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Introduction to Microsoft SQL Server 2000

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Microsoft SQL Server 2000 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 six of the more frequently used tools: Enterprise Manager, Query Analyzer, SQL Profiler, Service Manager, Data Transformation Services and Books Online. Let's take a brief look at each:

Enterprise Manager is the main administrative console for SQL Server installations. It provides you with a graphical "birds-eye" view of all of the SQL Server installations on your network. You can perform high-level administrative functions that affect one or more servers, schedule common maintenance tasks or create and modify the structure of individual databases.

Query Analyzer offers a quick and dirty method for performing queries against any of your SQL Server databases. It's a great way to quickly pull information out of a database in response to a user request, test queries before implementing them in other applications, create/modify stored procedures and execute administrative tasks.

SQL Profiler provides a window into the inner workings of your database. You can monitor many different event types and observe database performance in real time. SQL Profiler allows you to capture and replay system "traces" that log various activities. It's a great tool for optimizing databases with performance issues or troubleshooting particular problems.

Service Manager is used to control the MSSQLServer (the main SQL Server process), MSDTC (Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator) and SQLServerAgent processes. An icon for this service normally resides in the system tray of machines running SQL Server. You can use Service Manager to start, stop or pause any one of these services.

Data Transformation Services (DTS) provide an extremely flexible method for importing and exporting data between a Microsoft SQL Server installation and a large variety of other formats. The most commonly used DTS application is the "Import and Export Data" wizard found in the SQL Server program group.

Books Online is an often overlooked resource provided with SQL Server that contains answers to a variety of administrative, development and installation issues. It's a great resource to consult before turning to the Internet or technical support.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with a brief introduction to the various tools available to Microsoft SQL Server users. Now get out there and give them a whirl!
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