What are some of the advantages of using a SQL Server database over other types of databases?
SQL Server offers many advantages over other types of databases. Some of those advantages include the following:
- Security: SQL Server provides two security models including integration with Windows Authentication to provide
robust security platform for managing your organizations information. Security can be managed across all database objects including
tables, views, stored procedures and at a very granular level, to provide complete information security. Database encryption is now
available as well to secure SQL Server database at rest.
- Scalability: SQL Server is a highly scalable enterprise database platform capabable of managing petabytes of data while
delivery high performance. This allows organizations to deploy SQL Server databases with the confidence that SQL Server can continue
to deliver superior performance even as their needs and businesses grow.
- High Availability/Failover: SQL Server provides a variety of high availablity features including fail over clustering
availale on the Standard and Enterprise editions, database mirroring, log shipping, and database snapshots to meet your organizations' needs.
- Business Intelligence: SQL Server Standard and Enterprise Editions come with extensive business intelligence capabilities
through SQL Server Analysis Services. Analytical models can be developed to breakdown business information to provide business insights for
managing and forecasting business needs. SQL Server also comes with integrated reporting capabilities from SQL Server Reporting Services
which allows organizations to access business critical information across the organization. In more recent versions of SQL Server,
PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel has been added to allow users another familiar tool for analyzing business data.
- Integration: SQL Server provides a robust set of integration tools call SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) which can
be used considate data from multiple heterogenous data sources for holistic data view and comprehensive data analysis. SSIS can also
be used to migrate data from other database formats (Oracle, DBase, Paradox, legacy formats, Microsoft Access) to SQL Server.
What types of database applications can be built with SQL Server?
Windows applications using the Microsoft .NET Framework, Visual Basic (VB) 6.0 applications, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) applications including Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel, web applications (ASP.NET), and web services (.NET web services). SQL Server is also the database backend for many existing software applications including SharePoint Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Project Server, etc., and these applications can integrated with other SQL Server applications. Existing SQL Server applications can also be enhanced to add new functionality, and migrated to newer versions of SQL Server to take advantages of new features.
What is Microsoft SQL Azure and what are some of its features and capabilities?
Microsoft SQL Azure is a cloud-based database service based on the SQL Server database platform. The SQL Azure platform is continuing to evolve
with cloud-based database services currently being offered. In the future, SQL Azure will include other cloud-based SQL Server services such as
SQL Azure Reporting, based on SQL Server Reporting Services, and SQL Azure Data Sync based on the Sync Framework.
Cloud-based SQL Server services offer a number of attractive features including high availability and scalability. These features are built into the
SQL Azure service offering and require no additional administration. In addition, the SQL Azure database service can provide a solution for remote access
to organizational data across locations, to remote workers, and to mobile devices.
SQL Azure supports common database access technologies such as ADO.NET and native ODBC. SQL Azure databases can be managed through a light-weight web client
or through SQL Server Management Studio. Visual Studio 2010 also offers integration with SQL Azure databases.
Like many cloud-based services, whether SQL Azure is the right database management solution depends on the specific project requirements. Please contact
us for a detailed assessment.
Does SQL Server provide support for Spatial and Location data?
Yes, starting with SQL Server 2008 there is now support for Spatial data including a Spatial data type and Spatial indexes. Planar
and geodetic data types are now supported in all versions of SQL Server. Support for the geometry data type includes the ability to
store ploygons, lines and other two dimensional data such as geographic data, architectural or engineering design data.
The Geography data type supports integration with location aware services such as Microsoft Virtual Earth. Store map and location
directly in the database and retrieve this information to displaying in mapping applications or other location aware services.
Can I build mobile device (PDA, smartphone) applications that use SQL Server?
Yes, there is a version of SQL Server call SQL Server Compact that can be used to build standalone and intermittently connected
application for mobile devices. Generally, such SQL Server mobile applications are used away from the office (field work) and
synchronization technology included with SQL Server allows for the collection of data from these mobile application to a central
SQL Server database. Mobile applications can be built using the .NET Compact Framework, and includes most of the standard controls
(textboxes, drop down lists, etc.) that you would find in a standard Windows-based application. Synchronization between the central
SQL Server database and the mobile device database can be two way (bidirectional) so data can be sent to the mobile devices as well
as received from the device. This feature makes SQL Server an excellent platform choice for building project and field management
How is SQL Server Compact licensed and for what types of application and development scenarios is it suiteable?
SQL Server Compact is a freely available (both for use and distribution) version of SQL Server that can be used in a variety of application scenarios
including mobile devices, desktops, and for the web. SQL Server Compact has a subset of the syntax and data types found in the full versions of SQL Server,
however, it can be used in a variety of application development scenarios where these limitations are not a restriction. The Visual Studio IDE provides
integration with SQL Server Compact and the new Webmatrix development environment makes use of SQL Server Compact Edition. SQL Server Compact provides full
transactional support, full referential integrity, merge replication functionality, and support for ADO.NET and LINQ.