IV.4.1. Introducing Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is a full-featured development environment that can be used to create Windows applications, console applications, Web sites, Web applications, Web services, and more. It supports developing applications in a wide variety of programming languages including:

  • Visual Basic

  • Visual C#

  • Visual C++

Within the context of SQL Server, Visual Studio can be used to browse databases, debug stored procedures, develop Web services, and create SQL Server Management Object (SMO) applications. In Chapter 7 of this mini-book, steps are included that show you how to create a basic SMO application by using Visual Basic.

Developers who are creating applications that access SQL Server databases can use Visual Studio to connect to databases (either as stand-alone files, or hosted on remote servers), and browse through the databases. Often, a developer needs to know details of a database, such as specifics of a table including column names, constraints, and data types.

The Server Explorer within Visual Studio can be used to browse through databases hosted on SQL Server. Figure 4-1 shows Visual Studio launched with the Server Explorer displayed. It has one connection to a database file, and also has a connection to a SQL Server named SRV08.

Figure IV.4-1. Creating a Data Connection.

If you're using one of the Visual Studio Express editions, you won't ...

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