Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications—which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network.
SQL Server is also a relational database management system, or RDBMS, developed and marketed by Microsoft.
Similar to other RDBMS software, SQL Server is built on top of SQL, a standard programming language for interacting with the relational databases. SQL server is tied to Transact-SQL, or T-SQL, the Microsoft’s implementation of SQL that adds a set of proprietary programming constructs.
SQL Server works exclusively on Windows environment for more than 20 years. In 2016, Microsoft made it available on Linux. SQL Server 2017 became generally available in October 2016 that ran on both Windows and Linux.
SQL Server Features And Architecture
The following diagram illustrates the architecture of the SQL Server:
SQL Server consists of two main components:
- Database Engine
The core component of the SQL Server is the Database Engine. The Database Engine consists of a relational engine that processes queries and a storage engine that manages database files, pages, pages, index, etc. The database objects such as stored procedures, views, and triggers are also created and executed by the Database Engine.
The Relational Engine contains the components that determine the best way to execute a query. The relational engine is also known as the query processor.
The relational engine requests data from the storage engine based on the input query and processed the results.
Some tasks of the relational engine include querying processing, memory management, thread and task management, buffer management, and distributed query processing.
The storage engine is in charge of storage and retrieval of data from the storage systems such as disks and SAN.
Under the relational engine and storage engine is the SQL Server Operating System or SQLOS.
SQLOS provides many operating system services such as memory and I/O management. Other services include exception handling and synchronization services.
SQL Server Editions
SQL Server has four primary editions that have different bundled services and tools. Two editions are available free of charge:
SQL Server Developer edition for use in database development and testing.
SQL Server Expression for small databases with the size up to 10 GB of disk storage capacity.
For larger and more critical applications, SQL Server offers the Enterprise edition that includes all SQL server’s features.
SQL Server Standard Edition has partial feature sets of the Enterprise Edition and limits on the Server regarding the numbers of processor core and memory that can be configured.
SQL Server Services and Tools
Microsoft provides both data management and business intelligence (BI) tools and services together with SQL Server.
For data management, SQL Server includes SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), SQL Server Data Quality Services, and SQL Server Master Data Services. To develop databases, SQL Server provides SQL Server Data tools; and to manage, deploy, and monitor databases SQL Server has SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
For data analysis, SQL Server offers SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS). SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) provides reports and visualization of data. The Machine Learning Services technology appeared first in SQL Server 2016 which was renamed from the R Services.
SQL SERVER FUNCTIONS
What are the SQL database functions?
Applies to: SQL Server (all supported versions) Azure SQL Database Azure SQL Managed Instance Azure Synapse Analytics Parallel Data Warehouse
Learn about the categories of built-in functions you can use with SQL databases. You can use the built-in functions or create your own user-defined functions.
Aggregate functions perform a calculation on a set of values and return a single value. They are allowed in the select list or the HAVING clause of a SELECT statement. You can use an aggregation in combination with the GROUP BY clause to calculate the aggregation on categories of rows. Use the OVER clause to calculate the aggregation on a specific range of value. The OVER clause cannot follow the GROUPING or GROUPING_ID aggregations.
All aggregate functions are deterministic, which means they always return the same value when they run on the same input values. For more information, see Deterministic and Nondeterministic Functions.|
Analytic functions compute an aggregate value based on a group of rows. However, unlike aggregate functions, analytic functions can return multiple rows for each group. You can use analytic functions to compute moving averages, running totals, percentages, or top-N results within a group.
Ranking functions return a ranking value for each row in a partition. Depending on the function that is used, some rows might receive the same value as other rows. Ranking functions are nondeterministic.
Rowset functions Return an object that can be used like table references in an SQL statement.
Operate on a single value and then return a single value. Scalar functions can be used wherever an expression is valid.
Categories of scalar functions
|Configuration Functions||Return information about the current configuration.|
|Conversion Functions||Support data type casting and converting.|
|Cursor Functions||Return information about cursors.|
|Date and Time Data Types and Functions||Perform operations on a date and time input values and return string, numeric, or date and time values.|
|JSON Functions||Validate, query, or change JSON data.|
|Logical Functions||Perform logical operations.|
|Mathematical Functions||Perform calculations based on input values provided as parameters to the functions, and return numeric values.|
|Metadata Functions||Return information about the database and database objects.|
|Security Functions||Return information about users and roles.|
|String Functions||Perform operations on a string (char or varchar) input value and return a string or numeric value.|
|System Functions||Perform operations and return information about values, objects, and settings in an instance of SQL Server.|
|System Statistical Functions||Return statistical information about the system.|
|Text and Image Functions||Perform operations on text or image input values or columns, and return information about the value.|
SQL Server built-in functions are either deterministic or nondeterministic. Functions are deterministic when they always return the same result any time they are called by using a specific set of input values. Functions are nondeterministic when they could return different results every time they are called, even with the same specific set of input values. For more information, see Deterministic and Nondeterministic Functions
Functions that take a character string input and return a character string output use the collation of the input string for the output.
Functions that take non-character inputs and return a character string use the default collation of the current database for the output.
Functions that take multiple character string inputs and return a character string use the rules of collation precedence to set the collation of the output string. For more information, see Collation Precedence (Transact-SQL).
ADVANTAGES OF SQL SERVER
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is one of the best data management software available today. If you’re not familiar with it, you might be hesitant to use it for your website. But you could be missing out on its excellent benefits for your company.
If you’re just now learning about Microsoft SQL Server, here are the advantages and disadvantages you should know:
Pros of Microsoft SQL Server:
1. Increases data security
One of the primary purposes of Microsoft SQL Server is ensuring the security of your database, especially with a Microsoft SQL Server database administration service. This software allows you to work with a table structure that connects functions and data elements, which helps secure the data that you have. For databases that have client information and other sensitive data, database security and integrity are a must.
2. Ease of configuration
Unlike other database management software, the installation and configuration of Microsoft SQL Server are easier. You don’t need to have a specific toolkit to install the software, and updates are fully automatic. You can also install other components to modify the software for your business without any complex processes as well. So if you’re looking for a database management software that provides convenience, Microsoft SQL Server is the way to go.
3. Optimized data storage
With Microsoft SQL Server, you don’t have to have another data storage from the same database if you’re using a different device. This allows you to manage data easily and efficiently with minimal troubleshooting and maintenance. Consequently, you can save time and work on other important aspects of your business.
4. Data recovery support
In the case of power interruption or server shutdowns, data may become corrupted, which poses a big problem for businesses that have little to no backups stored. Microsoft SQL Server eliminates the risk of losing data by having features for data recovery and restoration. As a result, you will have more peace of mind knowing that your data is secured through caching, log files, and frequent backups, no matter what may happen to your server.
The cons of Microsoft SQL Server:
There is a free version of Microsoft SQL Server that you can use. But for more advanced databased applications and features, you will have to make a sizeable investment for higher versions of the software.
2. Restricted compatibility
Making additional investments in Microsoft software may be needed if your business uses little to no Microsoft infrastructure. These extra commitments might also cost your company more, but they will allow you to use Microsoft SQL Server on your platform.
3. Hardware restrictions
Newer versions of Microsoft SQL Server need advanced technologies to run So, if your hardware is comprised mainly of older hardware, you might need to invest in newer machines in order to use Microsoft SQL Server. Moreover, if your business needs a larger database, you also need to increase your hard drive space.
Microsoft SQL Server is an excellent database management software for small to large businesses. If you’re thinking of buying the software for your company, consider these pros and cons before deciding if it’s compatible with your goals.
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