What’s new with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 r2

Microsoft released their product SQL Server 2008 r2 in 2010. As it is usual with their products, MS SQL Server 2008 R2 also has an Express edition that is available for evaluation and use in small systems. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 r2 is available in Standard and Enterprise editions. Having tried out the SQL Server 2008 r2 Express, you would eventually graduate to either the standard or the Enterprise editions depending on your actual needs.  Two other special editions also were released with the MS SQL Server 2008 R2. These are the SQL Server 2008 R2 Datacenter and SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse. These two special editions were introduced to meet increasing demands for datacenters and parallel data warehouse applications (Business Intelligence applications).

As with other versions, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express edition is supplied free by Microsoft.  This facilitates your team becoming familiar with the database product, get used to developing web based and desktop applications, etc. You will need the help of Microsoft Visual Studio and Visual Web Developer Express.

Some features added over the MS SQL Server 2008 R2 include the following:

  • A Master Data Services that helps in master data management
  • Multi Server Management, this is a feature that helps manage multiple instances of the server
  • Relational databases, reporting services, analysis and integration services are also managed by the multi server management feature



For getting started with the 2008 R2 you need to download the Express edition first. It is fairly simple to download and install. It is free to use, but you will need to get the product registered with Microsoft. Your team can start getting familiar with it right away. When the team gets into applications development activities, there is another issue you need to take into account. All such database applications need to have the database as part of the application and then the question is if you can re-distribute the database to a third party (your customer). This too is free for the Express edition, but you will have to apply and get the right approved by Microsoft.

The so-called core editions of Enterprise and Standard are the most popular ones of the SQL Server 2008 R2 product.  The SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard is positioned as the database tool for data management as well as business intelligence for departments and also the small and medium business segment. This configuration is supposed to take up minimum of IT resources. Some new features in the Standard edition are:

  • Backups could now be compressed significantly for faster backups
  • The SQL Server 2008 R2 could become a managed instance in applications that use multiple servers and need to manage them
  • Support for processing of complex events

The SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise is capable of delivering a data platform but provides the user a secure, highly available and scalable product. Business intelligence features are supported. Some new features in the Enterprise edition include:

  • Complex event processing support
  • Mater data service to make sure of data consistency
  • Support for SharePoint collaborative work
  • Up to 25 server instances could be managed with the available multi-server management

The Microsoft SQL 2008 R2 also offers a free Compact edition for applications on mobile devices besides desktop and the web.

Additional Resources on SQL 2008

  1. Sql server 2008 Tutorial
  2. Download SQL Server 2008 Management Studio
  3. Related info on MS SQL 2008

 

 

Visual Studio 2008 – An Overview

Visual Studio 2008 is a development system by Microsoft. It is an integrated development environment or IDE. An IDE usually has features that help write code, manage the source code, create the object code, run it and help debug it. Visual Studio 2008 is an IDE that supports several software tools that help is each of these departments. While Visual Studio has many editions, it is from Visual Studio 2008 version that has integration with SQL Server editions, starting with the SQL 2005. There have been several versions after Visual Studio 2008 too. Because of this, connection mentioned, it made sense to study Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. Visual Studio makes available multiple tools for each of the developments, testing, deployment, integration and management of a software system for and given application. Not only, there is a comprehensive set of tool but development across devise type is also supported. Your target device could be the web, a PC, a server or some mobile device.

Visual Studio 2008 integrates tools, servers as well as services. It offers these features to make development and solving related problems relatively easy. So much so that not only experienced developers benefit from it but even beginners are able to get used to the tools and services quite easily. Productivity in development is helped by code editors that are quite efficient. Intellisense feature and wizards help developers manage their development functions. Intellisense is like auto-completion so that code statement’s completion is helped by the system automatically prompting the required parameters. That would avoid mistakes and make code development faster in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 environment.

Life cycle management support through tools like Visual Studio Team System is available. MS Visual Studio Team system is a team collaboration product. This tool can help developers with work-item tracking and provide a team portal. By tracking the work items, it can manage version control too. Build management, business intelligence and process guidance are other features available through this component of Visual Studio 2008.

Visual Studio 2008 offers the team system that is a combination of products. These are:

  • The architecture edition is helpful in designing a distributed system that is well-designed and can be validated
  • The database edition provides a tool for managing the database and changes made to it
  • Insecure, inefficient or poor-quality code development ca be prevented through the development edition. It provides the means of unit testing
  • Test edition and test load agent modules helps with managing all the testing you need to do.

Visual Studio 2008 is available in two major editions; the standard edition and the professional edition. Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 standard edition provides an integrated environment as described. It is a complete development environment for applications for the web or the Windows.

Visual Studio 2008 Professional edition provides additional features beyond the standard edition. Developing ASP.NET or .NET AJAX based supplications for the web or for the different Windows versions, this tool will let you work with SQL Server databases as also mobile devices. This Visual Studio 2008 Pro version also has unit testing built in to get software modules tested early on. This tool helps integrate Microsoft’s productivity suite easily too.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 – Additional Reading

 

 

 

SQL Browser – How does this Windows service help SQL Server?

In most practical installations in organizations, the database is usually arranged in a distributed manner. In this arrangement, several clients over the network communicate with the server hardware. There could, of course, be more than one physical server hardware too. In the simplest configuration, this will be a single instance of the SQL Server. However, in a general situation, there will be multiple instances of SQL server running.

SQL Server is assigned a port number 1433 on which to listen for connection request and transfer data back and forth. The communication with clients is established through a named pipe that connects to this particular port. Problem arises when there are several instances of SQL server is running simultaneously. You need a mechanism to make sure the communications with clients happen systematically, and data is passed back and forth between the requested instance of the server and the specific client, even though there is only one port that could be used even when multiple instances exist. SQL Browser is the tool that manages the set of communications exchanges that are needed between clients and an instance of the SQL SERVER. This SQL Browser mechanism was introduced with the release of the SQL server 2005. SQL Browser has been available in the following releases namely the SQL Server 2008, 2008 r2 and 2012 releases.




SQL Browser or SQL server browser (the official name) listens on the specified port and provides information about the instances that are in existence within a server. The SQL Browser works as a Window service and is present in the machine all the time. The service is able to browse the list of servers available with id and software version number of each instance. When the request comes the SQL server also connects the client to the right instance of the database. The SQL Browser service helps connect to dedicated administrator connection end point additionally. In the Express version of the databases in 2005 as well as later versions, SQL Browser is not enabled. The configuration manager of the SQL server will help set up the SQL Browser in the server.

The SQL 2008 Browser works the same way across the versions.

  • The default server instance uses the port 1433, and a named pipe named as “\sql\query”. Server administrator can change the defaults through the server configuration manager, of course.
  • Ports are assigned dynamically to the server instances.
  • When the server instance stops, for some reason, and is restarted, this assignment can change.
  • Thus, client would not know which port number to use for communicating.
  • Usually the SQL Server Browser uses port 1434. Initial request from a client is sent to this port. SQL server, on request, passes on the port number and the named pipe that has been assigned to the particular instance when it was started.
  • The client then uses these specific resources to communicate with the right server instance. The SQL Browser service can be started and stopped by the database administrator as needed.

The browser is a necessary tool for real-life situations using multiple database servers with clients distributed on the enterprise network.

If you would like to learn more, check out our page on SQL Server 2012 Training.

 

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