What is a SQL Server?

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system from Microsoft that is specially designed for applications in the corporate environment. It is based on the standard of current SQL versions and adds a number of additional features.

The relational database management system Microsoft SQL Server, abbreviated MSSQLServer, originated from a code originally developed by Sybase. Microsoft SQL Server is intended for use in companies and is available in various versions and editions. Editions differ in functionality, hardware requirements, and price. The software is based on the SQL variant Transact-SQL (T-SQL), which is based on the SQL standard, but adds numerous other features to the range of functions. These include, for example, functions for transaction control, line processing, and error or exception handling. To get an overview of sql server hosting on the market, check out peer-server.

Application areas for the Microsoft SQL Server are data warehouse and business intelligence applications. For this purpose, services such as Reporting Services, Analysis Services, Integration Services or SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) belong to the MSSQLServer. Microsoft SQL Server also supports OLE DB and ODBC for Open Database Connectivity.

History of the Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is based on a code originally developed by the company Sybase. The first version of a database management system for the OS/2 operating system was developed at the end of the 1980s from a collaboration between the companies Sybase, Ashton-Tate and Microsoft. As early as 1992, the last release for OS/2 was released with SQL Server Version 4.2. With version 4.21 from 1993, SQL Server could be used together with the Windows NT operating system. Since the cooperation between Sybase and Microsoft ended in the 1990s, both companies released their own versions of SQL Server software. Microsoft under the name Microsoft SQL Server and Sybase under the name Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE).

The first released version was SQL Server 1.0, a 16-bit server for the OS/2 operating system. Currently (Q4 2017) Microsoft officially supports the following versions of Microsoft SQL Server:

  1. SQL Server 2017
  2. SQL Server 2016
  3. SQL Server 2014
  4. SQL Server 2012
  5. SQL Server 2008 R2
  6. SQL Server 2008

Since version SQL Server 2016 only x64 processors are supported. Different editions of the Microsoft SQL Server are available depending on the scope of services required and the intended use. These are divided into the two categories Mainstream Editions and Specialized Editions. Mainstream editions include SQL Server Enterprise Edition, SQL Server Standard Edition, SQL Server Web Edition, SQL Server Workgroup Edition and SQL Server Express Edition. Specialized editions include Azure SQL Database, Compact (SQL CE), SQL Server Developer Edition, SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition, SQL Server Evaluation Edition and SQL Server Fast Track.

Performance of current Microsoft SQL Server versions

Current Microsoft SQL Server versions are very powerful and can be used in cloud or big data environments. The database management system can be used to implement intelligent, business-critical applications and particularly scalable hybrid database platforms. The scope of services includes in-memory functions, extended security features and extensive analysis options for large databases directly within the database.

Apps for online transaction processing (OLTP) with high availability and good scalability can be provided on the basis of Microsoft SQL Server. For analysis functions, “R” is a separate statistics language directly available in the SQL Server database. Moving the data is superfluous thanks to the statistics language. Microsoft SQL Server can be operated on servers in a data center, in a private cloud or in a public cloud such as Microsoft Azure.
Functions of T-SQL

The functions of T-SQL can be divided into the following categories:

  • Aggregate Functions
  • Analytical Functions
  • ranking functions
  • Rowset Functions
  • Scalar functions

Aggregate functions perform calculations for value sets and are deterministic. Applied to the same input values, they return the same values. Analytical functions calculate aggregate values based on a group of rows. In contrast to aggregate functions, they can return several rows for each group. Ranking functions are not deterministic and return a so-called ranking value for each partition row. The Rowset Functions