SQL Server Editions and Management Tools

As you plan your installation, you need to know which SQL Server editions exist so that you can choose the most appropriate one. This section describes your options and then introduces the various management tools that you can use in all SQL Server editions.

1. SQL Server Editions

Microsoft supports several editions of SQL Server, but to help you find the most likely candidate for your environment, I will explain only the most important ones:

  • Express Edition The lightweight version of SQL Server designed for use by application developers. For this reason, the product supports the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which allows you to develop different database objects using C# and Visual Basic. Also, you can download SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), which enables you to easily manage a database. SQL Server Express is available as a free download.
  • Standard Edition Designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It supports up to four processors and includes the full range of BI functionality, including Analysis Services, Reporting Services, and Integration Services. This edition does not include some enterprise-based features from Enterprise Edition.
  • Enterprise Edition The special form of the SQL Server system that is intended for time-critical applications with a huge number of users. In contrast to Standard Edition, this edition contains additional features that can be useful for very high-end installations with symmetrical multiprocessors or clusters. The most important additional features of Enterprise Edition are data partitioning and online database maintenance.
  • Developer Edition Designed for developers to build and test any type of application with SQL Server. It includes all the functionality of Enterprise Edition, but is licensed only for use in development, testing, and demonstration. Each license of Developer Edition entitles one developer to use the software on as many systems as necessary; additional developers can use the software by purchasing additional licenses. For rapid deployment into production, the database system of Developer Edition can easily be upgraded to Enterprise Edition.

2. Management Tools

The following management tools, among others, are available for use in all SQL Server editions:

  • SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) The administrator’s primary tool for interacting with the SQL Server system on Windows is SQL Server Management Studio. Both administrators and end users can use this tool. Chapter 3 describes SSMS in detail.
  • Azure Data Studio The functionality of Azure Data Studio is similar to the functionality of SQL Server Management Studio. In contrast to SSMS, which is implemented only for Windows, Azure Data Studio runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS. The main difference between the tools is that SSMS is a mature tool, whereas Azure Data Studio is a new tool that currently supports only a subset of features already implemented in SSMS. Chapter 3 describes Azure Data Studio, too.
  • SQL Server Configuration Manager SQL Server Configuration Manager is a tool to manage the services associated with SQL Server, to configure the network protocols used by SQL Server, and to manage the network connectivity configuration from SQL Server client computers. SQL Server Configuration Manager is a Microsoft Management Console snap-in that is available from the Start menu. This tool will be used and explained in Chapter 5.
  • SQL Server Profiler SQL Server Profiler is a graphical tool that lets system administrators monitor and record database and server activities. The tool is described in detail in Chapter 20.
  • Database Engine Tuning Advisor The Database Engine Tuning Advisor allows you to automate the physical design of your databases. The tool is described together with SQL Server Profiler in Chapter 20.
  • SQL Server Data Tools SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) transforms database development by introducing a model that spans all the phases of database development. In SQL Server 2019, SSDT is tightly integrated with Visual Studio 2019 and uses its capabilities to build, debug, and maintain databases.

Source: Petkovic Dusan (2020), Microsoft SQL Server 2019: A Beginner’s Guide, Seventh Edition-McGraw-Hill Education.

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