Chapter 1. Introducing SQL Server 2008

SQL Server 2008 is Microsoft's enterprise-class database server, designed to compete with products such as Oracle and IBM's DB2. According to a Gartner study, SQL Server is rapidly gaining momentum, possessing more than 17 percent of the worldwide database market in 2006.

SQL Server allows you to store, retrieve, and manipulate data to meet your organization's business objectives. The platform provides a number of tools and technologies to assist you in managing and manipulating your data on your own terms. For example, using SQL Server 2008, you can

  • Import and export data from a variety of file formats

  • Link to other databases (both SQL Server and those of other manufacturers)

  • Manipulate data from within Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access

  • Produce professional-quality dynamic reports based on SQL Server data

  • Create automated tasks that trigger when data satisfies specified conditions

That's only scratching the surface of the functionality offered by SQL Server 2008! In this chapter, I focus on the basic knowledge you need to get started with SQL Server.

Starting Off on the Right Foot

There are a couple of decisions you need to make if you're building a new SQL Server installation. Before making an investment of time or money, take a few moments to think about the following questions:

  • What SQL Server edition effectively balances your business needs against cost?

  • What hardware and software platform are best suited for your SQL Server installation?

I help ...

Get Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 For Dummies® now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.