies each row in the table. This key is used to locate records in your database and plays an essential role in indexing and maintaining your data. You may either choose your own primary key using attribute(s) of your table that you know will be unique or allow the database to automatically generate a primary key column that will be populated with sequential integer values.

SQL Server Index Tuning
Looking to squeeze that last bit of performance out of your SQL Server database? The Index Tuning Wizard can help!

Microsoft English Query
English Query makes it possible to pose natural language questions to any OLE DB data source

Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server
SQL Server offers full-featured relational database functionality in a user-oriented package. Learn about the various components of SQL Server in this article.

SQL Server Disaster Recovery
There are numerous threats to your data -- disk corruption, natural disaster, human error and server failure, among others. Is your disaster recovery plan sufficient to ensure your organization's interests are protected?

Stored Procedures in SQL Server
Stored procedures offer great performance, security and abstraction benefits to SQL Server developers.

Microsoft English Query
Would you like to give users of your database the ability to pose queries in plain English? EQ makes it possible!

SQL Server Disaster Recovery
There are numerous threats to your data -- disk corruption, natural disaster, human error and server failure, among others. Is your disaster recovery plan sufficient to ensure your organization's interests are protected?

SQL Server Replication
Microsoft SQL Server provides a robust replication facility to distribute and update data in a decentralized fashion.

SQL Server Index Tuning
Looking to squeeze that last bit of performance out of your SQL Server database? The Index Tuning Wizard can help!

Data Distribution with SQL Server
Robert Pfeiff and Ted Daley of SQL Server Magazine provide a "behind the scenes" look at SQL Server's replication capabilities. This easy-to-read description is great for the novice.

Microsoft SQL Server
Visit the official Microsoft product site to get the latest news, patches and information on SQL Server 7.0 and the new SQL Server 2000 products!

Microsoft SQL Server Security White Paper
Microsoft's TechNet provides a series of white papers detailing the security features of SQL Server with recommendations for database administrators.

Performance Tuning SQL Server
Microsoft's guide to performance tuning SQL Server installations. This article provides quick tips with comprehensive explanations.

Replication and SQL Server
If you're looking for a distributed database solution, this white paper from Microsoft describes the replication capabilities present in SQL Server.

SQL Server Backup and Restore White Paper
This Microsoft white paper provides answers to frequently asked questions on SQL Server's backup and restore functionality.

SQL Server Clustering Step-by-Step
Microsoft's product support engineers explain how to implement clustering services with SQL Server. This comprehensive white paper provides screen snapshots and detailed instructions.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2: Choosing the Correct Edition
SQL Server 2008 R2 is the latest release in Microsoft’s enterprise relational database platform series. In this substantial upgrade, they've packed the new database engine full of new features, but fortunately it doesn’t pack any additional punch in your wallet: SQL Server 2008 is available at the same price points used by SQL Server 2005.

SQL Server 2008 R2: What's New?
With the May 2010 release of SQL Server 2008 R2, many database professionals wondered why Microsoft didn’t increment the product’s name to SQL Server 2010. Indeed, there is a quite a bit of new functionality in this latest release of SQL Server which, among other things, allows advanced interaction with Office 2010.

Encrypting SQL Server Database Connections
Encryption helps you prevent unauthorized access to information when individuals try to bypass your database security controls. For example, someone with a computer on your network might try to use a packet sniffer to monitor connections made by users to a database. Fortunately, database encryption allows you to protect the data sent over those connections from prying eyes.

What Do You Want To See in SQL Server 2011?
Microsoft SQL Server 2011: New Features

SQL Server Resource Governor
SQL Server’s Resource Governor feature, first available in SQL Server 2008, provides the ability to limit the resources consumed by SQL Server database connections. This functionality permits database administrators to regulate the CPU usage and memory consumption of various workloads.

Resource Governor
Looking for a definition of Resource Governor? Check the About.com Databases Glossary!

Creating a SQL Server 2008 Database Account
SQL Server 2008 provides two methods for creating database user accounts - Windows authentication or SQL Server authentication. In Windows authentication mode, you assign all database permissions to Windows accounts. This has the advantage of providing a single sign-on experience for users and simplifying security management. In SQL Server...

Installing SQL Server 2012 Express Edition

Installing SQL Server 2008 R2 Express Edition

Creating SQL Server 2012 User Accounts
SQL Server 2012 provides a wide range of security features designed to help you protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data stored in your enterprise databases. One of the most important tasks that database administrators perform is the implementation of role-based access control that limits the ability of users to retrieve...

Validating Replicated Data
Jeffery Rogers of SQL Server Magazine discusses common problems with SQL Server replication and describes the proper implementation of validation techniques to ensure proper data synchronization.

Configuring SQL Server Agent for SQL Server 2012

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