Since 1988, Microsoft has offered its SQL Server database management software. SQL (pronounced "sequel"), or Structured Query Language, is a standardized set of commands programmers use to manage data. SQL Server is a fast, reliable repository for organizing large amounts of information. It provides tools for sharing the data and a security system for keeping it safe.
SQL Server uses the client-server model of data management. With client-server, a program called the client requests data from a server program, usually on another computer. The server evaluates the request and passes data back to the client. This improves security since the client must provide the correct password information for the server to release the data. It also helps speed data access since the server computer does all the hard work of data management; the client receives the results. An organization using SQL Server usually has several dedicated computers for it.
You can organize data in many different ways. You can type it in a simple file, organize it in a spreadsheet or divide .it into distinct parts. If you run a big website and have millions of records to manage, efficiency is important. Microsoft SQL Server uses a data organization method called a relational database. A database designer looks at the organization's information and creates structures called tables to store it. By linking the tables in different combinations, she can, for example, see how many customers she has by state, what they purchased and how often they visit the website.
SQL Server uses the SQL language. Using SQL, a programmer can create tables, add, remove or update data, and sort and retrieve it rapidly. Different software companies, such as Oracle and MySQL, also use the SQL language, allowing programmers to use the same skills for managing data stored on different systems.
The core of SQL Server is the program that processes data requests from client programs. In addition, it has programs to build databases, import and export data and monitor the database's performance. While a programmer can do many of these tasks from the SQL language, the extra software tools make the job easier to learn and perform.
Security and Integrity
If you're responsible for a company's data, you need to manage who can and cannot access it. With SQL Server, you can assign many different levels of security, letting some users see or modify data and locking other users out. It also lets a programmer build rules into the database to ensure the data has integrity. For example, the customer's address can have a rule that the state must come from a list of state abbreviations. If a user tries entering a state of "ZX," SQL Server will reject it.
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