SQL Server Enterprise – The most powerful edition of SQL Server

The Microsoft RDBMS product SQL Server is available in several editions. The most common ones are the Express, Standard and the Enterprise editions. Standard versions of each release will have more features and capabilities than the Express version. SQL Server Enterprise edition, in turn, has more capability than the standard editions of each release. Depending on the release version of the product, there may be additional versions.

For example, the 2012 release has a business intelligence edition. We shall concentrate on this latest product here, the SQL Server 2012 Enterprise version. While the Express edition is for familiarization, the SQL Server Enterprise is for serous applications like implementing high capability data centers with extensive database and business intelligence solutions.



Some of the notable features of the SQL Server Enterprise edition 2012 include the following:

  • Data quality services that help profile, clean up and match data ensuring the quality of the data going into the database is dependable
  • Power View or a means for data visualization and exploration  by users conveniently
  • Distributed replay features helps testing applications, configurations and upgrades. This can be very handy in SQL 2012  Enterprise adoption in the organization. A range of free tools are available so that users can be sure of a hassle-free  transition to the new version
  • Enhanced audit facility helps flexibility in auditing, and making audit possible in all versions of the product. The audit trail thus created in SQL Server Enterprise helps ensure all activity by authorized people can be tracked
  • SQL Server Enterprise has an AlwaysOn feature that manages higher uptime, quickest possible fail-over and utilization of hardware. The SQL Server AlwaysOn feature has been newly introduced and ensures higher availability and business continuity in case of disasters
  • xVelocity features in the SQL Server 2012 Enterprise help in a significant rise in performance in the intended applications of business intelligence and warehousing. xVelocity supports in-memory data processing technologies and can boost performance by a factor of 10 to 100 times.

The huge amounts of data that gets generated today needs to be managed and stored. One never knows what kind of insight is available from the big data collection. Besides the efficient storage and management implemented in SQL Server Enterprise edition, it ensures the ability to view the data to discern any valuable patterns. An additional tool of Power Pivot in the Power View feature of the SQL Enterprise version helps users to access and combine data from other sources to derive meaning to data visualizations being made. Support of cleansing of data helps the IT department to ensure BI solutions that are dependable. There will be no need to drill down to low-level data to ensure they are good data.

Whenever a new version of a product arrives on the scene, a question that arises without fail is whether existing users should upgrade. ROI percentage and the time it takes to recoup the investment are good metrics to help you decide. According to a Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft for an upgrade to SQL Server Enterprise 2012 has indicated that ROI percentage is 189%, and the payback time is just one year. In order to learn more, check out SQL Server 2012 Training.

 

What is ODBC – An Introduction and overview

ODBC is the abbreviation of “Open Database Connectivity”. It is a standard that specifies how an application using data from database will interact with a database. ODBC is a standard adopted by the IT industry. The standard specifies the commands that can be issued irrespective of the actual database product. How database products (both RDBMS and non relational ones) respond to requests for finding data, modifying or editing them as also how the requests are to be made vary from product to product. Open Database Connectivity strives to make the requests from applications the same irrespective of which database product serves the data. Databases, on their part, interpret these requests and process data according to their own internal processes (requests and command syntax) to respond the same way irrespective of its make.

With this kind of standardization, it is possible for any application to write front end that issues the standard requests to databases. This is the front end part of the ODBC standardization/ specification. This makes it possible for any application to issue data requests that will be recognized any ODBC compliant database. In fact, the application with this kind of Open Database Connectivity compliant front end would be transparent to what database is going to supply the data requested by it. The database could be any ODBC compliant product, working on any computer on the network and on any operating environment. Like the application front end needs special code to transform the requests from the application to standardized requests, the database needs a driver that will recognize the Open Database Connectivity requests and transform them to commands in specific syntax and sequence required by the given database. These drivers are, obviously, specific to a database product of a particular company. This driver is installed with the client application, the database could be anywhere on the network. The chain of modules for getting ODBC compliant work done is as follows:

  • Application issues requests to the front-end
  • Front-end (part of ODBC requirements) issues standardized requests
  • Open Database Connectivity driver specific to a database product, issues commands as needed by the product



Database serves up data requested and changed made by application up the same chain. After this ODBC standards have been complied with creating an application with a database, removing the parts and replacing them with another is a simple affair. As long as the standard connections through the front end and the Open Database Connectivity driver are maintained, substituting the database with another or an application with another is as simple as changing the tire in a car. It does not matter if the tire is from Bridgestone, Michelin or something else as long as the dimensions (specs of database) of the tire are similar. One could write monolithic application that has the database as a part of it. The application communicates with the database in its native protocol. This will be alright if there was no need for any change during the lifetime of the application. If there is a change needed, you will need to re-write the application all over again. The flexibility arising from ODBC standardization will be lost entirely.

Related links to ODBC

  1. Open Database Connectivity – MSDN
  2. ODBC – A Technical overview
  3. SQL Server 2012 training
  4. What is an ODBC compliant database

 

 

SQL Server Management Studio 2012 – What is it?

SQL Server Management Studio or SSMS is a product that is a part of Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012 product and has been available from the time the SQL Server 2005 came out. This is a component that helps manage all the parts of the SQL Server. SQL Server Management Studio 2012 can do the following for all the software modules in the server:

  • Configuring
  • Administering
  • Managing

SSMS is a crucial product and a critical piece in managing the database product; it is necessary to become familiar with the product first. Starting with the SQL Server Management Studio Express studio then seems to be a prudent approach. Getting the express version of the SQL Server, which includes the Management Studio could be downloaded from the Microsoft site. Installing the product should not create any problems. You should invest in a regular version after your team is comfortable with the SQL Server Management Studio 2012.

The SQL server Management Studio is like the control center for the product and helps you manage the features of the major modules of the product. MS has their products available in different configurations. The express version is usually a free product that helps users get familiar with the tool before plunging in into larger configurations that are priced. The SQL Management Studio 2012 product download module includes a complete tutorial. The first step for familiarization should be to study this guide. You are provided an access to the user community. This can help with any queries you may have regarding the product, its installation and configuration.

The SQL Management Studio provides the following features that will help manage the server:

  • A minimal database engine
  • An integrated environment to let you work with the product, and any scripting necessary
  • Data analysis services
  • Reporting services

The Microsoft SSMS 2012 provides an activity monitor. It is possible to schedule actions at different times and to have multiple tool open at the same time. The SQL Server Management Studio can monitor these activities. If you needed an uncluttered and reduced higher level view, it is possible to apply filters.

The SQL Management Studio has an object explorer that can provide access to all types of objects within the server environment. Access to the SQL server agent for administering them in a replicated environment, filtering of schema, name or date is available. The SSMS will let you filter parts of these objects too. Objects inside the database could be populated asynchronously. If necessary, the objects could be filtered with the metadata associated to the objects.

Scripting capabilities keep getting updated with the server version releases. This is supported with templates for quick development; script editing could be off-line, even when disconnected from the server and a source control tool for managing the script sources.

SQL Server Management Studio capabilities could be extended, given the way it is built. However, the Microsoft does not promise any support for extensions users may build. No official documents that may help in such developments are also published. This policy is so strict that when you seek customer support, you need to remove any such extensions if you have any installed.

SQL Server Management Studio – Related Links

 

 

 

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