SQL Server is a relational database management system (RDBMS) designed by Microsoft. Much like other RDBMS databases, SQL Server utilizes the SQL language – the common language used to establish links between data. SQL Server organizes data into separate tables which all contain relationships. This data is dynamic and updates automatically depending on the data relationship. SQL Server runs exclusively on Windows, but was made available for Linux in 2017.
MS SQL Server Features
Analytics – Multi threading and parallel processing allow you to gather analytical data and insights directly inside the database. Extract data and present it in comprehensible visual aids such as charts and graphs.
Security – Effective access restriction. Administrators can monitor the level of access to data and permissions to modify data.
Reliability – Good uptime even during sudden power outages, SQL server backup provides automatic recovery ensuring that data is never lost and is restored once the server is back up.
Scalability – Multi-core processors can handle large amounts of data with little effect on performance
Docker SQL Server
Unusually for Windows, SQL Server possesses cross-platform capabilities. By using docker containers, SQL Server can be run on Linux and Mac systems. This feature is only available for SQL Server 2017 and above. There are plenty of guides across the web to show you how this works.
SQL Server Versions
SQL Server licensing includes a few different options:
Enterprise: Designed for large companies with significant data needs, and data warehousing. The priciest of SQL Server’s options and comes with all features.
Developer – free, fully featured. Used to build and test applications.
Web – SQL Server hosting for public websites – only available to third party software providers.
SQL Server Express – Free and designed for base-level use. Has a limit of 10 GB.
SQL Server per core vs Cal
Standard (per core) – Requires a license for every core used. A minimum of 8 cores is required to purchase.
Standard (server +CAL) – One license is required for the server and additional licenses for any users who wish to access the software.
SQL Server Download
Microsoft offers free fully featured trials for SQL Server On premises and SQL Server in the cloud. You can also download the free, specialized editions of SQL Server Developer or SQL Server Express here.
MySQL vs SQL Server
If you are on the fence about which database system is best for you, check out our guide to MySQL.
How to use Microsoft SQL Server
Store – Store and organize data into comprehensible tables.
Relate – Make connections and build relationships between data.
Analyze – Gain insight into data and determine your next move.