Why Choose SQL Server 2008

SQL Server faces competition from other databases, not only from other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visual FoxPro, but also from competitors such as Oracle, Sybase, DB2, and Informix, to name a few.

Microsoft Access is found on a large number of PCs. The fact that it is packaged with some editions of Office and has been around for a number of years in different versions of Office has helped make this database ubiquitous; in fact, a great number of people actually do use the software. Unfortunately, it does have its limitations when it comes to scalability, speed, and flexibility, but for many small, in-house systems, these areas of concern are not an issue, as such systems do not require major database functionality.

Now we come to the serious competition: Oracle and Sybase. Oracle is seen as perhaps the market leader in the database community, and it has an extremely large user base. There is no denying it is a great product to work with, if somewhat more complex to install and administer than SQL Server; it fits well with large companies that require large solutions. There are many parts to Oracle, which make it a powerful tool, including scalability and performance. It also provides flexibility in that you can add on tools as you need them, making Oracle more accommodating in that area than SQL Server. For example, SQL Server 2008 forces you to install the .NET Framework on your server whether you use the new .NET functionality or not. However, Oracle isn’t as user friendly from a developer’s point of view in areas like its ad hoc SQL Query tool and its XML and web technology tools, as well as in how you build up a complete database solution; other drawbacks include its cost and the complexity involved in installing and running it effectively. However, you will find that it is used extensively by web search engines, although SQL Server could work just as effectively. With the new functionality in SQL Server 2008, Oracle will be under pressure to expand its existing functionality to meet this challenge. SQL Server has always been a one-purchase solution, such that (providing you buy the correct version) tools that allow you to analyze your data or copy data from one data source such as Excel into SQL Server will all be “in the box.” With Oracle, on the other hand, for every additional feature you want, you have to purchase more options.

Then there is Sybase. Yes, it is very much like SQL Server with one major exception: it has no GUI front end. Sybase iAnywhere, which is mainly used for small installations, does have a front end, but the top-of-the-range Sybase does not. To purists, there is no need for one, as GUI front ends are for those who don’t know how to code in the first place—well, that’s their argument, of course, but why use 60+ keystrokes when a point, click, and drag is all that is required? Sybase is also mainly found on Unix, although there is a Windows version around. You can get to Sybase on a Unix machine via a Windows machine using tools to connect to it, but you still need to use code purely to build your database solution. It is very fast and very robust, and it is only rebooted about once, maybe twice, a year. Another thing about Sybase is that it isn’t as command- and featurerich as SQL Server. SQL Server has a more powerful programming language and functionality that is more powerful than Sybase.

Each database has its own SQL syntax, although they all will have the same basic SQL syntax, known as the ANSI-92 standard. This means that the syntax for retrieving data, and so on, is the same from one database to another. However, each database has its own special syntax to maintain it, and trying to use a feature from this SQL syntax in one database may not work, or may work differently, in another.

So SQL Server seems to be the best choice in the database marketplace, and in many scenarios it is. It can be small enough for a handful of users, or large enough for the largest corporations. It doesn’t need to cost as much as Oracle or Sybase, but it does have the ability to scale up and deal with terabytes of data without many concerns. As you will see, it is easy to install, as it comes as one complete package for most of its functionality, with a simple install to be performed for the remaining areas if required.

Now that you know the reasons behind choosing SQL Server, you need to know which versions of SQL Server are out there to purchase, what market each version is aimed at, and which version will be best for you, including which version can run on your machine.

Source of Information : Apress Beginning SQL.Server 2008 for Developers From Novice to Professional


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