Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Quick Introduction

We wanted to take a new approach this year and provide an overview of some technology concepts or products that are commonly mentioned in various areas of IT. To start we wanted to give a brief introduction to Microsoft SQL.

Microsoft SQL is a Relational Database Management System. Relational database use tables with data (think of Excel table, for instance) along with relationships that are built between this data. The purpose of the relationships is to bring data together in meaningful ways. For example, if you wanted to bring customer names and orders together, you would build a relationship between these two tables. The purpose of SQL is to store and retrieve data for other applications. SQL may be used as a database for an ecommerce website for instance. When users enter data into input forms they can they be inserted into the database and queried for reports later on. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is its own programming language and can even be nested into other programming languages.

SQL is based around queries. A query is a formatted statement that can be used to simply displays data from tables and inserts data from a database. You can create a SQL query that will create a database. In Microsoft SQL, you have many options for creating queries. For example, you could use a notepad++ editor to create an SQL query, save it as an .sql extension file, and then open it in the Microsoft SQL Management Studio. This is as simple as selecting File > Open... and selecting the file you created.

You can also create SQL queries within Microsoft SQL Management Studio by clicking the Create New Query button near the File menu, or using File > New > Query. When you do this you are presented with a window to begin entering your query script.

Your scripts can be used to create, delete, and alter databases as well as the data contained within them. Microsoft offers a trial of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and we recommend if you are not familiar with MS SQL, but have any interest whatsover you check it out.